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Thread: zack's wiped out again

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire
    Judy, I am glad he is more with it now - is it worth looking at a natural product for the fleas, or for the vet to issued a smaller dosage or something... for you to put on and not them.
    Yes! This morning he was scratching when i got up so i took him outside and rubbed nutritional yeast into his fur, i've read that fleas do not like it. Zack, and Fluffy, seem to love it. Zack wants to lick it. So that's good too because taken internally, it's like taking a B complex vitamin and supposedly it gives their body a flavor fleas don't like. I didn't know if it would work, but after i put it on, he stopped scratching. Coincidence? i don't know. i had to go out for several hours and when i came back, he was scratching. So i put it on him again and he has not been scratching since. I also have flea combed him but haven't found any fleas. I did see one on him earlier though. Last night it was worse, i was seeing more evidence of them. Fluffy has not been scratching at all. We all three sit together on the reclining chair, but the fleas have not been here. Knock on wood. I put nutritional yeast in their bedding too.

    I first saw fleas about two and a hafl weeks ago and that's when i started the brewers yeast/garlic tablets for pets from the health store. I stopped giving them because Zack got discharge in his eyes which i thought might be yeast. Within about a week or less from when i was giving him the tablets, he got that itchiness and then lethargy and prostration, and i'm very suspicious of the garlic. So is my favorite vet. In his blood tests, it said his reticulocytes were elevated. I read an abstract from a study on the web of hemolytic anemia in dogs induced by feeding onion, which has the same toxin as garlic only stronger, and they said reticulocytosis starts within 5 days of starting the onion. I'm suspicious that the whole syndrome he had was related to the garlic.

    but, right after i started giving the tablets, i stopped seeing any signs of fleas. I was impressed and pleased. It was after i stopped the tablets that i moved on to diatomaceous earth and neem oil. That was about a week and a half ago, and i am only just now seeing signs of fleas again, so it's possible those things really worked, and would take care of the problem if i kept them up. it's trial and error.

    Dr Pitcairn says there are studies with conflicting results about effectiveness of nutritional yeast against fleas, some suggest it is, some don't. but he said no studies of garlic have shown it to be effective against fleas. so i'm just giving the yeast now, and hopefully it is working as it seems to be. No scratching, no signs of fleas. It's kind of hard to use, it's flakey and messy, but not really a big deal. It smells yummy. the animals love it.

    i still haven't read the article from WDJ about nontoxic flea control, i'm hoping to get some ideas from there too. it seems too good to be true that the yeast is working so well.

    That is a great idea, to get a smaller dose of the Advantage, and combine it with the other things. I am open to trying the Advantage again, but i think it may have not been a good idea to do it when Zack had those lesions on him and has been having an unexplained illness or reaction to something, with a secondary infection. I will only do it again if i can't do it with nontoxic things, but it may come to that, and as Cathy M says below, a dog with a flea allergy is the last thing i want, there is terrible suffering with that condition. and that is exactly why, against my gut feeling, i chose to do the Advantage yesterday.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxxs_Mummy
    Have you thought about trying a crystal in his water bowl - Nicki uses it so she'll tell you baout it - for the fleas?
    nicki mentioned it before. i definitely want to get one. putting it on my list of things to get this weekend. sure can't hurt. I also have heard that apple cider vinegar in their water helps to make them unappealing to the fleas, and also to spritz them with apple cider vinegar.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlin
    Judy, I'd consider two things. One is to try very hard not to focus so entirely on whether things are wrong with Zack. Your own anxiety can contribute to problems even to the extent that they will learn that acting lethargic gets a huge amount of attention from you, stop eating, get the runs etc. He needs some space just to be a dog, and dogs do have health ups and downs from time to time.
    i agree, i take that seriously--the way people/beings feed off each other, the way peoples/beings' energies affect each other and stuff, and having that in mind (i have had my share of family systems training and experience as a therapist) i am conscious of how i act toward zack. Believe it or not, and it must be hard to believe, I do try not to show him my anxieties. I have used this board and caring people here to vent my worries and freak outs, but with zack, i just leave him alone. If he needs to sleep all day, i don't get in his space. I do my thing, which may be posting freaked out posts to message boards and mail lists, or researching what might be wrong with him on the net, but i am cheerful and laid back with him, believe it or not. Having said that, i'm sure he can sense something in the air, but there's really not a lot of occasions for me to communicate my anxiety to him because when he's acting sick, we basically aren't interacting at all, he's sleeping. i do continue to keep a sense of humor with him, and act normally toward him, what else can i do? It wouldn't do any good to act any differently toward him. But i did give him canned food last week in order to see if he had an appetite, i wanted that information, it seemed like a good thing to know in evaluating what the heck was wrong with him. But you're right, this can lead to problems. However, those very problems are only perpetuated to the extent both "people" keep them up. It can always be changed.

