Posted by Paula (Yorkshire, England) on 08/30/2014
Hi, I have two dogs; both around 90 lb in weight. Kez is a 10 year old GSD and Kody is almost 3 years old and is an Alaskan Shepherd. Both are long coats, really thick coated. All was fine until my daughter bought a "German Shepherd" pup from a dodgy looking woman in the street. This was about 5 months ago. Mika, my daughter's dog, who is really of non-specific breed, seemed ok and played with my Kody a lot in the first few months and everything seemed fine. About six weeks ago my daughter tells me that Mika is itching - so we changed her food and she got a bath and was treated with frontline for fleas. I check both my dogs and they seemed fine. Then five weeks ago Kody started scratting round her ears and neck. I bathed her in a neem oil soap that I make myself but she continued to scratch. I sprayed her with ACV and essential oils of lavender and orange and brushed her, hoovered her, washed all the bedding, boraxed the carpets etc - all several times - and still Kody itched.
We haven't seen Mika for the last four weeks - then my daughter tells me that Mika is pulling her fur out. I went to see her and Mika's coat is looking thin and her belly is red and sore looking. I suggested that my daughter take Mika to the vet. I took Kody to the vet. The vet took a nit comb down Kody's back and announced that it wasn't fleas. The vet looked at Kody's stomach, which is mainly a beautiful healthy pink but had about half a dozen red spots and a couple of black head-looking spots on it. The vet announced that Kody had a bacterial infection and prescribed anti-biotics. I
was concerned about Kez getting this and the vet said it wasn't contagious (I thought anything bacterial was contagious?). Kez has nothing - no itching, no red spots. Kody has been on the anti-biotics for a week now and has a week to go but she's getting worse. Now she's nibbling at herself and has broken the skin in a couple of places. She's mainly nibbling her legs, sides and thigh but she's still scratting at her neck and ears. Given all this info could anyone tell me what they think this is? Kez has no symptoms whatsoever - but then she avoided Mika and, although Kez and Kody get on really well, they don't contact so much with each other physically. Mika and Kody had very close contact - laying on each other and play biting each other a lot.
Today I'm going to start this borax and H2O2 treatment on Kody because she's getting miserable with this. I was going to take her back to the vet but my trust in vets, particularly after the last visit and after reading this forum, isn't so high. Kody is a healthy and strong dog, I can't think that her immune system is low because she's generally very healthy but I'm going to get her the supplements suggested on here anyway because she's had the anti-biotics.
Any ideas from anybody would be appreciated - I'm not sure what I'm dealing with and given that skin scrapings are so unreliable, by all accounts, I don't want to go down that road. I certainly don't want to use toxic chemicals on an otherwise very healthy dog. And I'm dreading the thought that Kez starts to itch because she's a rescue (four years ago) and isn't as easy to deal with as Kody who I've had from a pup. Kez is old and has arthritis and hates to be messed with - should I treat Kez "Just in case" or wait and see what happens? My gut says treat them both but I don't want to put Kez through unnecessary stress :-(