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Discussion Starter #1
My GSD has a repeating issue with having bad infections under the fur of his head/snout that turn into nasty abscesses. His face is swollen again and I'm 100% it's another abscess. This is the 3rd time this has happened. The first time the skin above the abscess died and needed surgery to remove. Both times he's been on Clava-Septin and it has proven ineffective at completely removing the bacteria.

Should I try a new medication? I'm at a loss as far as what to do, but this problem won't go away. Any input would be appreciated.
 

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he may have dirty teeth or a tooth with some low grade infection...I would ask that the vet culture the matter in the abcess and try to pinpoint what bacteria it is and what is the most appropriate antibiotic....or find a vet who suggests doing that!

lee
 

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I'm thinking what Lee is thinking - the source of the abscess could be from a bad tooth - may need to have it removed.

Instead of just treating the infection, I would look for a vet that would work with you in trying to find the source of the infection, and deal with it at that level.
 

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My dog had pustules all over his snout...I applied goldenseal tea compresses (soothing and kills bacteria)

Internally ~ natural B-complex supplement...B's work together - you can suppliment additional B3 along w/b-complex - look for a "No-flush" version and the B-complex in natural form will have B12 in the form of "methylcobalamin" NOT "cyanocobalamin" (sythetic version)

I use New Roots ultra B50 and was all I needed for my dog w/o additional B3

Knowing the Benefits of Niacin and Niacinamide for Your Dog - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com

Niacinamide is commonly used to treat certain autoimmune or immune mediated skin problems in dogs. It may help a greater lowering of blood pressure as well. It can also be very helpful to treat ocular diseases like conjunctivitis which is also known as pink eye.

Niacinamide for use in canines, along with tetracycline, can help in the relief of pemphigus complex. This is a condition that affects your dogs' skin, in the form of skin blisters.

Vitamin B3 may help in fight against staph infections, ?superbugs? | News & Research Communications | Oregon State University

Also a great supplement for overall health (GI, immune, skin, etc.) is Bovine Colostrum

I am using AOR (brand) 1-500mg. 2x/day 1/2 hr or mare before meals

Grinding up some raw organic pumpkin seeds and adding to food will also provide zinc/copper - also good for immune support and skin and hair health

Pumpkin Seeds: A Natural Solution For Worms | Dogs Naturally Magazine
 

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Odd, but when I worked at a dental office, we had a patient who's dog had an abscess. (We took out the tooth and learne a lot about puppy hygiene). As with any teeth, if there is an infection, antibiotics will only temporarily resolve the issue. The cause would still be there if its dental. Like everyone else is saying, I'd look for the root cause and resolve it that way.


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Discussion Starter #6
Should I give my original vets another try and ask them to look into it further? I have found another vet in my area that's also highly regarded on the web, but not sure what the proper "etiquette" is here.
 

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How old is your dog and what does it eat... do yo vaccinate annually - use HW/spot on prevention?

check his teeth, if there is no inflammation around, or tartar - then look systemically at what you are putting into or on the dog as well as what you may need to boost the immune system

abx aren't always the answer, certainly not long term fine to fight acute infection, but treat from the inside out - especially if it is auto-immune condition
 

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I went round and round with a recurring abscess - vet swore it was not the tooth. Went to second tooth who found the cracked tooth, pulled it and viola no more problems
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How old is your dog and what does it eat... do yo vaccinate annually - use HW/spot on prevention?

check his teeth, if there is no inflammation around, or tartar - then look systemically at what you are putting into or on the dog as well as what you may need to boost the immune system

abx aren't always the answer, certainly not long term fine to fight acute infection, but treat from the inside out - especially if it is auto-immune condition
He's 3 years old and eats Canidae ALS. I don't vaccinate annually. He has many health issues not counting the repeating infections. Last year, I discovered that he has Masticatory Myositis and an enlarged heart that is prone to heart failure. Somehow, he also had liquid collecting in his lungs/stomach.

The medication (Prednisone) he was on for MM was suppose to suppress his immune system which my vet believes caused the infection the first time. He's been off Prednisone for a few months now and I've seen no issues with his jaw bothering him. The first two infections has been above his left eye. This one is right on the left jaw line. His teeth looks fine, but his mouth is shut pretty tight right now and I can't open it without it hurting him.

I just got off the phone with my vet's office and I guess they forgot to pass on the message I left last night for them to call me. I have two vets on my file and both of them are out of office. So I may have to wait until tomorrow for a call back...
 

