Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dermatology Visit

Reyna visited the dermatologist last Friday, and it went pretty well. The vet is a cute little Russian woman, and she’s a hoot to listen to, especially when she doesn’t bother finding all the words for a sentence, but just gives the necessary parts. “Dog only little crazy. Not bad crazy.”

The derm thinks Reyna may have flea or food related allergies, but no autoimmune problems. She was quick to assure me that she doesn’t think Reyna has fleas, but if she’s outside playing and gets bit by a flea, it could cause itchiness and irritation for up to three weeks. She gave me a list of several things to do to help prevent/treat that. Reyna gets a dose of Frontline Plus every 3 weeks (every 4 for Duncan), all year. I’m to use Knockout Spray once a week to repel and kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and gnats. That spray can kill the cats, though, so I have to make sure they don’t come into contact with it when its wet, and that I’ve scrubbed down after using it so the cats can’t accidentally lick any of it off me. Reyna gets a bath once a week with a medicated shampoo that's supposed to kill any bacteria on her skin, and I have some new ointment to put on her hot spots twice a day for the next 2 weeks.

To figure out if there’s a food allergy, the derm switched Reyna to a rabbit and potato kibble. Once we start the food trial, she can’t have any other type of food or treat for 10 weeks. If she eats something else, our 10 weeks starts over again. She can have the dry and canned rabbit and potato food, actual rabbit meat, potato pieces, apple chunks, or other veggies. No store-bought treats, no bones, no Frosty Paws. I did find a couple of places that sell rabbit meat, so I’m going to get some and fix it a couple of different ways to use for training treats. Poor Duncan, the restrictions on Reyna means a lot of restrictions for him, too. He’ll continue eating the food they already eat (because I really can’t afford for him to eat the rabbit food), but he also can’t have any treats unless I have something rabbity to give Reyna while he eats his. I’ll have to watch them both during meal and treat times, to make sure she doesn’t snatch something he’s eating. And no big beef bones for either of them, even though they make great long-term snacks.

Reyna’s meds have stayed the same – Rimadyl (hips), Fluoxatine (OCD), and Phenobarbital (epi) twice a day, with the Pb on a 12-hour schedule, and only about an hour of wiggle room on that. The vet also wants me to give her Benadryl twice a day for the itchiness, and we had to switch to unflavored Rimadyl and unflavored heartworm preventative (she’s really serious about the no other type of meat thing).

After the 10 weeks are up, we’ll start changing one thing at a time, and see what happens. With any luck, we’ll be able to get at least some idea of what's making Reyna so itchy, and we can control/prevent/treat it. And the derm wants Reyna off the Prozac when this is over, because she doesn’t think Reyna’s OCD is causing the chewing, rather the itching is kicking the OCD into overdrive. So, we’ll do all of this, I’ll be broke, the dogs will have to start earning a living, and we’ll hopefully get some useful information.

No comments: