At wit's end with skin conditions

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health At wit's end with skin conditions

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  • #90160 Report Abuse

    tara k
    Member

    I have a 5 year old Yellow Lab. He was the most beautiful puppy you’ve ever seen but by the time he was 2, his skin situation started to go down fast. I have been to 5 vets. Initially, I was told, just allergies…sorry about your bad luck. I was also told that he had a tick born infection and given doxycycline (no clue if this is related). when he continued to get worse, I tried another vet, who did a bunch of blood work and skin scrapes, said his Thyroid was fine, but that he had ring worm. Gave me anti fungal meds and special shampoo. That may have helped a bit and briefly, but no substantial change. Making me think that ringworm was definitely not his problem. I also had another dog and two children. No one else got ringworm. If that matters. Enter vets 3&4 (at the same practice, but seen each on different visits): more skin scrapes and blood work. tick disease apparently never goes away and still shows. More doxy. Also, no sign of ring worm. (Not saying he didn’t have it, but if so it was gone by then). Constant ear infections and seemingly bacterial infection all over. So we did the ear thing with the syringe that you inject deep down in the ear canal. Twice. Seemed to help ears but again, not great. Now at vet 5, who has him on 2 adult doses of Claritin daily, 1 prednisone daily and 2 Cephalexin daily (for chronic bacterial infection) and fish oil. Throughout this process, he has had the ear canal thing several more times, and it does help for awhile, but never completely. If he goes off the Cephalexin for any amount of time, he immediately goes down hill, which when you are only half way up the hill at best, this is not good! We have tried sulphur dips, coal tar shampoos (which help more than any other type, but still not the answer). I have tried multiple foods, and even cooked his food for a long while. I can tell no measurable difference with any of the foods we have tried.

    He itches constantly, smells worse than anything I can describe, his feet and ears are awful almost always, and his hair is greasy feeling and pretty sparse, his skin is black and thick on his belly and inside of legs. He can not tolerate a tick bite, as it swells up around it and getting it out is an ordeal, and the skin on his back seems red and irritated all the time. Now he seems to just really feel like crap all the time. He looks more like a 12 year old than a 5 year old. It’s very heartbreaking, as he is really great dog otherwise. I am open to anything you can suggest.

    #90161 Report Abuse

    Freddy w
    Member

    Ask the vet for atopica
    I had a ship-tzu same issue
    Also this time of year my dogs always itch
    So my vet gives them Prednisone
    Which helps
    Try the Atopica

    #90162 Report Abuse

    Freddy w
    Member

    Also you may want to try a raw diet
    Like chicken and raw hamburger

    #90163 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    Please consider making an appointment with a board-certified veterinary dermatologist, asap. Environmental allergies have nothing to do with the food. If you care to disclose the state/location you are in, I will do a search regarding a dermatologist. Allergies don’t go away and they get worse with age. The good news is that the condition does respond to treatment, but, it is lifelong treatment as there is no cure.

    per the search engine here https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/search/allergies/

    PS: I had to change my user name to anonymous 101, formally anonymously….in case that concerns some of the regulars here.

    Hope this helps:

    By Klaus Loft, DVM
    Angell Dermatology Service

    Anyone who suffers debilitating environmental allergies tied to changing seasons, pet dander or household dust mites knows first-hand the misery of a scratchy throat, itchy eyes or painful rashes.

    Not everyone knows, however, that our pets can experience similar allergic reactions — and other very bothersome dermatological issues. But our pets need not suffer in silence. Modern veterinary science has evolved such that advanced, comprehensive treatments are now available to treat a range of skin conditions.

    Top pet dermatological issues

    Our four-legged friends suffer from some of the same skin issues as we do — and several that we do not. The most common conditions we see at Angell include:

    •Parasites, such as mites, fleas and mange (scabies)
    •Infectious diseases, such as Staphylococcal pyoderma (“Staph”) skin infections, yeast and fungal infections and skin fold infections
    •Systemic diseases, such as autoimmune diseases
    •Skin cancer, such as Squamous cell carcinoma, cutaneous lymphoma, Mast cell tumors
    •Allergies, such as flea allergy dermatitis, adverse food reactions, environmental allergies, etc.

