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post #26 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 01:09 PM
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Thor_Red, thanks for the update--I did remember some of the history, but didn't realize all the many things you've tried on the journey thus far.

I really feel for both you guys, especially if anyone is implying you guys are in any way part of the problem--you both sound like stellar owners who are going way above and beyond.

More's the pity, that your dogs are struggling so much.

Part of me believes the ones who have such needs, land with those who will do their utmost to meet those needs.

But, it's still no fun, sorry




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post #27 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Dang it RFR, wrote you a PM and your inbox is full (or are you still having issues?)

I'll definitely be taking Mocha back to the vet before the fungal culture is done; they told me to bring her back if the hair loss keeps spreading and it is. In the meantime, the only thing I can think of to do is to warm up some coconut oil in the microwave till it gets runny and then massage it into her skin (If this is a bad idea, please let me know). The cons to doing that are that my hands come away covered in hair, and that silly goose is trying to lick the oil off because she likes the taste.



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post #28 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 02:23 PM
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Dang it RFR, wrote you a PM and your inbox is full (or are you still having issues?)

I'll definitely be taking Mocha back to the vet before the fungal culture is done; they told me to bring her back if the hair loss keeps spreading and it is. In the meantime, the only thing I can think of to do is to warm up some coconut oil in the microwave till it gets runny and then massage it into her skin (If this is a bad idea, please let me know). The cons to doing that are that my hands come away covered in hair, and that silly goose is trying to lick the oil off because she likes the taste.
Sorry, my account is still messed up, yes.

The thing about the coconut oil is that I think it works best when raw. That's why it's always recommended to find raw, organic, unprocessed products.

I'm assuming nuking it might denature it?

Don't get me wrong, not in any way a nutrition expert, but you might ask one if the chemical composition changes with heat/cooking, the way olive oil does.

I just use it thick and cold, when I apply to dogs, and yep they do love the taste of it

One thing I think is important to bring into the discussion is--if a supplement, no matter how natural, is powerful enough to be effective, then it might also have side effects, and/or the animal might be allergic to it.

I'm not dissing the coconut oil--I have seen it work miracles, but these two cases we are discussing right now...sure aren't your typical "skin and GI issues."

Much more "stump the specialty staff" kind of issues.

I really wish this could get figured out for you guys.




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post #29 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 02:33 PM
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One more thing, for both you and Thor_Red, have you guys researched FODMAPS at all, yet?

I know, I know, sounds very Dr. Oz-ish, and kind of a trend thing with humans now, but there does seem to be some accurate science behind this, and it seems worth mentioning and looking into, when food intolerances/allergies are a suspected culprit:

FODMAP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some of the foods mentioned do have apples and other FODMAP ingredients.




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post #30 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, my account is still messed up, yes.

The thing about the coconut oil is that I think it works best when raw. That's why it's always recommended to find raw, organic, unprocessed products.

I'm assuming nuking it might denature it?

Don't get me wrong, not in any way a nutrition expert, but you might ask one if the chemical composition changes with heat/cooking, the way olive oil does.

I just use it thick and cold, when I apply to dogs, and yep they do love the taste of it

I only left it in for about 5 seconds, but good point, hadn't thought about that at all.

One thing I think is important to bring into the discussion is--if a supplement, no matter how natural, is powerful enough to be effective, then it might also have side effects, and/or the animal might be allergic to it.

I'm not dissing the coconut oil--I have seen it work miracles, but these two cases we are discussing right now...sure aren't your typical "skin and GI issues."

I've used it a few times in the past and it did relieve the dry skin and dandruff for about 3 days or so but again, good point since right now, I really don't know what sets her off. Best to just wait and let the experts do their stuff.

Much more "stump the specialty staff" kind of issues.

I really wish this could get figured out for you guys.
Just one month without a vet visit, that's all I ask. That would be a nice start, anyway



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post #31 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the hair loss didn't get better; it actually continues to spread so I took her back in and the vet made an appointment with the internal specialist down in Nashville this Thursday.

They also have a dermatologist in the same building but waiting times for appointments are long and my vet wants to start with the internal specialist based on the fact that Mocha's stools still aren't what they should be and she believes that we're still dealing with something digestive related. If the internal specialist believes Mocha needs to see the dermatologist then she can refer us from there, although it may take a bit before we can get in.

My vet is faxing Mocha's complete medical record down there (I hope the other place doesn't run out of paper printing it all out LOL) and also told me to make sure to mention that Mocha's dam is hypothyroid, didn't nurse her and that Mocha was also fed formula as a pup because all that could be related to what she has been going through since we got her.

My vet's parting words: "I'm really sorry but at this point, we've done all we can for Mocha, hopefully the specialist can figure out what's going on with her."



