Today I feel so much hope for the future, but also sadness about what could have easily been prevented. I've come to the same conclusion my Dad shared with me about a year ago- most vets are plain and simply crooks with dollar signs in their eyes. All that said- the verdict is in for Thane.
In all areas, but one, Thane's labs were superb! In fact, even the first labs which I ran solely for a baseline panel, were not even as good as most of these ones. Amazing what can happen when you get gluten out of the diet! Thane remains Lyme negative six months after the conclusion of treatment. That is very good news. Relapsing for chronic Lymies is a very common thing due to cyst forms releasing after the coast is clear of antibiotic/ herbal therapy.
Thane's liver enzymes are better than they have ever been. For those not in the loop, the first treatment protocol he was given for Lyme caused significant liver inflammation so getting confirmation that he is doing this well now off of the daily milk thistle regimen is again very good news.
As good as all of this is, there is one area that makes me furious. It took two years of deterioration and classic Lyme symptomology to get a diagnosis for Thane. I have had to deal within myself with a lot of unhealthy feelings surrounding this, but in the end have had to reconcile that Lyme isn't yet prevalent enough for the hick Drs and Vets to fully appreciate the trend upon us all- the explosion of this disease from a disease once only found in certain areas to one that is now everywhere.
Thane survived this at great expense to my pocketbook and our partnership. What is taking place now though has no excuse. For three years I have been telling the vet that Thane was hypothyroid. I know the symptoms after how bad things got for Met before he was finally diagnosed. Thane was a classic hypo and yet because his labs were reading low normal, it wasn't addressed. Every year I have told them he is hypo and every year they treated his lab reports instead of him. Everyone makes Dr Dodds out to be like this *God Figure* when it comes to canine hypothyroidism, but she is just as much a part of the horrible roller-coater ride of Met and now the deterioration of Thane as is my regular (soon to be ex) vet.
Laboratory testing was designed to be a tool to further a Dr or Vets ability to connect the dots with the symptom picture presented before them. Instead they are being used as the ONLY tool for diagnosis- an individuals symptoms don't mean squat in this light. Thane has suffered needlessly for too long because of this approach. I have come to feel that labs are just a waste of money in most situations- I mean, c'mon if you are not going to use them in conjunction with symptoms, why do them at all?
Yes I am furious. Yes Thane finally has his diagnosis, but here is no excuse for what he has gone through (and as a result the suffering of our partnership). Had his thyroid been stable, Lyme and its treatment would not have been near as rocky and difficult a ride as they were- not to mention this tumultuous year would have had an entirely different outlook. I would not have had to sideline Thane from public access or make choices about which access outings were low key enough for him to work. He would have been at my side, the way it always should be.
When a vet sees you coming and gets dollar signs in their eyes, refuses to treat the patient when it's easily treatable before almost destroying the individual, not to mention the partnership, refuses to use options that can save a service dog handler financially- it's pretty obvious that it is time to no longer support that vet at the very least. I admit, I'm raw right now, but sometimes I think we would be better off without vets altogether. I think about how much suffering both my boys endured because of things the vets did or did not do for them. It's heartbreaking and it's wrong. Sometimes I don't know how they could have a conscience with some of the things they do/ have done. I know I'm not the only one who has had to endure such unnecessary tragedy and near destruction of an awesome partnership.
With that all said- it's vet shopping time
Thane deserves so much better than he has received over the past three to four years. I'm going to see that he gets it!