"Skin diseases are expensive to treat and there need to be a review in 3 weeks," I said to the lady owner whose Chow Chow had skin disease for the last 2 years.
Previously, he had a lush coat as evident from her mobile phone images. She had sent the dog to the SPCA earlier but had changed her mind about putting him to sleep.
"The Chow Chow had recovered after treatment in March 2013 by me for ringworm and so I did not come for the review you wrote in the receipt to come 3 weeks later."
"Do you have any phone images of the dog recently?" I was told there was none.
Now the dog was very itchy and large areas of blood spots exist on both ears, behind the ears, on the backbone area and parts of the body. The skin below the neck and the ear flap were bald and black with pigmentation. The face was black.
"There are Chow Chow owners who shampoo the dog daily for the next 14 days and gave the medication on time and the dog recovers if the owner has time to treat him," I was told that this Chow Chow was bathed once a week. The anti-shampoo bottle I prescribed was still available and so I doubted that the dog was properly shampooed or medicated.
Medical costs are higher if the owner does not do the necessary home treatment. I had also prescribed an ear ointment but it was not used. The dog just would not cooperate and so the owner left him alone. Over the last 2 months, the itchiness exploded intensely resulting in large bleeding areas due to scratching.
Yet 2 years ago, the Chow Chow had a good thick coat, judging from the phone images. "A large black hairless area is present over the back in your image of 2 years ago," I said. Surprisingly, the mobile handphone images appear not to have any dates or we could not find the dates. There was visual evidence that the skin disease could have started on the bald backbone patch near the hips as that area should not be black pigmented and hairless. It is hard to say.
The owner would shampoo the dog daily and give the medication. As there was only one breadwinner in this family, it was difficult to budget for the dog's skin disease treatment.