Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey DT folks, been reading the health-related threads here for the past few days trying to find some idea of what exactly is wrong with our 3.5 year old female dobe, Sofie. She has been to 4 different veterinary offices and seen a total of 12 different vets concerning this recurring issue. Haven't yet taken her to a dermatologist as there isn't one within 200 miles of us.

She's had an annual recurring skin problem since Sept. 2012 - starts with a small bump/cyst/lump/furuncle and then morphs into an out-of-control infection that lasts for several months. Usually it resolves itself, but this year, it will be 6 months at Thanksgiving that she's been struggling with this year's blow-up.

She has been crate-bound since early August. Her two rear feet and 'shins' are swollen, bleeding and oozing. When she lays down to rest, it seems that clotting starts to happen (good), but the skin in those areas is so brittle, shiny, and thin-looking from the infection/disease/affliction that when she stands up, the skin bursts open and there's just blood oozing everywhere (bad).

History: Year 1 flare-up started with an interdigital cyst between the front paw toes (not pads). Started in September and cleared up in Dec./Jan. Year 2 started April 8, 2013 on her rear left hock/upper thigh and spread down that leg and all the way up to beneath her tail. Cleared up some time in Aug/Sept. but still has scarring at the origin point (white, dry, hard skin where hair does not grow). Year 3 started June 2014 as an interdigital cyst between the right rear toes and has grown to 'infect' the other foot. It has gotten to a point where she holds her right rear foot up in the air and only walks using three legs. The swelling/edema was really bad and the only thing that helps the swelling is steroids (has helped all three occurrences). This year she's also got a bad rash that's appeared in her armpits and abdominal area.

Most vets have treated only the symptoms and didn't even attempt to figure out the cause. That means most of the time the diagnoses and prescription were: infection=antibiotics, steriod shot, steriod pills, betadine soaks, ointments, sprays, and painkillers. This is the year we really got sick of it and said, "Look, this seems to be occurring EVERY year. Can we please figure out what it is so we can help prevent or control it?"

One of the more recent vets, after 3.5 months of Sofie making weekly or bi-weekly office visits for steroid and antibiotic refills finally gave up and said, "I can't help this dog."

At that point (late August of this year), we started to do our own veterinary/clinical online research since we felt like no normal vets could help Sofie. We found that there are blood tests, biopsies, and other lab diagnostics that can be done to help determine a cause (I cannot believe no previous vet had even mentioned this or thought to do this....). We felt that her affliction could be a number of different things, most of which can be further investigated through testing.

Our newest vet, a skin specialist but not a dermatologist, saw Sofie's awful, bloody condition and could probably see the frustration on our faces and immediately did an on-site blood panel and same-day biopsy surgery on three different sites (two bad spots, one normal skin spot). He said that thyroid came back low but could be due to Sofie's body fighting off this ongoing infection, she had a BUN of 7 (kind of low) and has monocytosis. She has not had a full thyroid panel (not sure how it's different from a regular blood test; should we request one?). Biopsy lab results came in about 5 days later and note "deep bacterial infection is suspected," "suspected vasculitus, and deep necrosis." No mention of autoimmune diseases in biopsy report. Skin scrapings have all come back negative. Cytology slide examinations are now showing that the previous bacterial infection has cleared up, however Sofie is just not getting better.

Pills she's on currently: Orbax antibiotic, dexamethasone, thyroxine

Next Thursday we're taking her in to have blood drawn to do a serum/blood allergy test at the same new vet that did the blood testing. From my understanding, an intradermal test would require 1) her to be off steriods (currently on dexamethasone pills) and 2) a dermatologist facility. That's why we're opting for a serum test instead, although I do understand that I.D. test tends to be more accurate. Can't imagine her being off steroids for long enough to have one done.

What she's eating: Last week, we transitioned her off NutriSource Seafood Select over 7 days and onto Acana Singles Pork & Butternut Squash just to see if it helps, although she's had these flare-ups on many different kinds of food over the years. I did a huge spreadsheet of all ingredients in every food she's eaten to make sure she wasn't receiving a meat protein she'd been exposed to before (now, if she's got a 'peas' problem, that would stink b/c peas are in EVERYTHING!)

She is a HUGE pill-spitter-outter so we need to crush her pills and mix them with something. Currently that's plain non-fat Land o' Lakes yogurt and hard boiled eggs. I realize that we're adding food to a LID, but it's either that or she doesn't get her meds :( I'm open for any creative ideas on how to get a pill-hating dog to eat pills on a LID.