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post #32 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 06:14 PM
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Wow that's not positive

I'd would def be talking to an internal specialist. Her hair coat alone to me says there's a digestive issue.

Hopefully they can help get to the bottom of it.


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post #33 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 06:18 PM
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...My vet's parting words: "I'm really sorry but at this point, we've done all we can for Mocha, hopefully the specialist can figure out what's going on with her."
I actually really appreciate and respect medical practitioners who are honest enough and secure enough to utter those words.

No one doc can know every single thing.

I'll tell you what I told Soter's Mama--I hope the new specialist turns out to be House, DVM.




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post #34 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 06:46 PM
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Yeah, my vet was at the same point when he send us to the Dermatologist. She made a big difference but there are times she is also scratching her head with Khaos since he doesn't always present typically and because he is so incredible sensitive that minute trace amounts can break him out.

I'm at a point I'm wondering who else in the breeders line is suffering from severe allergies or immune deficiencies. She goes out of her way to isolate the puppy owners from each other and works very hard on making one feel as if we are the ones that are the cause of the trouble, that nothing was ever wrong with them at her house and that our vets are just out to make money, etc. So who knows.

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post #35 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 12:07 AM
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Have you tried raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar? I add 1T to each of my dogs' meals and I have a friend who sprays her dogs coats with it. Not sure if it helps but I heard a long time ago that it is good at managing the digestive system and I have never had any problems. Just a thought. Best wishes your way
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post #36 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, long day. The specialist kept Mocha about 3 hours to run tests.

Here's what was done aside from a lengthy talk with us to get the full history. I had typed out everything I could remember from the day we got her so that made it pretty easy, the doc read that and asked questions along the way for clarification.

Here is what they did today

Chem 21 w/sCBC
Cortizol Add-On
Ultrasound, abdominal, full

And here is what we got so far which unfortunately, isn't a lot but it's a start. The doc is basically going to start from scratch and do everything else before going with a GI biopsy with endoscopy.



We have to call the doc back in 2 weeks with an update (unless things get worse) and then we'll get a follow-up appointment in 3-4 weeks so she can assess how Mocha is doing and discuss endoscopy if needed. I was super impressed with the doc, she is very thorough and knowledgeable (as she should be, being a specialist).

And again, I am so glad I bought per insurance because today's visit put me back almost $900 and if she needs the biopsy, we're talking about $2,000 - $2200. (Thor_Red, I'm quickly catching up to you )

And, Mocha was a total sweetheart. Even the doc complimented her and told us what a gentle, sweet girl we have and how Mocha was loving on everyone, trying to give out Doberkisses during the exams.



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post #37 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 06:13 PM
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Sounds like she was in good hands Hopfully you get the answers you are looking for soon! What a sweet girl giving kisses during the exam

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post #38 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 08:15 PM
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I hope this treatment works for her. It's most unfortunate that we both have to deal with such severely medically impacted dogs that turn out to be quite expensive and that we have to do it without breeder support. I do wonder if there are any more A'Carrig Dogs out there with similar issues we don't know about. But since she has no trouble lying about the health testing, there is no telling without talking to other owners directly. Because at this point, I'm having a little trouble believing her claim that she has no problems in her lines.

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post #39 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-30-2015, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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I hope this treatment works for her. It's most unfortunate that we both have to deal with such severely medically impacted dogs that turn out to be quite expensive and that we have to do it without breeder support. I do wonder if there are any more A'Carrig Dogs out there with similar issues we don't know about. But since she has no trouble lying about the health testing, there is no telling without talking to other owners directly. Because at this point, I'm having a little trouble believing her claim that she has no problems in her lines.
We ended up talking to the doc for about an hour total and one of the things she brought up was family history. I told her the only ones I personally know about are Mocha's brother, who is healthy and has no issues, and her half brother (your boy) who has severe food and environmental allergies. She said it's very possible that it's genetic but without more data and testing, she really can't say.

She was more focused on the fact that we've had the same issues since day one and that for the most part, nothing we tried made any difference at all.

One really interesting thing is her belief that Mocha can only process 30-50% of her food intake and that makes perfect sense. When we switched her to Orijen, she started gaining weight. Well, Orijen is one of those foods where they say to feed less because it's so rich; I upped her dosage a bit (from 3 to 3 1/2 - 4 cups per day). So going with her theory, Mocha was getting more food, so her system was processing more, hence the weight gain. I have a feeling had I kept her at 3 cups or less a day, she wouldn't have gained an ounce.

She also wants us to feed 3 times a day because of this. Again, her belief is that with Mocha only processing 30-50% of what's being fed, by the time the evening meal comes around and it's been 12 hours since her last meal, she is starving and that would explain why she used to devour anything and everything in our yard during the day when we took her out (plus the fact that with her system being imbalanced/upset, a natural reaction is to eat grass/leaves etc).

