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Recently I rented a new home in a very mountainy area. it is very dry and there were a lot of fire ants in the backyard when i first moved in. a couple of times (once before moving in) we think he was biten by fire ants because it had a itchy rash on his belly and they turned to pustules. first time we got anti biotic and some spray. they went away. then when we moved in, he kind of got the same thing, pustules under his belly and a rash. so we went back, got more anti-biotic, and got an exterminator. it cleared up well until about a couple weeks later i noticed the house started smelling like butthole, and he was chewing the heck out of his butt. took him to the vet, very red butt, and some STRANGE brownish scabbing around the affected area (anus).... she gave me prednisone 1.5 20mg daily, then of course the tapering. it started doing well, but he became bloated by day 2, and on day 3 i called, they asked if his butt looked better and i advised them yes. they said to start tapering him off then, which was one day earlier than the tapering was supposed to begin.

so then literally the next few days, i noticed more of the brown liquid like scabbing underneath his coat around his anus area. and he would chew and chew at it. so of course i took him back, and because the scabs/blister like pustules were deep into his coat, i guess i missed them on the first time around (when his anus was red at the doctor) ... so i am a horrible parent, and felt awful. we went back to the doctor, and got a lower dose of the prednisone 1 20mg a day, plus a anti biotic cuz he started having the pustules under his tummy again. so we continued that therapy and it was doing SOOOO good, i really thought God was going to help us out on this one. sadly not, god is not present with us at this time. he finished off both the steroid and anti biotic, and even though im washing his anal regon eveyr 4 days or so to keep it clean and from developing bacteria, it looks to be coming back.

it is so weird and at first i asked the docotr if it was pyoderma, she said no cuz its happening too much in the rear, and why would it make his butt all inflammed. so needless to say, i have been praying for the last 4 years of my life eveyr night, and just recently at the second on sight of this HORRIBLE skin eating infection, i stopped praying, cuz i literally realized there is no god (not to offend, simply to portray how horrible this all makes me feel). it appears as though it is coming back, cause after we shaved him (per doctor orders to see the actual infection) his back lags look they have little bumps and sores starting to cover with brown scabbing liquid ... so i have been putting remicin on it, the doctor gave us this for his ear a while back for an infection of possible bites in his ear. she told us this would help heal, and it is NOT neccesary to continue its therapy like that of a antio biotic.

i washedh im yesterday, and am starting to put a little of the remicin on his hind leg where it looks like the infectious horrendous disease is trying to make a comeback.... does ANYONE know what this is ... please please PLEASE help me. . . she said if it comes back after the second set of steroids (which it looks to be doing) he will have to be on cyclo sporine for the rest of his life. i feel HORRIBLE and that medication is incredibly expensive... i am going to have to sell my car and anything else i have just to aford his med, and my rent ... which is not a problem, but i dont like having my dog on mediciation for life.... he already got a eye infection from the last steroid, and is on a eye steroid now... somebody please tell me you have an idea... anybody!:help:
 

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Is this primarily in the anal area? If so, it sounds like perianal fistulas. If this is the case, it doesn't necessarily mean lifelong cyclosporine either.

What are you feeding? Are there ticks in your area? Which eye medicine is he on?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
it WAS primarily in the anal area at first, but it literally looks like it is moving away from it, as it creeps down his back legs.... and i already tried perianal fistulas but there are no gapping holes ... and also, remember, there were pustules under the belly and by the penis area as well,. plus they are down his entire leg.

so im not compltely throwing out the fisutla, but the docotr did ... im just trying ANYTHING ... the eye ointment is i forget ... will post it RIGHT when i get home. sorry, but thank you SO much. forums are ALWAYS so helpful and i am grateful to have kind hearted people like yourself assist me with my awful dilema. ( its like im watching my dog die slowly, i feel horrible):(

oh im feeding Eukanuba, been feeding since a little puppy. the german shepherd breed kind.
 

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fistulas can travel down the legs and the tail also. It could be a bad Staph infection, that has created a bad fistula situation. In a sense, that might be the best type of fistula, that can be cleared up with long term abx therapy, as opposed to immune suppression with the big guns.

First thing you gotta do is change foods - no corn, no sorghum, no by-products, and probably, at this point, no chicken or poultry. Preferably a single protein (novel untried protein is the best), and single carb source. This part is very important.
 

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Has any allergy testing been done? Does it get worse at certain times and better at others?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
fistulas can travel down the legs and the tail also. It could be a bad Staph infection, that has created a bad fistula situation. In a sense, that might be the best type of fistula, that can be cleared up with long term abx therapy, as opposed to immune suppression with the big guns.

