Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 90 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As some of you may remember, I have a pitbull mix, Zoey, who has very bad allergies. Just recently (last Thursday) I had ordered a medication called Atopica. To start, the vet never called me when the medicine came in, so I called early on Tuesday to see if it was there. They called me back later during the day before they closed and told me that it was there, BUT I could not get it until I spoke to the vet and he wouldnt be in until Saturday. I thought okay, and scheduled for that day. Well yesterday, my poor dog Zoey was to the point where benadryl was not helping and she couldnt even stand up, yet alone walk, without scratching. Constantly shaking her head. She had chewed almost all of the hair off her legs and has pretty much no hair on her sides. Now is starting to lose hair on her head. LOOKS AWFUL. I had called my vet yesterday morning nearly in tears begging them to let me take her medicine and start that day(answering machine as they hadnt opened yet). Previously I had talked to the vet and he had told me that we would do one pill every day for 30 days and then see how she is doing. He had told me about all side effects and what to expect. Later that day(before they closed) they had called me and left a voicemail and said that she is just going to have to continue to scratch until Saturday. They had said it to me just like that. They suggested that I put her back on steroids for the few days, but I just weaned her off of them, as this vet never told me about all the side effects and had made Zoey be on them for the majority of the year!!!!!!!!!! I only found out when I researched myself. I will still go on Saturday to get the meds, but after them telling me that she needs to just scratch and basically be miserable until Saturday, I was in tears and dont even want to take her there anymore. It makes me wonder, why are they in this kind of business. They get paid to care for animals but it dont seem like they dcare. Time to switch vets or are all vets like this? Just dont know what to think or do.:(

Sorry. I just had to vent out. If you saw how my poor Zoey looks you would understand how upset I am. Me writing this does not come close to how upset I really am. She is going bald and constantly scratching.:(:(:(:( I have a shirt on her right now so she cat scratch herself in those areas that well. At least she isnt scratching directly on herself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,331 Posts
How sure is the vet that allergies are the root source of this problem?

Has the dog had a full thyroid panel blood test done? This would have involved sending blood out to an outside lab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
How sure is the vet that allergies are the root source of this problem>

Has the dog had a full thyroid panel blood test done? This would have involved sending blood out to an outside lab.

We had one of those heska allergy tests done. Found out she is allergic to mold. But not allergic to anything else I guess. I am also the one who has the vet who told me that I should put her on a prescription zd dog food because they are guessing shes allergic to food too. We had a thyroid blood test done a few months ago. I believe they sent it out and I was called with the results that it came back normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
She has had yeast tests done(or somethin like that), and skin scrapings. Im sure there are others too, but I would have to check her vet records.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,331 Posts
We had one of those heska allergy tests done. Found out she is allergic to mold. But not allergic to anything else I guess. I am also the one who has the vet who told me that I should put her on a prescription zd dog food because they are guessing shes allergic to food too. We had a thyroid blood test done a few months ago. I believe they sent it out and I was called with the results that it came back normal.
OK good. I'd always ask to have a copy of the results so you can be an educated owner. If they did not do a "full panel" that should include: T4, free T4, T3, free T3 and TgAA then you have not had a complete thyroid work up, so you don't really know if the dog's thyroid is OK or not. Just a plain T4 is not sufficient screening, although many vets mistakenly think it is.
Its also good to have medical records like this in case you ever want a second opinion from another vet.

Skin issues like this can be very difficult to resolve. Thyroid should be part of the differential diagnosis.

If you are not getting results from your regular vet, you might consider a veterinary dermatologist. That would be the next step anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,331 Posts
One of the reasons I'm harping on the thyroid issue is that the pattern of hair loss you are describing is classic thyroid issue.

It is not at all uncommon for vets to struggle along trying to fix allergies, yeast infections etc., when the root of the problem is thyroid imbalance.

You may have to become quite a proactive owner to get this sorted out. Skin issues can be like that, as vets will prescribe round after round of steroids, antibiotics, etc.. You may as well learn all you can about these issues so you can speed up the diagnostic process by asking the right questions and pushing for the right tests.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
That's disgusting and I would switch vets ASAP. That's not okay. If your normal vet isn't in, there has to be another one around to talk to you about whatever they want to talk to you about.

