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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Previous Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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I have a seven year old mixed breed with shepherd and some

Customer Question

I have a seven year old mixed breed with shepherd and some spaniel in her. She weighs 90lbs. In March she seemed to have lyme disease (the first time any of my dogs showed symptoms even though they would test positive for it). She was limping and lethargic. The vet put her on doxycycline for a month. She got much better for a month, then started scratching. I took her to another vet who put her on an antibiotic for her skin. Her legs are red and fur has started to come off; her stomach is red; I gave her tea tree oil shampoos and have bought organic food (organic); sometimes I make her oatmeal. It is not getting better. What can I do before she infects herself?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I am sorry to hear that your dog is having some trouble. My name is ***** ***** I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years, I would be happy to help I just have a few questions so I can better assist you.
Other then antibiotics and the shampoos has she been on any other medications?
Did the vet do any skin testing?
How often are you bathing her?
Is the problem just on the legs?
What flea prevention are you using and how often?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No other medications. Skin was tested and there was staph and strep; that's why she was on the cephalexin; she vomited and we took her off it. It didn't help anyway. Problem is on belly, legs, sides and snout. We do not have fleas. None of our dogs have ever had fleas.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
there was no answer just a few questions
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
Hello. There is no answer because I was waiting for your reply back with the answers to my questions. Please give me just a few minutes to type up your answer.
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
MY area of interest is dermatology so this is something I have seen many times. There are a few things that could be causing the problem here.
If she has a staph infection of the skin and you stopped the antibiotic this is not going to clear and I would expect it to spread. Staph is a very tough bacteria to clear especially in the skin because it continues to build as they continue to scratch and as I said it spreads from one are to the other. Antibiotics can cause digestive upset but there are things we can do to help with that such as probiotics, giving with food or giving with an antacid.
I also want to discuss fleas, Just because you do not see them does not mean they are not there. At some point the dogs have been exposed to ticks so to be exposed to ticks but not fleas would be very very rare. If a dog has a flea allergy it will only take the bite of one flea to start a reaction even if the flea jumps on her bites and jumps off. I would have to suggest trying a good flea prevention just until we get her skin under control. If you want an over the counter prevention then I would try Advantage.
I would also stop with the tea tree shampoo. This can actually be toxic ( even fatal) to dogs when used in high concentrations, even in low concentrations in shampoo some dogs will have skin reactions to this.
I would get a good antibacterial/fungal shampoo and use this twice a week for two week. You can use oatmeal baths in between bathing to help relieve the itching.
Resicort is a great leave on conditioner for itchy skin. I have allergy dogs and I will not run out of this. This can be used every other day if needed.
You can get this at your vets office or online.
Start her on an Omega fatty acid supplement asap. This is not only good for the skin but also has anti inflammatory properties that will help reduce inflammation in the skin.You can get dog specific Omega fatty acids at the pet store but you can also use the human formulation as long as it is not cod liver oil.
Oral Benadryl given at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight 2-3 times per day.
The staph is most often develops secondary to the damage done by scratching so we have to find out why she is scratching. It is possible that other allergies other then fleas are at play here, one thing we are finding helps over time is raw local honey. It must be raw and local. Giving 1 teaspoon of this daily help introduce your local pollen's in to the body in small amounts thereby reducing the allergic response.
You have to stop the itching and scratching. If she is chewing the an e collar is going to be very important in the healing process.That said I am concerned that if she has a staph infection of the skin this is not going to clear without antibiotics even if it is a different one then the chephlexin ( though that is the most effective).I would highly recommend restarting this medication. Give with food to help reduce stomach upset.
IN closing I would try the following
* Stop the Tea tree shampoo and use a good antibacteril/antifungal
* Start Omega fatty acids
* Use a flea prevention even if you do not see any fleas
* Try Oral Benadryl and resicort conditioner
* Restart the antibiotics and use an e collar
* Try using the raw honey
If this does not work then I would consider having allergy testing done or trying a medication called Atopica.
In closing I wanted to address the Lyme disease. You mentioned that your dogs have tested positive but no symptoms. If they are testing positive they need to be treated regardless of if they are having symptoms or not. it can take a few years for symptoms to show in some cases and often by the time they do there has been damage to the joints and the kidneys ( many dogs will pass from kidney failure) so treating as soon as they test positive is best. The should also be retested after treatment.
I have a feeling I may have said a few things that you did not want to hear or will not agree with . If that is the case and you would like to speak with another expert please let me know.