Allergies or Eczema?

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby amazincc » August 29th, 2009, 3:44 pm

Faust developed some open, oozing sores on his face... and they are now starting on his back as well. They started out as little bumps at the beginning of the week (and I thought they were insect bites at first), but they got considerably worse and spread like crazy, practically overnight. They now also look infected.
I read that dogs w/compromised immune systems are very prone to this... what can I do to aleviate the symptoms for right now, and to try and prevent an outbreak in the future?
Faust is flea-free, already on a RAW diet, my yard is not treated w/pesticides and I keep the grass cut very short. I don't bathe him often, and I wash all the bedding w/fragrance-free detergent and rinse everything in plain water several times afterwards.

We have an appointment first thing Monday morning. I'm also thinking of getting him tested for allergies.

Any info/advise/tips on supplements, meds, treatments, and prevention would be greatly appreciated.
Poor boy looks like he has been severely mauled by something. :(
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Postby Marinepits » August 29th, 2009, 4:07 pm

Sounds like a staph infection, especially with the rapid spreading and the open sores. If it is staph, there's not much you can do to prevent it from happening. Some dogs (especially those with compromised immune systems from allergies and/or other problems) are just prone to them. The humidity and wet weather tends to make the problem worse, too.

There's nothing you can really do until you see the vet -- if he's itchy, you can give him some benadryl. Otherwise, you don't want to put anything directly on the sores because his skin is already irritated. Anything that dries the skin (like hydrogen peroxide or witch hazel) will probably irritate him more. You could try a soothing bath with something like chlorhexiderm shampoo or maybe a baking soda rinse, but otherwise you'll have to wait for the antibiotics to take effect (usually a couple of days).

Mac has had a pretty constant staph infection since the early summer. He's been on antibiotics for the past couple of weeks and has a few more weeks to go.

When I talked to Dr Blabs the other day, she said she's seen a big increase in skin infections this past summer. Considering it's done nothing but rain here since the spring, it's not surprising.

Didn't Faust have demodex mange at one point? Could be he's having a flare-up as well.

Can you post some pics?
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Postby Malli » August 29th, 2009, 4:20 pm

:wave2: experience with Derm here, too :)

I can honestly say (touch wood SEVERAL times) that Oscar has had a good summer(it may help that I'm practically an entire country away :wink: ), HOWEVER, I've busted him chewing on his tail, of all places, a couple times in the last few days and I checked it out today and I do see reddening skin. In Oscar's case, often, but not always, the flare ups are localized (in one or 2 small places) so I can topically treat it, but I use a gentle antibacterial soap once to clean it, keep him from licking it, and then spray him with a Rx Steroid and AB spray, wich works really well for him, but some dogs find intolerable.

pictures would be awesome, I agree.

If the sores are as bad as you describe I doubt theres much you can do until you get to the vet.

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Postby amazincc » August 29th, 2009, 4:53 pm

I did use some anti-bacterial soap and warm water plus some warm compresses daily (since Wednesday) to keep them clean. I also applied a very thin layer of Neosporin each time, and by Friday morning they had all scabbed over... I thought he would be okay, but I made an appointment for Monday anyway.
I've been keeping Faust leashed, and crated at night... but woke up to this this morning -

Image

Image

and a new one on his leg...

Image

Now I feel extra-horrible for not bringing him in as an emergency on Friday. :sad2:
I just gave him some Benadryl a few minutes ago, because now he's itching like a mad man.
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Postby kera09 » August 29th, 2009, 5:08 pm

ouch! duge has allergies and seems to always get staph infections, he was on antibiotics in april and now has been on them again for the past 2 weeks. I also wash bedding with hypo allergenic detergent. Im not sure if you add apple cider vinegar to his meals but its a good idea. We give duge 2 benedryl's a day and i then rub apple cider vinegar to all his itchy spots, it def alleviates the itchies. good luck faust!!
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Postby amazincc » August 29th, 2009, 5:22 pm

kera09 wrote: Im not sure if you add apple cider vinegar to his meals but its a good idea. We give duge 2 benedryl's a day and i then rub apple cider vinegar to all his itchy spots, it def alleviates the itchies. good luck faust!!


