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Author Topic: UPDATE on Sudden Allergic Reactivity at Age 7: Page 2, She has MANGE :(  (Read 7709 times)
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2017, 10:05:39 AM »

Aw, just look at that happy bichon smile!  And after all she's been through, too!

Well my goodness what a tale!  Amazing!  And scary, too.  I am so sorry both of you have been through all of this.  Well, it sounds like you are now on a good path to recovery!  You didn't mention how long it will take to resolve the mite issue.  How often do you have to use the malaseb?  Is it twice a week for a month, or ????

And what good news that all the steriods have ceased!

As I recall, a specialist vet like a dermatologist normally provides a follow up report to the primary care vet.  But as you mentioned that you'd been to 3 vets, you may want to check which one he notified, and let the other 2 know as well.  Missing a mange diagnosis is appalling and scary!  Mange is a fairly common pet issue; yes, even with our spoiled bichons who are family and 'not dogs' lol.  Not sure how THREE vets missed it!  They need to know this, IMO.''

You did everything right: you got her in to a vet, when one didn't work you got her in to another; you did food trials, you did groomer searching.  You should be proud of yourself, that you persevered and found the answer for your baby!  Yes it took time, and sometimes diagnosis does take time.  In this case there were some missteps (from the sounds of it), but they were not YOUR missteps!  So please ease up on yourself and recognize that being a parent - to either a skin kid or a fur kid - is not an easy task!

Do let us know how things go, I see a much happier summer ahead for both of you!

PS I wonder if the mange / mites presence may have thrown off the allergy tests?  I am also surprised your primary vet did the allergy test; my cat had to see a dermatologist for the test itself. 
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2017, 10:40:42 AM »

Thank you for your kind words, Sandie!

The 3 vets who all overlooked scabies are at the same practice, so they did receive the report from the dermatologist. You would think they would call me to discuss it or apologize! There is only one other AAHA accredited vet near me and they have excellent ratings (though so does our current practice) so I am going to look into taking Bella there. They don't have emergency hours, but the specialty hospital where the dermatologist practices does have an ER. They were great when I took Bella in for her tummy wound.

I did notify my neighbor who has her dog on preventative treatment and the grooming salon Bella visited shortly before her diagnosis. The groomer was thankful for the information and said that she always disinfects thoroughly and launders towels properly, so hopefully none of her other clients got it from Bella. She is going to keep an eye out in case her other clients start itching.

At some point, when I have the emotional energy, I am going to think about contacting the a-hole van groomer, or posting something online.

The adult mites are probably killed already and I will continue to dip her every three days to make sure that any new hatchlings are killed before they can reproduce. Eggs hatch every 3-8 days. Malaseb is at least twice a week and she needs to be bathed before she gets the sulfur treatment, so those will happen together. Because Bella is allergic to the mites, she is going to continue to feel itchy for 2 weeks approximately until the burrows can start healing.  By a month or two at the latest the problem should be 100% gone. She is already more comfortable after the initial blast of die off itching. I think by next weekend she will be pretty much herself again, other than from a cosmetic standpoint! Her real beauty is on the inside and as much as I love her cuteness, it's her heart that makes her special to me.

That's an interesting idea that the mites may have affected the allergy test. Maybe I will have the dermatologist run it again or do a scratch test if she is still itchy after the mites are eradicated and she is healed. She did test positive for dust mites and storage mites. The regular vet was reluctant to run the allergy test as he said it didn't really make a difference in how to treat her symptoms. He especially didn't feel that the food allergy test was worth it. I literally said, I don't care, I want the test, here is my credit card, run it. So...
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darwinsmom (Chris)
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« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2017, 12:18:46 PM »

Oh Kelly! I am just cringing for you! I hate bugs. Wait until your kids get to be school age and start bringing home the 'your child has been exposed to lice/ scabies' notes regularly. It's awful. The bugs don't care how clean you are and that you do everything 'right'. Apparently they don't think very much with their wee brains! What is also true is that vets and MDs and NPs are human. There is stigma attached to scabies and the presentation isn't always 'classic' so our brains subconsciously rule it out sometimes if it doesn't 'fit'.

