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 My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??

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Dahmersmom
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PostSubject: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 2:47 pm

Hi everyone, I just joined this forum a couple minutes ago out of desperation so i hope im doing everything right, and posting in the right spot. I have a dilemma on my hands and i'm just trying to get opinions/thoughts/suggestions from knowledgeable husky people. I'm going to give you guys some history about my dog, Dahmer, and then get to the problem. Here goes:

I adopted my Siberian husky two and a half years ago, which would make him around 4 1/2 years old today. I found him on craigslist and when i went to go look at him, he was in such bad shape that i ended up taking him home that day. When i first got him, he had fleas, Lymes disease really bad and Chronic Eociniphil Inflammation of the lungs. On top of all of that, he also happens to have bad seasonal allergies. Fast forward to now, his Lymes Disease is under control, but we've been bouncing from vet to vet trying to manage his lung condition. Just to let everyone know, the lung condition, untreated, causes him to cough, and cough up mucus just about 24 hours of every day. When i first got him, his throat was so inflamed from coughing that he could barely eat. The first vet we went to put him on Prednisone for his lungs, which stopped the coughing, but then they wanted to keep him on it for almost half a year. So i didn't want him to be on steroids long term so we went and found another vet. Long story short, and 2 vets later, his current vet put him on Azathioprine, an immunosuppressant, about 4 months ago. These last four months he has been doing well. No coughing and lots of energy. However, about 3 weeks ago he developed a bald spot on his arm, and in a matter of three days it was a huge, raw sore that had quadrupled in size. His vet diagnosed him with having a "nasty bacterial infection" (his words) and put him on 2 different antiobiotics, (bactril & clavamox), gave an anti-inflammatory shot, and sent me home with an antiseptic flush and a topical spray that i used twice a day for two weeks. The vet told me to expect these sorts of infections due to his suppressed immune system from the azathioprine (which they want to keep him on for the rest of his life) Now the vet didn't do a skin swab or anything to diagnose him, he just looked at it and told me what it was, and then shaved him down and cleaned it. His wound seemed to be healing well, and i thought everything was going to be okay, then, a day before he was supposed to be finished his antibiotics, he started developing another sore, in the exact same spot, on the opposite arm. The vet wants to put him back on antiobiotics. I'm at a loss. My dog has been on so much medicine since i've gotten him, and they just keep pumping more into him. I really don't trust my vet. I don't think they really have a clue as to what to do for my dog. I don't trust that they diagnosed his skin problem correctly either. I'm not really sure what im asking here, i just want opinions, thoughts, suggestions, or maybe someone that can relate to this story. My dog really deserves to catch a break, and i really need some guidance as to what to do for him. Thank you for reading.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 3:18 pm

I don't have much advice of value, but where are you located? I'm wondering if you could find a bigger vet hospital near you that might have more experienced and specialized vets. I'm originally from Colorado, and the tough to solve cases usually ended up going to CSU vet hospital. I hope others have some good advice to help you out!
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Dahmersmom
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 3:41 pm

Thank you so much for answering me! Im in Maryland. I just googled specialized vets in my area and i found a vet that specializes in immune related disorders. I was reading a little bit on their website and i can't believe that my regular vet hasn't offered to refer me to one specializing in immune deficiencies, especially since they've had a bit of a hard time treating him. I think i'm going to ask my vet for a referral or try to make a consultation appointment. Even if they tell me they can't do anything different than what my normal vet is doing for him, i will still be glad to have a second opinion from an expert.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 3:57 pm

I have a friend in MD that has a pup that has seizures, she's pretty familiar with the area and the best vet hospitals there. Her username on here is blueeyedghost and asked me to have you send her a pm. She's stuck in a meeting right now, but will get back to you when she can. Smile
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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 4:07 pm