First thing you gotta do is change foods - no corn, no sorghum, no by-products, and probably, at this point, no chicken or poultry. Preferably a single protein (novel untried protein is the best), and single carb source. This part is very important.

holly crap!! thats why they gave him a anti biotic on the second go around, cause the pustules underneath looked like a little staph infection (her EXACT words)... this is WHY i LOVE forums. your good! what is ABX therapy???
also, eukanuba is not good??? what kind of food should i get, and where can i get, also should i do half and half to mix it with the old eukanuba at first...

also, he has been on eukanuba since one year or maybe one a half, and never had this problem, maybe it is the climate and all the infections??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Has any allergy testing been done? Does it get worse at certain times and better at others?
have not had allergy testing done, serously been pretty poor since moving into a house, then all of this vet bills from the last couple months. would NOT rule out having it done, but just havent yet. and no, doesnt get worse or better during certain times cause the SECOND i see something wrong, i take him to the vet, imeediately.... so i really dont have enough time to view the process of it... it gets worse as he tries to chew it. ... but i have negated that by using benadryls twice daily....
 

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abx therapy = antibiotic therapy
 

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Oops, abx = antibiotic(s)

Did the abx prescribed before help? What was it?

The steroids are helping only superficially - reducing the inflammation caused by infection, yet making the underlying infection worse.
 

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Oops, abx = antibiotic(s)

Did the abx prescribed before help? What was it?

The steroids are helping only superficially - reducing the inflammation caused by infection, yet making the underlying infection worse.
they most certainly did. but the first trip, there weren't brown liquid like scabbings taking over his legs. it was handling the pustules. BUT during the second round of steroids, he was on a anti bitioc called cefpodxime and it was very effective (however it was during the same time of the steroid therapy as well, so cant really pin point which had the better effect)
and oh, no ticks around me, im in Arizona, middle of the mountains so not much except spiders, ants and squirrel like prairie rodents... we do wash him off every time he comes in just in case its the ground or rocks in the back, something i WAS doing was after wiping his paws wipe his rear end, but now im doing it with a new paper towel instead of the one i wipe his paws with.
keep the good ideas coming, you guys are the only bit of sunshine hope that i have had in the last 3 months. everything is pulling me down and you guys are helping me come back up. thank you, please keep it up
 

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Gatti where in AZ are you? Im here too and a dog was brought into my vets office the other day while I was in there with this same thing you are describing. The dog smelt HORRIBLE I could smell him from where I was sitting and it ended up being perianal fistulas.
 

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Gatti where in AZ are you? Im here too and a dog was brought into my vets office the other day while I was in there with this same thing you are describing. The dog smelt HORRIBLE I could smell him from where I was sitting and it ended up being perianal fistulas.
scottsdale... i dont think it was me.... or they didnt tell me it was PF, lol (not really funny but gota find a laugh somewhere eh?)
 

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Just to be sure, you might want to google your area and ticks. According to this, there are 25 species of ticks in Arizona: http://ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/publications/yavcobulletins/Ticks.pdf and I know in some mountainous areas in CA, they can be bad.

Your dog needs to be treated with some extended antibiotics and NO steroids for a period of time. Perhaps also consider adding an antifungal - I think that there is a risk of certain fungal infections in Arizona? I think that's in the more desert areas though, I could be wrong.

There is some fistula info here: Perianal Fistulas - GermanShepherdHome.net

You might want to use some warm compress on the anal area, soaked in Epsom salts is very comforting and helpful. Desitin ointment with zinc in it is also helpful.
 

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Just to be sure, you might want to google your area and ticks. According to this, there are 25 species of ticks in Arizona: http://ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/publications/yavcobulletins/Ticks.pdf and I know in some mountainous areas in CA, they can be bad.

Your dog needs to be treated with some extended antibiotics and NO steroids for a period of time. Perhaps also consider adding an antifungal - I think that there is a risk of certain fungal infections in Arizona? I think that's in the more desert areas though, I could be wrong.

There is some fistula info here: Perianal Fistulas - GermanShepherdHome.net

You might want to use some warm compress on the anal area, soaked in Epsom salts is very comforting and helpful. Desitin ointment with zinc in it is also helpful.
So are you saying you think it is PF?

I go to the vets on Tuesday for the check up on his eye, and I wil have her re-evaluate his legs since that is where it is beginning again. At that time I will recommend your suggestions to her about an anti-fungal and abx for a lengthier period of time and see what she says, you sound pretty smart so hopefully she agrees and quits it with this "Steroids for life" stuff. I love the doc to death, but it kills me, and my bank thinking of 200$ a month just for steroids for him.

I've read about making a compress but it didnt make sense, could you confirm how to do so.

Also, should I be looking for ticks? I mean he is shaved so i really dont think it could hiding anywhere, or are you talking about a possible infection from a prior tick? Also not many bushes in my yard and really no grass, so even they have no where to hide and hitch a ride.

