Seems like Barley's always had issues with his feet...broke his leg as a pup and then was so difficult to trim his nails. But maybe it was linked to that broken foot as a pup? A wee itty bitty teeny tiny 2 lb 12 week old pup. Yeah...maybe?
Well, a couple months ago Barley got hurt and Vegas has to take him to the vet. His nail somehow got ripped off (well, that's what we thought) and was bleeding. We did the treatment recommended by the vet, all seemed okay...but then it wasn't. We brought him back to the vet to get his nails trimmed...we thought all was okay again...but then maybe it wasn't? A few days later we took Barley to the groomer (with Biscuit) and the groomer called and said he didn't feel like he could trim Barley's legs because they were so tender...he thought Barley had this rare disease called SLO.
I know, you're thinking the groomer said what?! I thought the same thing but when I looked it up online I instantly knew -- this is what he had. The next day, a Sunday, we took him back to the vet and said, "The groomer seems to think he has SLO" the vet laughed, didn't know what it was...acted completely unprofessional (no, I wasn't there but this is the jist of what I got) and basically laughed at the groomer's diagnosis. Neither vet at the practice that day knew what it was so they had to go online to this "vet portal" where other vets give opinions...you know what they said? "Sounds like SLO." They didn't want to treat it -- or try. They gave us a referral to a Vet Specialist. Yeah...
This sucked because this was like about two weeks ago, just before Vegas was heading out of town for a week. Here I was with three kids, two dogs and I was supposed to what?! Take all of them (ok, just 1 dog but still) to some vet specialist clear across town and spend like a thousand bucks?! I thought not.
First thing Monday morning I called another local vet, explained my situation and went in. I saw this amazing vet. He was AMAZING. He didn't laugh that the groomer thought it was SLO, he didn't think I was crazy for agreeing. He looked at Barley, his nails and then at me (with the three kids in tow) and said, "Can I keep him for the day?" He wanted to see what a few other people thought, look up some stuff on the internet and clean up his paws.
This is what they look like this week.
Six hours or so later, I picked up the pup. He had a few nails left, most trimmed down to the wick. I wish I took pictures to show you the before stuff. He couldn't walk -- they had to carry him to the car. But you know what...he could barely walk when we took him into the vet. He was on an antibiotic, a foot soak, anti inflammatory, pain medication and oil pill.
This is the oil pill.
It is HUGE.
This week he went back for his follow up and we got the result of the nail fungal test we sent off for -- negative, like we thought. Basically a confirmation that it really is SLO. The doctor has gone ahead and begun treating for SLO. Now he is on Dioxycline, Niacinamide and Oil pill.
We opted to not go ahead and get the complete confirmation of the disease because there are almost no other diseases that display the same symptoms AND the "test" is removing a toe. Uh, that's painful. Most people just treat the disease...
The good news is the treatment is easy -- we're doing better food, a gluten free diet (so healthier dog treats than your average Milk Bone) and the medication which sounds pricey but really its not all that expensive.
To learn more about SLO please view Grassmere Animal Hospitals page about SLO here - it's the most informative stuff we've found and complete with some pictures of the toes.
Oh...and in like the 25 plus years that the vet has been working with animals this is his THIRD case of SLO.