Dog recovers from Dermatitis, Severe Allergies & Staph Infection

Customer’s Dog (Max) Testimonial on December 23rd, 2011


I am taking the time to write to you (and I warn you that this is going to be lengthy, so grab a cup of coffee) about Max and how he is doing on your range of Probiotics, as I think it is very important for ALL dog owners to provide their dog with a probiotic, and one that works! The recovery that Max is achieving in such a short period of time is nothing short of amazing! Please do feel free to give my telephone number out as a reference if ever you have any dog owner, veterinary specialist, etc. who is skeptical about your products.

Before I start, it is important to give you a background on Max. Max turned 3 in September this year. I got Max as a puppy at the age of 7 weeks – the breeder works on a “weight” basis and not an age basis – so, if a puppy is more than 4.5kg they are “ready” to go to their new homes. Max is a large German shepherd – currently he weighs 49kg – and this is a perfect weight for him. Anyway, I got Max when he was 7 weeks old, and I have battled with him from day 1. The breeder had already weaned Max onto Mera Dog Food. You will be wondering what on earth has this to do with anything, just take note and continue reading and all will be revealed, ingredients: maize; poultry meat meal; rice; barley; animal fat; dried sugar beet pulp; greaves meal; linseed; maize gluten; brewer‘s yeast; dried egg; hydrolyzed animal protein; salmon oil; sodium chloride; sunflower oil; mono-calcium phosphate; calcium carbonate; chicory powder (rich in inulin); yeast extract (rich in -glucans); and mussel flesh powder (17 ingredients excluding minerals added). I kept Max on this diet only long enough to wean him onto a Natural Food that I usually feed (Vondi’s), as I felt that, and still feel, that all dogs should be eating a natural diet, taking note the number of ingredients in the Vondi’s were 22 ingredients. In addition, I now realize and understand that Puppies require a “more specialized diet” than just a commercial branded dog food, or natural dog food).

Within the first week of getting Max, I had to take him to the vet for what appeared to be (for the lack of a better word) “Jock Rash of note”! He was diagnosed as having a Staph infection and we were given Antibiotics and a Medicated Shampoo; then, infection cleared.

After a good couple of months of repeated infections and repeated antibiotics, I was frustrated and I took him to a Specialist Diagnostic Veterinarian – you can not imagine the costs of this – anyway he was treated for more than a year with the Specialist and who also did pretty much the same, scraped the lesions, looked at them under a microscope, confirmed it was Staph, and prescribed antibiotics. That was our life then, instead the number of infections grew continually and the duration of antibiotics increased i.e. initially it was a week of antibiotics; by the 3rd year, a course of antibiotics could be anything up to 6 WEEKS of antibiotics. Max would be clear for 2 weeks and then the infection would start all over again and more antibiotics for anything up to 6 weeks. With Staph, you have to continue with the Antibiotics until ALL lesions have disappeared, you can not even leave a single lesion behind.

During this 3 year period, we tried anything and everything we came across, while I continued to study on why this happens to dogs and what is the root cause – I figured if I could find out “WHY”? I could go back to that point in time and start from there and see if I could heal him. During the 3 years, he was Allergy Tested (blood sent overseas) and they came back with a LONG list of food and environmental allergies then, I removed all those food items from his diet and started him on their “Desensitisation Program”, he was injected over a period of 10 months with the environmental allergy serums that were made up for him. Initially, they are injected every 2nd day with a small amount from vial 1, and as the time progresses the amount of injection increases and the frequency decreases and you move onto the next vial which is stronger and the next with is stronger and so forth – well, this produced no joy. The infections continued and worsened. We also tried a Homeopathic Remedy – again blood was sent to a lab, and a special serum was made for max based on his blood – they do not tell you in this test what he is allergic to, this test looks for markers in the blood and bases the remedy on the markers present in the blood. I will tell you that this treatment was the best in that it did help a lot. For the first time ever, my dog now had hair growing in which before he was bald in places, and looked really dreadful!