I'm going to try everything your recommending, but about the diet, why should i be switching that up, if they dont think it is PF?

Thank you SO much LISA for all your incredible tips, I look forward to reviewing them and your answers in more depth tomorrow. You have seriously given me hope in saving my dog, I am eternally grateful.
 

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Ongoing skin problems are a sign that the food isn't working - the skin is the largest organ of elimination in the body. Plus, Euk is an overpriced crummy food, so it makes sense that a better food will help his health.

The reason I was concerned about the tick issue, is because some dogs with tick disease issues tend to get fistulas or skin diseases. Whenever there are a bunch of weird things going on, it's always good to eliminate this as a possibility.

There is an anti-inflammatory protocol, doxycycline and niacinamide, which I would try first before going for the steroids or cyclosporine. It can help with skin issues. I don't have a good link for it handy though. Most vets and/or derms do not think of using this first - they go first for the cyclosporine or pred, but there the doxy/nia protocol might help. The doxy will also help with the inflammation in the eye.

The compress - just soak a washrag in warm epsom salt water, wring it lightly, and then hold on the anal area where there are sores. It is very soothing and healing. Some owners will have their dogs sit in a bath and soak for a bit if it's real bad.

I'm glad that I can help, I only hope that it does actually help!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Ongoing skin problems are a sign that the food isn't working - the skin is the largest organ of elimination in the body. Plus, Euk is an overpriced crummy food, so it makes sense that a better food will help his health.

The reason I was concerned about the tick issue, is because some dogs with tick disease issues tend to get fistulas or skin diseases. Whenever there are a bunch of weird things going on, it's always good to eliminate this as a possibility.

There is an anti-inflammatory protocol, doxycycline and niacinamide, which I would try first before going for the steroids or cyclosporine. It can help with skin issues. I don't have a good link for it handy though. Most vets and/or derms do not think of using this first - they go first for the cyclosporine or pred, but there the doxy/nia protocol might help. The doxy will also help with the inflammation in the eye.

The compress - just soak a washrag in warm epsom salt water, wring it lightly, and then hold on the anal area where there are sores. It is very soothing and healing. Some owners will have their dogs sit in a bath and soak for a bit if it's real bad.

I'm glad that I can help, I only hope that it does actually help!
So far you have been on point, from the get-go you assumed staph and that was my doctors first impression on my boys second round of steroids. so b/c it took two visits for her, and one post for you, i'd say your as close to help as me and my boy can get, and I am hopeful she may comply/agree with your recommendations. From my family to you, thank you so much!

Would getting the two abx's you recommended handle our possible tick disease as well, or this something I need to address in a different manner aside from the two abx?

Also, I have been reiviewing dog foods during our down time bewteen posts. How does switching to blue buffalo sound? they have a chicen and brown rice for large breed, but i think you said switch the meat didnt you? Eukanuba GSD has chicken i think. Also, how is it grain free if it says whole grains, LOL? Please, and thank you for you kind help!:hug:
 

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We've seen a lot of staph come through these boards, and experience is that vets don't treat for long enough.

The cephalexin type antibiotics are usually used for staph, but others, like doxy can be used. The benefit to doxy is that it is anti-inflammatory (not as strong as pred though), and the primary antibiotic used for most tick disease. So using the doxy, you cover more bases than not.

I think it was the eye issue (in addition to skin and possible fistula) that made me think in the direction of tick issue. Niacinamide is actually a special form of the B vitamin niacin. So for a typical sized GSD, doxy, 200 mg twice a day with 500 mg of the niacinamide twice a day, would be the protocol. To be sure, how much does your boy weigh? You should probably google and find the protocol to help convince your vet.

I am not that familiar with the kibbles out there since I feed a homecooked diet, but I would be inclined to feed no chicken, including no chicken fat. You might need to post and ask in the nutrition section.

Some dogs do fine on grains, but so many improve when it's removed, that that should be considered. Wheat (forgot this no-no earlier), corn, sorghum you absolutely need to avoid. Many dogs can't tolerate barley. And from there you have to see how your dog does. Yes, you probably should transition slowly.
 

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You might try Acana or Oijen they are both grain free and I believe you can get one without chicken. I am sure others will post suggestions as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
should i begin giving him vitamin c or fish oil or whatever those are ... also i am going to get the destin ointment with zinc. i wanna buy the dog food today to try and start asap, but read below.

my girl thinks we should wait to switch his diet till monday when the docotr gives us her recommendation, but i am SO ready to switch but just cannot find anything at petsmart or petco.... i posted in nutrition in case they have any ideas, but i welcome anything.... my thoughts are blue buffalo fish and oatmeal, but it has whole grains like oatmeal and barley .. which i know LisaT said i should stray away from, or natures recipe grain free which has nothing that LisaT is saying to stay away from... Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
 
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