We had a girl in the office about 10 years ago that we knew well, and treated the whole family. We treated her for weeks with steroids, antibiotics and creams until finally referring her to a dermatologist. Both my precepting MD and I saw her multiple times. Took the dermatologist about 10 minutes to diagnose scabies. By that time, multiple family members had to be treated prophylactically. I'm not proud of this, and actually still think about it fairly often, but I'm just sharing it to let you know that it happens to the best of us.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that this is a curable problem. Eventually, it will be just a bad memory. I'm sure you'll be traumatized a good long while, but time fades it, especially if this resolves her 'allergies'. Hugs to you though- it just sucks. As our vet said after darwins knee surgery: 'they don't remember yesterday, they don't worry about tomorrow, they just live in today'. For her, it's nearly over with great days ahead.
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southjerseycraig
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« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2017, 02:47:53 PM »

Kelly, Sandie is right. You did everything you could have done. It's not your job to diagnose her; it's the vets'. In fact, I think you should feel good about how your perseverance resulted in finding the right solution.
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Alison
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« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2017, 04:41:55 PM »

Aw poor baby.I've mentioned before that my Westie had severe allergies. She also had lots of steroids. That makes them immunosuppressed. She got so sad and so itchy and uncomfortable we even considered putting her to sleep as she was suffering so much.

We then found she had Mange.I was as horrified as you.Her low immune system put her at a higher risk of catching it.We had taken her to a groomer that wasn't the cleanest not long before.We didn't realise until we picked her up and she was so smelly.

It cleared up and although her allergies persisted they were never as bad as before and we never caught anything.The boys were young and I was very stressed at the time.

We found a great grromer afterwards that helped us with her all through old age and dementia.This was long ago.She was 16 when she died and several years before Abby came home.
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pam
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« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2017, 06:24:50 PM »

No advice to offer but just wanted to say I feel for you and your poor little one.  No need to beat yourself up - you have done sterling service and were let down by professionals who did not diagnose the problem.  But it is sorted so onward and upwards.  Fur grows, it just takes a little time.
Best wishes
Pam
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2017, 07:22:53 PM »

Oh Kelly! I am just cringing for you! I hate bugs. Wait until your kids get to be school age and start bringing home the 'your child has been exposed to lice/ scabies' notes regularly. It's awful. The bugs don't care how clean you are and that you do everything 'right'. Apparently they don't think very much with their wee brains! What is also true is that vets and MDs and NPs are human. There is stigma attached to scabies and the presentation isn't always 'classic' so our brains subconsciously rule it out sometimes if it doesn't 'fit'.

We had a girl in the office about 10 years ago that we knew well, and treated the whole family. We treated her for weeks with steroids, antibiotics and creams until finally referring her to a dermatologist. Both my precepting MD and I saw her multiple times. Took the dermatologist about 10 minutes to diagnose scabies. By that time, multiple family members had to be treated prophylactically. I'm not proud of this, and actually still think about it fairly often, but I'm just sharing it to let you know that it happens to the best of us.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that this is a curable problem. Eventually, it will be just a bad memory. I'm sure you'll be traumatized a good long while, but time fades it, especially if this resolves her 'allergies'. Hugs to you though- it just sucks. As our vet said after darwins knee surgery: 'they don't remember yesterday, they don't worry about tomorrow, they just live in today'. For her, it's nearly over with great days ahead.

Thanks, Chris! It is all very cringeworthy and I have been in the verge of a deep cleaning nervous breakdown since I got the news. It's making me feel like I'm doing something about the situation, so I don't just sit around feeling sad and angry. I mean, not like I'd be "sitting around" anyway - I do have two little kids! 😜 If/when my kids bring home lice, I may burn all our belongings in a fire and start over!!

I understand what you're saying about how a diagnosis can be easily missed if there is another more commonly seen issue. I am sure your patient from long ago understands and has forgiven any delay! You treated the likely issue and then thoughtfully sent her to dermatology when it wasn't resolving. It sounds like a different situation from Bella's because she did present classically for scabies. The dermatologist said he thought scabies the moment I had explained, and that she fit it perfectly. The way her symptoms came on and were so intense didn't fit with allergies alone. Especially at 7 years old and in winter! There's a reflex called pinnal-pedal that is a hallmark for scabies and Bella clearly exhibited it. Also, the patterns of her itching, the fact that it did not lessen at all during snowstorms, the fact that the response to the meds was insufficient, etc. Basically he thought it was very obvious. I am also frustrated with the 3 vets because I had repeatedly asked if there was any other possible cause and commented to each of them how unusual it seemed that she would go from healthy to tortured all of a sudden. They had several prompts to reevaluate her for something else. I'm a squeaky wheel when it comes to my family! The dermatologist said the standard is to treat for scabies if it cannot be conclusively ruled out. It clearly wasn't even considered by them and definitely could not be ruled out! Maybe it's worth mentioning that they never referred me to dermatology. I found the doctor myself and made the appointment. There were sooo many opportunities for improved care.
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #37 on: April 30, 2017, 07:27:11 PM »