Poor Dahmer. I am really glad he ended up with someone who really cares for him! I am just curious as to what the Craigslist ad looked like, did they mislead to make you think that he was in good health? What were they doing to "care" for him? What was his surroundings like? As I said it is purely curiosity. I agree that it is lame your vet didn't suggest you go to a specialist. He was treating Dahmer like hot noodles by throwing stuff at him hoping it would stick, and that is no way to go about something he obviously has no clue about. I am glad you are going to get a consult with someone who would know how to help. Keep us updated please, also welcome to the forum!
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Kellyb
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 4:12 pm

I just PM'd Meredith, so she should hop onto the thread and hopefully have a suggestion.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 4:45 pm

Dahmersmom wrote:
Thank you so much for answering me! Im in Maryland. I just googled specialized vets in my area and i found a vet that specializes in immune related disorders. I was reading a little bit on their website and i can't believe that my regular vet hasn't offered to refer me to one specializing in immune deficiencies, especially since they've had a bit of a hard time treating him. I think i'm going to ask my vet for a referral or try to make a consultation appointment. Even if they tell me they can't do anything different than what my normal vet is doing for him, i will still be glad to have a second opinion from an expert.

The eosinophilic lung disease would be an overactive immune system - the immunodeficiency is caused by the azathioprine, necessary to supress the immune system, ie lower the eosinphils in his lungs, is also going to make him much more susceptible to infection. Are these infected areas perhaps pressure sores - areas where he lies down on and pressure is causing a breakdown in the skin that then becomes infected? Unfortunately, as hubby always says, every drug has its' side effects. Any time you are suppressing the immune system, you are going to risk infection - management is a fine line between flare up of disease process and opportunistic infection. I live with this with asthma medications.

Its also possible your dog has an atopic disposition and the patches are inflammatory not infectious but I doubt it - the azathioprine should suppress that.

Good luck your dog - hopefully Meredith has some insights.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 4:59 pm

Here's an article that may provide some insight for you

http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vetmed/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=673422&sk=&date=&%0A%09%09%09&pageID=3

I have no idea though, how you would give inhaled steroids to a dog.
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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Thu May 08, 2014 6:56 pm

Hey, sorry I was tied up in an all day long meeting and then had to battle hellish traffic getting home. I'm to the point in my day where I need a drink...

Anyway, I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through with Dahmer. I live in Pasadena (between Glen Burnie and Severna Park), and we take Shadow to a neurologist in Annapolis right by the mall. If you're anywhere near the Annapolis area, the referral center that our neurologist is a part of is fantastic, and they do have an internal medicine specialist there as well. We are supporting Shadow's conventional care with holistic care as well, and I can't speak highly enough of both the conventional vet as well as the holistic vet that we see. They both practice out of Bayside Animal Medical Center, which is on Ritchie Highway in Severna Park. Again, if you're within reasonable driving distance, it would really be worth it to come see Dr. Bray. I really think the combination of the conventional care and the holistic care we're getting is the reason that Shadow has made it this far. She was born with Hydrocephalus, and really wasn't expected to make it to her first birthday. We've had some ups and downs with her, but she's done pretty well all things considered.

Please don't hesitate to shoot me a PM, I'm happy to give you as much information as I can Smile

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Canine Hydrocephalus Support on Facebook

"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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Dahmersmom
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Tue May 13, 2014 1:43 pm

Thank you all so much for the replies. Unfortunately, i don't have a computer at home, so i'm only able to jump online briefly during the week while im at my data entry job which is why it's taken me so long to get back. Everything was really helpful. In the end, i actually made Dahmer an appointment with a holistic vet that was suggested to me by a fellow husky owner that we meet with at the dog park a couple times a week. (who also happens to be a Shadow!) He's going in next wednesday, so in about a week hopefully i'll have some more perspective about his situation. But, some good news is, the second spot that he was developing on his arm has totally gone away now, so i don't know what that was about.