My other big concern is that if there's no current bacterial infection, why is she still bleeding? Why can't she just clot and get better? FYI, her parentage shows her mother was vWD clear and her father was vWD carrier. We've not had her vWD tested as the breeder assured us she was fine - should we test her?

Our possible diagnosis ideas:
1) Hypothyroid issue
2) An allergy (food or environmental)
3) Folliculitus/problem with hair follicles getting plugged up and causing a lump (caused by an allergy???)
4) A guess diagnosis by a previous vet (no diagnostics done by him so I don't really put much stock in it) was SLE (systemic lupus) and pemphigus bullous (I'd personally lean more towards pemphigus foliaceus)
5) Interdigital furunculosis (what would be the cause?)
6) And some kind of blood clotting issue in addition to all this. It's also our feeling that Sofie's affliction might be caused by not just ONE thing but a mix of things (ex: hypothyroid with an allergy to fish-related ingredients).

I know that only a vet can find a proper cause, but I know it's helped me to read about other dogs with similar issues if only to gain the knowledge of a POSSIBLE cause. Has anyone ever had anything like this? What other steps could we take to try and help her while we wait for blood allergy testing results? What other tests SHOULD be performed by a vet (a valid question since it seems like most vets are stumped by skin issues)? Is there anything we can do - sprays or supplements - that can help her dry, brittle feet start healing?

Also open for any skin specialist doctors in the area that'd be willing to talk. Our new vet seems like he cares very much but we realize he's not a certified dermatologist. After our bad experience with vets, we'd really want to consult with them on the phone before we make a special roadtrip for them. Our nearest city hub is 200 mi. away, Minneapolis. Aurora, IL is also a second option as we have family that live in the Chicago suburbs. Either way, we'd need to take time off work to get her to a dermatologist.

I'm attaching some photos of Sofie's 2014 issue this year. As you'll see, it's gotten progressively worse. Sofie and us thank you for any suggestions or advice you can give. She really wants to get better!






 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,806 Posts
My heart breaks for you and Sophie! It's so frustrating not having answers and watching your poor baby suffer!

I have no answers for you, I'm sorry. I do have some observations:

1) The top of her back looks pretty fine, for the most part, and it's mostly around her bottom half so when I saw this I thought "possible skin allergies to something?" Then when I read more into the time frame of break outs that made me think even more about allergies (I happen to have seasonal allergies myself). I'm highly allergic to weeds that tend to come into bloom around mid-July and stop after a few freezes. Now this is for Colorado weeds so maybe weeds come into bloom earlier there? Or maybe it could even grass?

That's just a complete guess based only off what I read. When I googled seasonal allergies dogs and did image search I found a pic. of a dog that looked similarish?
Here's the website if you want to look:
Seasonal Allergies Mean Big 'Headaches' For Dogs, Too - Page 1

I pray you find your answer.
 

·
am the law
Joined
·
986 Posts
Your poor girl! I am so sorry you are going through this. It is so frustrating to go to different vets who just throw pills at you.

I must say, were I in your situation, I would find a holistic veterinarian. I would also at least consider a switch to raw; it's no miracle cure but it's something I would look into. Finally I know this sounds gimmicky but I have a friend whose dog did amazingly well on Nzymes' regimen.

Why is she crate-bound? That must be so hard on you guys. Does she not do well on three legs?

As for pilling a difficult dog, I have so much empathy and am right there with you. My old lady husky gets seven pills a day and hates every one of them. We are sometimes able to hide them in a little canned pumpkin.
 

·
Bazinga!
Joined
·
4,534 Posts
Two things pop into my head both are pretty suck

Necrotizing faciitis unlikely yes but It popped in my head
Cellulitis

My recommendations
1 find a vet dermatologist yesterday
2 have the full thyroid panel done without it you only have small piece if information. (Yesterday)
3 stop giving her eggs (yesterday)

Has Your vet done any biopsies or cultures?

If it is a food allergy to chicken you're making it worse feeding her egg. if the vet clinic can't show you how to pill her properly then make ground pork meatballs (cooked) and pop the pills inside. The point of limited ingredients is to remove potential allergens from her system. You're not doing that.

I agree with havenmix about a holistic vet. They tend to really get down to the root of the issue.

Look into the benefits of a raw diet.

I'm so sorry your beautiful girl is going through this. I've seen cellulitis in horses and from the pictures that would be my vote. Hopefully you can find someone to help get her relief. It looks exceptionally painful.

