* We saw the vet who first diagnosed Isis today; we really like him.
* Hotter and I met with him to discuss the prognosis, and there's good and bad news there. Between ten and twenty percent of dogs with demodectic mange can't be "cured," and relapses during treatment are obviously not good. BUT. He pointed out that Isis has nearly doubled in size since she started treatment and had outgrown her dosage of Ivermectin long before she stopped taking it two weeks ago. Then flames shot out of my eyes and I had a conniption right there on the spot, because I called THREE TIMES to ask if we needed to raise the dose, and spoke to an actual (different, and apparently clueless) vet myself once, and all three times they told me nono, the dose was fine. THE DOSE WAS NOT FINE. I asked why the dose hadn't been adjusted based on weight, particularly since I'd called and ASKED ABOUT IT SPECIFICALLY and today's vet said "I don't have a good answer for that; I've been on vacation and I'm not pleased about it either. The good news is, we can't call this a true treatment failure and that puts her odds of beating this with the correct dose a little higher than if she'd been on the right amount for the full course before." We'll call him Dr. Brightside.
* So Dr. Brightside changed the Ivermectin dosage from 0.4 ml (what she was taking when she weighed two pounds less than she does right now) to 0.75 ml (yeah, nearly double, which is what her weight has done since she started the previous course).
* I asked about getting Isis spayed, since she is five months old now, and going into heat usually brings on relapses (as does surgery or major injury/illness), and also if worst comes to worst and we have to place her in a no-kill shelter, most of them won't take unaltered pitbulls. Dr. Brightside said he's willing to spay her while she's in treatment as long as it's between dips and her liver enzymes are okay (they'll check those before operating and if they're elevated it'll force us to hold off on the surgery), and that he agreed with me it was better to get that out of the way and THEN finish treating the mange rather than get her well, have her go into heat or spay her and bring on a relapse, then treat her all over again. So we have a tentative surgery date for next Friday, with the caveat that her bloodwork has to look good the day of surgery or it's off.
* Dr. Brightside said that if this doesn't work there are two things we can try. One would be to go to weekly Mitaban dips for a while, but he doesn't like to do those because they're so rough as far as side effects. The other would be to try a drug called milbemycin daily for at least a month, but that stuff is about ten bucks a pill, so that times thirty...well, let's all hope she responds to the correct dose of Ivermectin plus the dips, yes?
* You may have noticed that I'm speaking as if Isis will be staying right here and completing her treatment and living happily ever after. Yes, well. We've raised half of what that will (hopefully) cost and I'm trying to think positive. Please feel free to spread the word if you know anyone who might be able to help out.
* Also if you have a dog or a cat, the Banfield Wellness plans? Are totally worth it. I'm not being compensated in any way for saying so, but have a look at this and judge for yourself:
* Hopefully the money that's supposed to come in tomorrow comes in a timely fashion, because I totes floated a check to the vet all "oh it's still September?" See how sneaky I am?
Figure Two: I know, I'm awful. Also I just felt the need to say that this is a sample checkbook we got when we opened the account and haven't used up yet; there's absolutely nothing wrong with patriotic checks but I am a) too cheap to pony up for anything but the generic bank-logo ones and b) not stockpiling canned goods and ammo for when The Rapture arrives or anything. Just um, wanted to clear that up. Also my handwriting sucks, but usually not THIS much. This is what happens when you write a check while holding the leash of a dog who desperately wants to get OUT of the vet's office.