Kelly, Sandie is right. You did everything you could have done. It's not your job to diagnose her; it's the vets'. In fact, I think you should feel good about how your perseverance resulted in finding the right solution.
Thank you, I am trying to take solace in the fact that we did eventually get an answer and not dwell on how we get to it. (I'm not doing a great job of that, haha!)
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2017, 07:32:37 PM »

Aw poor baby.I've mentioned before that my Westie had severe allergies. She also had lots of steroids. That makes them immunosuppressed. She got so sad and so itchy and uncomfortable we even considered putting her to sleep as she was suffering so much.

We then found she had Mange.I was as horrified as you.Her low immune system put her at a higher risk of catching it.We had taken her to a groomer that wasn't the cleanest not long before.We didn't realise until we picked her up and she was so smelly.

It cleared up and although her allergies persisted they were never as bad as before and we never caught anything.The boys were young and I was very stressed at the time.

We found a great grromer afterwards that helped us with her all through old age and dementia.This was long ago.She was 16 when she died and several years before Abby came home.
Thank you! Everyone keeps saying how common it is, but I've never known personally of anyone to have it. I'm glad you were able to discover it and that it was a passing thing after treatment. It is super stressful! I know I am being dramatic as there are many worse problems that I try to keep in perspective. I just want my happy healthy girl back! I know it won't be long.
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2017, 07:36:02 PM »

No advice to offer but just wanted to say I feel for you and your poor little one.  No need to beat yourself up - you have done sterling service and were let down by professionals who did not diagnose the problem.  But it is sorted so onward and upwards.  Fur grows, it just takes a little time.
Best wishes
Pam
Thank you! I am working on focusing on moving forward and being grateful that we figured it out eventually.
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2017, 08:45:25 PM »

The 3 vets who all overlooked scabies are at the same practice, so they did receive the report from the dermatologist. You would think they would call me to discuss it or apologize!

Vets don't work that way; in fact, as far as I can tell, NO medical pro works that way.  I'm not criticizing the profession; I believe it partly has to do with us being in such a litigious society.

And I was also told - by the vet dermatologist - that the food allergy testing is not very accurate and not often done.
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Bichons Frise': Tasha, Willy, Riley, Belle, Frankie
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2017, 08:59:46 PM »

The 3 vets who all overlooked scabies are at the same practice, so they did receive the report from the dermatologist. You would think they would call me to discuss it or apologize!

Vets don't work that way; in fact, as far as I can tell, NO medical pro works that way.  I'm not criticizing the profession; I believe it partly has to do with us being in such a litigious society.

And I was also told - by the vet dermatologist - that the food allergy testing is not very accurate and not often done.
Any other time a pet has a problem, they call after a visit and ask how the pet is doing. Even one of those calls would've been appreciated, even without an official apology.

I was told the same thing that the food allergy test is not totally reliable, but the issue is that it sometimes reads foods as positive when they may not even bother the dog enough to cause an observable reaction. It doesn't miss foods that actually are allergens. So, Bella may be needlessly avoiding peanuts now, for example, but I really did need to know that she has a severe green bean allergy. So the test does have a place.
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2017, 10:00:22 AM »

Ah, see now that
I did not know.  For my cat, didn't get in to it that much.  Good for you!
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Alison
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« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2017, 11:22:46 AM »

It took a long time for our Westie to be diagnosed too and they also put it down to allergies.
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2017, 07:48:20 AM »

Without any appointment and without Bella, I popped in at the new general vet that I was considering and did ultimately decide to switch to their office starting on the 9th, right after Bella finishes the first bottle of immunotherapy serum at her current vet.

The lovely lady at the desk very patiently listened to everything we've gone through and was knowledgeable about the canine scabies, saying that they see a lot of cases due to a heavy presence of foxes in our area! She also used to work at our current vet practice and knew of them well and didn't seem shocked by my story. At this new place, she said that they refer many cases to the dermatologist Bella saw and that they all trust and love him. I think it will be a good fit for us, and a new slate for me to learn to trust her general doctors again.

Happily, last night, Bella acted like herself again for about 30 minutes after her sulfur bath, and played "find the mommy" and chased bits of chicken nugget down the hallway with a spring in her step that has very much been missing. She was uncomfortable again overnight, but that is always when the itch is at it's worst. I hope she has a great day today!
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