Have you tried Epsom salt soaks to try and help inflammation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
I agree with SieYa, when I saw the swollen limbs I instantly thought cellulitis. Usually with horses it's a reaction to grass.

Is she were my dog I would do this:

1. Full thyroid panel, it gives the vets more information that will let them know why she is low (is it the body? Food? An injury?)
2. Take her off of thyroxin and put her on Soloxine. Soloxine is far more stable and consistent.
3. Get her vWD status
4. Gather any and all information you can get: does the flare up happen at the same time every year? When a flare up happens, what was she eating? What was she exposed to outside? What do you wash her blankets with? Exactly what was tested?
5. Go to a dermatologist with all of this information.

I feel for you and your pup, it looks very painful and a miserable condition. Let us know how you get on :)
 

·
Bazinga!
Joined
·
4,534 Posts
If the flare up follows the interdigital cyst that opens the window for the bacteria.

Here it tends to live in the mud. The key being to treat the infection immediately, keeping the feet clean and dry at all times. I've also noted that most of the horses I've seen with it, are highly prone to reinfection. It is very difficult to get rid of. The key is to constantly watch for signs it is starting and treat immediately!

I'd also recommend starting a good probiotic (if not already) and possibly even colostrum.

Her immune system is thrashed and needs some support.
 

·
_______
Joined
·
5,102 Posts
Omg your poor baby :( So sorry she is going through this.

Your details say you're in Wisconsin, is there any way you could try contacting Dr. Ronald Schultz? (university of Wisconsin)
Ronald D Schultz | University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine

Hope you can find some relief for your girl.

fwiw one thing I learned from a double certified dermatologist is that dogs can be allergic to their own "fauna" on the skin, and they can also be carriers for both people *and* doggie MRSA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Gretchen, thanks for the link! The pic on the link you shared looks kind of similar, but unfortunately a lot of skin disorders tend to look like that over time, especially after an infection spreads. I have a list of over a dozen skin issues that LOOK like Sofie's. Without answers from lab tests, it's hard to narrow it down. If it IS allergies, we have tried the following meds with little to no positive impact: Benedryl, Loratadine (Claratin), Chlorpheniramine Maleate. Have not yet tried Zyrtec. The Chlor seemed to help the most because it seemed to have reduced the swelling a bit and made her really sleepy (avoiding the pain), however this could also be due to the weather - it was cooler outside while she was taking it and has warmed up a bit outside since then. The Novartis Atopica may be a prescriptive option for her once we get blood allergy test results back. I know it's expensive but if we can help her get better this season and then taper off that dosage, I'd rather do that than keep her on steroids and risk even more complications.

Haven: She's been crate-bound recently because of the overwhelming amount of blood and oozing. We tried putting socks on her as recommended by one vet, but the socks got soaking wet and caused the legs to puff up even more (think: sitting in a hot bath for a long time and your fingers get all prune-y and swell up). It's not that we leave them on for a long time - they'd be soaked through in about 30 minutes! Then we tried plastic bags and had much the same result - in a short time, her feet are just sitting in gross fluids and not even having a chance to dry out. When we let her outside for potty, we've put down towels and have the Nature's Miracle spray ready to get blood spots out of the carpet as she leaves spots of blood as she walks. I did read about Nzymes and think they are an option as a food additive. We are currently powdering her kibble with NuPro All Natural Dog Supplement which appears to have enzymes and some probiotics. Along with the yogurt we've been giving her, what other benefit would something like Nzymes have? I did find our nearest holistic/integrative vet in Green Bay, WI (a 3 hour drive from our home): www.countrycareac.com. Their website appears to be down today but I researched them last week and they look like they have a competent staff of traditional vets plus a holistic specialist. As for a raw diet, this is really the first time we've investigated a food ingredient as a cause. That might sound silly, but when the vets she's seen haven't even mentioned the word 'allergy,' it's something we discovered on our own doing internet research, so we're behind the times in terms of trying these simple kinds of remedies. I'd like to give the Acana Singles a try for at least the next 30 days to see if we notice any improvement before considering raw. Gotta give it a chance to work before we snap into another food. TY for the suggestion about the pumpkin! That's actually an excellent idea since Acana Pork & Squash has pumpkin as one of their ingredients! Perhaps we can switch from eggs to pumpkin when mixing in the crushed pills.

