I haven't talked about our first child as much on the blog as I probably should. He is kind of a lurker in pictures. He sneaks in looking all cute but isn't normally the star of the show.
How handsome is this boy?
He's been through a lot this past year. We were living in Dover for about 4 years and got him 6 months in as a puppy in May of 2008. Avery was born in May of 2011. We moved to San Antonio in September of 2001 and lived there for 6 months. Then we drove from San Antonio to Virginia where I lived with Troy's parents and their dog for 3 months. Troy was living in New Mexico for training in a hotel room starting in March.
About mid April, Troy decided he was too lonely to go on alone until Avery and I got there in June. Troy's dad was planning to drive our car and Optimus to New Mexico for Troy's graduation and we would get him then. But then we mailed him from DC to El Paso. And Optimus was traumatized in the plane, but SO happy to be with Troy.
So then Avery and I arrived in June and the 4 of us lived like sardines until mid August when we moved into our house in Vegas. And Troy started working full time. And I got a job. And we hired a nanny. And she brought her 20 month old into the picture. Sounds like a lot right?
So then we noticed Optimus losing hair. OH THE STRESS OF IT ALL! New people, new schedule, new weather, new house. I thought it was just stress.
But it started as just a thinning of the hair. And then went to full blown balding! Okay so maybe he was rubbing on something. We watched him close and nothing. It went from normal to full bald spot in about a week. I googled it and BIG MISTAKE. I had no idea there was a petMD. And then I found a slideshow with pictures. I was like "hormone imbalance? But you're a dude! That sounds like you're going through menopause!! What's wrong with you??" Or "OMG YOU HAVE MANGE!!!" Or "YOU'RE ALLERGIC TO DIRT! DAMN YOU DESERT LAS VEGAS!!!" After freaking out, Troy made a vet appointment!
The vet said that if it was "over grooming" it would be red, inflamed, and bleeding. His skin is normally black, but the skin where the hair fell out was white. Okay, so maybe he got bit by something on one of our hiking trips? The vet said the same thing about the condition of the skin. It would have been raised, red, and he would have been biting or scratching. Well maybe he was having a reaction to the flea/tick guard. The vet said that normally, reactions to that are RIGHT where you put the medicine and this bald spot is lower and off to the side.
Basically, he was a mystery. They brought in the other vet too. No solutions or ideas. They took a skin scraping sample with a small razor and some hair from the spot and looked at it under the microscope to rule out mites, mange, and a fungal infection. Nothing. He has had no change in eating, personality, energy, or pooping. All is well except for the overshedding ALL OVER and the bald spot that emerged in about a week. They told me I had 3 options:
1. Wait it out and see if it fills back in. It might be nothing.
2. Wait it out and if it doesn't fill in, bring him back in for a blood panel to see if something systemic is going on. Or I could do that now. It all depended on how aggressive I wanted to be.
3. Do the blood panel and see what comes out of it. Depending on the results they could do a biopsy (involving anesthesia) and see what is up with the skin where the hair is falling out.
I decided on option 2 for a couple reasons. It was only 85$ for piece of mind. They really think it's nothing and if it fills back in, great. If not, then I'll already know what is going on without bringing him all the way back to Nellis and paying visit fees and such again. Also then I won't be wondering what if? He is our first baby and I want to make sure he is as healthy as can be. He is only 4. Just like with humans, if you go to your regular physicals and catch things early, it's preventative medicine and can save you lots of money and time later.
Our policy with our kids (dog and child) is that something weird might be going on, but it they don't seem bothered by it, we try not to be bothered by it. Meaning, no pain, eating, sleeping, pottying normal - don't worry about it too much, it will probably pass. Get it checked out but don't lose sleep over it until a doctor tells you otherwise. The good Lord is watching out for us and won't give us more than we can handle.
Here's my sweet baby boy :) I'll be back with blood results when they come in! Hopefully it's not menopause!! I kid, I kid.