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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Consistent recurrent skin infections??

Our Diezel just turned 7 months last week and seems to continuously be getting skin infections. I'm not sure if it is Staph or exactly what as my husband is typically the one taking him to the vet, but let's just say at $80 bucks/visit, we need to find out what's going on and how to prevent it like...yesterday.

The first infection happened at our old rental house. It was a dirty, run down home with more sand than grass as a lawn. It was also by a pond, which lead us to believe that perhaps a bug bite (or numerous bug bites) encouraged the first break out. We took him to the vet, they gave us the antibiotics, it got better in a matter of a week or so
We shortly after moved into a friend's house to stay for a while as construction of our new house was being completed. Diezel didn't have any infections while we were there. However, he did have another outbreak when we stayed at yet another friend's house for a couple of days and we automatically wrote it off as the home being older (about the same as our old rental) and there being lots of bugs as it was also near a pond.
Now we have moved into our brand new house. It has been sprayed for bugs, the neighborhood is fog-treated, and I have yet to see any insects in our home or even on our screened in porch. But Diezel has somehow wound up with yet another skin infection.

I was thinking through each of the scenarios in which he got the infections yesterday and made a link between the dog park we take D to and when his infections occur. The park we go to is practically all very fine dirt/sand and, as you can probably imagine, all of the dogs are a filthy mess by the time they get back in the car to go home. We always have to bathe Diezel as soon as we get back from the dog park - it's just a given. But it seems as though each time he has had a skin infection, it seems to onset right after or around a time in which we have taken him to the dog park. When his skin cleared up at our first friends' house, we hadn't taken him to the dog park for weeks. When we moved into the second friends' house, we took him to the park once. When we moved to our new house, we didn't take him to the park for a few weeks, just did over the weekend, and now he has another skin infection. It seems to be a bit more than coincidental to me (although I could be making this conclusion out of mere desperation for an answer...and way to prevent spending so much money on antibiotics on a regular basis).

The infection looks like hives, really. It starts out small with a couple of bumps (they resemble mosquito bites) and they soon overtake most of his back. They feel warm and become itchy. They also cause Diezel's skin to flake - during their beginning, peak, and especially during the healing process. When they heal, they almost flake off like a scab would. If you try to look at the bumps under his fur directly on his skin, you really can't see anything - it's more the less just a risen up area. Here is a picture - they are all along his shoulder blades, sides, back, sometimes move onto the top part of his legs.

Please help me brain storm and/or let me know if you have had the same problem with your Doby! Also, any advice/suggestions on how to help take away the itchiness/get the spots to go down would be great. I am going to try placing a cold towel with some cortisone shampoo on his back later this afternoon to see if that helps clear them up...we will see how it goes, the whole getting a spastic puppy to hold still deal Thanks for checking this out, your time and help is very appreciated!

Last edited by theAFwife; 08-15-2012 at 10:23 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 11:13 AM
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What tests has the vet run if any?

What food are you feeding? Sometimes dogs get bumps on their skin if they have a food allergy.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 11:38 AM
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Having dealt with this is in the recent past I will guess an inhalent allergy.

I would go to a dermatologist and do a round of antihistimines and antibiotics.
If that does not work, Atopica is great for allergies.
That said, get the proper diagnosis first

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 12:02 PM
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I also think allergies. My sisters weim has allergies, and the hives and flakey skin are her major symptoms. Ask your vet about it. Benadryl or Claratin worked well enough with Maui, along with steroids and eventually a full allergy panel was run. Turns out she has a grass/pollen allergy. If you remember the exact days it happened, go to the weather channel website and check the pollen index for those days. That could be a good clue.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 12:32 PM
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If this is responding to antibiotics (which you mentioned in regard to the first episode, but didn't mention in regard to the subsequent ones, so I dunno), than the problem is bacterial. My first guess is that he does not have recurrent infections, at all, but that he still had the initial infection which you get under partial control with meds but have never eradicated.

Very frequently, it will take a six or eight week course of continuous antibiotics to actually address a staph infection appropriately... otherwise, what you see is exactly what you're seeing: what appears to be repeated infections as the one infection flares up and gets knocked back some and flares up again, etc. What is the longest course of antibiotics he has taken?

Very frequently, there can be a link between diet and this crap. Corn and wheat seem to be the major culprits, occasionally flax can be a factor... anything to which the dog is intolerant (and, that could be anything) can be causitive, but if your dog is typical he should be better off if you eliminate corn and wheat, and maybe flax. If not, you go looking further. What are you feeding?

Anything aside from the itchy, bumpy back? Chewing/licking at feet? Ear infections?

Has anyone suggested a culture to see what organisms are present on his skin?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 01:27 PM
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I just went to my vet for the exact same thing with my pup... My 11 mos old male also has hair thinning on his flanks and back and other spots on his body. Its not as bad as it sounds but im just more in tune with my dogs health than the average owner. I was suspecting demodex mange for several reasons and possibly just alot of bug bites. My vet said that it was probably a combination of allergies and folliculitis. She thinks that his hair follicules may have bacterial infection. She didnt think that it was that bad and just prescibed a benzo peroxide shampoo, this cleans out the hair follicules and also 3 full weeks of antibiotics. I agree with mmctaq about the length of time to use the antibiotics. You may see noticeable differences in his skin upon taking them but need to be diligent about finishing the prescription. We'll see how this treatment works for my pup, i still have my doubts and think he may have a mild generalized case of demodex mange. He is not itching that much and still has a frito like smell to him 2 days after a bath.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 02:12 PM
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Since these episodes seem to only happen after a visit to the park and a bath, I wonder if it could be the shampoo you are using to bathe him.

He could be allergic to something in the shampoo or perhaps you are not rinsing him thoroughly enough. Like say, if he is sensitive to oatmeal and you are using an oatmeal shampoo, he could have a reaction.

What shampoo are you using?

Also, many, many people don't really know the correct method to bathe a dog. You must use cool water, not warm and definitely not hot. You shouldn't scrub with fingernails or rub against the lay of the fur.

I am going to give you a couple of sites that should help you on how to correctly bathe a dog and, if he does have enviromental allergies, how to bathe and use a rinse for that.

How to bathe a dog:
Bathing A Dog

Bath information and rinses:
How Often Should You Bathe Your Pet?

Allergy information:
Does Your Pet Have Allergies? What You Need to Know and Do

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