But anyway, so when we got to the hospital...
I was late due to the weather, but it's not a huge deal cause ya know...it's a 24 hour hospital. Plus, they knew people would be late with the weather, I imagine. I found the place (Google Maps, you suck! It wasn't anywhere near where you said) by sheer luck--I passed the sign pointing to where it was. Yeah, I spent 4 years on that campus, but I never had cause to go to that corner because I wasn't a vet student. What? It's a huge campus, with 50,000+ students! One can't know where everything is on a campus that size! LOL!
I get in there, and they hand me forms to fill out, which isn't easy when you're trying to hang on to a dog that wants nothing more than to sit in your lap or hide under the chair behind your legs, or escape into the nearest empty exam room. I fill out the forms, and notice they have Stanley listed as a "Scottish Highland." I thought at first they just had Scotties and Westhighland Terriers listed as the same thing,since they are really similar and people get them confused, so I just crossed out Highland and put Terrier. When the 4th year vet students came out with the chart, they amusedly informed me that this is a Scottish Highland, which most definitely was NOT what I was bringing in. Yeah, I think not.
Anyway, Stanley was special, so he got two fourth year students to do his initial exam. We went over his medical history, which was long (I mean, ya'll know how long I've been screwing with this) and then they needed to take Stanley back to the dermatologist. He didn't want to go, so they had to carry him.
I sat out in the waiting room for about 3 hours, and they finally came out to get me. They told me Stanley was good, that they didn't keep him in a kennel but just let him roam around free range back there, since he was being very good and following his vet students everywhere they went. She said she had a few of the orthopedic students and doctor come down to watch him walk (he has a funny little hop, which his painful skin kind of makes worse) and they thought he had Scottie Cramp. I explained how he broke his leg as a puppy, and the doctor suspected Scottie Cramp as well, but it doesn't seem to be getting worse and he's not an outdoor dog anyway, since he hates going for walks. So she said she just wanted to know if I knew about it, and I said I did, but we both agreed that his skin was probably contributing to the weird walk.
Anyway, she then said he had a bazillion bacteria on his skin, and they had to do three types of skin/ear scrapings (hi, $80 each!) and they want to clear up the bacteria part before trying to address other stuff. So, I have a prescription for some new antibiotics to get filled at Target, and, she gave me some drops and cleaner for his ear since he has a mild infection.
Then, she told me that he was gonna have to start getting a bath once a week (good thing my sister is a groomer!) with a special medicated shampoo ($15 for 8oz, but Kelly told me she can get it at cost as well) and..*sniff* they're gonna have to cut Stanley's hair short. Like shaved short. Stanley doesn't have a full stripped skirt that goes to the floor like a show Scottie, but he's more like a field Scottie. And all that has to go so the shampoo will get on the skin. The vet said just to shave the affected areas, but Kelly said that would look worse so she's gonna shave it all down--skirt, legs, everything. Even his beard has to go because he has some irritation on the muzzle. :( He's not gonna look like a Scottie anymore, but then again one of his legs looks like a giant cooked turkey drumstick now, so it can't look worse I guess.
Then she said we were going to put him on a super specialized diet to rule out food allergy. The other vets (before) hadn't thought this was an issue, but at this point, we're gonna go ahead and try it. She gave me two samples (venison and potato, and rabbit and potato) to see which he would like best, then I'm supposed to tell her and she'll write me the prescription for the food. He can't have *anything* else other than this food--she even gave me unflavored Heartguard tablets because he's not allowed to have anything else to eat. If he wants dog treats, I have to make them, either by grinding up the dry food, mixing it with water to make dough and then baking it, or buying the canned food, slicing it into cookies, and baking them. I plan on giving him a couple kibbles of dog food as a treat. He doesn't know the difference.
So, anyway, she said after a month he'll come back, and they'll see if there is any skin improvement, and re-test for bacteria. She wants to get it so he has no bacteria at all, before we move into the next phase of trying to figure out how to manage the allergy. She thinks if his skin improves more than 50% we can approach it as a food allergy with seasonal allergies. If not, or if he doesn't respond to the antibiotic, then she may have to do a skin biopsy, which was a little more invasive than she wanted to do off the bat. Plus, that sounds...expensive. So keep your fingers crossed he responds to the food.
She said she can't cure him, but once it's cleared up we may be able to re-introduce his old food to him, and see if he has a reaction. If not, it may just be something where he has to go on what she called "pulse" doses of antibiotics--the allergy makes the bacteria go out of control, so occasional high doses of the antibiotic maybe every few months will keep the bacteria controlled enough that even re-introducing his old food won't hurt.
And she told me to discontinue the shots, cause they aren't working anyway.
She seemed to have much more of a plan in place than the old dermatologist, so I have no idea why my vet didn't send me to OSU in the first place. Even if they thought he was a cow to begin with! LOL!
Wow, that's really long. If you read all that, I applaud you.