Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's Always Something

Dear Mom,

Just as we are clearing the post op hurdle on Olive's left elbow (her surgeon was very, very pleased, by the way) (I KNEW he would be!) - bald patches started developing on her sides about 2 weeks ago. While we were visiting with Dr. Spah on Monday, I asked him what he thought about them.
"You should have your regular vet look at these," he said. "They may be a sign of a thyroid issue."


Well. Thankfully, not.
We saw the vet yesterday and after close examination under a magic light and microscopic evaluation of tissue samples to rule out any creepy crawly stuff that made my scalp immediately start itching, Olive is either:
1. Allergic to something. Doubtful, but she is taking a daily dose of Zyrtec just in case.
2. OCD. Obsessively Compulsively licking the spots. Or- given the weather- Compulsive Obsessive Licking Disorder, aka COLD. Somewhat doubtful- we have not witnesses any licking, chewing, or scratching and the skin is not at all red or irritated. However, she could be doing the licking while we are not home to witness it and while she is bored and crated. For this, we have a powerful anti-licking, bad tasting concoction to sprinkle on the targeted areas. Like that thumb sucking preventative, but worse. I guess. I've not tasted either and don't intend to.
or…. and this one gets my vote….
3. A response to stress. The vet was quick to clarify that this is not a stress from last week sort of response, but a stress that may have occurred MONTHS ago…. Like 2 surgeries in 6 weeks? Yep. (And considering THAT, it is a wonder my hair isn't falling out!) The fact that the patches started to appear during a week that I was gone more than usual and Olive spent more time in her crate (missing her mama) makes me think this the more likely option. And for this, she gets a daily dose of Melatonin to wake up the exhausted, stressed out hair follicles.
Olive is going to need her own medicine cabinet. She is taking more supplements than I am! But, hey! If MelissaWhoSpinsButDoesNotKnit can have a whole closet for her cats, then I suppose a medicine cabinet for Olive is nothing.

I don't know if the flat screen tv's make it easier for dogs to watch or if Olive is just special, but we've noticed that Olive watches tv regularly. And by watching, I mean intently focused.  But nothing like she has the past two evenings during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. There are nose prints on the screen. Several ! times she jumped up and trotted right up to the screen to investigate the dogs during the judging and then followed them as they skipped along the runway.  I tried taking video, but was successful only in taking photos.

Closer inspection of these photos reveals the thinning patches.
Frankly, I am not even sure these are spots she can reach to lick or scratch.

In addition to watching the dogs, the Purina Pro Plan commercials kept her riveted. Especially THIS ONE. (Although, I liked THIS ONE better.) If it were in her power, I think she would be purchasing some of that brand today.

Hopefully that beautiful black coat will be thick again soon. She is just such a pretty dog. I hate to see this.


Elaine said...

For some reason house pets seem to have issues like this. Perhaps it is the stress and once they start licking, scratching, whatever, even though the stress is gone they can't seem to stop.
Good luck.

Christine said...

Well, now that is interesting. I mean you can tell she is healthy by all that shine in her coat. Weird!

My beagle watches tv and even my computer screen. The other dog though is not real bright and looks at the BACK of the screen trying to find whatever animal is making the noise. *sigh*

NCmountainwoman said...

Try olive oil, one tablespoon every week on her food. (Of if she really likes it give her a teaspoon three times a week) Cannot hurt and just might help.