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My Best Friend is Golden!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the past few months, on and off, we have been battling a flea infestation. Recently, it seems, with the help of Advantix, that we are now winning this battle. However, my Golden Retriever, Lady, still has a horrible rash like area all over her stomach. This rash contains horrible red areas, scabs, and little sores that look painful. She is still digging, and scratching. Also, her hair density all over her body has greatly declined in the past few months. She went from having this lavish undercoat, to having extremely "flat" looking hair with very little undercoat. Her hair went from being wavy and lively to looking flat and dull.
I'm worried about her. I am going to call the vet tomorrow, but I would really appreciate some help before talking to them.
Are these symptoms normal with flea allergies? Should I be worried about something more serious? She is only 14 months old and she is still eating dry puppy food, should I consider feeding her something else, or adding something more to her diet?
Any help would be greatly valued, I'm really worried...
JLeWay
 

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For the past few months, on and off, we have been battling a flea infestation. Recently, it seems, with the help of Advantix, that we are now winning this battle. However, my Golden Retriever, Lady, still has a horrible rash like area all over her stomach. This rash contains horrible red areas, scabs, and little sores that look painful. She is still digging, and scratching. Also, her hair density all over her body has greatly declined in the past few months. She went from having this lavish undercoat, to having extremely "flat" looking hair with very little undercoat. Her hair went from being wavy and lively to looking flat and dull.
I'm worried about her. I am going to call the vet tomorrow, but I would really appreciate some help before talking to them.
Are these symptoms normal with flea allergies? Should I be worried about something more serious? She is only 14 months old and she is still eating dry puppy food, should I consider feeding her something else, or adding something more to her diet?
Any help would be greatly valued, I'm really worried...
JLeWay
You are facing a very complex and challenging battle. There may be a simple solution or you may never be able to identfy/eliminate the core problem so you will have to be satisfied with treating the symptoms.

On the bright side, at 14 months, you may be dealing with a transient problem. My vet told me that you can not say a dog is "allergic" until they are at least 2 years old.

FAD can be terrible with symptoms lasting 4-6 weeks after the fleas are gone. I would start by doing 4 things: (1) consult your vet and/or dermatologist to rule out mange or other skin critters - they will likely prescribe antibiotics, (2) start supplementing with a good quality salmon oil such as IcelandPure, (3) shampoo regularly with Eqyss Microtek and (4) STOP using Advantix. Advantix is a powerful chemical which many dogs can not tolerate. Do your own research on it and you will quickly be convinced.

Skin infections cause great discomfort for our furry friends including intense itchiness. Please see your vet asap!
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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I think you will be glad you went to the vet for help...

It can take a long time for skin problems to be corrected ...there can be infections like staph that make antibiotics necessary...sometimes multiple courses...

Prednisone can help a lot, but has its own side effects..and the dosing schedule must be respected. Pred is a very inexpensive medication and can bring GREAT relief.

There are great shampoos and sprays that can relieve itching, promote healing.
Over the years Ive used both Microtek and Duoxo.
Duoxo is good stuff, but pricey. Ive had the best luck with it when I followed their specific treatment program....the shampoo and spray.

Cones to prevent chewing - are really helpful. Yes dogs do get used to them. They can learn to sleep, play, eat and drink with them on. I choose to think of cones like a cast for a broken arm...suck to have one, but it is a part of the treatment plan for healing better & faster..
IMO, the clear plastic cones are tolerated much better then the opaque white ones that most vets provide. Ive never had much luck with T-shirts or other fabric barriers to stop chewing.

The loss of coat is typical....it will come back when the skin is healthy and the dog is less stressed. If you live in a cold climate or windy location...you may want a simple coat or sweater for your girl until her undercoat returns.

As to food...dry food is fine....Im not gonna get into a brand battle. ;-)
But is there a reason she is still on puppy food at 14 months?

Even though you may want to eventually change brands or add supplements, you may want to give some thought to keeping her on the same food she has been on until she is through her prednisone & antibiotics (which I can almost bet the vet will prescribe). If she has a reaction like increase itching/loose stools/vomiting, You'll make yourself crazy wondering which variable is responsible...the change in food, the supplement the med...
Im a big fan of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetie) when a dog is stressed....only manipulating one variable at a time just in case there is a problem.

Good Luck....
 

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Dog Lover
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Jl

JL

So glad Lady is going to the vet. Please let us know what they say!
 