    All of these conditions can become serious and, if untreated, dramatically reduce quality of life. But the tremendous strides made in veterinary innovation, however, is very good news for our pets. Specifically, the testing and treatments for allergies now rivals human healthcare in its sophistication, quality of care and long-term health outcomes.

    Unlike humans, dogs and cats cannot tell us about their dermatological health issues. So we as pet owners must look for the signs. The most common indicators that a pet is suffering from some kind of allergy involve frequent episodes of ear infections, red raised or open sores on the skin, constant licking or biting of paws or groin — sometimes causing wounds that will not go away.

    Allergies present a particular challenge because there can be hundreds (even thousands) of potential allergens that impact pet health, from foods to pollen from grasses, weeds, trees, dust mites and more. Today’s specialty veterinary hospitals have access to the very latest diagnostic tests to get to the bottom of what’s ailing our pet. Among these tests is the Intra Dermal Test (IDT).

    IDT is generally considered the gold standard of testing for identifying allergens that cause pets to suffer from chronic skin and/or ear diseases. IDT involves injections of a series of concentrated allergens into the skin to determine which of them generate allergic reactions in a given animal. The use of fluorescein — a chemical that illuminates the inflammation caused by the injected allergens in order to visualize the strength of individual reactions — is key to accurately diagnosing pet allergies, and is just one of the many ways veterinarians use new technologies to improve care and diagnostics.

    The results of IDT (as well as a review of the pet’s medical history) can then inform comprehensive immunotherapy treatments to relieve suffering. Veterinary dermatologists rely on IDT to build customized treatment plans for patients called Allergen Specific Immuno Therapy or “ASIT” for short.

    ASIT involves a series of injections specifically created for the allergic animal’s skin. These injections, of diluted allergens, are designed to make a pet less sensitive to their allergens over time. In most cases these injections must be continued for life to reduce symptoms, but they are highly effective. Seventy to 90 percent of pets experience a reduction in symptoms as a result of ASIT treatment. These treatments can be delivered even more easily via droplets under the tongue, perfect for pet owners who are squeamish about giving injections to their pet.

    This treatment is very new to the North American field of medicine (both human and veterinary) and underscores just how far innovation in veterinary medicine has come.

    When it’s time to see the vet

    Many pet owners are understandably concerned about taking their animals to the veterinarian because the cost (to say nothing of the fear some animals experience when going do the doctor) may outweigh any perceived reduction in suffering. To help pet owners know when it’s time to bring Fido to the doctor I’ve compiled my “Top Ten” list of dermatological symptoms that should never be ignored:

    •Intense itching of the skin (head shaking, running the face into the carpet, furniture, etc.)
    •Biting at the skin that creates red, raw crusting areas of the skin
    •Multiple ear infections (head shaking, odor from ears, scratching at the ears with hind legs)
    •Paw licking or chewing and frequent infections of the skin in the webbed skin of the paws
    •Staining of the fur of the paws and nails on multiple feet
    •Reoccurring skin infections in the groin, under the shoulders, perianal areas (on or under the tail)
    •Greasy scaling skin and/or fur with odorous skin
    •Hair loss, or thinning of the fur
    •Dark pigmentation of the skin that is chronically infected
    •Sudden depigmentation of skin

    Allergies and other dermatological issues can be as frustrating for pet owners and their veterinarians as they can be for pets. I encourage any pet owner whose animal is experiencing any of these symptoms to consult with their veterinarian.

    #90164 Report Abuse

    Susan W
    Member

    Ugh! I feel your pain. I’ve had issues almost identical to yours pop up out of nowhere this summer. My Golden has – for the 1st time ever – mites. Scabies/mange mites. you can do a puff/powder with DE powder on the dog to kill the mites, and treat your yard, carpet and dog bedding for them with DE powder, too. (Food Grade DE Powder!). The problem I’m having is that the dogs that are carrying these mites all over the neighborhood aren’t my dogs. Anonymous 101 is spot-on with their info, too.

