June 11, 2006
Ferris is very itchy. He gets open sores and he scratches and bites at himself constantly. The vet hasn't been able to figure out the cause of the problem but treatment has cost a fortune so far. Taking advice from the vet, the breeder and our dog walker, we have tried different foods, supplements, shampoos and medications. I have even cancelled Ferris' weekday romps in the park, which often involved him splashing about in ponds and not being dried properly afterward.
Worse than the itchiness (although Ferris might disagree) is the fact that blood tests have revealed high levels of something called alkaline phosphatase, which may indicate the presence of liver disease. (Apparently, Bernese are prone to certain liver diseases, in addition to cancer and hip and elbow dysplasia.) The vet performed a bile acid test last week and we expect the results tomorrow. If those are positive, there are at least two more sets of increasingly complicated and costly tests before we get a firm diagnosis. I don't want to think any further ahead than that.