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I'm loving my 2nd rescued racer, have had him since March, something has me baffled. Right rear foot, oozes yuck from around toenails on outside toes only.

His foster had taken him to Ohio State....,they said NOT SLO, those are allergy feet (one front foot has one nail that oozes occasionally). So he's been on

a kangaroo & oat diet for the past 8 months. Another vet thought yes it was SLO, just a mild case. All nails are well seated, not loose, not deformed.

He has been on megadoses of omega 3 fatty acids, tried a course of tetracycline & niacinamide (6 weeks), then a course of pentoxyphyline & doxycycline (another 6 weeks). The only thing that seemed to have any effect at all was a course of Prednisone (which was hell on earth for both of us. I've about given

up on all medications. Am just cleaning the nails daily & adding some all-natural calming gel for comfort. He wears a child's sock to keep the tongue off.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Did anybody culture the fluid? If not, that should be done.

 

The response to prednisone suggests allergy, while the limited toe involvement (some, not all) suggests something else. Could yet be infection or fungus -- both of those sometimes respond to prednisone, too.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

I just got a foster with SLO. He has three missing nails and several that have obviously just started to grow back. It is very bizarre. He was a grade A dog in WV, and this has killed his career. All his nails are odd at best, but he's not letting it slow him down. There's not any oozing or anything on this guy. Hope you get it figured out... I just wanted to weigh in with good wishes. I was just about to start a topic on this very subject when I saw yours.

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I had a dog with SLO and I used all of the same Meds you did with great success-- I don't think your pup has SLO. Could be another type of an immune mediated disease. You may have to biopsy a toe to see. Have you tried doing daily soaks with a diluted Nolvasan solution?

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Kathy,

 

This is Jane, Desi's foster mom. I am so sorry that he is still having problems -- I thought we had finally figured it out with the kangaroo and oat diet. I will give a summary of what I and Team Greyhound did prior to his adoption. Maybe someone will have an idea. BTW, I had posted here on greytalk at various times about him, but nobody had any new ideas back then. Now I can't find the posts.

 

Here is his background. Desi was a very successful racer, 226 races and a few at the stakes level. This implies he did not have the problem prior to retirement. After his vetting, he went into our prison training program. We get donated Science Diet Large Breed so that is what he began eating. Because of a lack of foster homes, he was unfortunately in the prison for over 6 months. He came out of prison and went to a different foster home for a month until he decided to chase their cat. No one had commented on his nail beds up to now.

 

He came to my house in December 2008. I noticed some blood and crustiness on the nail beds of several nails on multiple feet. He went to the vet. They did a scraping and identified staph infection. He went on Simplicef for 2 weeks. I also soaked daily in a Ketochlor shampoo. His paws were sprayed daily with Gentimycin spray. The nails cleared up some but not completely. He had another 2 weeks of Simplicef and continued soaking and Gentimycin. The bleeding had stopped and it had started to heal. He went off the Simplicef and I continued with twice weekly soaks and daily gentimycin spray. After a few weeks, his feet began to get bad again. Back to the vet. He now had a yeast infection in his toenails along with a developing ear infection. Back on Simplicef, an antifungal foot spray, the gentamycin foot spray, the ketochlor soaks, ear cleaning solution, antibacterial ear drops, and antifungal ear drops.

 

Things improved but once these were discontinued it all came back. We tried a different vet who thought it was SLO. He was treated with prednisone (peeing every HOUR), vitamin E and fish oil, and an antibiotic (can't remember which one). Went back in 6 weeks, the vet thought it was improved but I didn't think so. After 6 more weeks, it was clear it wasn't working.

 

We switched him to Science Diet Lamb and Rice (also free for us). He started to get scaly patches on his thighs. We decided to take him to OSU for a consult with Dr. Couto, before trying a different food.

 

After a history and exam, Dr. Couto felt it was probably an allergy but he wanted one of OSU's dermatologists to take a look. They did scrapings of all toes and also took samples from his ears and the scaly patches on his leg. He did have bacterial and fungal infections. The dermatologist was convinced that it was allergies and wanted him on Royal Canin prescription venison, rabbit or kangaroo diet. Due to the cost, with the dermatologists approval, we put him on Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Venison and Potato. While he was on the antibiotics/antifungal he improved almost to normal. All but two of his toenails looked normal, no scaly patches and the two worst toenails were no longer oozing but the skin to nail bed transition still wasn't "smooth".