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I really like the drug Temaril P for situations like this because it is antipruritic, antitussive and anti-inflammatory with the smallest amount of prednisone. It's a great solution for ongoing itching that is hard to reign in, but I agree with LibertyME that an antibiotic might be needed too. Duoxo is an anti microbial shampoo from the vet that works well. It seems like Lady might have a secondary staph infection( puppy staff) on top of her flea allergy?
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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I agree with Jill that she may not only have a bad flea allergy but also a staph infection. Hopefully an antibiotic and steroid should take care of it. We also use Microtek shampoo and spray for our Gunner's skin allergies.
 

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shadow friend
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Flea allergy here as well. Max's scratches have turned into small infections that need antibiotics. Sounds like you are on this road but very far down it! Hope the vet can give you some antibiotics and things clear up for you! Advantix is the only thing that works for us too. Good luck with everything!
 

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My Best Friend is Golden!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I made an appointment for Lady on Friday at 4:30pm. You guys gave me a ton of information to think about. Thank you to you all!

I will let you all know what they tell me when we get home from the appointment.

Thanks for all the information.
Jleway
 

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Flea allergies can be truly horrible, but, once you get the fleas totally under control, you should see things go uphill. Unfortunately, even when they're on a topical, they'll still get bitten if there are infestations in the house or yard. The fleas will try to colonize the dog again, and even though they'll fail because of the topical, the dog can get bit quite a bit before they die.

Definitely make sure you've eradicated all trace of the buggers throughout your home.

I'm also a big fan of microtek shampoo. Gus had a nasty allergic reaction to a tickbite once, and it quickly became a fist-sized sore. Microtek healed it in a matter of days. I'm still not sure how that worked, just that this giant sore shrank by almost a 1/4 of its size for a few days and then was gone. And all I did was wash the one spot with it!

Coordinate with your vet. If there's really a staph infection, steroids have to be used very, very judiciously until the antibiotics have a chance to work. If it's mostly allergies, the steroids will work quickly. Only a hands-on exam by a good vet will tell you the exact course you need to take.

Ask about shampoos, though. They're unlikely to do any harm, and they might do a lot of good.
 

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If there's really a staph infection, steroids have to be used very, very judiciously until the antibiotics have a chance to work. If it's mostly allergies, the steroids will work quickly. Only a hands-on exam by a good vet will tell you the exact course you need to take.
This is a really good point bc steroids weaken the immune system.
 

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My Best Friend is Golden!
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will definitely be asking the Vet some questions. I will ask about Microtek. Do I need a prescription for that? If not, then I will just go ahead and get it. I am also, planning on purchasing some vitamin oil for her food. Hopefully the oil will help her coat. I just feel so bad, because she is digging like crazy. Thank you for the point that Steroids can cause the immune system to weaken... I didn't know that.
Dr. Garvin, is a pretty decent vet, so I think that he will jump on top of the situation. Please keep giving me more questions to add to my list of questions for the vet. This has never happened to a Golden of mine before, so I'm pretty concerned.
 

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I will definitely be asking the Vet some questions. I will ask about Microtek. Do I need a prescription for that? If not, then I will just go ahead and get it. I am also, planning on purchasing some vitamin oil for her food. Hopefully the oil will help her coat. I just feel so bad, because she is digging like crazy. Thank you for the point that Steroids can cause the immune system to weaken... I didn't know that.
Dr. Garvin, is a pretty decent vet, so I think that he will jump on top of the situation. Please keep giving me more questions to add to my list of questions for the vet. This has never happened to a Golden of mine before, so I'm pretty concerned.
No prescription required. The best place to buy Microtek is at your local tack shop. Horse people love Microtek products. It will come in a much bigger bottle at a much better price than you can get at a pet store. The antibiotic in Microtek is mild - the same chemical used in anti-bacterial soap for people. It is also great for relieving winter itchies. My guy can not tolerate prescription antimicrobial shampoos such as Malaseb. Chlorhexidine gives him a very nasty inflammation.

Don't be overly afraid of steroids like I was. A short burst to get over the hump is NOT a big deal. 10-20 mg of pred daily in a 70lb dog for a week or so will not affect his adrenal glands. This is what my vet told me and he has a pretty good track record going back 30 years.
 

