Saturday, February 07, 2009

Nasty Little Bugs Taking Advantage-Bacterial Co-infections

Yesterday I took Carmella to the vet for what I thought was a bruised foot from stepping on a rock or possibly a chemical burn from the Mitaban dip, and found out that what she really had on the bottom of both front feet is an opportunistic bacterial infection. Most likely it's what she had earlier on her stomach after the previous round of antibiotics; probably Staph. These nasty little bugs take unfair advantage when a dog's immune system is compromised and often they are hard to kill and keep away.

If any of you run into this problem maybe this will help. My vet prescribed the following;

* Cephalexin 500 Mg. every 12 hours for 14 days (antibiotic capsules)

* GenOne Spray to be sprayed on affected areas 2-3 times/day for 14 days (antiseptic/antibiotic spray containing gentamycin sulfate)

* 3V Caps Liquid (Dietary Supplement containing Fish Oil plus antioxidants (2 pumps into food for a 40-59 Lb. dog to strengthen immune system)

* PetTabs multivitamins (also to strengthen immune system; can obtain at vet or any pet supply store)

There are other supplements/herbs that will help build up your dog's immune system as well. Somebody sent me about a 30 page document about Demodectic mange in which many more supplements to build up the dog's immune system are outlined in great detail but they are way too voluminous to mention here. I may go into those in future writings, breaking the document down into a number of seperate posts. I don't want these posts to become too dry and bore my readers.

My vet asked if Carmella had been licking her feet and I told him yes she had been. He said that the moisture breeds fertile ground for the bacteria to grow. I'd always thought that it helped for a dog to lick its wounds, but apparently not. Trying to get her to stop, though, is nearly impossible.

Dr. Norwood did not want to wrap up her front paws thinking that would keep moisture in as well, and just suggested I wash them off and then dry them if she got dirt on them after going outside.

I spoke with Dr. Norwood again about the research paper between him and Dr. Muller and he said that he had not gotten in touch with him yet but would do that soon. We talked briefly about her having repeat antibody tests at some point and possibly others to document her recovery. He seemed even more excited than the last time we'd talked seeing how good Carmella looked aside from her current problems, and noted that she has gained a pound and a half more just since Saturday when one of the vet techs weighed her. She now weighs 44.5 Lbs! She's really getting to be a big dog now and it doesn't seem like she's finished growing yet either!

I think the Distemper had stopped her growth and that put her behind schedule by 5-6 months and as soon as she was cured of that she started growing again. If I am correct about this she may still have more to grow until she's a year and a half old.

Last night I accidentally left my bedroom door open and after letting her back inside from the back yard she barreled in and jumped up onto my bed. She plopped herself down right where I sleep and seemed to close her eyes within just a minute or so. First I tried calling her to get her to go back into the kitchen, as I was starting to get sleepy, but she wouldn't budge. Then I tried lifting her to get her off the bed but she was like a bag of sand drooping and sinking in every possible direction.

Being too tired for this task that late at night I just moved her aside and fell into bed myself, crossing my fingers that I wouldn't wake up to a shredded comforter in the morning. Quite surprisingly I slept better than I had in weeks or possibly even months. She stayed curled up against me throughout the night and did not jump down to see what she could get into as she had done in the past when I put her on my bed during the daytime for shorter periods.

One reason I think I slept so well is that she kept me uniformly warm. Many nights I wake up because some part of my body or another gets cold in the middle of the night or at some unGodly hour around the crack of dawn. Last night that didn't happen and I awoke more rested than I had been in a long time! It also seemed to me that there was a long period in which her jerking stopped altogether. That is all good news! I had wanted to be able to let her sleep on my bed but up until now she would have pulverized anything in the vicinity so I dared not risk it. Maybe she has just about grown out of that habit, especially when she's not alone in the room. I'll probably try her again tonight and see if she is still on her best behavior.
Note: the photos I'm using are from about a week and some are from 2 weeks ago. She's no longer this red in the face and alot of her fur has grown back since then. I hope to take some current pictures of her tomorrow.

The Facebook group on Distemper is continuing to show promise and Ed Bond has now created an informational page on blogspot about the treatment so that we can boost Google ratings. As more successfully treated dogs are blogged about we're all going to link these together. Be sure to check these out. I should have these various links added within the next few days.

I'm getting ready to send in another payment on Carmella's vet bill within the next week, so if you'd like to help her this would be a good time to buy an ad on my blog, buy jewelry from my Etsy shop, and/or donate via the button above in my sidebar. Valentine's day is just around the corner so that is a perfect occasion to buy jewelry, and it is going to the upkeep of a great dog!

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