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This is going to be long... So, You get a cookie if you read it all, and a whole box of cookies if you read it all and give your thoughts/advice :rofl1:


Maddie has been having "allergies" and a bacterial infection off and on (but mostly on) since Jan, according to her records (she got simplicef or however its spelled).
Now, to me she has had the same 'bout' since bad allergies March/April she got a bacterial infection that we could not shake. It started with a dandruffy, flaky back, no big deal. They started to get better, but remained in some spots, nickel and quarter shaped, they were red and itchy, but they turned black and scabby. Now that are almost scaly.
She was on two rounds (months) of pred and cephalexin and medicated shampoo, which appeared to help a little bit. Her last pred pill was on the 23rd or 24th (I can't remember exactly). Saturday she was really itchy, Sunday was worse and her skin was getting worse, so Monday (7/26) I called in the morning to get an appt ASAP because by this time, she was pretty much miserable, trembling lightly, generally not feeling good, and very sleepy.

I was so worried, we got her into my vet, Dr 1 took all of my concerns very seriously, drew blood for tests, did 3 separate skin scrapings, checked gums, eyes, ears, looked listen and felt... Scrapings came back with bacteria (possible "resistant" bacteria) and NO yeast (big shocker in the cocker world! lol). Blood tests came back normal, other than high WBC (typical with infection). Also sent out thyroid test, which later came back normal. I was given Clavamox for a week, told to use colloidal oatmeal, and check back. That Wed I checked back, she was improving, so was to keep on the meds. That doctor (same practive, different doctor - older) Dr 2 theorized that they pred kept the symptoms in check, but when she came off of it the bacterial infection "erupted" (his words) and that's why he thinks it got "so bad, so fast".
Maddie did get better, but not all better. I called the vet when she ended her meds, they offered to make another appt, said she'll probably need more antibiotics, and steroids :rolleyes:

By this point (Monday), I wanted a second opinion... I had already been thinking about it, but then I new for sure :rolleyes: I sat in on a raw food lecture Sunday, and the speaker referred me to another vet. I talked to this vet, liked her, and made an app for Monday, for 3 o clock. I was excited to go... She wanted to get to the root of the problem, not just "cover up" the SECONDARY problem - the bacterial infection.

... I LOVE how thorough the new vets office was, much more holistic, products and everything. They documented about our lifestyle, cleaning solutions, etc and diet... by the end of it, they knew my ENTIRE feeding system, and were very impressed by the raw diet, my only two supplements (even suggested they may recommend the showstopper to others).... Which is probably another reason why I am frustrated! Before my appt the techs talked about "hot" and "cold" foods with me (I'd been researching since hearing about it at the lecture - TCM), but when I left I didn't have the same vibe.

I will quote the vet papers, easier to explain.
"Second OP.
Persistent crusts and scabs noted over the trunk and upper legs. Swabbing today shows NO yeast and only a small population of cocci bacteria. Past scrapings were negative for mites. This may represent a persistent, resistant bacterial infection or some "odd" problem such as an immune-mediated disease or dermatosis such as a vitamin A-responsive dermatosis. We will start with a hypoallergenic diet, anti-inflammatory doses of omega 3 fatty acids and a mild anti-bacterial shampoo.
We have our game plan..... I look forward to seeing you back in 3-4 weeks, sooner if you are having problems"

The shampoo, and the omegas I'm fine with. Actually, the omegas she gave me are the exact same as what I'm giving already, just double the dose.

The hypoallergenic diet.... Rx Royal Canin with Hydrolyzed Protein. First ingredient rice, then hydrolyzed soy protein, etc etc

Anyway, I'm having a HUGE problem with this. It just goes against everything I've learned, read, and done for the past... oh, say 5-6 years ?? Maddie's been on raw for YEARS... so, I'm just so torn on whether or not to try it. I really, really, don't think I should. So, a tech called me this morning to see how Maddie's doing (she did not touch the kibble, of course, so I fed her like I always do) and said I could give her yogurt, cottage cheese, carrots, green beans, etc to encourage her to eat, or as a treat.

But, I called up there just yesterday (different lady) and asked about a different diet that is supposed to be hypoallergenic, just more natural -- and the tech/receptionist who answered seemed really annoyed with me -- said I NEEDED to feed the kibble, and kibble ONLY, just like it was medicine prescribed from the doctor... to see whether or not if the treatment was successful.


So, I need advice as to where to go next? What to feed? I'm starting think if I went to 10 different doctors, I'm going to get 10 different diagnosis's. She DOES have an appt with a dermatologist, but the soonest appt I could get is not until Nov :( I just want her to feel better faster, be healthy, and all that ;)

I think that's it. I'm sure I forgot something. Oh, in case anyone is wondering, Maddie is 8 now :eek: her ears, and teeth were amazingly clean (according to all 3 vets - shocker, there) and behaviorally she is acting 100% normal now ;) She is spayed, I titer for shots, Oh, and she's been on a prey-model diet for years... And the skin/coat on her head, ears & back are really shiny and soft... its just her sides, belly, and inside of front legs, really.
 

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Has she ever had her thyroid levels checked? If not, I would suggest that first off, we see that in dogs who have chronic skin issues, as well as cockers are pretty prone to having Hypothyroidism. Also Apple Cider Vinegar may help with the skin both topically (50/50 solution with water squirted on the skin) and orally (mix with food or water). I have had great success with Colloidal Silver applied topically to lesions on my cats/dogs in the past as well. In fact it pretty much cured my cat's ringworm in a little more than a week (after battling it conventionally for 2 months).

Have you ever fed just 1 or 2 proteins sort of like an elimination diet? Elimination diets have to be fed for 6-12 weeks, so you'd have to feed the same protein (i.e chicken, beef, venison etc) for 6-12 weeks. Personally I would go with something like Natural Balance Limited Diets before I'd go with the Royal Canin Hypoallergenic diet.

If they think it's the Vit A responsive dermatoses are they going to do a biopsy?
 

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I would think it is environmental, laundry soap, cleaning solution or the ingredients in the "showstopper" which has stabilized flax which many dogs have issues with.
 
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