I haven't tried that yet... what's the dosage? And would giving apple cider vinegar pills/capsules be an option as well? And what strength would be appropriate? Faust weights about 45 - 50 pounds.
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Postby Marinepits » August 29th, 2009, 5:25 pm

The one on Faust's leg looks like the base of Mac's tail and Faust's face looks like Mac's neck/throat. :neutral:

Since he's itching like crazy, I'd guess maybe a flare-up of demodex in addition to the staph infection. Definitely warrants a vet visit.

We use cefa tabs (cefalexin) for the antibiotics because Dr Blabs said it's best for skin conditions, plus it's a bit easier on their digestive systems. Mac gets horrific gas and diarrhea on most antibiotics but it's not quite so bad on the cefa.

In my experience, keeping Faust dry is very important to help get rid of the infection. Moisture tends to make the infection worse, so stay away from the compresses and the soaps and just make sure he stays dry. If you do give him a soothing bath, make sure you gently towel him dry as much as possible -- don't let him completely "air dry". And really try not to rub him dry too hard. That further irritates the skin and will make him itch more, plus can break open more pustules and spread the infection.

You're probably wasting your time by applying neosporin. It's just not strong enough to take care of that large an infection. Plus, the neosporin is keeping his skin moist which helps the bacteria breed.

Most importantly, if he's scratching and chewing at those spots -- put an e-collar (bucket) on him! The more he scratches and chews, the worse the infection will get and the more it will spread.
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Postby Marinepits » August 29th, 2009, 5:27 pm

kera09 wrote: i then rub apple cider vinegar to all his itchy spots


DO NOT do this on open sores like Faust has -- it will hurt like a mofo!!!
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Postby amazincc » August 29th, 2009, 5:35 pm

Marinepits wrote:
kera09 wrote: i then rub apple cider vinegar to all his itchy spots


DO NOT do this on open sores like Faust has -- it will hurt like a mofo!!!


Oh, good God, no... I haven't applied anything today. I will just leave it alone until Monday.
Benadryl and a bucket until then... thanks so much.

I cannot believe how FAST this spreads though. :shock:

Oh... and is this a chronic condition???
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Postby Marinepits » August 29th, 2009, 5:52 pm

amazincc wrote:I cannot believe how FAST this spreads though. :shock:


Mac went to bed one night with what I *thought* were a couple of horsefly bites on his butt. He woke up looking like he had the chicken pox all over his body. :shake:

Oh... and is this a chronic condition???


It can be. Mac has been battling these infections since he was a pup. His allergy shots help somewhat, but the weather seems to be the biggest indicator in how his skin will react. Indy had one staph infection years ago and never again since; same with Katy.

Oh, and don't be surprised if he loses hair around the sores. Mac looks like someone shaved small circles all over his sides. The hair will grow back eventually, but that's nothing to worry about right now. Better to get his skin under control first.
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Postby hugapitbull » August 29th, 2009, 6:40 pm

Definitely looks like some of the skin battles we've had with Trouble as well. I am so thankful (knock on wood) that she has done so well since we had to give up the Atopica, and since we discovered the peanut butter was a contributing factor. We've been pretty event free for about three months - since the hot spot healed up.

Hugs to our little guy. I know you will take good care of him.
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Postby kera09 » August 29th, 2009, 10:31 pm

the cefelexin didnt work on duge hes now on a diff antibiotic. As for the apple cider vinegar i didnt even think about it stinging on open sores, :oops: duge no longer has open sores...i add a teaspoon or so to their dinner and also a teaspoon into the water dish. Its best to the vinegar with the "mother" still in it.
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Postby kera09 » August 29th, 2009, 10:37 pm

here is a site i found about the ACV http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/acvfordogs.html i also chop a clove or 2 garlic into their kettle of food i make and a few tiny raw pieces into their food, i hear it helps boost the immune system and to ward off fleas. immune system boosters are great when a dog is on antibiotics often! hope this helps a little! after he heals up maybe you can rub this on him!
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Postby Malli » August 30th, 2009, 3:03 am

If you are going to put anything on it, use Polysporin cream, not ointment. The cream will absorb and then leave the skin relatively dry.
But I agree, better to leave the skin alone at this point.
IMO it looks like it might be related to mange, but then again Staph can appear very different looking...