SieYa: We can request a full thyroid panel be run on Thursday. We can also stop giving her eggs and just use yogurt as the crushed pill masking mixture. She loves both yogurt and eggs. As far as taking her to a dermatologist, that is an option, but keep in mind that it is not possible for us to make frequent trips to a dermatology specialist as the nearest one is 200 miles away. We live in north central Wisconsin and Minneapolis is about 30 minutes closer to us than Madison (3.5 hours vs 4 hours). What would need to happen is for us to schedule a "day at the dermatologist" AFTER we've conducted all the necessary tests we can conduct locally. That way the derm. can reference that information to make an informed diagnosis without needing to spend his/her own time running those tests himself. We cannot make weekly trips to a derm. specialist due to distance, but we CAN make an emergency trip there for diagnosis by a derm. as long as it is TREATABLE by a local vet (our new local vet is even 1 hour away!) We live in the middle of the woods in between a bunch of national forests. I did think about the pork meat meatballs for pill mixing. Would you recommend we try that or Haven's idea about canned pumpkin first? Yes, we've had a biopsy done and I have a copy of the findings. If you'd like me to upload it, I can. I put some notes in my original post about it. Cellulitis is something the newest vet mentioned to us, but the question still remains: what caused it in the first place and why is it recurring? She didn't experience any bloody trauma to the area prior to the initial bump showing up. Also, per this new vet's suggestion, we are soaking her two rear feet in warm water every other day. No epsom salts, just warm water. We use a paper towel to wipe down the upper leg bloody areas while we're doing so. It causes more bleeding but at least helps to clean stuff out.

DogsR4Life: As I said to SieYa, we can request a full thyroid panel from the vet this coming Thursday (hopefully he will agree with this recommendation. I don't know why he wouldn't run one if he wants to be sure). I will ask the vet about the difference between thyroxine and soloxine and let him know that a dober-expert recommended the latter. As she hasn't had a full thyroid panel done yet (as apparently she needs done per you guys' suggestions), she may not even need to stay on these drugs permanently. We'll see. Cellulitis can be caused by an allergy? I agree with your recommendation about gathering all this information with our newest vet that seems to care and want to find the cause and then going to a dermatologist for a diagnosis if we can't figure it out with a regular vet. Like I said, distance away from a derm. is a big issue for us and it's something we can do on a limited basis. For checking vWD status, I read on the DT forums that VetGen is the way to go. Would this be the test we need to look into (type I):VetGen: Veterinary Genetic Services - Canine - List of Services - Von Willebrand's Disease (vWD) - vWD Type I? Will dexamethasone steroid treatments or antibiotics screw up the results of this swab test? In response to your #4, I have gathered a TON of information about her history since 2012 - I have requested copies of all vet records and assembled all that data into several spreadsheets (foods eaten, ingredients in all foods, medications she's been treated with, results from those meds, vet's notes, and most recently a diary/log of how she's doing daily). As a result of our own research, we purchased "free and clean" Tide to start washing her bedding with as well as Clorox Green Works cleaning spray as opposed to 409. HOWEVER: as she is usually a very clean dog when she's not flared up, it wasn't like she was being directly exposed to these chemicals before-hand. A side-note about detergents is that she used to be a bed-eater due to anxiety. She has consumed about 6 cozy dog beds in her lifetime - she even ate our carpet a few times! We could not leave soft bedding around for her until she was about 3 years old. The flare ups happened without changes in cleaning chemical usage. It's only now that I'm constantly cleaning her crate and the floors that I've made a switch to allergy-friendly cleaning substances. I personally doubt the reaction was caused by cleaning chemicals but I do believe that since I have to clean all the time time now that I don't want to exacerbate the skin irritation by NOT using green cleaning supplies.

SieYa 2nd post: If we can get her to recover from this year's episode, we'll be starting a daily foot rinsing regime during spring through fall to keep stuff out of her toes that may be the culprit of this whole thing (who knows?). As for immediate treatment, this year we took her to the vet (the vet that subsequently gave up on her 3.5 months later when things got worse) 7 days after we noticed the initial interdigital cyst (needed to wait for previous vet to fax over vet records and they took forever!). That vet treated her with the same exact darned meds as vet #1 - Cephalexin and Betadine rinse. The issue is we follow the doctor's orders and it seems to stabilize or even get better for about a week, but then one day we wake up to check on Sofie and it's just WAY worse even while still taking the antibiotics and doing the rinses. It could be that 1) she is resistant to cephalexin (she had a test done by a vet due to the 2013 infection that showed that year's bacteria was cephalexin resistant) or 2) she wasn't given a long enough dose to begin with. Probiotic question: What would you recommend? Someone mentioned Nzymes and I've read about Dogzymes, but what about regular probiotics? Should we do this in addition to the plain yogurt? As a puppy we did give her Animal Essentials probiotics and TBH I can't remember if she had a flare up while taking them. Sofie does really love yogurt though :)