    #90197 Report Abuse

    Michael F
    Member

    Hi, I was just wondering what part of the country do you live in? My border collie did well in Arizona but did horribly bad in Florida and they put him on Atopica which did seem to help, in between he had also been on several vacations to Michigan where he was also much better. In the end it was determined that he actually did not have allergies like the vets thought, he had lymes disease which had gone undetected in Northern Florida as they don’t have it there and unknown to us their snap test used there did not test for that. Once we treated him for Lymes and stopped the Atopica all problems went away, he did live to be almost 17 years old, however because he had lived with untreated Lymes disease for so long he developed bad lymes related arthritis in his later years. Inconclusion it seemed the Lymes disease was creating his allergy problems, even so, the problems were not as severe in the other states as they were in Florida, although we did still live in Florida for awhile after having the Lymes treated and he did not seem to be bothered anymore. Like you we tried many different foods and special bath’s but nothing seemed to help. He suffered for 4 years before it finally stopped and then lived another eleven years and felt good.

    #90201 Report Abuse

    Jill F
    Member

    You can contact your local consultant.

    #90205 Report Abuse

    tara k
    Member

    I live in SE Virginia. We do have Lyme’s here. And, several years ago, they said he had a “tick disease” but that it was not Lyme’s. Maybe I should have him rechecked for that? I also tried another allergy medicine a few months ago but it did not seem to help. It was crazy expensive. Not sure if it’s the one you are suggesting, but I am calling the vet now to make an appointment.
    I have not tried feeding raw but am considering that now. I was looking for possibly a freeze dried option that won’t break the bank! he’s 70-75 pounds.

    #90207 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    https://www.acvd.org/tools/locator/locations.asp?distance=10&zip=&city=&state=VA&Submit=Submit

    Regarding finding a veterinary dermatologist in your area. Or, ask your veterinarian for a referral.

    #90212 Report Abuse

    Jenn H
    Member

    My pup, his mother and a littermate all began suffering from similar skin problems at the beginning of spring. Not to the severity of your dog. It appears to be environmental allergies with them.
    For my puppy I would use a product I have for my horse. Eqyss Micro-Tek shampoo. “Soothes on contact”. Then I would spray the really bad areas with Eqyss Micro-Tek Equine Spray. (They do make it for dogs. It’s the same stuff, but more costly.) This stuff is amazing. I’ve used it on myself.
    For his ears I use epi-otic from the vet. When I ran out I put the equine spray on a cotton ball. Make sure to dry out the ears when you clean them.
    He also gets raw honey from a neighbor 2x/day. That has been the ultimate fix. As long as he gets the honey he doesn’t have any problems. After 1 wk without it he begins to get itchy and hot spots. Same with his brother.
    Honey must be raw, wildflower honey that is within 50 miles from home.

    Food intolerance could certainly be a factor for your dog. I would try an elimination diet if you think that’s a cause.

    Tick borne diseases can go into remission and you may never have another flare up again. I have another dog that has had Ehrlichia and now Lyme. I have a bunch of horses with Lyme also. I haven’t known any of them to present with those symptoms you described.
    You really need to make sure the dog has a tick borne illness before giving doxy. It’s a pretty hardcore antibiotic. You certainly don’t want to give it needlessly. It can also cause stomach issues. Maybe your dog isn’t breaking down proteins well. If they do have a tick borne illness then the immune system is already taxed. The slightest allergen can become a big problem. My girl takes a probiotic (2 hrs before or after her antibiotic when on it) to help her immune system and minimize the side effects of doxy as much as possible. Fortiflora has been working great for her. She’s on it indefinitely right now, but I continue probiotics at least 2 wks after antibiotic treatment has stopped.

    #111202 Report Abuse

    Gillian W
    Member

    I know this is an old post, but was wondering if you ever sorted out your pup with these allergies that you were having with your pup, I would like to hear your testimony or others whom have gone through similar issues with this.

    My dog is been having similar problems, but not to the extent as yours did, but he’s been having ear infections, which appeared during this summer season, (I live in South Africa) he’s 2 years old now, but during the winter, his ears did not seem to bother him, so this could be an environmental allergy.

    About a month ago, I took him to the vet, as his ears was sore, so they decided to flush them out, under anaesthetic. After this procedure was done, they put him on Prednisone (3 tablets twice daily for 4 days, then 2 twice daily for 4 days, then 1 tablet twice daily for 4 days, until we got down to 1 a day for four days), but when that finished the vet did not give me any more, but only continued on with the 750mg Cephalexin twice daily, after several weekly check-ups. I decided to go to another vet, because I was not happy with him being on antibiotics for such a long time, 23 days at that time, and the 2nd vet put him on Medrol, and took him off Cephelexin. 1 a day for 2 days, then 1 every other day. I saw a difference on the 3rd day, but on the 4th days, his ears seemed to gunked up again. Also, I am now busy/transitioning him to a grain free diet, a fish based one only, with no meats or chicken etc.