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My Best Friend is Golden!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update, Before the Appointment

Lady has her vet appointment today at 4:30. I'll let you know what he says as soon as I get home. I will also pick up some Microtek tonight. Should I look for it at a place like a farming supply store? Or a tractor supply store? Could I find it there?
I was looking on the net last night and came across a page full of canine conditioners, should I get some of that too, or do you guys thing that conditioner will exacerbate her skin condition?

Her skin still looks incredibly sore, and she is still digging at herself every 5 minutes. I hate this!

In short, I will ask the vet:
What is up with her skin?
Should she have a short burst of steroids?
Is it normal for her coat to become thin with her problem?
What is the best treatment, considering she has such sensitive skin, for fleas?
I will ask if he knows where I could pick up some Microtek at a decent price.
I will ask about canine conditioners.
And, I will ask about how to avoid that this happens to her again.
What should I feed her to give her the best skin and coat health? - thinking that if it is helping her skin, that it should be giving to her general health.

Do you guys think that these questions are acceptable? Is there anything else that you think that I should ask about?

Again, thank to you all for your continued help with this problem. Lady is my little Golden baby; she means the world to me. Thank you all.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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He may want to look as some cells under a microscope to see exactly what Lady is dealing with.....personally I would welcome that test even though it will add to the bill....it can be a big help and save time.

You may want to discuss treating for tapeworms.
Fleas and tapes often go hand in hand....and the stress of tapes isnt going to help her coat any.... Praziquantel is my vets drug of choice and itcan be bought over the counter in Maine...not sure if in every state.
I would not treat for tapes at the same time as the antibiotics...

Microtek can often be found in farm/feed supply stores that carry horse stuff....It is also in a lot of dog supply catalogs like KV Vet.

If you dont know if the fleas are totally gone you can ask for some help treating your home/cars/pet bedding as well as your dog.

Good Luck...I hope your dear one is feeling better soon!
 

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My Best Friend is Golden!
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After the Appointment: UPDATE

We went to the vet today and I have some great and some bad news.

1st the Great News:
It is NOT tapeworm or any other parasite. He also said that he didn't think that it is entirely an infection, so he didn't prescribe cortisone or anti-biotics.

2nd the BAD News:
It is, he said, a sever flea allergy. They checked all over her body with this special looking comb, and she actually has the problem all over her body. Poor Lady! He said that she is a very sensitive dog that could possibly get allergic reactions to all sorts of parasites, and insects; due to how her body responded to the fleas. So he said that we could no longer use any OTC flea treatments due to her skin sensitivity. He also said that if we see no more than 1 flea that we need to take immediate action and get rid of the little scoundrels.

Dr. Garvin said to, right now, get a oatmeal shampoo with some vitamins and minerals - this, he said, would sooth her skin and possibly help with the itch. He also said to give her benadryl to help her with her itching. He was reluctant to put her on cortisone until he knew that this "un-aggresive" approach didn't work.


Thank you all for your help with this problem... you've all been great! I will continue to keep you posted until she is in the all clear.
 

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Flea allergy is the most common cause of itchy skin. Hopefully, you can find a topspot that wipes them out quickly on her and you can kill 'em in the house.
 

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My Best Friend is Golden!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes... hopefully... I plan to spray, fog, powder, and clean the carpets all day tomorrow. I put Advantix on her a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully, that is still working. And... we are suppose to have our first hard freeze tonight; I hope that all of that combined will get rid of them.
 

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Yes... hopefully... I plan to spray, fog, powder, and clean the carpets all day tomorrow. I put Advantix on her a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully, that is still working. And... we are suppose to have our first hard freeze tonight; I hope that all of that combined will get rid of them.
Yes, from what I have read FAD can be really nasty! We found two fleas on Rocky last summer at a beach rental and he started scratching like a madman. I hope you steer clear of Advantix. Also, you will have a difficult time getting things cleared up unless you STOP the scratching. Just my personal opinion (actually my vet convinced me), why fool around with Benadryl when you know pred will work immediately??? I just don't get it. 20 mg per day for 3 days, 10 mg per day for 3 days and 10 mg eod for 3-5 days. Give yourself and your dog a break and use some pred.
 

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When I put my dogs on food that has no corn products in it, most skin sensitivity went away.

Good luck!
Atopy is only caused by food allergies about 10% of the time, and even then, protein sources are more common allergens than corn, wheat, or soy (though they can be allergens). If your dog has itchy skin, corn is not a very likely culprit.

The dog in question is allergic to the most common cause of atopy: fleas.
 
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