Q734: Thank you for the vet recommendation! We are about 4 hours away from Madison, WI. We live in waaaay northern WI (about 1.5 hours south of Lake Superior). If he'd be willing to look at pictures, hear her history, and make a recommendation for tests that we could perform or things we could try, I'd be happy to talk to him over the phone/email and even make a trip down there to see him for specialized testing. If we need to make more than one dermatology specialist visit, it would be more realistic for us to head to Chicago suburbs (there is a VCA hospital in Aurora, IL that has dermatologists and my dad lives 1 hour away from Aurora. We could stay with him for a time) and Minneapolis is actually closer to us than Madison by about 25 minutes.

Question: Since she's just been continuously slow bleeding from her feet, I did find some homeopathic/natural healing solution called Dr. Dobias Healing Solution. It's supposed to help skin wounds heal faster and can even be used on humans. Has anyone ever used this product or anything like it? As it is now if those feet would just heal up and stop bleeding she could at least come out of her crate! I was going to order some today along with some enzymes or probiotics based on your recommendations.

Thank you for all your thoughtful responses and recommendations! I tend to write lengthy responses so I'm sorry for hitting y'all with a "wall of text" but I just want to provide as much information as possible as it could help to uncover something we hadn't even thought of before.
 

·
Bazinga!
Joined
·
4,534 Posts
Cellulitis is typically recurring, it is there and has an extremely high rate of recurrence.
I've seen it (in horses) repeat infections (year after year).
It is exceptionally painful and the fact that your vets haven't gone there yet is concerning to say the least.
The reality of it is this is beyond the scope of vets in your area. Your poor girl is suffering and this can easily become life threatening.

Please while it may be inconvenient for you to take her to a specialist, she needs help and relief. I bet dollars to donuts it has gotten worse each year.

As to how she gets it, it most likely starts with the cyst. That opens the door to other bacteria. It could be that the bacteria lives in the soil around you. Here we call it mud fever, or moose fever.

Please, please get her in to the specialist ASAP. This isn't going to go away without proper treatment.

Not sure if it's been done but her nails are quite long, this will add to her pain when standing. While I understand you may not want to touch her feet and cause more pain this will not help reduce her pain. Perhaps some mild sedative and get the vet to trim them back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
There are 3 clinics in my town, Ive been to all three and I wasnt happy with their way of dealing with conditions/tests/what I have concerns with. So now I have a vet that is 2 hours away from me. That vet, saved my dogs life.

Yes, its a pain in the butt to take a day off and drive 4 hours round trip, but I know he is in good hands, and that they are there to find the problem, not mask the symptoms.

I would gather all of your findings and vet records and fax them to a dermatologist, make an appointment, and go there for the day. Hopefully you will find some answers soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
807 Posts
I feel so bad for your poor girl.

I'm not sure about cellulitis in dogs but Sieya covered it pretty well in horses. My horse vet swears by quadritop. It's a combination steroid, antinflammatory, antipruritic, antibacterial, and antifungul cream. Active ingredients are : nystatin, neomycin sulfate, thiostrepton, traimcinolone acetonide. She competes in endurance riding and her horse and others have frequent bouts with scratches/mud fever/dew poisoning. She puts a little bit of that cream on it and it heals quickly. It worked well enough/fast enough her fellow riders wanted in on it. I used it on my mare that had a wire cut that was complicated by scratches, and it healed in about a week. I now keep the biggest bottle around to use on my horses.

I've also used it on my little dog that has seasonal allergies so bad he'll scratch until he bleeds. Steroids work on him but only in the megadose, over the counter does little to nothing. I put the cream on it and he gets about 3-4 days of relief before I need to reapply it. I did speak to my dog vet about it and she gave me the go ahead.

I've used it on LeeLoo for her histiocytomas. I rub a little bit on daily and it slowly shrinks.

I don't if you've tried it or not, but it may be worth a shot for some temporary relief. I would definitely try to find a holistic vet to get to the root of the problem. Reading through the pamphlet it says it's useful in interdigital cysts, inflammation and dry or exudative dermatitis. (I would guess you've already tried it). It also goes by EnteDerm.