Are you still on the Z/D? Still not convinced that's the issue. And, not that Tess would take offense to me saying this, but I'm also not convinced that the thyroid is the issue here as well, though it's something that can fairly easily be ruled out. I'd be concerned that due to all of the scratching she may develop a secondary bacterial infection though, quite quickly.

Ditto the medical records-- I have copies of everything I've had done on my pets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
OK good. I'd always ask to have a copy of the results so you can be an educated owner. If they did not do a "full panel" that should include: T4, free T4, T3, free T3 and TgAA then you have not had a complete thyroid work up, so you don't really know if the dog's thyroid is OK or not. Just a plain T4 is not sufficient screening, although many vets mistakenly think it is.
Its also good to have medical records like this in case you ever want a second opinion from another vet.

Skin issues like this can be very difficult to resolve. Thyroid should be part of the differential diagnosis.

If you are not getting results from your regular vet, you might consider a veterinary dermatologist. That would be the next step anyway.

Im almost certain now that it was not a full panel like you have stated here. I will have to talk to them about it though. Its definatly worth looking into and testing for just to be sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
That's disgusting and I would switch vets ASAP. That's not okay. If your normal vet isn't in, there has to be another one around to talk to you about whatever they want to talk to you about.

Are you still on the Z/D? Still not convinced that's the issue. And, not that Tess would take offense to me saying this, but I'm also not convinced that the thyroid is the issue here as well, though it's something that can fairly easily be ruled out. I'd be concerned that due to all of the scratching she may develop a secondary bacterial infection though, quite quickly.

Ditto the medical records-- I have copies of everything I've had done on my pets.

My heart sank when I heard the message they left :-( I couldnt believe it. For the first year that we were trying to sort out Zoeys skin issues, we had seen a different vet. Now all of a sudden we have to work with this other vet so I am very confused about it. As for the z/d, she is still on it, but she is getting to the end of the bag. I am not weighing my options on a food to put her on. I am totally clueless. Also, I have gotten all the reciepts from the vet on what they have done, is there more paperwork that I need to be getting??? Maybe results in print or something???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
We have a vet dermatologist that comes to the emergency animal referral center, but only comes once a month....I would have to wait until June to see him. Or would have to drive to where he is which is in Minnesota. It would be quite a trip, but would have to if this medicines dont work. Right now I am researching new vets in the area.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
I would get copies of all of the test results that have been done. Exam sheets if they'll give them to you.

I would schedule an appt with that Dermatologist anyway, even if this seems to be working. They may have better meds, because having her on Atopica for life will be expensive and immunosuppressive for life... not a great option if they may have a better one that keeps her comfy.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
And, not that Tess would take offense to me saying this, but I'm also not convinced that the thyroid is the issue here as well, though it's something that can fairly easily be ruled out.
I just wanted to clarify my reasons for this... if the dog weren't scratching, I'd 10000% agree with you about the hair-loss pattern. But because the dog is scratching itself raw, I'm not as convinced and the hair-loss could be simply due to the excessive scratching. Could thyroid still be an issue? Yeah, absolutely. But I'm not convinced based on the hair loss pattern and scratching...

That's all, sorry... just wanted to clarify my thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,682 Posts
If it were my dog I would go to the vet's office in person, ask for a complete copy of your dog's chart, including labs, vet's notes, etc. Then I would check with friends that have dogs to see who they go to, call the BBB for any negative reports on the new vet, also go online for vet ratings. I would ask for a consultation with the new vet, go over your dog's vet records in person. And I would follow Holly's and Tess's input, especially about the thyroid, etc. This is a sad situation for you and your dog. I have a difficult time believing any vet would leave a dog suffering like that, much less put a dog on steroids unless it was undeniably indicated. Will your dog need calcium supplements to help with bone issues as a result, ask Holly and Tess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Get a copy of her medical records and take them to another veterinarians office....shame on that office. As a medical professional myself I assure you that word of mouth heavily influences ones professional reputation within a community. How sad to make your baby suffer.....I am so sorry and hope she gets well soon. You could post a rant on your local craigslist, as an attempt to warn others of their heartless compassion exhibited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,331 Posts
I just wanted to clarify my reasons for this... if the dog weren't scratching, I'd 10000% agree with you about the hair-loss pattern. But because the dog is scratching itself raw, I'm not as convinced and the hair-loss could be simply due to the excessive scratching. Could thyroid still be an issue? Yeah, absolutely. But I'm not convinced based on the hair loss pattern and scratching...