In the meantime (in year 2), Max had now also become allergic to every single shampoo on the market, so I had nothing to bath him with. Everything I tried resulted in an angry bright red dog – even the hypoallergenic shampoos! The heat that his body generated was phenomenal – you could hold your hands above his skin and just feel the heat coming off his skin. Every time I bathed him, he had a dreadful reaction: red angry skin, hives, worse scratching, etc. Now bathing a dog with a skin condition is very important (I had learnt this from ALL my research). Firstly, it removes allergens that are on the dog’s coat; secondly, dogs with severe Staph infections smell bad; and lastly, it helps to remove some of the Staph on the body – so it helps. It is imperative; however, that the shampoo used does not strip the oils from a dog’s skin! From all my research, I had learnt that dogs suffering from Atopic Dermatitis have an “impaired skin barrier” and that they usually lack Ceramide 1, this is the ceramide responsible for a process called “Apoptosis” (preprogrammed time in which cells die), they also lack certain fatty acids in their skin and have excessive cholesterol in the skin, they have an increased TEWL (trans epidermal water loss), and a heterogeneous lipid lamella. Eventually, I embarked on hiring a Human Pharmaceutical company to help me develop a shampoo that could be used every day if needed which would not strip anything from a dog’s skin and coat, and that no matter how sensitive the skin was, it would not produce a reaction. Now, this process alone was more than I ever bargained for, amongst the LONG list of everything that Max is allergic to he is allergic to CORN. The extent of this corn allergy is HUGE. Corn is contained in just about everything; when you go shopping, look at the ingredients listed on anything and sometimes it is hidden i.e. Cetearyl Alcohol is made with Cetyl Alcohol and Stearic Acid, then Stearic Acid is made from CORN. Cetearyl Alcohol is usually used as an emulsifier in shampoos, creams, etc. Even Glycerin can be made from corn. Propylene Glycol is made from corn and I can sit here for the rest of the day writing about how corn is used in everything (toothpaste, yogurt). Imagine after dozens of trial formulations and reaction, we eventually after more than a year got the “shampoo” right! I am not joking telling you that we tested every ingredient on the market and even imported ingredients to try out i.e. a Chickory Emulsifier; and you definitely do not want to know the cost of this. Sometimes, I would do a spot test on Max and he would seem fine, and then I would wash him completely and he would react badly and require Antihistamines. It was a massive and expensive process but, I now had a shampoo that I could bath him with; good thing he does not react to it.

Going along with the Shampoo and Homeopathic Injections (twice a week) and my dog has hair and his coat feels and looks fantastic, and I am alternating with Probiotics from all sources (Reuteri, Lactic acid, and Bifidobacterium). My bank manager (husband) keeps having serious words with me i.e. we have eliminated all the food items Max can be allergic to and Max is still continuing to have his Staph outbreaks. However, I am hedging all bets on the Homeopathic Remedy becoming 100% effective and next thing we hit a big wobbly. Max who was able (up to now) to eat rice now reacts to rice, the same with the Lentils, Split Peas, and Barley – it is so bad that he goes into Gastric distress within about 10 minutes of eating. He starts panting and if you hold your hands above his shoulders, you can feel a hot area around the shoulder area, which as the food moves through his body you can follow the heat along his spine area and it moves down to the area above the hips. If you listen to his stomach, it sounds like a washing machine going on in there, every day his poo (sorry) is different and sometimes so smelly, sometimes runny, sometimes it is OK. Clearly, the dog is now going backwards again.