    #111203 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    For the best results, make an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist.

    Here is a good article about what you might be looking at, keep in mind there are even newer treatment options than when this article was written
    http://www.nevetdermatology.com/canine-atopic-dermatitis-treatment/

    https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/allergies-and-itchy-dogs/

    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=allergies

    #111294 Report Abuse

    Gillian W
    Member

    Thanks Anon.

    #126707 Report Abuse

    Julie S
    Member

    To anon101,

    THANK YOU!…
    I am new to the forum, and have never replied on any subject, but I am truly moved to tears. My 7# toy Pekingese is almost 11 years old and for 9.5 yrs she has been battling yeast, staph and everything else that can make a dog itch. I have exhausted almost every vet in my county, and although I adore her current vet practice even they have been unable to figure her skin out for any longterm management.

    I have tried every diet imaginable! She’s been put through so many shampoos, rinses, oils, vinegars….. The typical rounds of meds (Abx, steroids, Apoquel, cytopoint, Nizarol, etc..) all to no avail. She reacts to everything I put on her and yet, she’s so patient and willing to allow me “try” what ever comes next. It breaks my heart! I know I’m stressed and I can’t imagine what her stress load does to exacerbate her health conditions. It’s all so never ending and I just want her to make one full year without suffering so (lesions, hair loss, black, thickened, Frito smelling skin).

    I have read numerous comments and cane across the link you posted for nevetdermatology.com regarding CAD. Talk about a lightbulb moment! I read that article twice, for myself and then to my husband, and we are amazed how much it relates to our Louci’s (pronounced Lucy) condition. I thanked God and then I cried tears of hope and joy! My next step will be to her vet for a referral to a certified dermatologist, asap.

    I CAN NOT THANK YOU ENOUGH! I now feel hopeful that we will get to the bottom of this horrible nightmare she’s had to call ‘life’. I’m encouraged that one day I will be able to see her beautiful FULL coat and pet/stroke her without it making her skin crawl.

    Sincerely,
    Julie S

    #126728 Report Abuse

    Patricia A
    Member

    If your dog has itchy, irritated skin and smells a little stinky, he could be suffering from a yeast infection. This condition can cause extreme discomfort for our canine companions and may be related to an underlying problem such as an allergy or a hormonal disorder.

    All strains of yeast are funguses, and these organisms normally live on the bodies of dogs (and people) without causing illness. Problems arise when there is an overabundance of the fungus on a dog’s body, says Dr. Neil Marrinan of the Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital in Connecticut. “Overgrowth requires a trigger and loss of skin defenses,” he says.

    Typically, dogs are bothered by the opportunistic pathogen Malassezia pachydermatis, says Dr. Klaus Loft, who practices dermatology at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Angell Animal Medical Center. “We see yeast in various forms in and on dogs,” he says. “It resides normally on the skin and is implicated in skin, paw, and ear infections.”

    So how do you know if your dog has a yeast infection? Here are 10 common signs watch out for.

    Signs of Yeast Infections in Dogs

    Changes in color and texture
    Signs of a yeast infection can vary depending on the site of the infection. “The biggest sign is alteration in the appearance of the skin,” Marrinan says. A pink or red color is commonly seen in the early stages of infection. With chronic infection, the skin can become leathery, thick, and gray or black. Remember that yeast infections can occur in a number of places on your dog’s body if conditions are right, he notes.

    Greasy skin
    Excessively oily or greasy skin is another common symptom of a yeast infection in dogs, according to Loft.

    Scaly skin
    Some dogs with yeast infections develop crusting, scaling, or flakiness of the skin that can look a little like dandruff, says Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor for petMD.

    Head shaking
    “The ears are far and away the most common location for a yeast infection,” Marrinan says. In such cases, you likely will notice your dog trying to relieve his discomfort by repeatedly shaking or tilting his head.

    Scratching and rubbing
    Your dog also might be quite itchy from the yeast infection. You may see him scratching the affected spot, rubbing up against furniture or another surface, or scooting along the floor, Marrinan says.

