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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 31161
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a bulldog, shes 7 months old and has been in heat for

Customer Question

I have a bulldog, she's 7 months old and has been in heat for 5 days. She's extremely lethargic and not too bothered about her food, which is not like her at all. She is also completely covered in sores all over her body, some of them are a bit green and she flinches when we rub her.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you. While heat can certainly upset our dogs I would attribute her lethargy and inappetance mainly to her painful pyoderma (bacterial skin infection). Such an extensive pyoderma is likely to arise secondary to another disease process such as an underlying demodectic mange or autoimmune skin disease such as the pemphigus complex. My questions for you, then, are...

1) Were skin scrapings taken in an attempt to identify an underlying demodectic mange mite?
2) Was a cytology of the skin performed? This involves taking a sample of the skin surface and examining it microscopically for abnormal numbers of bacteria and/or yeast.
3) Was a bacterial culture and sensitivity performed on pus in order to determine which antibiotic would be the best to prescribe?
4) Which antibiotic was chosen, what dose was prescribed, and for how long was the antibiotic prescribed?
5) Have you been asked to bathe Snuffles in an medicated shampoo? If so, what is that shampoo and how often were you asked to bathe her?

Please respond with additional information and further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The antibiotic is Cephalexin, think that's spelled correctly, twice a day for 14 days. We're getting a skin scraping done tomorrow, the vet suggested shaving all her hair off or scraping all the tops off the sores to let the pus have a chance to heal, we weren't too happy about this. He suggested a medicated shampoo twice a week. She's also losing all the hair off her face and chest and has bald patches on her legs.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. The loss of hair on her face/chest/legs is strongly suggestive of demodectic mange which should be readily apparent in the skin scrapings. If, indeed, that's the case, cephalexin at 20mg/kg twice daily for at least a month is important to address the staph infection we usually find secondary to that mange which can be addressed in a number of ways. I would treat Snuffles with oral ivermectin daily for weeks to months; in essence, until two skin scraping are finally negative for mites one month apart.

Shaving her hair off is valuable if a dip such as Mitaban is going to be prescribed. A benzoyl peroxide shampoo is ideal because it's not only antibacterial but also brings mites to the surface of the skin where they're more easily killed by the dip. Scraping the scabs off her sores is contraindicated. There's no benefit in doing so and, in fact, there's a risk of spreading the infection farther. Don't let that be done, please.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much, what you've told us has been really helpful, our vet doesn't seem to have a clue!! I'll relay all your suggestions to him tomorrow, thanks again
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
You're quite welcome and you're welcome to share our conversation with Snuffles's vet.

I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'll speak to you soon.

Please disregard the info request.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
May I have an update on Snuffles, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, her skin scrape and other tests came clear and she doesn't have mange, the vet said there's still a small chance she has an autoimmune disease but he thinks she had a very severe allergic reaction to the Cephalexin, he put her on anew antibiotic but no steroid, she really disimproved over the weekend, she was completely lifeless, wasn't responding to us, not eating and her skin was dreadful, she also couldn't put any weight on her paws and just collapsed. We brought her back to the vet and he have her steroid injections and a course of 8 steroid tablets a day, 40mg, for a week, she'll be on a reduced dose of steroids after that. Her skin is slowly starting to improve and she's a little bit more lively, but she's still very uncomfortable and sore.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the update. I would have been more comfortable biopsying her skin to see if an autoimmune skin disorder (pemphigus, e.g.) existed prior to initiating steroids but it should be informative to see how Snuffles responds to 40mg daily for a week. I'm going to check back in a week for another update.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They were going to leave her for the week without steroids but she got so bad and was going downhill so quickly they had to give it to her, we actually thought we were going to lose her, she has a checkup in 3 days with her vet so hopefully he'll say he made the right decision! Thanks for the follow up email
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
I understand. I set a follow up for 6/23 in case I miss you.