That's all, sorry... just wanted to clarify my thought.
Holly, I never take offense by your opinion... rather I have great respect for it!

Yes, the scratching does not fit with thyroid,... unless the dog also has an itchy bacterial or yeast infection, or food allergies or environmental allergies all working together.

I'm not convinced its all thyroid either, but I would want that eliminated as part of the whole diagnostic picture. We probably agree on that anyway. ;)

Skin issues are tough. I think a doggy dermatologist at some point would be worth the trouble.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
795 Posts
As some of you may remember, I have a pitbull mix, Zoey, who has very bad allergies. Just recently (last Thursday) I had ordered a medication called Atopica. To start, the vet never called me when the medicine came in, so I called early on Tuesday to see if it was there. They called me back later during the day before they closed and told me that it was there, BUT I could not get it until I spoke to the vet and he wouldnt be in until Saturday. I thought okay, and scheduled for that day. Well yesterday, my poor dog Zoey was to the point where benadryl was not helping and she couldnt even stand up, yet alone walk, without scratching. Constantly shaking her head. She had chewed almost all of the hair off her legs and has pretty much no hair on her sides. Now is starting to lose hair on her head. LOOKS AWFUL. I had called my vet yesterday morning nearly in tears begging them to let me take her medicine and start that day(answering machine as they hadnt opened yet). Previously I had talked to the vet and he had told me that we would do one pill every day for 30 days and then see how she is doing. He had told me about all side effects and what to expect. Later that day(before they closed) they had called me and left a voicemail and said that she is just going to have to continue to scratch until Saturday. They had said it to me just like that. They suggested that I put her back on steroids for the few days, but I just weaned her off of them, as this vet never told me about all the side effects and had made Zoey be on them for the majority of the year!!!!!!!!!! I only found out when I researched myself. I will still go on Saturday to get the meds, but after them telling me that she needs to just scratch and basically be miserable until Saturday, I was in tears and dont even want to take her there anymore. It makes me wonder, why are they in this kind of business. They get paid to care for animals but it dont seem like they dcare. Time to switch vets or are all vets like this? Just dont know what to think or do.:(

Sorry. I just had to vent out. If you saw how my poor Zoey looks you would understand how upset I am. Me writing this does not come close to how upset I really am. She is going bald and constantly scratching.:(:(:(:( I have a shirt on her right now so she cat scratch herself in those areas that well. At least she isnt scratching directly on herself.
I can't blame you for being upset at your vet, I would be too. Are there any other vets to go to , could asked some friends if they know of a good vet? No all vets are not like that, I had some like that and I stopped going to them. One vet was going to pull my dog closer to him by pulling on my dog's leg! I never brought my poodle back there! Do have an ER vet you can go to on weekends? I know they cost more money , I had good luck in getting my dog the care he needed right away. Your poor little dog!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
It is hard to believe that a vet would say such a thing! Definetely you need a new vet. After asking around other dog owners, make sure you explain what you expect when you visit the new vet. My vet knows I am a worry wart and always returns my call, even on off hours. She has even called the ER vet once to explain why she was sending me there on a holiday. I love my vet and I recommend her to everyone. You need to have confidence in the person/persons providing care to your pet. I also agree that a full range of test need to be done to be sure your pet is getting the right treatment. Guessing is out of the question.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,625 Posts
Ask your vet for copies of your dog's records. You'll need to specify like Holly said, that you want copies of the lab work and such or often they won't include them. They may charge for the paperwork, just FYI.

Definetly make an apointment to see the specialist. If he's only out once a month his schedule probly fills up fast.

And yes, I'd be considering a new vet too.....
 
1 - 20 of 90 Posts
Top