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Geez - poor doggie

Here is a read on colostrum
Colostrum Article in the American Journal of Natural Medicine | SynertekColostrum.com

Have you considered a holistic vet...a memebr on here is suffering form lock jaw (from a tooth extraction) and I provided some info that might help - for your dog as a consideration under the care of holistic vet of course...the thread is under chat room forum that has the links...one herb called cramp bark - try to find the link (not sure of safe in dogs)

another consideration is magnesium - this is important for over 300 processes in the body and incl. smooth muscle contraction.

there is also an enzyme called serratiopeptidase which is touted to break up fibrous tissue, cysts - things to look into

aside from the serra and cramp bark without advisement form a vet -
I would be confident in the suggestion of colostrum, b-complex and magnesium
 

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So...I did a search for some links that explain the role of magnesium (2 human, 1 dogs) for muscles (re: myopathy) and heart health

Magnesium in cardiovascular and other... [Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2004] - PubMed - NCBI

^^^Conditions that may be associated with magnesium deficiency include hypertension, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, and preeclampsia; in many of these, magnesium supplementation has been found beneficial in clinical studies

Take This to Heart: A Diet for High Cholesterol

^^^WebMD, notes magnesium AND B-vitamins

Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs | petMD

^^^
Magnesium is an important cofactor in maintaining an electrical balance across membranes. It is also important in the production and elimination of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter). A low concentration of magnesium in the extracellular fluid (fluid outside the cell) can increase concentrations of acetylcholine at the motor endplates and cause an involuntary reaction of muscles. Interference with the electrical gradient can result in neuromuscular and heart abnormalities. Magnesium also regulates calcium movement into smooth muscle cells, and is important to contractile strength (the muscle's capability to contract) and to the stability of the surface vessels of the body.

Some of the complications that can occur with hypomagnesemia are alterations of the functions of the skeletal muscles, resulting in tetany (severe muscular pain) and a variety of myopathies (diseases of skeletal muscles); ventricular heart arrhythmias, or torsades de pointes (a tachycardia, or fast heart rhythm that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart), and depolarization of cardiac cells and tachyarrhythmias (fast heart rhythms); resistance to the effects of parathyroid syndrome; an increase in the uptake of calcium into bone; and an increase in the risk of digoxin (digitalis) toxicity.
 

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A different antibiotic needs to be tried for sure, if the first one is proving ineffective. I don't have much experience with Clavaseptin because it's used outside the USA, basically its a compounding of amoxicillin.

Cephalexin is a good general antibiotic we use for skin issues a lot.

If this is an ongoing issue, however, I feel like you should either take a biopsy and have it sent in for histopathology to see exactly what you are dealing with, OR go see a skin specialist.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't think this is a skin problem however. The infection always starts under the fur and becomes an abscess. It never starts as an external infection.

I talked to my vet last night and we are going to see her today at 3. I asked about the anti-biotics and she suggested that we stay on Clavaseptin. She also said that doing a culture on the abscess matter won't solve the issue. I want them to do more than just cut it open and let it drain. This problem is getting ridiculous.
 

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Hmmm forgive me but I just don't exactly see the vet's reasoning... I agree to an extent if it's an actual deep pocketed abscess under the skin and not an external pyoderma, then a swab may not pinpoint cause. HOWEVER if it's reoccurring either the antibiotics are not clearing it up completely each time and the infection is simply shrinking and regrowing (in which case a culture WOULD help determine what organism is causing this and what antibiotic would be best to treat with), OR you have another cause that needs to be identified.

Zeke has a condition that is basically a chronic lifelong staph infection, most likely immune mediated and genetic. He gets a crack in his nose, antibiotics clear it up but it will always come back. We did do a biopsy and histopathology, so at least we know we are using the right antibiotics and it will always come back.
 

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go to another vet. If its a recurring issue then it needs to be biopsied to find out what it is, or what is found in it and what antibiotics to use.
One of my Berners started with an" abcess" on his jaw. Not teeth, no soft spot to consider a true abcess. We put him on antibiotics. Went away then came back. Got bigger and spread. I was actually starting to think he had mast cell tumor. We put him under anesthetic and cleaned out the whole area, which now had small little "holes" all over the area of infection. The vet made sure all edges were clear. Sent pieces in for exam to the state vet lab. It was not mast cell, but a common cow infection alot like "lumpy jaw". Anyway, he was on huge doses of antibiotics, ,Cephalixin. for about 14 days,and it cleared up and never came back.
Since your dogs condition keeps reappearing and the vet is not willing to do anymore than basically amoxocillin, which is a pretty weak antibiotic, I would find a vet that will dig deeper and find the cause and fix it. Some vets just won't get past the owner doubting their diagnosis and refuse to dig deeper because to them, it seems like they failed a diagnosis.
Something is causing this problem, whether a tooth, infection in the bone itself or some other type of thing going on. Good luck
 
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