Your girl will be in my thoughts, I hope you can resolve her issues soon.
 

·
Got mutt?
Joined
·
13,726 Posts
Isn't the vet school in Madison? It would probably be worth it to arrange to take several days off, and plan a trip for testing and the like, since this is beyond the scope of your local vets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,038 Posts
What about vaccines? Are you doing yearly combo vaccinations....yearly rabies? Have any of these breakouts happened after vaccinations. Vaccine reactions can happen much much later tho, when most vets or people would never connect the two.

I would recommend a holistic vet for this. One also experienced in Chinese herbs if you can find one. Or a university would probably work, but something beyond the treatment she's been getting"

This dog doesn't need any vaccinations while in this condition. You can have titers run and have your vet write an exemption from rabies vaccination because of her health.

I'm so sorry your poor girl is suffering like this.

I would suggest Natures Variety limited ingredient foods over Acana...rushing off to double check ingredients.

Also, some info here you can use.

http://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman-health/216538-ongoing-skin-issues.html

Help with choosing a hypoallergenic food in link below, tho it sounds more like seasonal allergies than food from the time of the year she's been breaking out...if it is allergies at all AND I agree raw would be best.


http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/hypoallergenic-dog-foods/
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,801 Posts
From your narrative and the pictures I would be begging the vet who is presently treating to try to set up a referral to the closest vet school.

May well be the best bet for getting enough specialists in one place to get a diagnosis.

That's the best suggestion I can offer--I know a number of people who have battled mysterious ailments with their dogs who did finally succeed in getting to the bottom of things at the nearest vet school and then were able to initiate appropriate treatment and prevention.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Dogs4Life (and anyone that's familiar with vWD testing): Before I spend $95 on this vWD testing kit order from VetGen, I want to confirm something. I have paperwork from the breeder showing that both parents were VetGen tested using a DNA Analysis Report. The mother is CLEAR and the father is a vWD CARRIER. Would it even be possible for her to be effected by a low VWF? I think genetically she shouldn't ever become clinically effected, but then again I am not a geneticist nor do I have any experience diagnosing vWD.

About finding a dermatologist: We've only seen the newest vet once and he's the guy that actually thought it wise to conduct all the testing (blood samples, biopsies). He was also wise enough to use the words cellulitis and vasculitis. In Sofie's case, he's the best vet she's ever seen. We mentioned going to see a dermatologist and he definitely seemed open to the idea. He even said the University in Minneapolis was a great facility. We are willing to take a day off work and make a special "derma-day" visit for Sofie, but I would think that since we can't do these trips very often, there's got to be an option to at least phone consult with one of these specialists to get their thoughts on the subject before we make a trip out there only to find out they needed X piece of information that we need to wait on or do a test and then make ANOTHER full-day trip out there.

Also, being able to talk to them beforehand would help us get a sense of whether they're even a good fit for Sofie and her condition - meaning finding out if they have ever experienced something like this before and, based on her history, what their first thoughts on a diagnosis or course of action would be. We definitely don't want to hype up these derm. specialists only to get the same "I don't know" answer that we've been getting!

LindaH: For vaccines, Sofie received her 3 year rabies this last February 2014 along with her DA2PP + LGP annual vaccines, bordatella, and a lyme disease shot at the same time. We stopped giving her monthly heartworm (Interceptor) pills once the cyst/lump showed up this year. And she did flare up this year before we applied any Frontline (only applied Frontline once this whole summer, either beginning of June or July). What does "titers run" mean? Is that some kind of lab test? Also, about the foods, I did have Nature's Variety Instinct Rabbit Meal LID (grain free) on my list of foods to try, but we asked the breeder about food brands in figuring out Sofie's issue and she said don't go with Nature's Variety. She didn't say why she dislikes the brand.

FeWill: About the QuadriTop and EnteDerm ointments: She was prescribed Animax Ointment at the very onset this year and it appears to have the exact same ingredients in the exact same quanitities (according to drugs.com and vetstreet.com). We applied it onto the initial cyst lump and it didn't seem to help. Not sure if it would do any good at this point. After reading about the drug ingredients and warnings, it says this type of ointment is not meant for "Animals with a deep skin infection or an abscess." I'd almost be afraid to put it on her at this point because the biopsy report states that there is/was evidence of a very deep infection. Thank you for the treatment suggestion though as healing the current slow weepy bleeding is our #1 priority now!

