Help diagnose my dog!

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Help diagnose my dog!

This is a discussion on Help diagnose my dog! within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; About a year ago my 4 year old German Shep/Boarded Collie mix got fleas. He broke out like crazy in a rash. I started him ...

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Old 09-18-2017, 12:50 AM
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Help diagnose my dog!

About a year ago my 4 year old German Shep/Boarded Collie mix got fleas. He broke out like crazy in a rash. I started him on Bravecto as his other flea collar had not worked. He was given an antibiotic and that was it. A few months later, the rash was still there and worse. He was diagnosed with seborrhea and checked for ring worm and was negative. Given another antibiotic and anti-fungal shampoo. A month later, no improvement so given a different antibiotic, apoquil for the itching and different shampoo. I finally saw slow improvement so the vet extended this treatment for two months. He also told me to shave his whole body. The all-over red rash turn to 12-18 spots over his whole body that were red, circular, sensitive to touch, and were yellow and crusty. The vet then diagnosed him with a yeast infection. He told me to keep using the shampoo and it should heal. Also I need to mention I changed his food from Noutrish beef (that constantly made him sick) to Bil-Jac adult (which he could tolerate) to Nature's Instinct LID Raw Lamb (which he's been tolerating) to help cut out some carbs to stop the yeast overgrowth. Two weeks ago, the skin bacterial infections came back along with the yeast infection too. This really presented under the tail. It was covered in what looked like pus. Vet now believes he has allergies or low functioning something. She ordered a full blood panel and blood allergy testing. Went back on antibiotics, but added a fish oil and Zyrtec. Blood tests came back and his thyroid function was slightly low. Been on a thyroid pill for 5 days now along with the other meds/supplements and no improvement. I have now noticed pus in an ear, runny nose with yellow discharge and itchy yeast crusts on his lips. I'm at such a loss, nothing helps. The sores he has are mainly on his belly, mostly around his groin. They're circular, raw and red and have yellow crusts stuck to them. And he has a few big, blackhead looking bumps around the spots. He also has a few sores on his back legs, neck and armpits. If I touch one, he pulls away or his leg starts shaking. I was putting Neosporin on them the last few weeks too. It didn't do much to help. Has anyone experienced anything like this? Please help!
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:22 AM
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Unfortunately yes, but the poor dog that I knew didn't have a dedicated owner like you so I really do not know what the ultimate cause of his problems would have been. He suffered from yeasty skin, horrible itchyness, dry eyes that got infected, among other things.

My dog has environmental allergies, and a sensitivity to chicken. I have to keep him on apoquel during the warm months or he will scratch himself raw and set himself up for skin infections.

If it's a contact allergy I'm guessing that the zyrtec is not enough to keep your dogs allergies under control. From what my vet told me there is a new allergy med out that comes in a shot form, I forget how long it last, and if the apoquel stopped working we could try the shot. It might be worth asking your vet about something like that to see if it works.

The other thing I'd ask about is a skin scraping, that way you'd know what's going on with the new sores, if they are some kind of mite, bacterial infection etc. I'd also be wondering if something is wrong with his immune system and he's having trouble fighting off whatever is going on, and ask the vet about that.

Hopefully you can get to the bottom of it. I know you must be heartbroken that your dog is going through that.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:58 AM
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Thanks for the information. His allergy testing results should come back within the next week. I'm sure that what it has to be along with the low functioning thyroid. All other organs (liver, kidney, etc) tested well so the vet said she doesn't think it's another disorder. They have done skin scrapings but the vet explained them to me as not always helpful. She said that the bacteria can change almost daily just from whatever they pick up. I think I will just need to keep him on antibiotics longer to kick the infection and now that he's on the thyroid supplement he may actually be able to. I just order a prebiotic/probiotic supplement for him to take which should help the yeast. I'm just at such a loss and feel so helpless.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:48 AM
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Unhappy Ow.

I am so sorry - that looks & sounds mizrable, i feel for U both.


Have U seen a vet-dermatologist? // A referral from yer GP-vet might be productive - it seems U've run the gauntlet.