Hopefully we're on the the right road now. Like I told her yesterday; whatever it takes to get my girl healthy.



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post #40 of 75 (permalink) Old 01-30-2015, 02:41 PM
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You guys really have my sympathies. As you may know, I'm all for spending the big bucks to determine if an issue can be treated WELL with traditional medicine but I also see here the glaring problem with a traditional medicine focus. When the focus narrows down to certan symptoms and, as often happens with traditional specialists, a particular system, such as the digestive system, the BIG picture of the organism as a WHOLE can get lost. Both Khaos and Mocha have bodies that are reacting in multiple systems (immune, skin, digestive, glandular, etc.) to multiple triggers. Most diagnoses arising from traditional medicine in these cases will be vague and fairly non-definitive (IBD or allergic dermatitis, for examples). In addition, treatment will focus on palliating symptoms, meaning "without removing the cause". If I had a dog with such severe symptomology I would be seeking out the best homeopathist in the country to treat the entire organism as a whole. This can be done with homeopathy as an adjunct to traditional treatment with no adverse affects. I hope both of you check out this healing modality. Treatment can be done via extensive telephone consultation.

By the way, if you want to poopoo homeopathy, don't bother to waste your time on me. I was a huge skeptic when all I knew about was traditional medicine. Then, three decades ago, I saw a hit-by-car dog who was bleeding from every orifice and in severe shock enter the back door of our clinic. My husband had just completed his international course to become a homeopathist for animals. He reached for a remedy and spritzed it in the dogs blood covered face. Within seconds all the bleeding had stopped and this dog was coming out of shock. I could tell you 1000 stories of healing with this modality, but it's best that you do your own research if you don't know about homeopathy. Just please realize that palliative care for symptoms does not address the underlying cause nor does it help the whole organism to heal itself. PM me if you would like some good reading material on homeopathy and the name of an excellent practitioner who is world renowned. He is a modest man who is a good friend and lives not far from us. Of course, he is also a highly skilled licensed veterinarian who realized long ago, as did my husband, that traditional veterinary medicine was okay in so far as it went, but it often left many of his patients hanging in the wind. He has successfully treated cancer in the famous lion who was the model for The Lion King animation. He is one of the finest intuitive healers I've ever known, combining his brilliant knowledge of traditional science with traditional homeopathy.

P.S. As one of my friends says, if homeopathy is good enough for the Royal Family then it is good enough for me (homeopathy is practiced extensively in Europe).

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post #41 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Mocha has not been responding to the diet or meds; her stool has gotten even softer since we started transitioning her. I talked to the doc today and she was a bit disappointed; she had hoped Mocha would respond better. She's had us keep a diary where we list the condition of each stool, with a 1 being watery and a 5 being firm and so far, Mocha has been mostly 2's with a few 3's thrown in there. I asked about switching foods since the Royal Canin she has Mocha on is chicken-based and historically, Mocha has never done well on any chicken kibble, even the Hill's Science which was supposed to be protein-neutral but was chicken-based. Hell, Mocha has never done well on any of the food we've tried, so at this point I honestly can't tell you if it's the chicken itself or what. So frigging frustrating.

The doc said at this point she doesn't want to introduce yet another novel protein because even if it may work for a week or two, she is afraid that Mocha's system would start rejecting it after 3-4 weeks and then that would be another protein Mocha can't tolerate. And, I do have to agree here; we saw that with the Acana...Mocha was just fine for about 2-3 weeks and then she was right back to square one. With the Orijen, she did gain weight, and her stools did start firming up but after a few months, the stools started slowy getting softer again, the dandruff got really bad and the hair loss started.

So to make an already long story short, the doc wants us to bring Mocha down next week so they can scope her. She seems pretty confident she's on the right track but in the back of my mind, I'm asking, "what if the GI endoscopy reveals nothing? Then what?" Because at that point, we'll have paid them a little over $3,000 for 2 visits. And yes, I realize these cases aren't always cut and dry and we've really just begun going down what could be a long and expensive road...which honestly, is ok as long as it ends with Mocha being healthy, bvecause that's all that counts in the end.



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post #42 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ugh...typos, typos, typos. I wrote that in the last few minutes before I left work (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

Also, meant to write that the doc said if Mocha isn't showing any improvements by Saturday, then we should bring her in next week.



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post #43 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 05:06 PM
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I'm following but sadly don't have much to add.

I'm curious, since you seem to have covered most of the testing very thoroughly between your vet and the specialist, did she have a thyroid test? And if so were antibodies found? Also, does her prescription food contain a soy ingredient?

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post #44 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobiewankanobi View Post
I'm following but sadly don't have much to add.

