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Allergy to fleas? Or?
  • Hello! I am posting simply because I couldn't find a forum that matched what we are facing. I was wondering if maybe anyone knows what could be wrong with my baby girl, Akira? She used to have a bacterial skin infection on her underbelly that we successfully treated (we don't know what is causing it, but she has had it twice now in the spring and now in the fall/winter). Around the time the infection on her stomach showed up we noticed she had begun eating at her back. I looked at it and noticed small bald patches and sores that spanned up her back and tail (only where she had been chewing). I began treating her back the same way I treated her stomach. The stomach infection left, but she still wouldn't leave her back alone. She has been on flea meds which never seemed to work so we just switched to Trifexis a few days ago. I noticed her back started to get significantly worse (not linked with the new flea meds, it had started getting worse prior to the switch) and picked up almost a strong medicine odor ONLY on the effected area even though I bathe her regularly. I have noticed the area is painfully sensitive to touch and has a lot of heat but only occasionally, it sometimes cools down. We thought it might be hot spots.. but it's progressing. The areas she is balding is her back, tail, and back of the legs. I cut the hair off her back to see her sores better and to get an opinion if possible? Also the liquid you see is Vetericyn. Another important note, she eats, drinks, and plays like normal with good energy, her gums are pale though I assume that's due to the fleas that we are treating. As far as I can tell she is using the bathroom normal as well. She does go into occasional shaking fits though, but she has always done this. Her diet is grain free Merrick Lamb and Sweet Potato (no human food, rarely treats, no external foods). she has been on this food since she was a puppy and it hasn't caused this reaction until last year in the spring and this winter. She is almost 2 years old.

    Another note, the lady we got her from sent her to us with a bladder infection which we hadn't noticed until blood started entering her urine, coccidiosis, and fleas. We are heavily worried for her and want her pain to stop. Any opinions?

    The pictures are of her problem and of course just a glamour shot of her!

    photo Akira_zpsadjujxvw.jpg
    photo Akira 2_zpsftjb41jl.jpg
    photo 13938135_1212663765463135_2524931157163902765_o_zpssdonpgjg.jpg
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    Take her back to the vet ASAP. If your vet doesnt know go to a different vet.
    Your dog cannot be left like this
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8425
    @schaffer919 - Oh dear god. Take that poor dog to the vet NOW.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • I should have clarified all the issues stated at the end have all been cleared up a long time ago. Other than the skin on her back she has no other known issues, which is why I was asking only about her back. Due to us using all our money to get her other issues cleared, we have none to get her back to a vet at the moment, which is why I am asking on this forum to see if anyone has had a similar issue with this specific problem. Otherwise a vet would have been our first go to.
  • imBLASIANimBLASIAN
    Posts: 412
    You may be able to find something similar under the "Health" topics, but its ill-advised, if not outright dangerous for your pup to try to self-diagnose and fix the problem.
  • @imBLASIAN I'm not looking to self diagnose since this is something I have had diagnosed by a vet before. I am looking to find out if other people have had similar issues and to find out if the cause is truly fleas or if there is another allergen that can cause a similar reaction. It's not like I'm choosing not to take her to the vet. I honestly have no money to do so. I am doing the next possible thing and that's asking others who may have had a similar problem to try and stop possible triggers.
    Post edited by schaffer919 at 2017-01-19 02:01:59
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 644
    Heat rash? Did you leave him in a car without ac?

    Go to vet for some ointment.
    Post edited by knnwang at 2017-01-19 02:57:16
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1104
    Well, the thing is allergies are unique to each individual dog. The manifestation of the allergy, as well as the self-harm and condition of each dog is also unique. Nobody can diagnose this over the internet.

    Flea allergies are very common, and you combat this by eradicating them from your home and your dog. Trifexis is not great for flea allergy dogs because the flea must bite to ingest the poison, and the allergen is the flea saliva. Food intolerances are another, as well as environmental allergens like pollen, dust, and detergents. It takes a visit to a dermatologist to accurately diagnose and treat environmental allergies. Sometimes it's not allergies at all, but mange or ringworm.

    Caring for a dog with allergies takes a lot of management, patience, and money. Do you have pet insurance or CareCredit?

    First thing - is the bald spot on her back entirely self inflicted? She needs to be prevented from reaching it, she needs to be coned whenever you can't monitor her. Wounds can't heal without time regardless of diagnosis.
  • @knnwang no, we didn't leave her in the car. She doesn't make store trips with us since we live in a hot climate.

    @zandrame Yes, the bald spot was self inflicted with chewing. The reason it is so vast now is because I cut the hair away so I could see the affected area better. We aren't eligible for care credit as I'm not employed due to the recent move to the state and don't have pet insurance at the moment, though once I am employed I plan on getting it for her. She is coned and wears a shirt (much to her dismay) so that she can no longer reach it

    It isn't food allergy since the food hasn't changed at all and this hasn't been a constant problem, it's been periodic. Though it has been significantly worse since we moved from Oregon to NC.

    The last time this happened the vet did a skin scrape and checked for mange and it came up negative. They also did blood work recently and stated that there wasn't anything to be concerned with there. I wasn't asking for a diagnosis, I was asking if anyone else has experienced this with their pup since I am not in the financial spot to spend another couple hundred dollars on a vet at the moment.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8425
    @schaffer919 - While I totally understand financial issues, it is irresponsible and cruel to let your dog suffer like this. If you are unable or unwilling to scrounge up some money or credit (perhaps your husband can apply for care credit if you are not eligible) to take care of your pet's medical issues, please contact a rescue organization and see if they can help.

