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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't been here in a while, but wondering if someone can help with something. We've seen 3 different vets over the past year, and our 12 year old chow mix keeps getting pyoderma outbreaks all over her hind legs and belly. It's been the same treatment over and over as per the vet and nothing seems to be the end all solution.

Basically, we go to the vet, she gives us a month of antibiotics which clears it up for a little while. In the meantime, we have to give Sasha a bath with special shampoo, adding a little hydrogen peroxide to the bath water. We have a cortisone spray that is used daily, and we have to make sure she stays dry the rest of the time. She's a really fluffy dog, so we have had to shave her down in the problem areas in order to keep her clean.

It never stays gone for long though, and it's really gross looking when you can see it. I brush her, and it comes off on the brush. Doesn't seem to bother her other than she likes soaking her butt in the tub.

Does anyone know anything that can help with this? We've tried everything, and so far only the antibiotics help, and that can't be a good solution.
 

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Yes, that's one of the ingredients in the shampoo the vet gave us to use.
 

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Okay I kind of figured that was a stupid question after I asked it LOL :) Does your vet give a topical medication to put on it??
 

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"Complex immunopathology" of k9 superficial pyoderma

QUOTE,

"The status of the cutaneous immune system [&] their systemic immune can play a crucial role in the development of pyoderma; clearly, certain underlying factors (other than ...depressed lymphocyte activity in Cushing's disease) determine bacterial colonization, & ultimately, pyoderma.

Dogs with recurrent superficial pyoderma [often] have [more] mucosal staphylococcus vs normal dogs, plus higher levels of anti-staphylococcal IgE & IgG. These antibodies, bound to mast cells & basophils, can induce degranulation & cause further damage, with varying degrees of pruritus.
[Dogs w/ recurrent Pyoderma] also have staphylococcus that [shows] stronger adherence factors to epidermal cells. K9 atopic dermatitis [patients] clearly [show] higher carriage of staphylococcus & stronger adherence factors to epidermal cells, & additionally, excessive anti-staphylococcal IgE.
This production of IgE, seen in so-called staphylococcal hypersensitivity, can be detrimental, not helpful, in eliminating bacterial pyoderma.

Dogs with hypothyroidism have systemically depressed lymphocyte function, which can result in superficial pyoderma.

Other factors
... include humidity & pH of the skin.

Moisture & skin maceration are linked to pyoderma. Alteration in pH, sebum quality or quantity, & excessive scaling have also been implicated in ... pyoderma.
It is also plausible that a host's response to 'uncommon' bacterial antigens, i-e, super-antigens, can elicit a tremendous localized or even systemic response that lead to the initiation, perpetuation, & recurrence of superficial pyoderma.

Dogs presented with superficial pyoderma primarily have lesions confined to the trunk... most commonly,... papules & pustules (Photo 1, p. 20S).
Generally, pustules are small (less than 4 mm) & present in varying stages of eruption. Most pustules are confined to the glabrous regions (axillae & groin) but can also be located on the haired trunk. Less commonly, epidermal collarettes may be present (Photo 2).
Rarely [is] superficial pyoderma [found] on the face, limbs or feet.

Another relatively common finding:
alopecia & so-called bacterial folliculitis in the short-coated dog... circular patches of alopecia [appear] with some scaling, little erythema, & rarely papules, [often] confined to the lateral trunk in a symmetrical pattern.

... If recurrence is a problem, consider the following:
- a food trial with a novel protein/ novel carbohydrate, for eight to 10 weeks.

- check blood chemistries & thyroid levels.

- refer for consultation / Mgmt [to a Board-certified K9 dermatologist], or for intradermal skin testing for atopic dermatitis."


_________________________________

from
Canine superficial pyoderma: the good, the bad and the ugly


Suggestions:
A - food trial
[one novel protein, one novel carb, & add an accurately-measured amount of a basic minerals / vitamins compound to meet this dog's daily needs]
B - 5 or 6-way thyroid panel
Test for free & bound forms of T3 & T4; TSH; & possibly ANA [anti-nuclear antibodies].
Send the blood specimen to either Michigan State Univ vet-labs, or Dodds' HemoPet labs, for analysis.
They receive samples from around the world daily; MSU has the world's largest database of breed-specific thyroid values,
& Dr Dodds has a global reputation for knowledge of blood-borne pathogens & hormonal pathologies.
C - complete blood panel & chemistry:
CBC, kidney, liver, everything.
D - intradermal skin test for atopy, done by a k9 dermatologist


I really hope his skin heals - skin is the body's largest organ, very important in overall health & immune function. :( Poor fella.
- terry


 

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Has your vet(s) ever done a skin culture to determine exactly what kinds of bacteria you're dealing with? Have they ever run a full panel bloodwork to rule out any underlying conditions that could be predisposing your pet to developing the skin issues? A quality diet will certainly help any dog with health issues, but personally I would start with ruling out or working up any underlying conditions before you start changing everything and not knowing exactly what was wrong and what worked to fix it.
 

