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Thread: Help with diagnosis, treatment? (skin problem, 13 y/o staffy/whippet)

  1. #1

    Default Help with diagnosis, treatment? (skin problem, 13 y/o staffy/whippet)

    Good day all, so i am joining and creating this thread due to the fact the vetanarians in my town are....hopeless. Allow me to explain.

    I have a 13 year old staffy/whippet female (de sexed) with a bad skin problem. I have seen 2 vets, the second vet i saw was just as bad as the first, i guess they learn from the same book. Anyways, both their recommendations were antibiotics, and shampoo.

    So i done this for 2 weeks, and a slight improvement occurred, this "improvement" i later found out to be from the antibiotics. Once the antibiotics were gone, a few days later her skin flamed up again... and worse, my guess is the fact antibiotics IMMENSLY decrease your immune systems capability to fight off microbes and the like.

    Like always the dog shampoo for $40 was useless. My presence here is not to find another pet doctor, but to ask YOU if you have had the same problem and cured it. I strongly disagree with most modern day treatments for dis-ease and sickness. The animal body, regardless of what type, shouldn't need chemical and synthesised treatments to suppress symptoms of dis-eases and sickness. They need to direct themselves to the ROOT cause.

    Links to my bubba girls scabby skin,

    Many thanks!!
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 11-22-2013 at 11:50 PM. Reason: put spaces between paragraphs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    skin problems can be hard to sort out - especially with breeds that are prone like SBT.

    So my dog has an occasional bad skin inflammation - if I let her commando crawl on the grass and rub and carry on - it flares up. If I put a tarp out on the grass (with a towel or something on it) for her to lie on, or just stop her from crawling, the rash clears up. So pretty simple for me.

    If the rash does come up - apart from managing the grass contact time, I also use aloe vera and sometimes I give the dog half a zyrtec anti histamine. Or another kind of anti histamine - that was prescribed by a vet but you can get the exact same one from the chemist. In fact one of the instructions on the pack says not to drive or operate heavy machinery while taking them. I know my dog likes to drive the bus - but that's metaphorically - not physically.

    Sometimes rashes like that are caused by food allergies - especially if you're feeding kibble that contains a lot of corn or wheat based product in it. Some dogs are allergic to some proteins ie if you switch to turkey and rice when you have been feeding chicken and corn or wheat - you can sometimes find that you get rid of the problem that way. A true elimination diet takes a while. And you can do allergy tests as part of the process. Whether you want your vets to do this depends on how deep your pockets are. Sometimes there are allergy specialists who can help more.

    Sometimes the problem is caused by mange. Or a fungus. Some mange is really difficult to get rid of. I think some fungus you can treat with the same stuff athletes use to make jock itch or tinea go away.

    I don't know why vet's first option was antibiotic or why that helped. Maybe ask them?

    Another treatment I've read in here - involves bathing dog in a solution of calendula tea (make like ordinary tea - from herbal shop) and dilute in a big bucket of water and then soak the dog. But if it's from being damp (fungal) - I don't know if the calendula tea is anti fungal or not. If it isn't then it could make it worse.

    Could also be a flea allergy. Or even a mozzie allergy.

    How long has your dog had this problem?

    How much contact does your dog get with grass and other plant stuff like plane tree seeds or currajong pods (super itchy stuff)?

    Is she scratching and itchy or is the hair just falling out on its own? ringworm? UV light may (or may not) help diagnose ie if it glows under UV light - it's definitely ring worm, but otherwise it could still be ringworm and you'd have to send a skin sample for analysis. Ringworm is a fungus - hair falls out - not a worm - not quite the same as the jock itch fungus.

    Some of these things eg the ringworm and the fleas - would require a major clean up of your dog's environment (where she lives and sleeps) or the problem will keep coming back over and over.

    Do you treat with flea spot on (which one) some of these cause rashes in some dogs.

    What do you feed your dog?

    What questions did the vets ask - why did they think antibiotics would help?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Geelong, Vic


    Antibiotics do not decrease the immune system. Your dog looks like it has demodectic mange, which is a byproduct of an already low immune system. At that age it can be possible as age and stress can decrease immune function.

    The dog needs a skin scrape firstly put under a microscope to check for demodex, then sent off to a laboratory. There needs to be scrapes from 3 separate sites.

    The animal body, regardless of what type, shouldn't need chemical and synthesised treatments to suppress symptoms of dis-eases and sickness.
    Without some of these products life spans would be considerably shorter, in people too. Before antibiotics thousands of people would die from simple wounds and infections. By the way most antibiotics are from bacterial/fungal sources, they're a natural product produced to help the organism decrease or prevent the growth of microbial populations increasing around it - usually in a competition for resources. What some antibiotics do though is decrease normal populations of symbiotic unicellular organisms, so if you have not knocked out the offending bug you find it can be worst as there is more 'space' for it to come back with.

    If the dog has not had a diet change lately, look at demodex and a skin infection of something like fungus, staph, etc. But the only way to know is to get it sent to a laboratory.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    Yes I was going to suggest a skin scrape.

    Many years ago before really effective flea treatments one of my dogs had an intense allergy to fleas. Just one flea bite would result in large bare patches on her back where she rubbed constantly despite all types of flea treatments. Once some of the newer products came on to the market all these problems dissapeared.

    The other thing I did was to take her to a skin specialist and she gave her an allergy test and then devised a series of custom made injections of a serum to desensitise the reaction her immune system had to various allergins. This together with good flea products made a huge difference.

    However these problems are not always easy to deal with and a skin scrape is probably a good first pass particularly if this is a reletively new problem.

    There are always going to be situations where medical intervention is going to be a lifesaver or can make a dog more comfortable. On several occassions animals of mine and close friends owe their lives to medical intervention and antibiotics. Pre antibiotics often the only way to save someone from infection was to amputate and cauterise to stop infection spreading. Tuberculosis was a death sentence pre antibiotics polio and smallpox was rife pre vaccinations, and myself coming from Africa, childhood diseases takes a huge toll in third world countries as does malaria, typhoid, cholera, rabies and other nasties.

    What I dont agree with is the gratuitous use of antibiotics for everything without first having the information as to if they are going to be effective for that particular condition.

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