Poor little bucket head :(
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Postby call2arms » August 30th, 2009, 4:34 pm

Poor Faust! He needs to stop touching his wounds, a bucked head is indicated... :( Maybe applying an ice pack wrapped in dry colths could help reduce inflammation and itchiness?
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Postby HappyChick » August 30th, 2009, 5:23 pm

Poor Faust! I'm sorry you two have more to deal with...

Reno had a systemic infection and demodectic mange when we got him, but the mange didn't look like the stuff Faust has. Reno lost little circles of hair in different areas primarily on his legs and face. I don't recall any open sores and it was slow developing. Sorry, I wish I had some advice.
I hope Faust isn't in any pain. :goodthoughts:
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Postby amazincc » August 31st, 2009, 11:11 am

Well... the good news is that it's not a mange flare-up.

The bad news is that he's probably got allergies. Or scabies... :shock:
Scabies is very contagious and the other dogs have no symptoms, so I kind of doubt that it's that.
They sent us home w/Cephalexin, Prednisone, and a medicated shampoo. He also needs to take Benadryl twice a day, and I made an appointment for allergy testing.

The vet wants me to take Faust off the raw diet, and try him on a kibble w/venison, duck or rabbit. I'm not happy about it, but IF he turns out to be allergic to chicken, beef, or eggs... it would make sense.
What do you guys think???

His blood work came back all in the normal range... woot! :dance:
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Postby Marinepits » August 31st, 2009, 11:36 am

amazincc wrote:The bad news is that he's probably got allergies. Or scabies... :shock:
Scabies is very contagious and the other dogs have no symptoms, so I kind of doubt that it's that.


In my experience, usually if one dog has it, so does everyone else in the house, including you.

They sent us home w/Cephalexin, Prednisone, and a medicated shampoo. He also needs to take Benadryl twice a day, and I made an appointment for allergy testing.


You may notice he's peeing/drinking and eating a lot more on the prednisone. Those are fairly common side effects. Mac cannot take pred because he pees all OVER the house and it also makes his aggressive tendencies much worse -- that is an UNcommon side effect.

The vet wants me to take Faust off the raw diet, and try him on a kibble w/venison, duck or rabbit. I'm not happy about it, but IF he turns out to be allergic to chicken, beef, or eggs... it would make sense.


We went through every protein in the book with Mac and he seems to do best on pheasant (we feed Evangers Pheasant and Brown Rice kibble). He also does okay with venison and rabbit. Food trials are a pain in the ass and can be very drawn-out and complicated because the results do NOT show up immediately unless the dog has a severe reaction.

What you want to look for is a kibble with only one protein source and one major carb -- such as a duck and potato food, or rabbit and rice. Wellness makes a couple of different allergy formulas as do other companies.

Definitely stop all treats and rawhides, especially chewy treats -- all the preservatives tend to make allergies worse in my experience. If you want to give treats, use apples or carrots or green beans, etc. Mac loves lettuce. :crazy2:

But, you may want to wait to do food trials until AFTER the allergy test results are back. If he's allergic to environmental stuff, then the food might not make much of a difference (as far as allergies go). While Mac does have sensitivities to some foods, his major allergens are dust/storage mites and molds. Once we got *that* part of his allergies under control with allergy shots, his food sensitivities dropped drastically. He used to not be able to eat beef at all without developing HUGE hives and now he can have it in small amounts with no side effects.

What kind of allergy testing are you doing -- blood testing or all-out testing at an allergist?
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Postby Pit♥bull » August 31st, 2009, 11:38 am

Christine read this viewtopic.php?f=7&t=28588&p=320631#p320631
We have also used peanut butter to give Trouble her meds, made it real easy but one day after a flair up I got to thinking.... Put two and two together and came up with three = peanut allergy, started using cream cheese to give meds and she hasn't had an episode since. :)
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Postby hugapitbull » August 31st, 2009, 11:48 am

Bob & Jen have covered about anything I would have offered. Something you may want to ask about - when I picked up food last week the vet was telling me there is a new blood test for allergies that is improved over the prior one. It may be cheaper than the full blown allergy panel and just as effective. You would just need to question your vet about it.

Edited to add - One thing I did learn with Trouble is when I was feeding raw I gave her too much beef and she had one of the worst reactions ever. She's been on duck & potato ever since. Occasionally I switch to venison & potato. She maintains well on either of the two and I'm not adventurous enough to try anything else :)


Poor baby, good luck getting him stable. It really sucks.
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