I started trying to find a company (overseas) that can do more extensive food allergy blood tests as I want every single food tested against his blood to rule out the offending foods. Sadly, there is no company worldwide who can do this since they have their set food tests that they do and cannot just test every food I ask them to test and they told me to do an elimination diet. I started researching every single food and I researched WHAT is in the food, because now I am convinced that Max is reacting to a certain triggering element in the food. I created a database spreadsheet with all this information. Foods contain certain things that we do not “know” about i.e. Pumpkin and Spinach release Histamine in the body, some foods contain high levels of Histidine (an essential amino acid) and enzymes break this amino acid down into Histamine (fish, not that Max ate fish as he was tested positive for it, but also certain meats are high in Histidine), blueberries, cranberries (yes, Max ate them…), and so forth. Some foods contain Oxalates, some contain Glutens, Lectins, Saponins, Benzoic Acid, some foods contain Salicylates (and here was where I reached a major breakthrough, I go back to all the positive allergy tests and start researching those plants, trees, weeds, grasses, fungi, etc. and compared them to the foods he tested positive to and I suddenly realized that almost everything he is allergic to is high is Salicylic acid). I even go as far as to calculate the “Glycemic Load Index’s” and “Inflammatory Factor” on every food item (HILARY, I AM SURE THAT YOU ARE LAUGHING YOUR ASS OFF RIGHT NOW… ). I reach a ground breaking decision to eliminate all foods high in Histidine or releasers of Histamine (you do not want too much Histamine in the body if you are an allergy sufferer); and to check my theory, I will also eliminate all foods containing Salicylic Acid. I formulated a balanced diet for Max, which I must tell you even buying Vitamin supplements, etc. you have to be very careful as many vitamins are derived from food items. So, just getting the right vitamins, minerals, etc. to add into his diet was another major achievement (I will not detail the costs of this) as I had to purchase each and try it and see what the result was. It was difficult as even a Calcium supplement will have vitamin B6 added to it, which is a stable vitamin, and you do not want to overdose even on Vitamins. However, since I want to keep this as short as possible, I have eliminated this bit about how difficult and expensive it was just to find the right supplements to use to balance his diet. Okay then, I formulated a balanced diet (this takes hours) and I make it up and feed Max and BAM gastric distress. I formulated another and same thing, another and same thing, and another and same thing. I then come to a ground breaking conclusion that Max is now also a Gluten Intolerant. I started studying everything I can on Celiac Disease and Gluten intolerance, and I learned about the small intestine and atrophy of the Villi. I decided to eliminate all Gluten from his diet, and no joy – still gastric distress. I carried on studying and in the meantime, I am running out of options on what to feed Max, and I am becoming convinced that this dog is going to die if I do not find a solution. I discovered a website hosted by Professor Donald Strombeck and reached my all time high on WHY and WHAT happened to Max! I must tell you at this point in time that I have read the entire books – Small Animal Dermatology (ONLINE), Nutritional Requirements of Dogs and Cats (ONLINE), and many more. I am exhausted, I am frustrated, my “bank manager” and I are going to get divorced, my dog is seriously sick, and I finally discover Prof. Donald Strombeck! I read everything I can on this and I learned about the very simple process called “Adaptation”. I will not go into details in this letter – too involved, but the basis is (I have no idea why I never thought of this as I did this with my own baby) when a puppy is weaned too early from the mother (for whatever reason, necessity or sadly “greed”), and they are started on solids too early which are too complicated i.e. too many ingredients, the body is unable to manage ALL these different food items. I will prepare a paper on this life long work of Professor Strombeck for you to give out to clients who have dogs that they are battling with. When I weaned my baby, I first introduced a bit (teaspoon) of rice cereal to her milk, and gradually this was increased to a breakfast of rice cereal, and after a week I added a bit of Pureed Pears, and so I continued introducing one food at a time and avoiding all difficult to digest foods, or foods that could trigger allergies i.e. I was told not to give her carrots, and especially no nuts, peanut butter, etc. until she was over 2. I was even told to hold on giving strawberries until she was much older.

Up till now the only 2 food items that Max appears to tolerate is Sweet Potatoes and Ostrich. I tried everything even Couscous, Millet, Tapioca (which cooking it was a joke it took 3 failed attempts to get it right), Quinoa, all types of rice, potatoes, Butternut, Broccoli, you name it. I formulated the diet over and over, and the only 2 food items he can currently tolerate are Sweet Potatoes and Ostrich.

And suddenly the light at the end of the tunnel was bright, Max was weaned early and to compound issues he was also born in spring (September in our Country), which means high pollen and allergen load for his body to already have to deal with. He was one of 8 puppies in the litter. I got him when he had just turned 7 weeks old, so the breeder had to have weaned him early, when his digestive system was too immature to handle a variety of different foods. The Mera food contained 14 different ingredients (excluding Minerals, etc. – which we now know can also come from food items), I then compounded the problem by weaning him over to Vondi’s – which is 22 ingredients (excluding supplements). Between the Breeder and me we had literally destroyed this dog’s digestive tract.

