...for anyone who's interested in this at all.
Well, I called the dermatologist and talked to the receptionist. I wasn't super impressed, really. They said it would be $140 for a consult (times two, because they would insist on seeing both...fair enough, they don't really know the history). The next step, usually, is intradermal testing.
Then I decided to call my vet and make an appt with him for today, just me, no boys, to talk to him about options. He called me on the phone as I was about to head that way, saying that he thought he'd save me the trip (and the office visit fee).
Well, we talked for about half an hour. He is really insistent about doing the punch biopsy, so I asked him a dozen questions about it and he went over it all in a lot of detail (I'll spare you). He agreed with me that it's probably something environmental. He also agreed it was probably the same thing on both, so we really only needed to do one dog.
Bottom line: It sounds to me like I could pay almost $300 for consults at the derm vet and still potentially have a lot of testing in front of me. She very well might even do the consults and then say, "Punch biopsy."
At this moment, I'm leaning towards doing the punch biopsy with my vet. It will hopefully give us at least an idea of what it is or isn't. The boys are both very comfortable with him, as am I. He will send the biopsy to one of a handful of derm vets and they will interpret and advise. And, I know he will call me back and put up with my requests (lol).
The vet is pushing hard for it mainly because it will help him know what medicine it will be responsive to. He did mention steroids as one possible course of treatment. Not excited about that.
I'd prefer knowing what it is we need to avoid, so this doesn't happen again, but I'm beginning to think that is going to be next to impossible to nail down. Maybe this will at least give us a clue, though.
One of them (which one?) will have to be off all Benadryl and ACV for the next two weeks. I haven't decided who that will be. It's a little weird having to choose.
Good luck. I'm sure you will take what you think is the best course of action.
Seamus and Flynn
This is really interesting, I can't believe how long this has been going on. I found out that my girls have a reaction when we get the lawn treated. It's just a certain treatment that causes their feet to itch. Needless to say we aren't doing that anymore. I'll be interested to find out what the biopsy shows.
Even though I said that a trip to the dermatologist might be in order, because I thought it sounded like you were getting frustrated with your vet, I would probably have the punch biopsy done by your regular vet and go from there.
Cponnie, just a thought, but do they step in grass when you walk them - you know, other people's grass? Could it be a reaction to a lawn treatment in someone else's yard? It started earlier in summer, then now, just about when they would be fertilizing and doing weed control ... just a thought.
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
Good luck with this. I hope you can finally get some answers.
Laura & CJ in New Hampshire
Glad you got to talk to the vet I hope the punch biopsy gives you all some good information
Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy
I have been telling Kevin for a while to avoid yards that looked too manicured to be true, but I think he'll finally listen to me now that it's happened twice.
Pat, thank you I was hoping you wouldn't feel disappointed that I went with punch biopsy. I do love my vet - he was super nice on the phone, talked to me forever, told me to ask for him when scheduling next Monday and he'd make sure to get it scheduled whenever I wanted to do it, said I could stay there and wait. He really is so accomodating, and he has spent a TON of time talking to me about this on the phone, today and earlier this summer too. I sometimes try other vets that are less expensive, but I'm afraid he has spoiled me rotten.
I sure hope this gives you some answers. I think you're doing the best thing you can for now. And I agree, maybe just flip a coin. Or, is one worse than the other? If so, maybe keep that one on the drugs, just so he's comfortable.
Daisy, Hayshaker She's Utterly Unforgettable, CGC
Lola, our mellow yellow gal. Gotcha on 1-7-07