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Discussion Starter #1
Hope I have this in the right spot :)
I wondered if anyone might have some suggestions for natural supplements that could help to boost my dog's immune system. We have been fighting an infection for several months now with out much luck.
While discussing it with our vet he said that for some his body just isn't fighting it off.
I have been doing research on the diets and how they can be related to different health issues and I had also tried to do some research on supplements but mostly just found info for humans.
 

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What kind of infection?
 

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I have a few suggestions, but helps to know symptoms (gastro, blood values, skin issues, ear issues...for example), what the vet has scripted (meds. HW/flea prevention etc.), age of dog, what you feed. Multi-faced approach to improving the immune system - has to start with what goes in, how the body metabolizes it and so forth

But for starters look into Bovine colostrum (40% immunoglobulin) - Proper Nutrition makes one as well as a combo product called Seavive - colostrum and seacure (seacure is a pre-digested fish protein) Proteins provide the amino acids that together form glutathione, which is the body's natural detoxifier - glutathione cannot be bought in supplement form - but NAC and glycine together. The colostrum is an immune modulator, works much the way the thymus gland does - regulates IgG IgA IgE

Herbals - Astragalus root, ashwagandha, and others

any blackening of skin - if so, could be thyroid, pre-cushings...lethargy? Hair loss? Lameness?

many things to consider - so what are the symptoms?
 

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not enough information -- is the dog fighting an auto-immune disorder?
then to add to information you would need to know how old is the dog , how is it fed , what vaccinations were given, which were recently given, what other treatments is it on - heartworm , flea etc.

post a picture -
 

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Alright let see. As far as diet goes, he is getting a holistic dry dog food. It is a mixture of grain free, and then some with oats or rice in it. The last couple of weeks he has had mostly raw meals, chicken, chicken liver, hearts, gizzards and beef. I am planning to switch him to a total raw diet hopefully next month. At this point because of vet bills we have been unable to afford to order the raw:(
Last blood work was normal but will probably be doing more next month. Gastro is normal, no upset tummy, no potty issues or anything like that.
He only gets flea preventative if we notice that he needs it so maybe two or three times in the summer. He has not needed any this summer yet. He gets heartworm preventative every other month.
As far as meds. He is on dexamethasone for his hip problems, one tablet once a day. I cannot remember what the antibiotic is that he received, it was a very long name though:) I can get the name next time I am at the vets office. It is an injectable that lasts for about three weeks though. Before he was on cephylexin ( I know that is spelled wrong) for 6 weeks.
The only symptoms are sores on his lower lips and on his nose. They are red and weepy.
Both antibiotics have made an improvement somewhat. They do stop the weeping of the sores and for a small amount of time they change from red to a more pink color. However by the last week of treatment ( if it is a three week treatment than by the end of the second week any improvement starts to reverse) all the small improvements seem to go away and they start weeping again and get more inflamed. Our vet was pleased that at least there was some improvement with the antibiotics and said that was a good thing. But we are starting our fourth month of fighting this thing and I worry.
There is no blackening of the skin, no hair loss, sometimes he doesn't really want to go play like he used to but since his hips bother him sometimes it is hard to tell if it is just hips or something else bothering him.
He had lost weight at his last vet appointment. He is normally 86 pounds, but after his hip issues were diagnosed we slimmed him down a bit and the vet was happy with him at 82 pounds. We had him in the vet in April and he was still 82 and then in May he had gone down to 78 pounds. We adjusted his food and in three weeks he gained the lost weight and is now back to his 81-82 pounds.
Our plan is that after this last round of antibiotics is finished and if there is no improvement we are going to get some more testing/blood work ect, as much as we can afford. We don't want to just give him another, or more antibiotic.
I thought maybe if I could give a bit of a boost to his system it would help the antibiotic that he is on now get rid of this nasty bug:)
I hope that helps out a bit. I didn't mean to write a whole book :shocked:
I will definantly find some colostrum!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did list diet in my last post. As far as vaccinations go he has had yearly combination boosters until last year when we opted not to have the booster. He gets rabies every 3 years. So it has been over a year since his last vaccination.
He is six years old and apart from osteoarthritis in his hips and now these sores , he is healthy.
I will try to get a picture up.
 

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It would help to know the real name of the dog food. "Holistic" is just a buzz word for dog food companies.
Good for you going raw! :)
 

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there are so many anti biotics -- you can strip the body too much anti biotic means anti life , that the system can't operate.

I would incorporate wide range , probiotics .
 

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I would talk to the vet about adding some unrefined, organic cold-pressed coconut oil -- start with a small amount and SLOWLY work up to about 1 teaspoon per 10-20#. Again, work up very SLOWLY. It can cause a herxing reaction killing off some kinds of systemic infections if you go too fast--if you get that kind of reaction, back off, and start again slowly.

The medium-chain fatty acids have an antibacterial, antifungal effect that helps the
body fight off invaders:
Coconut Oil Offers Hope for Antibiotic-Resistant Germs | Coconut Oil

Also, take a look at this article about the manifestations of systemic candida infections in dogs (there's a checklist of some of the ways it can manifest -- draining sores are one, which sounds like what you have described). I'm wondering if your dog possibly could have a raging systemic candida infection? According to the article (Whole Dog Journal, Feb. 2007): "Treatment with antibiotics, steroids, and other conventional drugs may bring temporary relief, but the patient soon returns wit another flare-up...":
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEwQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tristateweimrescue.org%2Fstorage%2FCoconut%2520Oil.pdf&ei=0Dq3UYC5C4fC9QTIvYDwBw&usg=AFQjCNFtK5_4hlL34GMOyCWxbAEu-v1C2A&sig2=bG8LrqdtIbqDJB_vVdT1Mg&bvm=bv.47534661,d.eWU&cad=rja
 

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I actually forgot to list in his diet that I started giving him organic coconut oil late last week. So far he is only getting one tsp a day. He loves the taste:)
We were also concerned about the anti-biotics killing off all the good bacteria too so we are starting a probiotic this week. We have some benebac and then I am giving him a tiny bit of Kefir every day which he loves.
Since they were mentioned I have been doing some research on autoimmune disease and some of the symptoms do match while others are way off. So I really don't know but am a bit concerned about giving him anything that might make it worse so I will talk to our vet about it.
The dog food is Mr. Bucks and I am currently feeding the rescue mix that I get with the rescue I foster with.
Thanks so much for the link about canidida infections. I am going to go read it right now.
 
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