Thursday, October 20, 2011

My dog is miserable

Whose idea was it to take me to the dermatologist?
I have always been proud of the fact that I never judge an owner for over-reacting or under-reacting about the condition of their pet.  After all, I am not living in their home experiencing what they are experiencing.  Sometimes though, I have an eye opening personal experience, that helps me to remember that it can be very upsetting when your dog doesn't feel good. 

Ozzie has been itchy for about two years.  I have treated him exactly like I would have told any owner to treat one of my patients.  He has had antibiotics for skin infections, flea and tick treatments religiously, treatments for possible mites, hypoallergenic diets...the works.  He still scratches.  After all of those treatments failed, just like I would have told my clients, I decided that he has atopy.  That is the term for environmental allergies.  I blood tested him with the hope of formulating an allergy shot, but the blood test came up with nothing.  That left us scheduling a trip to the veterinary dermatologist for skin testing, something that I cannot do myself in general practice.  We saw Dr. Brian Palmeiro, a board certified veterinary dermatologist, who, by the way, is fantastic.  Ozzie was a great candidate for skin testing, as he really only had a rash on his belly, and his sides where allergy testing is done still had perfectly beautiful, healthy skin.  As Dr. Palmeiro injected 66 allergens under the skin of my sleepy little dog, I was happy and excited when I saw hive after hive appear at most of the locations.  Finally, I would be able to start allergy shots with the hope of making him eventually comfortable.  Once he was awake, I comforted him and told him that all would be well,  slathered a little hydrocortisone on the skin test site (his entire left side)  and we went home with three vials of hope in a bottle.

I hope that these work!
 Well, he hasn't stopped scratching what I can only imagine feels like the world's largest mosquito bite for three and a half days now.  He yelps, he runs under chairs trying to get away from his skin, he cries, he trembles.  His side is bruised, swollen, hot and horrible.  There is nothing that I have given him that seems to help, and believe me, I have given him plenty of tablets, sprays, lotions, shampoos and creams.  The only thing that I haven't given, which would probably work but would mess with our allergy shots and what I have already given, is a steroid.  So, now all I can do is feel terrible for him.  I think that my feeling terrible is a good part of the treatment plan.  Maybe it will help.

My rash hurts.
None of this is helping.

These are the experiences that I hope make me a better veterinarian. 

No comments:

Post a Comment