I'm curious, since you seem to have covered most of the testing very thoroughly between your vet and the specialist, did she have a thyroid test? And if so were antibodies found? Also, does her prescription food contain a soy ingredient?
Yes my regular vet did a thyroid test and also took blood to test cobalamin/B-12 as well as for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman...lood-work.html I don't know about the antibodies. I didn't see anything soy-related on the ingredients of the current food but the thing is, she hasn't been able to process any type food since the day we brought her home. Period. Even with a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice, she had soft, mucousy stools (While being on Metronidazole).



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post #45 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 06:12 PM
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Yes my regular vet did a thyroid test and also took blood to test cobalamin/B-12 as well as for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman...lood-work.html I don't know about the antibodies. I didn't see anything soy-related on the ingredients of the current food but the thing is, she hasn't been able to process any type food since the day we brought her home. Period. Even with a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice, she had soft, mucousy stools (While being on Metronidazole).
Do you normally get hard copies of the lab reports, from your vet?

If so, go back and look at the thyroid panel--there should be a value for the TgAA, which is the antibody test Dobiewan is talking about.

If antibodies are present, it means Mocha's own immune system is attacking and destroying her thyroid.

Which totally leads to a myriad of other issues, as that's the backbone of the endocrine system.




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post #46 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Do you normally get hard copies of the lab reports, from your vet?

If so, go back and look at the thyroid panel--there should be a value for the TgAA, which is the antibody test Dobiewan is talking about.

If antibodies are present, it means Mocha's own immune system is attacking and destroying her thyroid.

Which totally leads to a myriad of other issues, as that's the backbone of the endocrine system.
I did not get the hard copies of those blood tests; but I will ask my vet tomorrow about the TgAA.

But isn't that something she would have immediately caught, if there were antibodies? She also forwarded Mocha's complete medical records to the specialist so again, if there was something abnormal, I would hope she would have flagged it. And if Mocha's immune system was attacking her thyroid, wouldn't the thyroid levels be off? (might all be stupid questions but I don't know)

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Last edited by TNfisher; 02-04-2015 at 06:30 PM.
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post #47 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 06:35 PM
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Yes my regular vet did a thyroid test and also took blood to test cobalamin/B-12 as well as for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman...lood-work.html I don't know about the antibodies. I didn't see anything soy-related on the ingredients of the current food but the thing is, she hasn't been able to process any type food since the day we brought her home. Period. Even with a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice, she had soft, mucousy stools (While being on Metronidazole).
No.
If the thyroid test the vet ran only included t4 then she would not have known if there were antibodies. It wouldn't have been included and most vets honestly don't do it.

Antibodies can be present at birth, but generally they rear their ugly heads in increasing numbers around a year of age. Which she's coming up on. Additionally, if only t4 was run those levels could have been fine at the time.

I'm not trying to cause a panic. Just wanted to know if that had been ruled out for sure with the TgAA testing.

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post #48 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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No.
If the thyroid test the vet ran only included t4 then she would not have known if there were antibodies. It wouldn't have been included and most vets honestly don't do it.

Antibodies can be present at birth, but generally they rear their ugly heads in increasing numbers around a year of age. Which she's coming up on. Additionally, if only t4 was run those levels could have been fine at the time.

I'm not trying to cause a panic. Just wanted to know if that had been ruled out for sure with the TgAA testing.
Thanks. I'll be sure to ask my vet about that tomorrow. I did request a full panel to be run but since I didn't see the report, and was only told the results by the vet, I can't say for certain that a full panel was done.

And, any info to me at this point is useful info because I'm at a complete loss.



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post #49 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 06:47 PM
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Thanks. I'll be sure to ask my vet about that tomorrow. I did request a full panel to be run but since I didn't see the report, and was only told the results by the vet, I can't say for certain that a full panel was done.

And, any info to me at this point is useful info because I'm at a complete loss.
Antibodies are little devils that make everything three times as more complicated. Just wanted to make sure you weren't dealing with that issue before you incur the expense of a scope.

I hope you can get some answers as to what's going on soon. Mocha is a lucky girl for having owners that are dedicated to making sure her health is top notch!

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post #50 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 06:54 PM
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Thanks. I'll be sure to ask my vet about that tomorrow. I did request a full panel to be run but since I didn't see the report, and was only told the results by the vet, I can't say for certain that a full panel was done.

And, any info to me at this point is useful info because I'm at a complete loss.

Agreed, information is power, even if we don't quite know where that piece of information fits into the whole puzzle, at the time.

And just to add to what Dobiewan has already posted--a general practice vet really isn't trained to interpret an endocrinology report.

If the full panel with TgAA has indeed been done, and is not a normal result, then I'd see if a consult fee would get you the specialist (endocrinologist's) interpretation.




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