Fighting back – January 2000

To complicate matters my vet left the clinic and I was without the comfort of her knowledge and advice. I wandered to enough clinics to get the work done that I needed, depending heavily on my “List” friends for their knowledge. Things did not improve and his hair began to disappear in small clumps all over his body – as if a large bird embarked on picking him clean.

I found a canine dermatologist in Charlotte and took Taka there next. He gave me little hope, prescribed more antibiotics (Taka’s third round) and suggested a prescription for a “Retinoid” therapy – experimental and expensive. I brought the prescriptions home and began to drown my sweet boy in pills. The specialist also suggested an allergy test, which was positive, so allergy shots were added to his regime as well. It was a sad fact that when I began the shots in late January I was instructed to “gather a handful of fur” to inject the needle. By the time the shots ended in early April there was no fur left to gather.

Taka reacted to the antibiotics and shots by shutting down and refusing food. All of the other supplements that I gave him with his meals were now being tossed down the sink with his food. My spirits plummeted as fast as his weight. Many, many nights – even after I stopped the medication – I would sit in the floor beside his dish, trying to coax him to eat. I would often fix him four or five different things only to have him walk away and crawl into his crate – truly a shadow of the dog he once was. Tears were commonplace as were long sessions of cradling him in my lap wondering what to do. At my next visit with the dermatologist he implied that he would support a decision to put him down if I chose that. But I did not choose to give up - not yet. I made a mental promise to give him six months and if his health did not improve I would make a decision then. Next - A different course