 

In order to make him more adoptable (he had been with Team Greyhound for 15 months by then), we wanted to try him on a lower cost food. So we put him on Taste of the Wild (venison). He did okay at first but gradually got worse (no scaly areas but the nails beds and ears got infected again).

 

I was telling Cristina (blood bank director) at OSU about Desi when my Joe was in to give blood. She and I worked out a deal where my blood donor (OSU provides food for their donors) would now receive Iams prescription kangaroo and oat. This is the diet that they give their donor dogs who have allergies. So we put Desi on that food and he improved almost to normal again.

 

Once improved, we put him back on the Natural Balance since it had worked okay before. However, this time he started to get worse on this diet.

 

We switched him back to the Iams Kangaroo and Oat and to save money put him on cephalexin instead of Simplicef. The cephalexin didn't seem to work as well (I don't know if it was cephalexin vs. simplicef or if the bugs had developed a resistance to cephalexin based antibiotics).

 

He had just finished the two week course of cephalexin when Kathy met him and fell in love. Desi is a big black boy who absolutely loves to cuddle and meet his servants (er, I mean people).

 

I am sure that Kathy will welcome any ideas you might have. Kathy works for a vet, so I am sure she has been taking him there regularly.

 

Kathy, I assume you are not giving him any treats and are using unflavored heartworm preventative. He's such a food hound, I just gave him a handful of his food for a treat and he was happy.

 

I am so sorry that Desi continues to have problems. He was my favorite foster dog EVER!!!!! (except for Joe who I couldn't give up). I think about him almost every day and have wanted to contact you but didn't want to be a "pushy" foster mom. I'm sure he is loving being your sleeping companion.

 

Jane

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Pictures of Desi:

 

DSCF1150.jpg

 

Oh, the indignity!! Because of his paw problems, Desi had to wear a muzzle with a lick guard sometimes. I was filling up the water bottle on the dog waterer and Desi decided that the water must be better on that side of the bowl. So he stuck his head in to take a drink and when he pulled it out, the muzzle caught on the rim where the bottle goes. Well he jumped and pulled the ring off and it went around his neck. Of course I ran for the camera before helping him out of the ring. :P

 

DSCF1236.jpg

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Here's a little bit of extra info that just occured to me:

 

I thought about a contact allergy to grass, but since the problems continued in winter I never mentioned this thought to a vet. Perhaps his nails were so bad that they didn't get an opportunity to completely recover during winter. I know I am grasping at straws here.

 

I don't know if this would have any bearing since I know next to nothing about tick borne diseases. Desi's titer was positive for Babesia. Could this current problem be a sign of babesia?

 

I don't know how it could be related, but to the best of my knowledge, Desi has never been wormed.

 

Desi is such a sweet dog, I wish we could figure this out for him.

 

Jane

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If it's fungus, antibiotics aren't going to do anything for it. I would probably repeat the scrapings/culture and see what's going on there now.

 

How long ago did he show positive babesia titer, and how high was it? Would be worth doing another and seeing if it's increased, in which case you'd want to treat.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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If it's fungus, antibiotics aren't going to do anything for it. I would probably repeat the scrapings/culture and see what's going on there now.

 

How long ago did he show positive babesia titer, and how high was it? Would be worth doing another and seeing if it's increased, in which case you'd want to treat.

The titer was done right when he came of the track (April '08 I think). I don't know the value; I just remember seeing it mentioned in his paperwork.

 

Kathy is an incredible dog Mom. My guess is that she has had recent scrapings tested. I had Desi for 15 months and had totally fallen head over heels for him. When we went on the home visit, I had said to myself that if I wasn't 100 percent positive about his potential adopter that I would tell Team Greyhound she couldn't have him. If they disagreed, I would have then adopted him (despite having a full house and limited funds). Well Kathy was just the perfect person to adopt him. On our way back from Kathy's house, I said to our adoptions counselor "I think this is an even better home for him than mine". I felt totally comfortable that Kathy would do whatever she could for him. I am just so sorry that the kangaroo and oats didn't clear this up like I thought it would.

 

Could he have a different autoimmune condition than SLO that would cause only this symptom?

 

Oh, I just remembered one more thing, his poop was slightly soft when he was on Science Diet but firmed up on either the venison and potato or the kangaroo and oat.

