Fingers crossed. How are YOU holding up?
i'm starting to feel like we're chasing down Bigfoot.
today, the tick panels came back and the vet who called with results wasn't our usual vet, and she didn't know our case history. so all this time, i've been praying it would be a clear-cut tick disease, and she called and said, "i have great news, tucker's tick panels are back, and they're all negative!" my response sort of flattened her enthusiasm when i told her that good news to us would be a positive.
so ... one thing that surprised me is that i very specifically asked about babesia testing on this panel and i was assured by the vet at least twice when he took the blood for it that, yes, babesia WAS part of this panel of tests. well guess what wasn't included in the results: babesia. that really irked me. i even mentioned that i thought there were only a few places that really specialized in babesia and just wanted to make sure, and i was told with no uncertainty that YES, this lab tested for it and that was the test we were running. so they called the lab, got some information, then called me back and said, "oh, that's a totally different test and you didn't ask for that one." but i DID ask for that one, very specifically. GAAAAHHHHH!!!! now they're going to "talk to the clinic manager" to "see what they can do" since they already charged me for this one test and it'd be another god-only-knows-how-much test to get the babesia done as well.
he wants us to do the B12/folates bloodwork next, which he says is going to tell us whether he might have PICA or EPI or other intestinal absorption issues, which is fine except that I don't think we're seeing anything symptomatic of that at this point. no vomiting, no diarrhea, no eating inappropriate objects, no weird burping or gurgling, no "cow patties" or whatever. so i asked why this and no coombs test, and he said he doesn't believe that the CBCs and PCVs show strong enough evidence to suspect IMHA or AIHA right off the bat, and that even if we do a Coombs, it's not a definitive diagnosis. so his treatment plan will be: doxy, folates test just in case, and then if test is negative and we see no improvement from having him on doxy, we go right to immunosuppresants because the tests aren't necessarily going to tell us that, yes or no, he has it. a positive doesn't mean he has it, and a negative doesn't mean he doesn't.
which i get, i guess. but i also just feel like tearing my hair out. part of me wants a second opinion and/or to start over with a new vet. another part of me feels like we can't afford to start over, due to both time lost and lack of history with any other vet, not to mention the amount of money we've already spent doing tests that another vet will probably want to re-run.
the one tiny bit of good news from today's results is that his anemia has improved, as has his platelet count, which is now almost normal, and his white blood cell count. he's still anemic, and everything is still low, but for the first time in a month, he's showing some improvement rather than deterioration.
as for me, my mental state is beginning to deteriorate. i need to find a new vet.