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Old September 29th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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jaroberts jaroberts is offline
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Staph Infection!

I have a 1 1/2 year old Chocolate Lab, named Brodee. When I first resued him from the local SPCA, we had noticed that he was beginning to lose hair on his lower back legs, a little under his thighs. The SPCA had done multiple skin scrapings for demodectic mange, and all had come back negative.

Once he belonged to me, we skin scraped him at least 2 more times, both for sarcoptic and demodectic mange, both were negative. We moved him onto a hypo-allergenic food, z/d that is a prescription food from Hill's Prescription Diets. We saw no improvement, and ruled out food allergies for the time being. Eventually, we decided to begin dipping him in Lyme Sulfur, the treatment for Sarcoptic mange. It was successful, and he improved greatly with his hair gorwn back.

Around the spring of 2011, I began to notice him itching like crazy once more, and he began to form epidermal collarettes just behind his lungs on the side of his body and on his belly, by his privates and nowhere else. Immediately, we put him on Cephalexin, as treatment for the staph infection.. come mid june through early august he improved, his hair grew back once more and he seemed more comfortable.

Now once mid-August hit, he is loaded with epidermal collarettes once again, and now they have spread from his sides and belly to his lower legs, chest, and partly on his back. Back in August, we started him on the Staph-Lysase injections, twice a week, and we have dipped him for sarcoptic mange twice, just in case. He was unresponsive to the Lyme-Sulfur dips, so we discontinued them. We have sent a culture of the epidermal collarettes to the lab, which came back "no growth." I have recently started him on Kelp, once a day and will be starting to give him Fish Oil next week.

My questions are; could this be just a really bad seasonal allergy that we're going to have to deal with every spring and fall?

OR, could he still possibly have a food allergy? If he did have a food allergy, I would think that he would get consistantly worse, which is not the case.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 01:03 PM
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Rgeurts Rgeurts is offline
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Hi and welcome to the board! This may be a longshot, but have they done a thyroid panel? Not just a T4, but a full thyroid panel? If not, I would reccomend it. Hypothryroidism can cause skin infections/issues of all kinds, and it is very common. They say that dogs usually devlope it at 2 yrs and older, but our little guy was diagnosed at about 10 months. He still has some skin issues and once in awhile he will have "eruptions", but since he has been on thyroid treatment, he is SO much better! He still gets itchy, but we think he may have food and enviromental allergies as well. But as far as the sore, he hasn't had any in months

The good thing is Hypothyroidism is very easy to treat, and very inexpensive. It costs us about $25 a month. And the sympoms will go away between 4-6 weeks. Our boy took about 4 weeks. I did a little checking and Labs are genetically predisposed to Hypothyroidism. Please check out the link below, it's to Hemopet. Dr. Jean Dodds is amazing. She doesn't just complete the panel and send the results. She actually tailors the results to the age and breed of the dog. Some dogs who show as low, are actually normal for the breed and vice versa. Most vets aren't aware of that, or labs. She has spent her life researching breed specific issues and immune disorders
It costs us $180 to go to our vet, have them draw the blood and send it off to her. I hope you find the source of the issues, and hopefully it's thyroid related as that is an easy (and cheap!)fix. Please let us know the outcome

http://www.hemopet.org/
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 03:57 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaroberts View Post
......I have recently started him on Kelp, once a day and will be starting to give him Fish Oil next week.

My questions are; could this be just a really bad seasonal allergy that we're going to have to deal with every spring and fall?

OR, could he still possibly have a food allergy? If he did have a food allergy, I would think that he would get consistantly worse, which is not the case.
I definitely agree on the thyroid panel, but you need to take him off of kelp for awhile, otherwise it won't be accurate - it will be falsely elevated.

He could have a food allergy.....that gets worse when an environmental allergy acts up.

If he got better on the antibiotic, it might just be that the infection hasn't resolved.

Here are before and after pictures of what antibiotics (ceph, twice a day for 21 days) and a food change did for one dog: http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/...hts#Post156820
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 06:57 AM
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Winston Winston is offline
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weelcome to the board...I had to google epidermal collarettes but I was in shock when I googled the image of it. My boy Winston had these sores on his body from the time he was apup to to approx 4 or 5 yrs old. We treated him with everything under the sun and no vet ever really knew what the problem was or why? We used alot of prednisone which would always take it away imediately but the underlying condition would always come back. He was on vet prescribed food for all of those years.

One day I entered into a food discussion with someone which led me to a food change. I purchased Origen because I was looking for something that was almost raw but in a kibble form. We noticed a huge improvement and it was immediate. The epidermal collarettes (sores) went away and they never returned. Everything improved from making that change.

Have you considered a different food program? I like the Orijen because it is 80% meat 20% fruits and veggies and no grain, no by products. It is human grade ingrediants as well.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 11:09 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Winston's experience sure would point to food issues - maybe that's another clue for you!

What were you feeding before the Hill's?
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:45 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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It could be a seasonal allergy where the itching has got out of control. Once the skin is irritated and open from the scatching other infection has an entry point. With my boy, also a Lab, we have decided we have seasonal allergies instead of food allergies because it cleared up in the cool weather on the same foods. I jumped on the itching, accompanied by the most awful smell, very quickly and keeping the itch controlled removed the smell and did not allow infection to develop.

It sounds like you are past this point, but in case you want another option to try, I'm dosing with Vanactyl P every second day and Reactine twice a day. I'm actually tapering off the Vanactyl P right now. If you can get your boy cleared up over winter this might be a way to start out next spring when/if the itching starts up again. Hope our experience helps.
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