Lab mix skin issues -would you seek another vets opinion?

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Lab mix skin issues -would you seek another vets opinion?

This is a discussion on Lab mix skin issues -would you seek another vets opinion? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; The rundown: Lab mix (SPCA adopted ); 4.5 years old now; Started getting plaques in May 2017, prescribed simplicef; reoccurring plaques, vet suggested food allergies, ...

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Old 01-10-2019, 07:04 AM
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Lab mix skin issues -would you seek another vets opinion?

The rundown:

Lab mix (SPCA adopted );
4.5 years old now;
Started getting plaques in May 2017, prescribed simplicef;
reoccurring plaques, vet suggested food allergies, we switched to a LID duck and potato formula;
plaques reoccurred in August; cytopoint shot (even though he was not scratching at all ) and 2 rounds simplicef;
2 more rounds of simplicef in Feb and March 2018 and adding in a prescription high dose daily antihistamine (year round);

Plaques reoccurring on and off, I ordered the simplicef online because it was 1/3 the $130 cost of the vets!

Now, 2019, plaques are back and scabby; vet diagnoses "chronic skin infection" and changes to clinda something antibiotic, and special food because he's gained weight.
Plaques are worse than when he went in (food allergy possible from the food the vet recommended?) and these antibiotics don't seem to be doing anything.

Edit to add: we bathe him 1-2x a week now with a medicated shampoo and brush him daily.

Why I'm thinking another vet is probably a good idea:
1. they have never taken any kind of skin sample to see if it's bacterial, fungal, etc.
A seasoned vet can probably diagnose by sight, but since it keeps coming back, wouldn't it be a good idea to make sure?

2. They've never done blood tests, or any tests, to rule out other causes.

3. We've used this vet service, literally, for decades. It's a VCA now (for many years)and the vets have changed, but honestly they have taken exceptional care of our pets over the years. This is the one time I've even considered changing to another one.

4. I don't like the push to use their "prescription" foods.

5. I've had 2 allergy tests run (on my own). 1 was a hair sample via "Pet Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Test by Affordable Allergy Test -- At Home Test for Dogs, Cats and More" which came back basically saying he was allergic to everything; the 2nd more recent was from "Glacier Peak Holistics" and it was hair and saliva.
Both tests had a lot of similar allergens, but some were totally opposite, so I'm more confused than ever: do vets use different tests than the ones consumers can order?

Sorry this is so long, we're frustrated trying to get to the bottom of this allergy stuff. IF that's what it is at all.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:01 PM
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Have you tried raw food? Here's what happened to our almost 12 yr old Lab, German Shepherd mix (also adopted ).

In February 2018, she started having numerous issues including bloating, drinking too much water, diarrhea, gas, bald patches and so on. We had her tested over and over again - we spent $3,500 (CAD) throughout the year for her tests and medications to treat her GI issues and the vet still couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. After an ultrasound, they think it's most likely Cushings (it didn't show up in her blood work) and she also has GI issues/IBD due a thickening in her small intestines. The medication for Cushings is very harsh and she's old so we didn't want to put her on meds.

For her GI issues, we've tried 5-6 different premium LID, sensitive stomach, kibble brands including vet recommended and still she would get diarrhea once a week. She would get her LID dog food and the two treats that we knew she could tolerate - no new food, no table scraps, nothing! We finally decided to try raw, but were very skeptical because the vet warned us that we need to watch her nutrition balance as raw food may not have enough nutrition. We've been introducing her to raw food for the last month and it really has made a difference. She no longer has diarrhea even though we give her some new treats and some table scraps, her bloating has gone down a lot and she's drinking a lot less water. Now I do have to say, it's very time consuming as we still mix cooked food (chicken, rice and sweet potato) to ensure she adjusts to the raw food okay. It literally takes me 1hr just to prepare 3-4 days worth of food. We also give her a multivitamin to ensure she's getting enough nutrition. I'm not promoting raw food as my senior Maltese mix and my Husky, German Shepherd puppy are on kibble and will continue to be on kibble so long as they can tolerate it. I'm just saying maybe you should try it if you're out of options as we were.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:08 PM
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Thank you and glad it worked for you! It's frustrating when "we" can't help them.
I did see another vet and learned more in 1 hour than we have in 2 years with our long-time vet.
The big thing: she did skin scrapings and stains and it was yeast as well as bacteria.
The antibiotic the old vet had him on was totally useless against the yeast (but I asked for skin testing numerous times and they never did it).
He's been on a new(old school type not expensive new ones) antibiotic and yeast medication and a yeast shampoo for a week and he's already responding very well.
His scabs are clearing up and he's not getting new ones, and his dandruff is improved a lot as well.
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