Saturday, November 29, 2008

(not just) Lip Service

Poor little Simon's lips are scabbing up again. We went through this last year, and the vet really didn't have a good answer. The solution offered at that time was a biopsy of both his mouth and nose (which would have meant taking slices of his face in 3-4 different locations)... just to be told something the vet felt would ultimately be inconclusive.

I ended up thinking it must be a food allergy of some kind. My bet was on wheat, wheat flour, and or wheat gluten. Maybe he's a little Celiac doggy. But it seems to be touch and go, and I've noticed wheat products in some of his regular treats and such, which does not seem to bother him.

Of course, it would be easy enough to ensure he got no human food and closely monitor his diet—if we did not have a two-year old still working on fine motor control skills. Ari's eating is like a crumb shower of forbidden goodies for Simon; and he – no dummy – waits somewhat patiently and expectantly at her feet during every meal for random morsels that sprinkle to the floor with alarming regularity.

So... what to do? Andy said there is a food allergy test they can run at the vet's office in the $150 range, which might give us some more concrete answers as to what causes the outbreaks. Of course, it's an assumption on our part that the skin irritations are allergy-related and not some form of immune deficiency (aka lupis). We really have no way of knowing.

In the meantime, I watch Simon's face closely and try to assess how much pain he is in. I pray every day it will clear up and try to watch Ari (and Simon) like a hawk during mealtimes, swooping in to pick up, sweep up, or otherwise remove potentially dangerous food items like whole wheat spaghetti, banana chocolate chip muffins, or organic cheese puffs.

Poor little Simon. He's such a sweet and special little dog. I hope we can figure this thing out soon.

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