Dobebug: I wonder if there is a suitable vet school nearer to us than Minneapolis or Madison? Is there a search portal I can use to check out locations on this stuff?

Stryker2: I actually visited that search portal last week and that's where I found Countrycare Animal Complex in Green Bay. It seems like there's a split opinion on whether Sofie would benefit more from a holistic vet vs a dermatologist. I suppose only we can make that choice for her since she can't speak, but I'll tell you I'd love to get her off antibiotics and steroids as soon as we can. I just want to make the right choice because I don't think she can take another 3 months of bleeding feet and miserable-ness! >.<

SieYa: Yes, it has gotten worse each year, both the severity and the duration.

As for our current plan of action for Sofie, I ordered that Healing Solutions spray today just to see if it helps. Her next "local" vet appointment is this Thursday at 3pm and she'll be getting blood allergy serum drawn and hopefully blood drawn for a full hypothyroid panel. During that visit, us and that vet will determine a dermatologist or holistic vet to visit if he doesn't have an answer or a different avenue to try. Hopefully he knows someone he can recommend as we have had it with antibiotic and steroid dispensers!

If I had to guess on a diagnosis for Sofie with the information that I currently have, I would guess that she's allergic to something OR she's hypothyroid and it's causing a mild, unnoticeable skin puffiness. I bet that skin puffiness leads to a problem with her hair follicles (in between her toes makes sense b/c it's probably warm, moist, and things are really squished together down there anyhow), causing what looks like a cyst to us. I say follicular disorder b/c the biopsy noted that it was a very deep infection. That eventually bursts open and now we've got a bacterial infection running amok, causing further swelling in the nearby vicinity, causing more hair follicle infections (more bumps, spreading). Eventually her body or lymph nodes swell up to try and contain the infection, causing the pitting edema. We wind up treating all this with steroids and antibiotics and for some reason, even though the infection is gone, we wind up with cellulitis or vasculitis and a lot of bleeding.

Thank you for the continuing feedback and thoughts as it makes me feel like we're not alone in trying to "Save Sofie." That's what we've been calling it. We'll be making a decision on a clinical course of action this Thursday at the "local" vet. In the meantime, I want to make some calls to a few dermatologists to see if they'd be at least willing to talk to me about Sofie's situation and then either schedule (or don't schedule) an in-person appointment with them based on what they have in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,038 Posts
Dogs4Life (and anyone that's familiar with vWD testing): Before I spend $95 on this vWD testing kit order from VetGen, I want to confirm something. I have paperwork from the breeder showing that both parents were VetGen tested using a DNA Analysis Report. The mother is CLEAR and the father is a vWD CARRIER. Would it even be possible for her to be effected by a low VWF? I think genetically she shouldn't ever become clinically effected, but then again I am not a geneticist nor do I have any experience diagnosing vWD.

About finding a dermatologist: We've only seen the newest vet once and he's the guy that actually thought it wise to conduct all the testing (blood samples, biopsies). He was also wise enough to use the words cellulitis and vasculitis. In Sofie's case, he's the best vet she's ever seen. We mentioned going to see a dermatologist and he definitely seemed open to the idea. He even said the University in Minneapolis was a great facility. We are willing to take a day off work and make a special "derma-day" visit for Sofie, but I would think that since we can't do these trips very often, there's got to be an option to at least phone consult with one of these specialists to get their thoughts on the subject before we make a trip out there only to find out they needed X piece of information that we need to wait on or do a test and then make ANOTHER full-day trip out there.

Also, being able to talk to them beforehand would help us get a sense of whether they're even a good fit for Sofie and her condition - meaning finding out if they have ever experienced something like this before and, based on her history, what their first thoughts on a diagnosis or course of action would be. We definitely don't want to hype up these derm. specialists only to get the same "I don't know" answer that we've been getting!

LindaH: For vaccines, Sofie received her 3 year rabies this last February 2014 along with her DA2PP + LGP annual vaccines, bordatella, and a lyme disease shot at the same time. We stopped giving her monthly heartworm (Interceptor) pills once the cyst/lump showed up this year. And she did flare up this year before we applied any Frontline (only applied Frontline once this whole summer, either beginning of June or July). What does "titers run" mean? Is that some kind of lab test? Also, about the foods, I did have Nature's Variety Instinct Rabbit Meal LID (grain free) on my list of foods to try, but we asked the breeder about food brands in figuring out Sofie's issue and she said don't go with Nature's Variety. She didn't say why she dislikes the brand.

