Hi everyone, I am new to this site and after reading some related discussions to my problem, I am hoping that some of you might be able to share your similar experiences with me. I have a 3 month old catahoula/lab little girl named Bee-2. I love her to death and right now I feel so helpless because she has got a really bad staph infection. A couple of weeks ago I took her to the vet because of rash on her belly along with endless itching. They did a skin scrape and it came back negative for mange. Vet said she feels it is a contact allergy and gave her a shot of prendisone and told me to keep her out of the grass which is almost impossible to do since that is all I have around my house and yard. Anyway Bee-2 was also rubbing her belly along anything and everything I imagine because it was itching. After the shot of prendisone the rash went away and Bee stopped rubbing her belly along the ground. Then this past Sunday I noticed she was itching and bitting like crazy again and sure enough the same looking rash is all over her belly and is the worst in her armpits?? on the front. I called the vet on Monday, I was told to give her 25mg of benadryl every 4-6 hours which I did for Monday and Tues, this gave Bee no relief at all, so Wed I took her back to the vet, this time the vet said it is a staph infection. She put Bee on antibiotics(cetaphyln, I know I'm not spelling that right) 500mg a day for 3 weeks. The rash looks like it is getting worse and not better. The vet did not want to give me a topical ointment to use because she said it was to large of an area to treat. I was also given an antifungal shampoo to use 2 times a week on Bee. The back area of Bee seems to be a bit better, but the upper belly area is horrible. Bee has been itching so bad that in one spot she made it bleed a little. I stop her from itching when I see her doing it. I feed her Pedigree puppy complete which is what she was on when I adopted her. I also feed her carrots and celery with her food and doggie treats of course :) with omega 3/6 in them. Her belly always feels really hot. I live in Central Florida and right now the heat and humidity is killer which I know is not helping things at all, so I am keeping her in the cool air conditioned house as much as possible. I also dry her off when she has been coming in from outside and are making sure that her belly is dry at all times. How long does it usually take to see improvements once the antibiotics are started?? Is there any product that I can use to help take away some of the itching?? I have tried a couple of products already for hot spots and itching but they don't seem to be doing any good. I have read that this is a common infection for puppies, is that right??? Will it go away anytime soon??? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.
Your Veterinarian apparently does not have a handle on your dogs' condition. If your dog has a fungal infection, antibiotics will have no effect. Corticosteroids (Prednisone) may offer itch relief but again will not treat the underlying cause. It's time to have a heart to heart with your Vet and tell him/her that you are not convinced that the disease has been accurately identified.
We have had a very wet, very hot summer this year in Florida. I would not be surprised to learn that your dog does indeed have a fungal infection.
You can't win if you don't play the game -- Me!
All cruelty stems from weakness -- Seneca
Sometimes a dog is as good as any man -- Bell/Houser
Ok after reading this a couple of times I just couldn't get past the fact that if your dog is that itchy it's gotta be a mite. Sarcoptic mange, the type that can be contagious, is the one that causes such intense itching like what you are describing. It also affects the areas of the body where you say it is the worst AND it is also difficult to see on a skin scraping.
The staph infection is probably secondary to what is causing the itching. It is very easy for your dog to have created the staph infection by biting and scratching at herself so much.
There are several ways to treat it. One is very simple...get an ivermectin injection. It is a safe injection that, if doesn't work, won't harm your dog at all, but if it helps, then it diagnoses the problem. The injections are often given 3 weeks aparrt for several doses to clear it up. You will know if it works with just one injection though you need all of them to complete the treament and avoid relapses. Antibiotics will not cure the mange, but it will cure the infection caused by the scratching. However, you won't see an improvement in the staph infection until the underlying cause is treated as well so she stops the biting and scratching.
A negative skin scraping is not an indication that she does not have sarcoptic mange, especially when all other signs are there.
I would definitely take her back to the vet. Good luck because I am sure she is just miserable the poor thing.
So after taking Bee to a 2nd vet today, they did another scraping and also ruled out mange. They believe as the 1st vet does that it is a contact allergy. They gave me Prednisone 5mg tablets that Bee will take for the next 2 weeks, tappering off the dosage as the days go by. The vet today also gave me an itch spray that will temporarily help with the itching. So now I will watch and see. Thanks again for all the input. Bee at the moment is sleeping peacfully. The vet said she does have a staph infection and to keep using the cephalexin until its all gone. Said the staph infection is caused by the non stop itching. And is secondary to the underlying problem. Will take Bee back in 2 weeks to be checked again. Have a nice day all :)
I am glad to hear it is not mange !! Pred is going to increase her water drinking, so be prepared to have to walk her more frequently. She is not on a high dose so hopefully it won't be too bad of an increase. I hope this finally makes the poor girl feel better !!
Bee is doing much better today, rash seems to be calming down ALOT. She has not itched very much today at all. I have only been walking her on a leash and not letting her run around the yard for now. I also have been wiping her down with baby wipes as soon as she comes in from the outside and spraying her with the allergy itch spray. I have not noticed that she is drinking more than she normally does which has always been alot, but she is peeing like crazy. She is in a better mood thats for sure. I'm not taking her back to the first vet anymore, gonna stick with the second one. Just a nicer, cleaner place and the staff is great and the vet was so informative and took time to explain things to me in detail. So thanks again all for your thoughts. I will check in again with an update soon.