Successful diagnoses and treatment depend on a multi-pronged approach. Treatment is lifelong and requires due diligence on the part of the owner to be successful. The bacteria must be treated with an antibiotic that kills the organisms and has good penetration into the skin. Angelcare's first choice for simple, acute skin infections is cephalexin - it is an inexpensive twice/day antibiotic. Chronic skin or ear infections should have cultures/sensitivities done prior to starting therapy. This allows us to identify all the bacterial species infection the skin and ear and tells us which antibiotics will most effectively kill the bacteria. Your dog should be treated for at least 3 weeks, (often 3 months) as it takes long to truly get rid of a bad skin infection.
Skin cells and exudate from the nail beds and between foot pats should be examined for the presence between foot pats should be examined for the presence of Malassezia yeast. If these peanut looking organisms are present, then your dog should be treated with oral ketoconazole daily for 3-4 weeks. Yeast is very itchy and if it is not addressed, it will continue to cause your dog to lick at his feet long after the allergies and the staph are gone.
They are the organisms most often responsible for "the brown boots often seen or white-footed dogs."
Topical treatment for staph and Malassezia is available and can be successful, but it is much more labor-intensive, and you must be very dedicated to frequent, continuous application. Our favorite topicals have chlorhexidine, climbazole, and phytosphingosine and silver. Shampooing three times a week for at least 15 minutes will remove infecting organisms, pollens, dead skin and hair. This will shorten your dog's recovery time. Once your dog is back to normal, the mousse or spray products work well in maintenance and preventive protocols.
The itch that is triggered by Atopy (pollen allergies) is best treated nowadays with Apoquel or Cytopoint. Apoquel is a great new non-steroidal anti-itch drug that has minimal side effects. Cytopoint is a new monoclonal antibody that specifically targets and neutralizes canine IL-31. Canine IL-31 is a chemical the immune system makes which sends the itch signal to the brain in atopic dermatitis. Short-term use of steroids such as prednisone, or long-term use of Atopica are other drugs available to modulate the overactive immune system that is causing Atopy. Regardless of which drugs are used to control symptoms, your pet should have a CBC, chemistry panel and thyroid profile done every 6 months to monitor changes on the inside organs of his body.
Important Action Plan For Skin and Ear Disease Treatment:
Set up your appointment with Dr. Melodie Limpach if you think your pet is suffering from seasonal allergies, other types of allergy, or any skin condition that does not resolve in a couple of weeks. Angelcare Animal Hospital of Racine, WI can usually get your pet in for an exam within 48 hours of your call for help. If finances are limited, we accept Care Credit, Visa, MC, and Discover. We will also design a treatment plan that can work within your budget. The important action plan is to get your pet in sooner than later. The longer your pet is suffering from his skin or ear disease, the longer (and costlier) it will take to produce a happy and healthy pet. Call 262-886-3337 or book now for an appointment today.