    Licking
    Some dogs might attempt to relieve itchy discomfort by incessantly licking the infected area, the doctors note.

    Swelling and warmth
    While redness and itching are the first signs of a yeast infection, symptoms can easily progress to swelling, warmth, and pain in the infected area, according to Marrinan.

    Odor
    Odor also is a common sign of a yeast infection, regardless of location, Loft says. “Some people claim the yeast-infected skin and ears smell like Cheetos or have a sweet smell, but this is typically not a reliable ‘test,’ as we often find certain bacterial infections can have a similar odor,” he says. “It is important to remember this can be seen with other infectious organisms beyond yeast, so diagnostic testing at the veterinarian’s office is required.”

    Hair loss
    Hair loss can accompany the yeast infection and associated inflammation, Loft says.

    Drooling
    A yeast infection in a dog’s mouth is extremely rare but can cause abnormal drooling, oral discomfort, and problems eating. Excessive drooling can also be a sign of other problems in the mouth, such as an abscessed tooth or bee sting, Marrinan says, so pet parents should take their dog to the vet to determine the cause.

    Treating Yeast Infections in Dogs

    The most important aspect of treating a yeast infection in dogs is identifying and addressing the underlying cause. This will make the risk of relapse less of a concern, Loft and Marrinan agree. For deep and generalized skin and paw/claw bed infections, veterinarians may prescribe oral antifungal medications such as ketoconazole, fluconazole, or terbinafine, Loft says. Ears can be treated topically with appropriate ear cleaners and medications, but severe ear infections may also require oral medications. Bathing the skin and fur with disinfecting and degreasing shampoos can also help, Marrinan adds. The best treatment regimen can be determined by a veterinarian familiar with the specifics of the dog’s case.

    #126750 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    Quote “I CAN NOT THANK YOU ENOUGH! I now feel hopeful that we will get to the bottom of this horrible nightmare she’s had to call ‘life’. I’m encouraged that one day I will be able to see her beautiful FULL coat and pet/stroke her without it making her skin crawl”.

    @ Julie S,
    You’re welcome. Please give us an update. Make that dermatologist appointment asap!
    We have no regrets.

    Also, it sounds like you have been through it already, but beware of homeopathic remedies and miracle cures. Most are bogus and some can cause harm.

    PS: Dechra Mal-A-Ket Shampoo
    We just tried this shampoo as Malaseb has been getting hard to find it the large size.
    Check Entirely pets dot com for description and good prices
    We get the gallon size as sometimes my allergy dog is bathed daily, it helps!

    #126751 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member
    #126752 Report Abuse

    Julie S
    Member

    Anon101

    Yes, over the 9.5 yrs, I have bought into all the “fads.” I’m sure there are some animals who benefit from some of the many things we’ve tried, but now that I’m convinced the yeast overgrowth is SECONDARY (blows my mind because I’ve been assuming it was primary), that was my lightbulb moment, I’m convinced more now than ever that she can get relief and have this managed. I don’t expect it to be easy, but doable and that I can work with.

    I will check out the recommended shampoo. Even that has become problematic. It seems Louci can tolerate shampoos for a while, but eventually she will react to those ingredients.
    We have an appt with her vet Monday to obtain the necessary referral to dermatology (Yay!).
    I will definitely update.

    #126753 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    Great!
    BTW: I have had Pekes before, my last one made it to age 16. They are tough little dogs.
    I am almost certain your dog will thrive once she get’s the right treatment.
    I miss my Peke 🙁

    #126763 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Jiles,
    Have you had your dog thyroid checked?

    join this facebook group, one of the admins in group Pete Lee has a dog who is allergic to her own yeast. Very rare but it happens… Ask Pete Lee or she’ll probably answer your post..

    Join this f/b group heaps of help & where the Dermatologist vets are in your area.
    “Dog Allergies, Issues and Other Information Support Group”
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/240043826044760/

    #126789 Report Abuse

    Julie S
    Member

    Susan,

    Hi. Louci has had her thyroid checked, but only through her Senior bloodwork (basic TSH). A full panel has not been done. That’s an interesting point and I will add that in my discussion with them tomorrow. Thank you for your additional suggestions, as well. I will check them out.

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