Bubble Boy

I know everyone thinks that because my dog only weighs 5lbs that I am a crazy owner who chooses to walk him in a stroller and carry him everywhere. It’s quite the contrary though! My dog suffers from a rare condition called Ciliary Dyskinesia. To put that in “English”…his lungs don’t work properly 😦 The cilia hairs in his lungs are unable to move, thus, preventing normal movement of mucus.

I got him at 4 months old and he had Bordatella bronchiseptica aka kennel cough.  Kennel cough is a highly contagious and quite common occurrence in dogs. I assumed once he was treated for it there would be no issue. Unfortunately, for the first 8 months of his life he was treated with various medications to try to cure him of his cough and nothing worked for him.

He was referred to the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph after the many attempts and wonderful care he received from Dr. McQueen at Snelgrove Vet Services. He became a patient of the Chief of Medicine at the University because of his rare condition. It was at the University that they were able to perform the specialized tests needed to determine what was wrong with my boy. Due to his condition he is unable to ever be cured of his cough. He is constantly fighting an infection everyday of his life! The doctors also told me that since he is unable to rid his body of infectious agents and he is not allowed to be exposed to anything that could make the infection worse. If he is exposed to other infectious agents they could be fatal to him 😦

This is where the BUBBLE BOY term comes into play!

I was informed that he needs to pretty much live in a bubble! He is technically not allowed to touch the ground, hence why he takes his walks in a stroller and I carry him around when he is outside the house. He still needs to be a “DOG” and trust me he very much knows how to walk on the ground. He lives with 2 other dogs, his brother and sister, and is the smallest of the 3, but don’t tell him that! He lives a very normal life running around and playing with my other dogs. Are we limited in what we all can do? YES, especially my other dogs. They have to be limited in their activities due to the fact we have to be careful that they don’t bring anything home that could be harmful to his health. Yes, our lives are sometimes complicated and we have all had to adapt, BUT none of us would have it any other way 😉 Unfortunately, since his condition is so rare in dogs, the doctors assume it will shorten his lifespan to some degree, but that is just an assumption!

We celebrated his 6th birthday this year and are very hopeful that many, many, many more will come. He has to be on medication to control his infection for the rest of his life and he is under the best care from Dr. McQueen and Snelgrove Vet Services to make sure he stays as healthy as possible. Albert is my special boy with special needs.

I love my BUBBLE BOY with all my heart and can’t wait to see what other fun, complicated and challenging endeavors come my way with this energetic 5 pound Yorkshire Terrier!!!


4 thoughts on “Bubble Boy

  1. Re: Bubble Boy Albert. Hi Summer, just read your story about your adorable yorkie in which has touched me. You are an awesome “MOM” to your beautiful Albert having gone to many lengths in keeping him healthy. He, as your other 2 dogs, are blessed to have you as well as Dr. McQueen caring for them. Many blessings to all of you, LOVE your pictures 🙂 Donna French (I use to bring Teddy to get groomed by you) 🙂


  2. Hi Summer,

    Our baby boy Oscar, a 1 year old English Bulldog, was just diagnosed with the same condition. Our doctor doesn’t think a long life is possible. Your story has given us hope. Would you mind speaking with me about your success with bubble boy?

    Thank you,


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