How hard it must be for a dog to show that it has problems or is in pain. As regular readers (if I have any) will know, our rescue bichon Poppy has had a lot of trouble with her skin. She wants to bite or lick her paws, shoulders, anywhere she can reach and most of the time has to wear one of those lampshade collars. We thought we had the problem sorted when our local vet prescribed some treatment which suppressed her immune system and for a short time it did appear to work. Prior to that I'd had some minor success with a pill called Atarax, a calming agent, but that too only had short term victory. She's had endless other treatment, most of it very unsatisfactory and I was getting very low about the whole thing.
Yesterday we went further afield to see another vet that many people have recently mentioned. He spent some time examining her, touching her little trembling body, looking and tutting about all the medicine she had taken in her short life and has come to the conclusion that it isn't a skin problem at all. This little bichon had a very tragic start in life and suffered malnutrition and neglect and he thinks the problem is a skeletal one and that she is only biting herself as a displacement activity.
We have been referred to an osteopath who deals with animals; it's very very far away but I'll be making the appointment this week. As a coincidence, the vet we saw yesterday also knew about Poppy's sad story because he was one of the vets involved with the fall-out from the house in which she spent her first two sad sad years. He prescribed a pain killer for her back, asked us not to use the lampshade collar because it would have been bad for her neck and also for her soul (his words) and let's all hope that we are at last on the right track. Needless to say, we'll be going to this new vet in future.