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Old May 28th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Thoughts on antibiotics

Well, itchy dog season is upon me again... maybe this is a seasonal thing or maybe it's just what was working before isn't now, who knows

Anyways, that's not the topic here, what i'm curious about is the use of antibiotics in dogs, are there similar issues as with humans where frequent use can lead to resistance?

Seems every time Molly has any kind of "issue" her vets first suggestion is a course of antibiotics. Since she's got to go in to get this itch dealt with I want to be prepared if antibiotics are the first solution we are offered. So far in the past year she's had about 4 courses of cephalexin (sp?) for various hotspots, ear, eye, and itchies. Do we go for another round? The other "solution" has been Depo, which now that I know what it is i'm not keen on.

So..... what's too much when it comes to antibiotics? I know I avoid them like the plague for myself (with all the resistance issues) but, am I needlessly over cautious for Molly?
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Magnolia (aka Nolie) - 6 yrs old, adopted May 3, 2009 - mixed breed monster mutt
R.I.P. Chloe - my first Golden girl - we said goodbye but you will always be here (1994-2007 adopted April 2000)
R.I.P. Molly - my Golden girl, who's causing havoc over the bridge now - (1999-2009 adopted May 2007)
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Old May 28th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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If you don't have to go with antibiotics , don't ! If it's seasonal allergies , he won't prescribe antibiotics , but something like Vanectyl. If it's very mild allergies , Molly won't need any . Some Benadryl once in a while might help.

Poor Molly
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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That's what I always think, there should be alternatives, esp. if it's seasonal allergies but, the vet always goes for antibiotics first

What is Vanectyl?

Sometimes I wonder what I pay the vet for... when I have to go in and tell them what I want

I think, with the exception of the visit I went in to get blood work done, we have come away from EVERY appointment with a dose of antibiotics.

Do you get antibiotics for skin issues often?

(i'm starting to lean towards her having seborhea, maybe triggered by allergies?? I think the poor girl is going a bit nutty but she is being sooooooooo good about not scratching all the time)
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Magnolia (aka Nolie) - 6 yrs old, adopted May 3, 2009 - mixed breed monster mutt
R.I.P. Chloe - my first Golden girl - we said goodbye but you will always be here (1994-2007 adopted April 2000)
R.I.P. Molly - my Golden girl, who's causing havoc over the bridge now - (1999-2009 adopted May 2007)
and love for my "lost ones" - Misery, Clover & the girls (chickens)
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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The issues of antibiotics in pets is similar to those with humans. Resistance can occur however if the pet is positively responding to the antibiotic then some sensitivity can be assumed with the drug. It is important to note the reason for antibiotic use with seasonal allergies. The bacterial infection is secondary to the inflammation from the allergies. So the antibiotics are important to utilize when this secondary infections are present but it does not address the allergies.

I second your hesitation with Depo injections. If there are options other than steroids, then it should be considered.

I am a fan of Atopica which a microemulsified form of cyclosporine. Pets that respond positively to steroids often also respond positively to Atopica. The medication targets the immune system, specifically the T-Helper cells. This is in contrast to steroids which have effects on virtually ALL levels of the body. So safety is on advantage. Another advantage is that in my experience allergy dogs on steroids do not itch however they still clinically appear as 'allergy dogs' with the associated dermatologic changes. Pets on atopica not only stop itching but often return to a 'normal' appearance. For more information here is the website: www.atopica.com Yes, there is always a down side - this one is cost. It is a little pricey. Some dogs also have been known to vomit with this medication but it is important to note that this is to a reaction to the medication but to the carrying agent that is used which is castor oil. So while some dogs do have an upset tummy, the effects are not from a serious reaction to the medication. Usually a slight alteration of the dose can help fix this problem.

The other option of course is a dermatologist. They can perform skin allergy testing and help identify the allergies and make injections specifically for your pet to help 'retrain' the immune system. While this therapy is occasionally curative, often some long term use of the medication is needed.

As always I recommend the use of Omega 3 fatty acids and high quality food. If a food trial has not been performed, then this should be considered. Many pets that have seasonal allergies also have underlying food allergies to one or more of the proteins that are present in the food. Hope that helps.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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As Frenchy mentioned, if the allergies are mild to moderate, then antihistamines alone (possibly some omega 3 fatty acids too) can be all you need. Benadryl is very safe. The generic name is diphenhydramine.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:42 PM
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Dr. Lee and Frenchy, all such good info You guys are awesome. I can't say enough to express how much I appreciate you taking the time to give so freely of your knowledge!