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Desi spent every day with me at work at the clinic for a month, & 4 doctors all giving their impressions & suggestions. If it were a contact allergy (grass)

then why is only one foot affected? Dr.Cormany called OSU for a consult, they told her they wouldn't worry about the Basesia titer. It was very low when first detected, & he's been on several long courses of antibiotics since then. They're still voting for allergy. He's been on kangaroo & oat exclusively, no

other flavored treats (much to his dismay). Dr. Cormany's next trial was to be cyclosporine, but I've checked his dose & the cost, & even with a very generous discount at the clinic where I work, it's totally out of the question. His foster mom says he did get better on Simplicef, maybe I'll give that a try for a while. All the research we've done says a culture wouldn't tell you much....culture of goo around a dog's nails is ALWAYS going to turn up yuck. They walk on those feet for goodness sake. He wears a child's sock almost 24/7 (much better than a muzzle) ((amazingly, he leaves it alone, has never tried to chew it off)). Always wears a bootie on that foot when going outside. Since I don't seem to be able to cure it, I'm about to the point where I'm just keeping it clean & calmed, keeping him on anti-inflammatory & pain relief. He seems happy & content. If I have to clean toes & change socks daily, for the rest of his life, so be it. Jane, don't think I'm giving up on him.....he's a joy to live with, everyone at the clinic loves him (I caught one of the kennel

guys sneaking a nap with him one day) We've been researching & trying things all this time with no noticable improvement, I was just hoping someone might have a new idea. He's mine for the rest of his life, no matter what. I'd never clean toes daily for a man, but I'll do it for my dogson.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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If I have to clean toes & change socks daily, for the rest of his life, so be it. Jane, don't think I'm giving up on him.....he's a joy to live with, everyone at the clinic loves him (I caught one of the kennel guys sneaking a nap with him one day) We've been researching & trying things all this time with no noticable improvement, I was just hoping someone might have a new idea. He's mine for the rest of his life, no matter what. I'd never clean toes daily for a man, but I'll do it for my dogson.

See what a great mom Kathy is!!!! I hope the right person sees this and comes up with a solution.

 

Jane

 

p.s. Kathy, I actually made some soft booties for Desi -- not pretty but functional. I have also made the collar I promised; it turned out very well. When we get together for me to give you the collar, I can give you the booties if you want. When I tried a baby sock, he would lick the sock so much it would get wet with saliva. Glad to hear that he has stopped that.

Edited by joejoesmom
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I would *guess* that you're not looking at a food allergy, but, I have known dogs that had weird issues like this that DID turn out to be grain related. Have you tried him on Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream? It's ALL fish, no other proteins. The other TOTW formulas have several different protein sources, one of which is lamb (which has caused a lot of allergy problems in several hounds that I know). The TOTW cat food (which has venison in it) caused one of my cats to lose her hair :blink:

 

Probably not SLO, but, if it's any kind of an autoimmune thing, Desi will be helped by eating a grain free diet. My Pinky has mild SLO along with discoid lupus, so she eats the TOTW Pacific Stream with great success - no itchies at all. She used to chew at her feet and scratch at her ears constantly. Because it's fish there's a lot of good fish oils there. It's really helped her skin!

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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I was talking with a friend the other day. She has an italian greyhound with an autoimmune condition that attacks the nervous system. She has been on imuran for a number of years with good success. She says it is used in humans to avoid transplant rejection (like cyclosporin?).

 

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this.

 

DesiRay's Mom and I were thinking that since a strict allergy diet hasn't fixed all of his problems, perhaps its an autoimmune issue.

 

Jane

 

edited to add: Imuran is less expensive than cyclosporin. Kathy, I can ask my friend where she gets it if your vet wants to try this. I know that she did quite a bit of research to find a trusted source that was reasonably priced.

Edited by joejoesmom
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Since he's been in a sock or boot nearly 24/7, our lab tech & I decided to do an in-house culture just for the heck of it & see what turned up. Big-time staph. So now I've decided to send it on out to the "big" lab & see what they say.

Thanks for the info on Immuran. I'll see what his doc says about that. Thanks also for the info on TOTW food. I was about ready to switch him to Healthy Balance (or is it Natural Balance) something or other. Think I'll go research some labels. Thanks for all the input.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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