Rubber Puppy Syndrome

Strange pet connection!

Maybe people struggling to get diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) should visit their local veterinarian.

Strolling the boardwalk the other morning, I stopped a couple to pet their peppy dog, Lucy.  I braced for impact, mentioning back surgery as the reason (easier than explaining EDS).

Lucy’s owners asked how I was healing. When I mentioned it was delayed due to some ‘underlying issues’ the woman brought up EDS. As I confirmed her diagnosis she shared that she learned about EDS in veterinarian school, calling it ‘Rubber Puppy Syndrome.’

The term was unfamiliar, but I had heard dogs could be afflicted.  It tugged at my heart and piqued my interest.  The conversation with the couple came to a natural close.  One last pat on Lucy’s rusty head and back to the oceanfront condo to research this unlikely animal connection.

I found an article online introducing us to Daisy, a shelter dog who needs a forever home:

Daisy has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, more commonly known as Rubber Puppy Syndrome. Her skin is extremely thin and doesn’t produce enough collagen.

“It is extremely, extremely rare. We have actually never seen it before,” Stanford said.

Although Daisy looks like a normal puppy, she can’t play like a normal dog. Even a long walk can cut her feet and legs. Rough play with other animals or roaming into brush could cause her to become seriously injured.

“Her skin, because of the extra elasticity, takes longer to heal,” Stanford explained. “So that’s why she can’t be spayed and why she’ll be a forever foster. A wound like that would never heal up on her.”

It’s sad to learn the impact of Daisy’s condition.  I want to protect her and relieve her from her suffering so she can run and play, with wild abandon. I feel kinship with Daisy; and imagine she has since found safety and a loving home.

Connection and understanding (for ourselves and others) can happen in strange and random ways. Life is funny like that, always offering something.

Jump In:

  • Animal lovers out there?  Cat, dog, horse, other…?
  • Any surprising encounters, strange connections ?










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