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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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New Member...want to tell you about my boy Sarge

I am a new member and have a male Doberman named Sarge. We bought him at 8 weeks old from a Breeder in IN and noticed at 3 months old that he was getting white spots on his back. Then he started to get bumps and pimples on his back from his head to his but (not underneath or on his legs). After many trips to the vet and then a referral to a dog dermatologist we did a culture and had the diagnosis of a multi-drug resistant bacterial staff infection. He was put on several antibiotics until we had found the right one several months later, Zeniquin! So he was clear for about 2 months and then he developed acne on his chin. We went to the vet first (could not get into the dermatologist right away) and after two unsuccessful rounds of antibiotics a culture was done because it spread by now to his lips and was bleeding every day. I took the culture to the dermatologist finally and he did his own testing in the office and combined with the vet's culture determined it was the same multi-drug resistant bacterial staff infection!! This was worse than the body though because it would bleed every day so he was having to be in his cage more. So back on the Zeniquin and it has only been 6 days and I can tell it is working very well. I fear this bacterial infection will keep coming back. Has anyone else experienced this situation?

He has been on Redford Salmon and Sweet Potato food most of his life and gets a weekly bath with medicated shampoo from the dermatologist and takes 8 Claritin a day (4 in AM and 4 in PM) and 2 fish oil capsules a day.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 07:57 AM
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LPC - As far as us - have not dealt with this problem - But you said its a staff infection - right ? I would say that you need to clean any areas that your pup is in or around very good - it could be that he got re-infected from the first time he had it . I do know that this is more common in young and older dogs as there immune system is weaker at that time - We all have staff on our skins and most times it does not cause a problem - immune system low - a cut or open wound can let the staff in to the body , in dogs - even flees can cause it - open type wound .

Sure others in a higher pay grade will jump in and give you advise

BTW - Welcome - from East Central Indiana

Double BTW - Where do you live ?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 11:52 AM
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Bummer all this started at such a young age. As a young puppy they are developing their immune systems......when forced to have to use antibiotics at this stage kinda upsets the natural flow of building a strong immune system within that first year. Hoss would get skin irritations that would bump up, fill with fluid, then scale like dandruff. Vet refused to treat with antibiotics and we used water vinegar as an astringent for daily wipe downs. One part vinegar...3 parts water.....along with Zyrtec.........but we never experienced a diagnosis of staph infections. With Hoss apppeared to be something airborne...........One thing I would look at is the Medication your pup is on now it age appropriate for your dog. Saw some posts regarding on the internet regarding age/size requirements in conjunction with this medication. .Not sure how old your dog is now but just something to check with your doctor when you have a some research online regarding things that cause MRSA in dogs.....maybe see of any of those circumstances apply your individual household.....any recent surgeries..etc stuff like that ...hope things get easier for you soon.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 12:19 PM
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My allergic-to-everything dog had problems with resistant staph infections all of his life--they would flare up once or twice a year. I suppose medicated baths and such are the way to go with a dog who has mild rare infections, but they never seemed to help control his repeated infections. We generally only used them to relieve itchiness if it got out of control (though even there we tended to use antihistamines and sprays rather than baths.) His allergies were at the root of his skin problems, so treating those were where we started.

Keeping a close eye on him was a necessity--the earlier we spotted an infection and started treating it the better. Because we knew about his tendency to resistant staph infections, the first thing we did when one flared up was to do a culture and sensitivity to see what antibiotic to use--once we knew what med would be successful we could start with that one rather than working our way through the various more commonly used antibiotics that a resistant staph won't respond to. He would also stay on a particular antibiotic that seemed to work for a number of weeks (6 weeks generally) rather than the usual 10 or 14 day treatment.

We always went straight to a specialist dermatologist for routine checkups every 2-3 months with him....she kept an eye on his skin difficulties and also worked with us on his allergy treatments (shots and meds). That was well worth it for us and this particular dog, because we knew we'd be skipping the more usual first treatments a general vet would use for a run of the mill infection, and going right to the heavy guns.

Staph infections are quite common in is an immature immune system thing...and you can get reoccurrences if your first treatment didn't quite get rid of all of the infection before you stopped it. In an older dog, it seems to me that repeated infections usually indicate a weak immune system or perhaps something like allergies which make their skin more susceptible to infections. If he keeps having problems it would probably be worth it for you to start testing him for allergies with your specialist vet.
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Last edited by melbrod; 11-17-2018 at 12:27 PM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 10:59 AM
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I can't help you with the staph infection but as far as the chin acne. Are you using metal bowls and washing them after every meal? I have also seen that stridex pads after every meal help to clear that up as well.

As far as the stuff on the back that sounds like possibly a food allergy, I assume you have since switched foods and it's become better?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 12:59 PM
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Allergies to things in the environment are much more common in dogs that true food allergies. Seasonal occurrence can be a clue to that, but some allergens may originate within your household, or be brought in from outside (especially if you clean as well as I do )

Identifying a true food allergy with food trials can take months. You switch to a hypoallergenic diet for a month or even longer...if symptoms go away, you add proteins back into the diet one by one at a very slow rate and look for the symptoms to recur. There are skin tests and blood tests too, all of which are not necessarily accurate, especially if the dog has been on steroids recently.

Intolerances to various foods occur at a higher rate that true food allergies. So it can be worthwhile to try different dog foods with different protein sources, though it can be tricky to find foods that really don't include a variety of proteins, even though the label says they only contain a few. For example, animal fats, generally from a variety of sources, can contain some protein too, and if your dog is very allergic to a particular protein source, even the small amount of protein in the fat can make him react. And food manufacturers don't necessarily clean their equipment between different kinds of food, so you can have cross-contamination.

It can be a bear to identify and then treat skin problems in a dog. That's why I'm thinking that a visit to a dermatologist might be worth it for a recurrent skin problem, if your general vet hasn't been able to get to the root of the problem and find a treatment which seems to be effective over the long term.

Last edited by melbrod; 11-19-2018 at 01:04 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 09:10 AM
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Dobermans are a breed that have issues with immune systems - especially when they are young. Staph infections are pretty common - I've learned that doing just a 10 day antibiotic run won't do it - they need 30 days straight to really knock it out. I have not had one with staph in many years, but this is what has worked for me..... and the 30 day treatment protocol came down from generations of Doberman people. The hardest thing is convincing your vet that this is what is needed. I never expect a vet to know all the stuff for individual breed thingies ..... but I do expect them to listen to advice on breed specific information.

As for the chin pimples, stainless steel bowls, wash off his muzzle after every meal, and stridex pads ...... should take care of it.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 01:38 PM
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Recurrent staff infections are what got my dogs on a raw diet, nearly 10 years ago. I dealt with recurrent staff infections, multiple rounds of antibiotics, and 3x weekly baths with vet prescribed medicated shampoo, for several months. Switched to a prey model raw diet, took puppy off all meds, nixed the baths and within a week, there was a noticeable improvement and it just got better from there. Never since, have I had an issue, all of my puppies are weaned to raw and the adults are on raw with the addition of a holistic kibble.

Good luck to you, I feel your pain!

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