I then started on a process of studying everything I could about the small intestine (this is the “Ruler of the WHOLE body”), Colon, and the Thymus Gland – this is the “Ruler of the Immune System”. I discovered how to repair the small intestine and to regenerate the Thymus (which shrinks as we all age). I studied everything I could on SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and stopped studying everything I was on T1 and T2 immune responses, cytokines, IGE, IL4, IL2, and so forth. I discovered that all the probiotics I was putting into my dog were worthless, and that they are in the billions of cfu as they need to be. As firstly they die on the shelf and in processing (they are dried – not good) and no company can guarantee you their viability, so to counteract this they make them in the billions of cfu’s (colony forming units). I discovered so much conflicting research i.e. some advocate feeding only 1 strain at a time (which was what I was doing where possible, but some contained more than 1 strain) and other research suggested feeding multiple strains. Then I discovered the SCD Range, was multiple strains, with Soil Based Organisms, and each worked synergistically with each other. During my research, I always come across so much information (which you were not looking for, but end up reading) and I find interesting articles on numerous theories on why “Dogs eat grass”. I have always believed from watching Max, if he grazed the tops off the grass he never vomited and I put this down to looking for chlorophyll or other nutrients. If he physically ripped it out of the ground and ate the roots, sometimes he would vomit and the next day it would all be in his stool (I am a “poo analyst”) and there would be soil, chunks of roots, etc.

The current theories on why “Dogs Eat Grass” are:

  1. To Induce Vomiting – However, researched that: According to a recent study by SJ Bjoner at the University of New England in Australia, of a total of 1399 dogs that ate grass only six dogs vomited afterwards. This is supported by numerous other studies in which researchers and veterinarians have been devoted to this topic. It can therefore be assumed that eating grass does not serve as an emetic in the dog.
  2. Vitamin deficiency or dietary fiber? – “It could be an indication of insufficient minerals or vitamins in the diet” – Researched: Most dogs only eat grass on a very irregular basis, so the theory of vitamin deficiency can not be corroborated. Moreover, even dogs eating a balanced diet ate grass and the intake was too low to balance any deficiency. So, it is also not that!
  3. Latest Current Theory: Furthermore, it was obtained through extensive observations and tests that grass eating behavior is found in both wolves and dogs it is assumed that this behavior has been preserved in spite of domestication of dogs. Thus, it is innate, with the eating habits of the mother dog reinforcing the eating habits of her puppy. So, it seems that dogs eat grass as a relic of species-specific dietary patterns, which appear to us humans very strange, because we often see the dog as a pure carnivore. They theorize that dogs are looking for vegetation in their diet.

THEY ARE ALL WRONG: MY THEORY: Dogs eat grass to get the Soil Based Organisms.

I also found an interesting article on “why is it that when you bath your dog the first thing (annoyingly) that he or she does is to run off and roll in the dirt and sand or grass. It was, until now theorized that, they have very sensitive noses and that they do not like the smell of the shampoo. Recently, it was discovered (I need to go back and find that research points) that they do this to get the soil based organisms back on their body, which if you think about it logically – when did you last see a wolf, jackal, coyote, wild dog, etc. with a skin condition? They sleep in the sand.

Let’s go back a bit to the eating grass issue. I can not tell you how many times I took Max to the Vet where he was literally not just “mowing” the lawn like a grazing cow, he was pulling it out in great chunks and leaving small craters everywhere, and even eating the soil (we have clay soil where we live). I was told that “yes, they sometimes do this at this time of the year; it is probably because they are trying to purge toxins or looking for something missing in their diet”. WRONG!

Since he has been “eating” (I put it in his food) the Pro-Canine* he has stopped the grass eating, and mud eating. I really believe that he was looking for “organisms”.

Why do dogs eat Poo?