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the recommended tests, from the article directed at vets



deeper-detail tests don't require diet changes - & could be very revealing.

* minimum 5-way thyroid panel [free & bound T3 & T4; TSH]
* intradermal skin test for atopy
* full blood panel [everything: organ enzymes, CBC, the works]

It's very important that the analysis of the thyroid panel is done by either MSU or HemoPet - not in-house by the vet, not on the cheap by the local hospital.
If the numeric results are not interpreted by MSU / HemoPet, U've saved a couple of bucks & wasted the whole effort, IME.

If their analysis is "borderline low", be prepared to ask Ur GP-vet for a trial period on low-dose thyroid supplement - about 3-weeks should tell the tale.
If his skin improves, that's reason enuf to continue the supplement for life;
subclinical hypothyroid is surprisingly common, the supplement is cheap, & once the dosage is properly adjusted, it's inexpensive & simple to keep that dog healthier & happier than before. :thumbsup:

- terry

 

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Discussion Starter #8
We've had skin cultures done at least twice. She's had blood tests done. She had never developed these issues until she turned around 11 years old and started to slow down physically.

One vet told us it was a bacterial infection that sometime German Shepards get (she's half chow/half GSD). Another vet told us it was because of moisture in her fur after using the bathroom (we keep that area shaved now and dry her off with paper towels - it's a daily routine). The third vet told us there wasn't any cure, we just needed to keep putting all these sprays and bathing her 2x a month with the special shampoo.

I tried switching her to natural foods. That didn't help it. Someone told me to add olive oil to her food because it was anti bacterial - that gave her a nice coat of fur but did nothing to her skin. We've tried allergy medication, it did nothing. We've even tried switching her environment by keeping her at a friend's house for a week, that didn't make a difference.

It's gotten pretty ridiculous. I brush her fur daily and the skin flakes off, and then I have to sterilize the brush before I use it the next day. I've had many dogs in my lifetime and I've never seen a skin condition like this. Our BC/lab mix is perfectly healthy, so I just don't know anymore. But would love other insight because the vets aren't helping.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh, and we've had her thyroid tested, no issues come up.
 

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Poor dog. :---( Poor U, too.



I'm presuming she's been referred to a k9 dermatologist?
IOW, she wasn't seen only by general-practice small animal vets?

if so, i'm very sorry - i have no idea how to help, or what might be the root cause. :(
- terry

 

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Once shaved down, how hard is she to bathe? You using a shampoo with Chlorhexidine and Phytosphignosine it it? If not, you should ask your vet for that shampoo and bathe 2x a week... will at least keep the pyoderma in check. Shaving her down regularly probably would help, too. For whatever is causing the pyoderma to begin with (e.g.. allergies?) you might put her on, with your vet's blessing of course, Apoquel and/or Atopica just to keep her inflammation in check (without inflammation, most pyodermas will not start up). With bathing and products to keep itching and inflammation under control, most cases of chronic superficial pyoderma can be controlled without antibiotics.

Curing a dog of such a problem is near impossible without controlling or 'curing' the allergies (best way to do that is move to a different climate, or, in the rarer cases of food allergies or hypothyroidism, get on an elimination diet or put them on the proper medication). Chows are definitely one of the more common breeds to have low thyroid levels. Changing climates is rarely an option, but I have done it (not for the reason of treating my own dog) and it worked great -moved from a terrible allergy climate like Southern California to a great one (northern New Mexico) and dog was totally cured in no time. No more allergies, no more pyoderma, no more antibiotics and no more anti-inflammatories... sadly we eventually moved back to California and all the problems returned.

Putting dogs on antibiotics for months, if not years, at a time has been done by some dermatologists (I know we had a few dogs in school that had been on antibiotics for over 3 years by the time we inherited the cases, and they were doing quite well). Sure would be nicer not to have to do that, but doing that is better than suffering all the time.
 
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