And to answer some of the questions, his owner before i had him totally mislead me into thinking he was healthy. There was no mention of illness on the craiglist ad, and when i went down to see him, the owner told me that Dahmer would have a slight cough "from time to time" due to a "narrow trachea", which my vet told me the next day wasn't even a real condition. But what can you expect from a man who names his dog after a serial killer? (he also had a cat named charlie manson) His surroundings were pretty sad. He lived outside full time, was never allowed inside the guys mobile home. And his pen outside was just mud, no grass or anything. And he was being fed dog food from tractor supply company that was like 90 % corn.
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Dahmersmom
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Tue May 13, 2014 1:44 pm

I'm going to try to figure out how to upload a picture of him on here soon so you guys can kind of meet him!
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Dahmersmom
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Tue May 13, 2014 2:10 pm

Just got a picture of him up, now everyone can see the handsome boy!
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Tue May 13, 2014 2:11 pm

Aw. How sweet! I'm glad you found a holistic vet and I hope they can help you get him feeling better. My pup has skin allergies so I know how frustrating it can be, but they don't sound nearly as bad as Dahmer's. You know, you could change his name if you want to. Smile A lot of rescue dogs get renamed. He's lucky you found him.
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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Tue May 13, 2014 2:19 pm

I really hope that the holistic vet can help you guys! As I've said, we absolutely love ours. Not sure what part of Maryland you're in, but if you're interested this weekend our Husky group (Husky Huddle and Malamute Mingle of Maryland) is hiking up at Gunpowder Falls State Park (north of Baltimore) on Saturday morning. We do monthly meet ups either at parks or on hiking trails, and I really try to rotate them around the state so more people can come Smile

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Canine Hydrocephalus Support on Facebook

"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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Dahmersmom
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Tue May 13, 2014 3:10 pm

As weird as it sounds, i can't change his name because he is totally a Dahmer! If you met him i think you would understand haha. It's also given way to about a hundred nicknames that me and his dad like to call him. The Dahmer Lama, The Dahmppler Radar, Dahm-Dahm... But mostly we call him Hoosk or Hoosky. I did cut the Jeffrey part out of his name when i first got him, because he was Jeffrey Dahmer, and i think that was going a little too far. His allergies are something that definitely need to be re-addressed at our visit. He's been so itchy, he just scratches and itches alllll day ever since Spring arrived.

And Blueeyedghost, I'm in Frederick, Maryland. About 45 minutes outside of Baltimore. I wish i could come hike with you guys this week but unfortunately i don't have a car right now, and my fiance works saturday mornings or else i'm sure he would take us up there. Does your group ever hike in Gambrill State Park or Greenbrier? or Cunningham falls? Dahmer and i spend a lot of time in Gambrill state park and they have awesome hiking trails. I would love to come hike with a bunch of other huskies and husky people! I'm sure with a little more notice we would definitely be able to make it one day!
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Tue May 13, 2014 3:23 pm

We actually hiked Gambrill as a group back in March, and my husband and I take the dogs up there on our own from time to time. Haven't tried Greenbrier or Cunningham yet, but we did one of our dog park meets up there last summer. Probably going to get another one at that park in the next few months again too. I know you don't have a ton of computer access, but if you can go on and join the Facebook group, and then look for the meets to be announced. I'd love to meet you and Dahmer Smile

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Shadow's Blog

Canine Hydrocephalus Support on Facebook

"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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Dahmersmom
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PostSubject: Re: My husky with compromised immune system is getting skin sores? :( advice??   Tue May 13, 2014 3:57 pm

Unfortunately i don't have a facebook either! ha...i'm pretty anti social-media, unless of course its a social media revolving around huskies Razz I'll get my fiance to join the facebook group and have him keep me posted. I'd like to meet you guys too Smile Right now Dahmer and i only have one other husky friend, who i mentioned before is also a Shadow! But i'd love to get him out there and have him meet some other huskies. I'm sure we'll definitely make it to one of the hikes one day, sounds like too much fun.
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