    Actually the opposite is the case as far as the attention i give him goes. When he's well, i give him loads of attention, he's a lot of fun. When he's sick, there is much less interaction, and his requests for attention stop, so he's not getting much. I'm just working on trying to figure out what's wrong on my own, not involving him in that.

    What he's just been through really wasn't a normal health 'up and down' of being a dog. I think i poisoned him with garlic. but whatever it was, he was in very bad shape, not walking, not eating, not drinking, not functioning. walking two steps and laying down. just to name a few. This was a real cause for alarm. And then, because of my own idiosyncrasy, the way i deal with that is to get fairly dramatic and fearful, but i do avoid acting that out with him. I sure appreciate having people to listen at times like those, like you guys, and my daughter too.

    It's always good to be reminded and encouraged anyway, to try to not overreact to things.

    ....It can be very overwhelming for any animal to have someone very worried about you constantly, especially as an animal can pick up on that so easily, and also to have too much focus all the time. For a dog this can be extremely alarming and cause a high level of anxiety. So try to back off a bit from him and just let him get on with things and see how he does, without any extra treatments, foods, etc.
    Yes, again, as far as what he experiences goes, there is not a lot of focus on him. It's just you poor people here that get the effect of my focus on how to help him recover and feel better. when he's sick, those have been the times when he gets very little attention from me, mainly because he needs to be quiet, he shows that, and all i can do is give him space to do that. He doesn't seem to be alarmed by me. He was just sick.

    DO NOT put Advantage on open wounds!! I am sure it says this somewhere on the packaging but in general you'd never want to put chemicals into any open wounds, broken skin etc. I am sure his spots will just heal and disappear.
    The vet yesterday did not seem concerned about putting the Advantage right on his lesions. When i asked if i should wait until the lesions were healed, she said it would only be a problelm if the advantage went right on the lesions, like if there were any on his neck. When i said he had some on his neck, she wasn't concerned and just put it right on. There was a cluster of them right where she put it on, right there. But maybe she wasn't concerned because they were healing?

    The vet is giving you very good advice and you have to relax and let time pass and let him heal. Try not to second-guess the vet -- they know their job and they are doing the proper order of treatment.
    With all due respect to vets, they are human, and there are many mysteries in medicine, and the right course is not always clear, and they don't always choose it. I could write a book on the experiences i've had with doctors/vets doing things that were not helpful and were even harmful, with totally good intentions, and doing their very best. I think it's unrealistic to expect more of them. Only one of 4 vets diagnosed Zack's need to be wormed when he had colitis and vomiting when i first got him. The others gave him treatments that didn't help at all. And it was all reasonable. None of it was incompetent. It was based on conventional wisdom or standard medical practice. The 4th vet, i have found repeatedly, is an especially good thinker. She's very alert. She's more than competent. She said almost as an afterthought, when she prescribed the worm medication, "I'd hate to miss that diagnosis." Apparently negative stool samples prevented the other vets from considering this, i dont' know, i didn't ask. But if he had been correctly diagnosed in the beginning, he would never have had a period of chronic sickness. He would've had a brief two day bout of diarrhea and then gone on being the healthy dog that he is. Instead, there was a month of misery for him and emotional trauma for me, having to watch my dog suffer, and because it was during the 30 day waiting period, not being covered by the insurance for the $1100 in 4 weeks.

    i'm just glad i second guessed those vets because one was saying the only thing left to try was endoscopy or exploratory surgery and the other one was saying the next step, to be done immediately, was $600 barium studies. I just had to try one more vet before going that way. Luckily, it was an unusually good one who has continued to do good diagnostic work with Zack. so i'm gaining trust in her. but she is only in Friday through Monday.

    There's absolutely no benefit to you or to Zack to be worrying about every micro-element of his behaviour and treatment. Dogs like people have off days too and mostly at that time, they just want to be left alone to rest and recover. Why not just leave things a few days and see how he does?
    You're right. If i had left the Advantage on, he probably would've come around and been fine, and he would now have the very convenient Advantage protection. But after the scary experience last week of his sudden abrupt deterioration into a totally nonfunctioning dog who wasn't eating, drinking, eliminating or walking for three days, i was feeling shell shocked and didn't really know if he was relapsing, since i didn't really know what caused the thing in the first place. Believe it or not, normally he is well and i am not in worry mode or hyper focus on zack. I just enjoy him, immensely, that's all.

    The second thing is, if problems continue THEN consider specialists.
    In retrospect, i see you're right, i should not have gone to this doctor who claims to be specialized in skin diseases (she is the third one i saw back in February, who was recommending the barium studies). I really wanted to consult with my regular vet about the lesions but she wasn't in until Friday. I wanted to check on how to prevent scarring and i wanted to know if it would be OK to do the Advantage. Because the fleas were starting to escalate, i was feeling urgency. I wish i'd been more calm about it at that point and just waited it out. i just thought something needed to be done about the fleas but he had the lesions so i didn't know, and considering the possibility that some of the holistic flea things i did might've caused his illness of the week before, i didn't know what to do. but it would've been better if i'd just waited it out, and tried the nutritional yeast, and waited til the lesions healed to try the advantage.

