We had our appointment this evening with our new vet (who will be referred to as the real vet from here on out). Hudson was the scheduled patient, but Dr. Jolie graciously saw Shadow as well. The reason for this is she thinks the conclusion that can be drawn from Hudson's terrible itching skin is that he has cheyletiella mites. These mites are commonly seen in 2-8 week old puppies and are often undiagnosed as a cause of itching. Of course, I am concerned that we obviously inherited this infection from his first home. I am wondering about the sibling puppies and if they are infected as well. Because Shadow was waiting in the car, the real vet was willing to see him to make sure he was not also infected. She doesn't think so, but ended up giving Shadow a FULL initial wellness visit while we were there.
She first wanted to know what food we were feeding Hudson and had print outs of ingredient lists of several types of food. She explained to us that any type of wheat gluten, corn meal and by-products were not present in any type of QUALITY food. She said the ingrediants in your dogs food should read like the food in supermarkets. We are sure the Orijen puppy food is good for Hudson. What we found out was that the Beneful we feed Shadow has the worst ingredients. We are in the process of switching him to "Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover" Food. It is about $7 more per bag than the Beneful. The Chicken Soup brand was one that the real vet used as an example of good ingredients.
It turns out that the real vet schedules her patients for half hour visits. She explained to us that many vets utilize a 15 minute patient schedule. She said there is no way she can do her job that quickly. She was not kidding. We happened to be the last appointment for the whole week and therefore, she spent 2 hours with us. Real Vet painstakingly went over Hudson's coat, taking samples of skin cells and debris from his coat and studying them under a microscope. All with us in the room. Her technician was just as knowledgeable and offered suggestions to the real vet from their past experiences with like cases. She decided to treat Hudson with Ivermectin orally, which after 6 weeks, cured another little guy in the past. She also provided a medicated shampoo for us to use. Hudson weighs 1 pound and 3 ounces now. His staples were removed while I held him in my arms and not a peep was made. Not from him and not from Reagan. This real vet included Reagan in the conversation and often spoke directly to her. She commented on how mature she was for 4th grade. Funny, we were about 40 minutes in and no one had been traumatized as of yet. Reagan and I joked that it would take 100 Hudsons to equal the 107 pounds of Shadow. Somebody needs to go hiking :)
When it was Shadow's turn, of course he was a bit hyper and vocal. The real vet didn't mind. She acted like she actually liked him. She wasn't rushing at all. She felt him all over. She talked to him. She asked lots of questions about his 9 year history of skin problems. The real vet decided to test his thyroid, as this could be reason for his very oily, flaky, reddened skin. Pretend vet never did anything except give him cortisone, benedryl or antibiotics. We left with a medicated shampoo for Shadow as well, which will take care of his oily coat for now, while we wait for the blood work results. Umm...get this....the tech was kneeling, hugging shadow around the neck and talking softly to him while the real vet was sitting on the floor in front of Shadow drawing his blood. It was quiet and uneventful. They took the time to clean his ears too because they were particularly gunky~ another sign of a thyroid condition. I am pretty sure seeing this done will prevent Reagan from pursuing a veterinary profession. We decided that Shadow had even more earwax than her brother (he asks every morning on the way to school if his ears are "fine").
Interestingly, she bills once per year for a wellness checkup and any other visit is free. You don't pay for other office visits, only the shots or medication that is given and prescribed. Dr. Jolie uses this system, because she doesn't want people to hesitate to bring their pets for re-checks and follow ups. They scheduled us for a two week appointment before we left. She will call with Shadow's blood work results prior to that.
Now that, people, is what I expect from a professional who is supposed to be in the business to take care of animals~not harm and traumatize them along with the littlest of yorkie owners. This has been a long time coming. I feel happiest that Shadow will be better taken care of by a real vet in his golden (no pun intended) years.