    While the last time this happened, the skin scrape and blood work came back negative, it is possible that the move to a new environment has introduced something that can easily be treated with a round of anti-fungal or antibiotic. Even if it is "just" environmental allergies, you can not let your dog suffer like this.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • @sunyata I'm not "letting" her suffer and it bothers me on a deep level that you think that way. My husband did apply and got denied due to bad credit on his part. I have tried getting help financially and can't. I'm treating the issue, as stated, the best I can until I can get her to vet care. The wounds have began healing with the care I have been giving, this post was just to see if I am alone in this and to see if anyone may have known a cause since the last time it happened the vet immediately said fleas without looking farther into it while I had the money to spare. It wasn't my choice to have to move and my husband's money isn't mine to use to take her in, or else I would have by now. Treating me as if I like watching my dog in discomfort is rude. I can not bring her in and no one is willing to help me. My whole family is financially poor, I wasn't until I moved. It isn't a choice. It's just the things are going right now. If you know of resources that would help, then that would be constructive, but just telling me to fix it and criticizing me without offering solutions or help isn't fair and isn't helping anyone. You speak of organizations that would help, do you have names?
  • imBLASIANimBLASIAN
    Posts: 412
    Getting pet insurance would probably not do anything at this point since its a pre-existing condition now :-/

    I'm not sure where you are located, but there may be a shiba rescue or a pet shelter that could give assistance or direct you to someplace that could help you. Generally though, their resources are stretched thin as it is with their own abandoned/sick/etc. pups.
  • @imBLASIAN I'll look into general shelters around me for assistance, but I know they have trouble staying afloat themselves. :/ There are no Shiba rescues near me that I could find. The closest one that I saw was a few states over. In general she is a happy healthy dog, she just has this persisting skin issue for some darn reason. With the treatment that I've been doing almost all the open sores have healed and the skin is turning that dark color that it gets right before the hair starts growing back, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. I still plan to bring her into a vet the second I have the funds, even if it heals, so that I can hopefully find the cause to prevent future issues.
  • JasonWJasonW
    Posts: 29
    You mentioned that you live in a hot climate. My Kyubi had a similar (but not as widespread) averse reaction to the hot/humid afternoon heat in Singapore when I first got him and he bit himself raw until I reversed the situation within a few weeks by doing the following:
    1. Turning on the fans and air-conditioning in the afternoon for him.
    2. Spraying twice daily a mix of 50:50 organic apple cidar-vinegar, water mix with coconut oil into his itchy areas to alleviate itching. The acidity of the ACV and a component in coconut oil are known to be anti-bacterial/fungal.
    3. Using Curaseb shampoo once a week (look for Kyubi's introduction post to see the Amazon link I included).
    4. He was too lean as a puppy so I increased his diet intake and introduced him to raw while giving him salmon oil 3 times a week and an egg once a week, including the eggshell which I crushed into powder. It's important to note that in many underlying skin problems, a dog's immunity is paramount - if their immune system is compromised, their chances or period of recovery will be more challenging. Sometimes, revamping their diet to a more natural one helps. Feeding your dog whatever fresh meats you might be eating is still better than feeding them a highly processed, high standard kibble. The 80:10:10 prey model is easier (tonnes of threads here on that) and more cost effective than ppl believe. I've seen results in my own Shiba so I believe a fresh raw diet helps.

    Even on a limited budget, you should be able to action most of these and they won't harm your dog whatever his diagnosis.

    Worth noting that, swelling and heat emanating from the problem spots is a surefire sign of infection.

    If I were in your financial position, I would be thick-skinned enough to camp outside a veterinary clinic with your dog around knocking-off time, and ask a vet what their opinion is when they are walking to their car. It's a bit cheeky but if you are lucky, some charitable, kind hearted vet would at least spare a few minutes to look at your dog. It's better than asking forum-folk to guess. Heck, if I had to, I would even beg on the street to save my dog rather than feed myself...but that's just me.....i hate to see animals suffer despite their stoicism.
  • MooseMoose
    Posts: 41
    If it was fleas the first time with the stomach, the issue could still be fleas. Fleas are NOTORIOUSLY difficult to get rid of, once it's invaded your home... which is why vets push flea products.

    To test for fleas, get a fine tooth comb (a human one will do) and brush along the fur of your dog, then wipe the comb off on a damp paper towel. If there is black residue, called "flea dirt," your dog is infested.

    You could continue your flea medication, wear an e-collar (which you're already doing) for your dog so they're not licking the area and causing a "hot spot," (which could lead to other issues). I would highly recommend that you wash ALL your linens that your dog has contacted during the period, and sprinkle baking soda over any carpeted areas for a while. Large salt grains work as well. For whatever reason, fleas have trouble climbing over those products and get stuck under the carpet until they die. Yes, it sucks, but it'll get rid of the fleas.

    If it's not fleas... I'm not sure what it may be. It looks like allergies, but i am not a doctor, so it would be merely a prognosis. I would keep the area clean and dry, as best as I can. The shirt is a good idea. Instead of spraying the dog with apple vinegar, put a small amount in their water bowl instead. The pH of the vinegar may irritate the already irritable skin. I think the Veticyl that your'e using is a good idea, so continue that. I hope your puppy gets better!
    Post edited by Moose at 2017-01-26 21:21:14

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