If there's a reachable univ with a vet-med college, they might treat him as a teaching opportunity - which could save U thou$ands.
[There are still only 23 vet-med colleges in the U-S where U can study for a DVM; fewer than half of the 50 states have an IN-STATE vet-med college. Hence the # of college-grads who leave the U-S for Europe, to spend 4-yrs getting a DVM in Bulgaria or wherever, then return to the U-S, sit the state Board exam, & get their license.]

Did the GP-vet check his vit-A levels? - that's a fat-storable vitamin, so U have to be careful with supplements, but it's highly involved in skin & eye health.
[A, D, E, K - a deck stacked against U; the 4 fat-storable, as opposed to H2O soluble, vitamins. H2O-soluble is 'everything else' - C, B-complex, etc.]

Among the things dogs can be exposed to chronically & react to:
- artificial scents
Glade plug-ins, scented candles, potpourri, dryer sheets, laundry detergent, "carpet freshener", laundry softener, _______
- grass & grass pollen
- dust-mites
Reduce the colonizable surfaces in the house - anything upholstered or carpeted. Hardwood / tile / stone / _____ floors or washable area rugs, not wall-to-wall. // Washable cushions vs upholstery, & mite-proof SLIPCOVERS that are washable on upholstered items [sofa]. Or a leather sofa -vacuum it often, esp'ly under the cushions.
- airborne mildew & mold spores
Use a HEPA filter on the whole-house return; tape it so the filter covers the entire opening - no gaps, to force all air to go THRU the filter, not around it. // 3M makes the best, the Ultrete - it removes pollen, auto-exhaust, other microdebris, even some viruses. // Change it every 90-days, & U can add disposable filters under every exhaust vent - change them monthly.

Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is also a good idea, not just for the dog; wash the washable pre-filter often, LET IT DRY completely before installing it, & change the HEPA filter at least as often as recommended by the maker -more often, if it looks cruddy. [Take the whole vacuum outside to remove the disposable / replaceable HEPA filter - don't do that in the house.]

I hope U find a solution, if not the underlying cause, soon. Virtually all of dogs' mast cells are in their skin - so EVERY allergy comes out as skin problems; it can be contact / touch, inhaled, eaten, but the skin, not the nose / eyes [inhaled] or stomach / mouth / G-I [eaten], reacts.
Human allergy-symptoms narrow down the vector.

- terry

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Old 09-18-2017, 08:08 AM
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Lots of good ideas and questions to ask the vet, thank you! He hasn't been to a vet dermatologist. That will be the next step. We were waiting for all of his test results to come back. If the allergy test shows a strong allergy, then the vet is sure that will be the underlying issue. If nothing comes back on it, then he'll go to a dermatologist for more intense testing.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:39 PM
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As to Rain's post about a shot being available, the name of it is: CADI (Cytopoint) injection. It is said to last 4-8 weeks, but for some dogs it lasts less than 4 weeks and for others it lasts longer than 8 weeks. My pup, Ollie, gets it monthly, but he's usually itchy before the month is up. Some people have their pups on Apoquel and also give their pups the Cytopoint injection. Both are made by the same manufacturer, Zoetis.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:28 PM
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I actually got the results today. Buddy is allergic to a number of grasses, trees, weeds, and molds. He is also allergic to one type of dust mite along with beef, pork, sweet potatoes, corn, and brewers yeast. He is now supposed to take Zyrtec and Apoquel for the itching, fish oil and coconut oil for his dry skin and dull coat, an antibiotic for the secondary infections, an antibiotic cream for the ear infection and a thyroid supplement for his low functioning thyroid. I will also be starting him on a probiotic/prebiotic tomorrow to help clear up the yeast infection. He will also be starting a new, approved food (Nature's Recipe Lamb and Rice) but I'll introduce it slowly with eggs (which he eats every other day already) and white rice. The vet wants to do a follow-up in two weeks and see how the treatment is working and retest his thyroid. I will try to keep him on the pavement but I'll wash his paws when he comes back in the house. I want to ask someone knowledgeable to check my yard for any of the environmental allergens. Once the infections and rash are cleared up, I will looking into either allergy shots or drops or see if almost total avoidance does the trick. Thank you all so much for your input!
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