    I think the vet has emphasisesd though that she feels none of these things are unusual.
    My main vet didn't say that. She said maybe the combination of stuff i gave him for fleas might've thrown him off. She gave him fluids to try to wash out his system. When the blood results came back, she said he had an infection that needed to be treated, even though he was improved so much by then. She didn't mention fleas at all.

    The vet i saw yesterday said she thought it was from being attacked by fleas previously, resulting in the pyoderma. I'm not sure about that, and i dont' think she heard what i was saying, history-wise. On the insurance claim form, she wrote "flea infestation, pyoderma." but i dont' think you can accurately call what he's had an infestation. There has been an occasional flea or two, occasional scratching, every few hours, that only lasts a few moments, it's not persistent nor intense.

    When he first started scratching, rubbing, digging and paw licking last week, on the first day of his sickness, i carefully looked all over his body. There were no fleas, no bites, no flea dirt. If there were any fleas, i don't think you can call it an infestation. He hadn't been scratching at all for a week before that, after i'd given him the brewers yeast/garlic and other stuff.

    Fleas are common espeially in warm weather. Dogs sometimes get bumps if they have an allergic reaction.
    yes, but these bumps have never looked like allergic lesions. And the skin specialist vet yesterday said emphatically that he does not have a flea allergy (thank goodness).

    Many things cause itchiness. And heat will cause a dog to be much quieter. Also Zack is much older now -- he will NOT be as lively or playful as he has been.
    All day Monday and Tuesday when we were visiting Belle down in san diego, the dogs played and played, and we people were sitting around sweating, it was so hot. The dogs looked hot but that didn't make them quiet.

    And it's not very hot where i live, by the beach. To give you an idea, where i went to see my mother today, 15 miles from where i live it was in the 100s. Where i live, according to the radio weather report, it was mid 70s.

    Anyway, i know zack. this was not the heat. this wasn't developmental behavior change. It was an abrupt overnight dramatic extreme change. he was sick. i think i poisoned him wiht garlic. maybe. Just the night before he came down with this, i was marvelling at how energetic he was. I was thkning he was more energetic than he was earlier in his life. He used to sleep off and on at night while i would sit her doing stuff, but for a while recently, i was noticing he wasn't sleeping at all. He was doing stuff. I was surprised at this. he's a dog, after all. They sleep. so it was quite dramatic, first that he started rubbing, licking paws and scratching, after not doing this at all before, and then, the next day, shutting down, sleeping constantly, not moving, appearing ill--it was alarming. then, yesterday, it seemed to happen again, he abruptly crashed, stayed asleep for most of 8 hours, had a depressed expression, and other things i could list that really were not right, and against the background of what happened last week, it definitely freaked me out.

    I am so happy because he is acting fine now, all day today. He was prancing around, holding his head and tail high and carrying toys and balls in his mouth high in the air. and seeing that is wonderful thing. that's the way he usually is. He sleeps, he gets quiet off and on, plenty, but it's not like yesterday, he doesn't look depressed, he can be aroused by the usual things--somethhing wasn't right. but as you say, had i given it time, i think it would've passed--or, it did pass. but i washed off the advantage anyway.

    I will keep what you said in mind, so that i won't be surprised if he slows down due to changes developmentally. but i really (beleive it or not) do not get alarmed when normal stuff happens, sleep, not sleep, a little more active, a little less active, playful/less playful--it's just when something extreme and negative happens. but then that will set me off and i'll get overanxious, and in need of a sounding board and feedback.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy Moon
    Hi Judy,

    So glad to hear Zack is better again.

    I would rather use the flea drops (Frontline, etc.) that try to treat a whole house and yard. Plus my dogs can go anywhere and not pick up fleas when they are protected.

    I once saw an animal that was flea bitten and allergic to fleas - so much worse looking than what you've been through. I think you're doing the right thing, protecting Zack with proven medications.
    I think i will just wait until he's had a chance to be fully recovered from whatever was wrong with him, which i guess he just about is now. The scabs have fallen off most of the lesions and his skin looks normal again.

    my friend had a dog who had flea allergy, just one flea bite can create terrible havoc. After treating him and trying to help him for a year or two, my friend had him put down because his life just consisted of suffering and nothing the vet did could end that. The possibility of that happening to Zack is really scary, and that's why i did the advantage yesterday even though it strongly goes against my inclinsations. i didn't expect him to start acting sick right after. i thought it was going to be a normal kind of thing, just put it on and he'll be ok.

  5. #15
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    it's been a week ago tonight that the other photos i posted were taken, of the lesions on zack's face. Here's how it looks tonight, it's healing good.



  6. #16
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    He looks so much better, bless him. I'm so glad he's behaving more like his usual self too, Judy There's nothing worse than when our babies are ill Charlie is much better today but still not quite right, he has been having a zoomy fit though and has probably worn himself out

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