Karen has severe alopecia from mid-trunk to rear.
(Alopecia is the loss of hair, caused by various reasons,
including damage to the hair shaft or follicles.
Fungal infections can also cause hair loss.
With alopecia, hair can fall out in patches all over the body.)
It looks consistent with a flea allergy; they did find live fleas on her.
Karen does have some lichenification and thickening of skin
due to the chronic irritation as well. (Lichenification causes
thick, leathery skin, the result of constant scratching & rubbing.
With prolonged rubbing or scratching, the outer layer of the skin
[the epidermis] becomes hypertrophied [overgrown];
this results in thickening of the skin & exaggeration of normal skin markings,
giving the skin a leathery, bark-like appearance.
Lichenification is a common consequence of atopic dermatitis
[eczema] and other pruritic [itchy] disorders.)
Karen is getting a bath every other day
with medicated shampoo &
meds to help with the itching & scratching.
Karen has weight-bearing lameness on her left rear leg
due to severe MPL (grade 4/4). No other joints seem to be affected.
She will need ortho intervention for full use of that rear leg.
She has grade 2/4 on her right rear leg as well,
and will probably need ortho intervention on that leg in near future.
On 24 August, Linda writes:
Karen was examined by Dr Goldstein today;
he confirmed the luxated patella
(MPL stands for Medial Patella Luxation).
He took x-rays and even I could see how bad it is.
Her patella slides all the way around to the side of the knee joint.
He said he will have to do quite a bit of "carpentry work" to get it fixed.
The ligaments on either side of the patella need to be re-sized -
is too long, the other too short.
And he wll probably have to make a new groove
on the front of the femur (?) that the patella slides up & down in.
He said this procedure almost always has a
satisfactory outcome and rarely needs further surgery.
But it ain't cheap!
Today's exam & x-rays came to $470.
The surgery is $1500 plus $60 for meds.
Post-op x-rays (at four weeks & eight weeks) will add another $240.
He said if CRUSA needs to save some money,
we could skip the post-op x-rays at eight weeks and save $120.
On the other hand, her right leg is not so bad.
He wouldn't advise doing anything to it at this point.
She may or may not need surgery in the future.
The main problem there now is some arthritis,
probably caused by favoring that leg
because of the situation with her left leg.