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VTH Dermatology Service Solves Dog's Long-Standing Mystery Skin Ailment

By Sandy Miller, Best Friends staff writer

Michele Milam lost count a long time ago of the number of times she’d taken her dog, Darby, to veterinarians.

The 7-year-old chocolate Labrador suffered from allergies and had been prescribed one medication after another. When the family moved from Detroit, Michigan, to Greenville, South Carolina, Darby’s problems only got worse. He was scratching and biting his skin raw.

“No one could diagnose him,” Milam says. “He just kept getting sicker and sicker.”

It broke the family’s heart to see the once healthy, happy and active dog turn sad and listless. Darby, Milam says, is the one everyone in the family turned to for comfort when they were feeling the stress of moving.

“Darby was the one everyone leaned on to tell their problems to,” says Milam, who’s married and has two sons, 12-year-old Mitchel and 10-year-old Matthew. “My youngest would lay down with Darby and tell him everything. He’s a good secret keeper. He’s always been there for everybody. He’s just the greatest dog.”

In September, a friend of Milam’s put her in touch with Best Friends member Judy Mische in California. Milam and Mische began corresponding via Facebook. Mische told Milam to contact Best Friends Animal Society to see if it could help.

Milam e-mailed Best Friends’ Community Animal Assistance department. Within hours, there was a reply in Milam’s inbox from Community Animal Assistance specialist Robin Politowicz, who told her she might want to contact the veterinary teaching hospital at North Carolina State University. Perhaps the veterinarians there could get to the root of Darby’s problems.

To read the rest of the article about how the clinicians within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Dermatology Service helped Darby, click here.

Posted Feb. 4, 2011