Should we go to a dermatologist? Has anyone been to one?

Elizabeth KElizabeth K ChicagoMember Posts: 11,036
edited 10 September, 2011 in Cat Health
I am debating on whether or not to bring Mr Grey to a dermatologist... Has anyone else been to one, and did it help? Mr Grey's skin/allergy/eosinophilic granuloma issues have just not been getting better. Well, they get better temporarily but then they worsen again. I am starting to think the only reason I see any improvement is because of the Depo medrol shots and then when that wears off, he gets worse until he gets another shot. :( My vet is very good and she has had us try several different things but so far nothing seems to work. Well I think switching to allergy foods did help some but aside from that and the shot, nothing. We hate to keep going the steroids route but nothing else seems to work. The main reasons I am hesitant about going to the dermatologist are I am worried they will end up just doing everything our vet already did, and/or that they might just blame it on the ringworm. I also am on a very tight budget right not so if they are just going to do the above, I can't afford to go to one (very expensive just for the visit let alone any treatments) and then just end up having them try to do what my vet has already done, or tell is it's ringworm when we are pretty much sure that is not the root cause of his problems... I found this dermatologist in my area (just from a web search): http://www.itchypetchicago.com/ I guess the Vet Specialty Center where I used to take my dog for physical therapy also has a dermatology dept...

Comments

  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 4 September, 2011
    Hey Mr. Grey! We've been to a dermatologist and personally I feel that she may have saved BK's life. No one else had diagnosed his allergies and they were just medicating him with a bunch of things that didn't work. Yes, the first visit is expensive, and yes, they will do some of the same things your vet did, although if you bring his records you may be able to eliminate some duplication. But in my opinion it's really the only way to get to the bottom of things. The good news is that (here, anyway) the followup visits aren't any more expensive than a regular vet visit. So if you can pull together the money for the consultation and explain the financial situation so that they do as few tests as possible, then in my opinion, it's worth it. Plus with your experience you may be able to avoid the prescription food that they're bound to recommend.
  • Molly StrothkampMolly Strothkamp MesaMember Posts: 1,381
    edited 4 September, 2011
    Lucy has been to a dermatologist, too. It wasn't too expensive compared to all the money already spent to get her allergies under control. The dermatologist was very helpful. She diagnosed Lucy's ringworm and did some extra tests including looking at Lucy's hair under a microscope and showing me how the ringworm was growing on Lucy's hair. She also told me that all the Depo Mederol shots that Lucy had caused the ringworm to grow like crazy (steroids feed ringworm). Also, even though my other kitty didn't show any symptoms of ringworm, the dermatologist did a culture on her, too. She was positive for ringworm (without any symptoms) and was also treated for 5 months with oral medication. Otherwise, they would have just passed ringworm back and forth. Because of the steroids, Lucy's ringworm was on every hair that she shed into the house (and ringworm can live up to 2 years in the environment) so it also took some serious house cleaning (i.e. vacuuming every other day and bleaching everything that could be bleached and throwing out cat trees, scratchers, etc.) to get it out of my house. The dermatologist kept Lucy on her limited ingredient diet, prescribed oral medication for ringworm, and also told us that she doesn't consider ringworm gone until there are 2 negative cultures back to back. It took 5 months but we got rid of it. I know that it's frustrating to have everything blamed on ringworm but ringworm can do all kinds of weird things to a kitty with allergies who has been getting steroid shots. The one other thing that really helped Lucy (but the dermatologist did not believe in) was the allergy blood test. That was done by a regular vet and it really, really helped us get Lucy's allergies under control.
  • Elizabeth KElizabeth K ChicagoMember Posts: 11,036
    edited 6 September, 2011
    Thanks guys! Lucy one of the reasons I'm not sure whether it's worth it is my vet has already told me/done all that and tried other treatments... I am not going to be able to afford to have all the same tests and trials and etc repeated again. She did not do allergy testing though because she said the allergy testing is very unreliable.
  • Elizabeth KElizabeth K ChicagoMember Posts: 11,036
    edited 8 September, 2011
    I forgot to add, my vet wants us to try Cyclosporine so we are going to see if that makes a difference...
  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 10 September, 2011
    It's very possible you have a vet that has covered all the bases and you won't need a dermatologist. Both Lucy and I are on Atopica (Clyclosporine) and it's helped us tremendously. I do recommend it if your vet suggests it. One tip - get the prescription from your vet and order it online. It's not cheap but you can save almost half that way.
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