Your info on the need for antibiotics is really good, I see more reason for why she (vet) is always quick on giving us a dose (I think bacterial infections have been pretty predominant in her history - as indicated by all the black skin she has). And I won't let my guard down on the need for it always

I've been trying out adding some Omega 3's and now i've got her back on coconut oil... i'm a bit worried she has a fish allergy (Orijen fish formula = huge hotspot, I think that was the connection anyways). We try and avoid fishy foods. She eats lamb and rice kibble with other stuff mixed in (either homemade or canned) - i'm pretty sure food isn't the issue cause she's not ALWAYS itchy and food varies.

I'm gonna check out Atopica... Depo worked great (I think) but I really don't want to give it again (I had no idea what it was when Molly got it the first time)

This is the end of Moly's first year with me... so we will do blood work again and compare with that from when I first got her, then i'll know if there are underlying conditions or if we go full steam ahead with skin investigations. My heart goes out to everyone dealing with Itchy dogs... it's a tough road! (and Molly is not bad by what i've read on this site and others)

I got us back into the itchy dog discussion, i'm sure many of you are a bit fed up with the issue recurring on this site - but i'm so happy for the info Dr.Lee included, it's new info to me and hopefully helpful to others.
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Magnolia (aka Nolie) - 6 yrs old, adopted May 3, 2009 - mixed breed monster mutt
R.I.P. Chloe - my first Golden girl - we said goodbye but you will always be here (1994-2007 adopted April 2000)
R.I.P. Molly - my Golden girl, who's causing havoc over the bridge now - (1999-2009 adopted May 2007)
and love for my "lost ones" - Misery, Clover & the girls (chickens)
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:52 PM
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otter , maybe it's seasonnal allergies, she wasn't itchy when I was fostering her , that was in April / May last year ... or maybe it's in the air in Wawa ? So that means you guys have to move here

Good luck to you and Molly

I was thinking today , will get my Bailey off Vanectyl to see if his allergies are better than before
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
otter , maybe it's seasonnal allergies, she wasn't itchy when I was fostering her , that was in April / May last year ... or maybe it's in the air in Wawa ? So that means you guys have to move here

Good luck to you and Molly

I was thinking today , will get my Bailey off Vanectyl to see if his allergies are better than before
I'm worried it's the water (not for drinking, but the swimming stuff, it's just too clean so it irritates her skin ) I bet your swimming pool would be much better (not that it's not clean , just that it's warmer, less "natural" .... bags are being packed....)

What are Bailey's symptoms? Just itchy? any bumps, scabs anything like that? I hope he's over the allergies... maybe Molly took them with her
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Magnolia (aka Nolie) - 6 yrs old, adopted May 3, 2009 - mixed breed monster mutt
R.I.P. Chloe - my first Golden girl - we said goodbye but you will always be here (1994-2007 adopted April 2000)
R.I.P. Molly - my Golden girl, who's causing havoc over the bridge now - (1999-2009 adopted May 2007)
and love for my "lost ones" - Misery, Clover & the girls (chickens)
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  #9  
Old May 28th, 2008, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otter View Post

What are Bailey's symptoms? Just itchy? any bumps, scabs anything like that? I hope he's over the allergies... maybe Molly took them with her
Bailey will lick , then pull his fur out , then lick it until it bleeds :sad:

What if you put some kind of spray conditioner on Molly after her swim ? Do they make those for pets ?
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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I've tried tar spray.. no effect.
I know keeping her out of the water might be a good solution but I'm too much of a Wus to do that, she just LOVES the water so much, I can't deny her

Might be one of those situations where i'm just gonna keep treating the symptoms, not managing to stop the cause
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Magnolia (aka Nolie) - 6 yrs old, adopted May 3, 2009 - mixed breed monster mutt
R.I.P. Chloe - my first Golden girl - we said goodbye but you will always be here (1994-2007 adopted April 2000)
R.I.P. Molly - my Golden girl, who's causing havoc over the bridge now - (1999-2009 adopted May 2007)
and love for my "lost ones" - Misery, Clover & the girls (chickens)
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  #11  
Old May 28th, 2008, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otter View Post
she just LOVES the water so much, I can't deny her
I agree with you. Nothing like having a happy dog
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:44 PM
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TeriM TeriM is offline
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I'm not a fan of clipping retrievers but maybe in Molly's case that would help her? or maybe use the blow dryer on her when you get home to make sure she dries right through?

some great info in this post, thanks Dr. Lee .
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