FeWill: About the QuadriTop and EnteDerm ointments: She was prescribed Animax Ointment at the very onset this year and it appears to have the exact same ingredients in the exact same quanitities (according to drugs.com and vetstreet.com). We applied it onto the initial cyst lump and it didn't seem to help. Not sure if it would do any good at this point. After reading about the drug ingredients and warnings, it says this type of ointment is not meant for "Animals with a deep skin infection or an abscess." I'd almost be afraid to put it on her at this point because the biopsy report states that there is/was evidence of a very deep infection. Thank you for the treatment suggestion though as healing the current slow weepy bleeding is our #1 priority now!

Dobebug: I wonder if there is a suitable vet school nearer to us than Minneapolis or Madison? Is there a search portal I can use to check out locations on this stuff?

Stryker2: I actually visited that search portal last week and that's where I found Countrycare Animal Complex in Green Bay. It seems like there's a split opinion on whether Sofie would benefit more from a holistic vet vs a dermatologist. I suppose only we can make that choice for her since she can't speak, but I'll tell you I'd love to get her off antibiotics and steroids as soon as we can. I just want to make the right choice because I don't think she can take another 3 months of bleeding feet and miserable-ness! >.<

SieYa: Yes, it has gotten worse each year, both the severity and the duration.

As for our current plan of action for Sofie, I ordered that Healing Solutions spray today just to see if it helps. Her next "local" vet appointment is this Thursday at 3pm and she'll be getting blood allergy serum drawn and hopefully blood drawn for a full hypothyroid panel. During that visit, us and that vet will determine a dermatologist or holistic vet to visit if he doesn't have an answer or a different avenue to try. Hopefully he knows someone he can recommend as we have had it with antibiotic and steroid dispensers!

If I had to guess on a diagnosis for Sofie with the information that I currently have, I would guess that she's allergic to something OR she's hypothyroid and it's causing a mild, unnoticeable skin puffiness. I bet that skin puffiness leads to a problem with her hair follicles (in between her toes makes sense b/c it's probably warm, moist, and things are really squished together down there anyhow), causing what looks like a cyst to us. I say follicular disorder b/c the biopsy noted that it was a very deep infection. That eventually bursts open and now we've got a bacterial infection running amok, causing further swelling in the nearby vicinity, causing more hair follicle infections (more bumps, spreading). Eventually her body or lymph nodes swell up to try and contain the infection, causing the pitting edema. We wind up treating all this with steroids and antibiotics and for some reason, even though the infection is gone, we wind up with cellulitis or vasculitis and a lot of bleeding.

Thank you for the continuing feedback and thoughts as it makes me feel like we're not alone in trying to "Save Sofie." That's what we've been calling it. We'll be making a decision on a clinical course of action this Thursday at the "local" vet. In the meantime, I want to make some calls to a few dermatologists to see if they'd be at least willing to talk to me about Sofie's situation and then either schedule (or don't schedule) an in-person appointment with them based on what they have in mind.

A vWD carrier and clear breeding cannot produce an affected dog.

I would fax ALL her veterinary records at least a week ahead of any appointments to any vets you have an appointment with. I doubt any will read them and offer opinions without seeing her.

I missed that you already had her on Acana somehow. Natures Variety was sold and the quality has dropped. I don't feed it anymore either as the price is too high for what you get now. I looked at it and see they only use canola oil anymore instead of salmon or herring oil, tho some formulas always has canola oil.

Whatever vet gave all those shots in one day with her previous history should have his butt kicked from there to Russia. She was definitely over vaccinated and that has probably caused or contributed to how severe her symptoms are now.

Titers are explained in here and this is a good place to send blood for thyroid testing, also, but you will have to wait till all steroids have cleared out of her system.

Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | 2013 and 2014 Canine Vaccination Protocol - W. Jean Dodds, DVM

I would be very careful about spraying this or that on and creams and such without first discussing with your veterinarian as oftentimes less is more with such things as this.

Another site to explore ... RABIES VACCINE--Skin Reactions
 

·
_______
Joined
·
5,102 Posts
I'm curious mimicplay, did your girl have any sort of issue before having had all those vaccinations at once? And if not a guesstimate of time after all these shots when this started coming on?

This looks like a textbook case for how to overwhelm a dog's immune system :(
Not harshing on you, I've been there trusting that a physician has you or your beloved pet's well being in mind only to find out later that I should question everything, EVERYTHING.
While drs may hate patients who google, this is definitely the reason why. Too many leave us no choice.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,497 Posts
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top