This has nothing to do with Max, but is interesting none the less. My Labbie is an ex- rescue dog – she came to me with the disgusting habit of eating Max’s poo. It was awful and I had to walk around with a plastic bag. Then, if Max had a poo I could pick it up immediately, otherwise she would eat it and never her own only Max’s! To top it off she is a “licky” dog, always wants to lick you all over (so it was really awful). It was theorized that perhaps she was missing something in her diet, it was then theorized that maybe she was being motherly, and it was then theorized that maybe as she saw me always picking it up that she was trying to help (). Well, since she has been eating the Pro-Canine* she has finally (thank goodness!) stopped this really awful habit! So I think she was looking for organisms, or digestive enzymes or something. Whatever she was looking for she finally seems to be getting it! SO – a big THANK YOU!

Anyway, back to Max:

  • He is on a restricted diet – this is to help his small intestine heal.
  • He is taking the Pro-Canine* internally (much higher than indicated dosage, which when I went back to my notes on how I did this – I built this dosage up from 1ml to now a total of 6 capfuls a day, spread out in his food. He eats 3 meals a day, so 2 capfuls per meal).
  • I am applying the Super SCD* on his skin – I started with the Pro-Canine* and switched to the Super SCD* as it is more concentrated. Currently I use 750ml to 3lt’s of water and I sponge it onto his skin. I also look for any 3 cycle lesions (Staph has 3 cycles to how the lesions appear) and I gently run them with the sponge with the SCD solution on it, to remove the crusts and so the SCD can penetrate those areas.
  • I add 1 capful into their bowl of water at each water change – we change the drinking water 3 times a day.
  • I also put Max onto a “genuine” Colostrum supplement to help his Thymus Gland regenerate. It contains PROLINE-RICH POLYPEPTIDE (PRP), a hormone that regulates the thymus gland, stimulating an under active immune system or down-regulating an overactive immune system as seen in autoimmune disease (MS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, etc.). PRP also helps regulate immune function by increasing the permeability of the skin’s vessels. There are over 37 different immune factors found in colostrum. These include the five immunoglobulins, Lactoferrin, Polyproline-Rich Peptide, Leukocytes, Interferon, and Cytokines. These immune factors can boost the immune system as well as directly fight off disease. I will also do up something for your clients on the direct benefits of using a “proper genuine colostrum supplement” and would seriously recommend it. In fact, I am trying to import this same one in bulk to make up a supplement for dogs and cats etc.

And this is the results after 9 days and 6 Topical Applications – (remember on Day 1 – I only dabbed a few sores with “neat” Pro-Canine and used only 1ml in his food to test for an allergy, I also missed a day on topical application, got caught up with other problems):

  • My dog smells good (ALL the time) usually even after a bath he would immediately start to smell again
  • He is sleeping through the night, usually you can hear him the whole night scratching and biting and either my husband or I are constantly telling him to STOP!
  • He is scratching FAR LESS. Not 100% yet, but as you can see from the photos the hair is even starting to come right, which is not possible if he was scratching on the QT. So, he is not even scratching and biting consistently “on the quiet” when I am not looking
  • The Staph sores are healing, and no new sore are appearing. Sadly, Max has become resistant, or should I rather say, the Staph has become resistant to the Antibiotics – we usually use Ranceph or Ceporex – and initially they worked at clearing it, then they only worked to stop new sores from appearing, but did nothing to heal the existing sores. In 3 years down the line, they do not stop new sores and do not clear the existing sores. I stopped the antibiotics on the Saturday (after only 2 topical applications, as I could see that the SCD was working and I could see that the antibiotics – after 3 weeks on them – were still doing nothing!).
  • I am not washing Max – thankfully! I used to wash him every day or every second day toget an infection under control and then I would revert to bathing him once a week, until the next infection. I have bathed him once properly and then continued with the SCD topically. It is quick to sponge the SCD on and I would just suggest from my own experience to wet the dog first with water and then start sponging on, otherwise the SCD has a tendency to slip or run off until the coat becomes saturated. It is really quick to wet a dog, so the time it used to take me to bath and dry him (I would dry him afterwards with a high powdered blower, so that I could see where all the sores are and how they are responding to the antibiotics and shampoo, and whether the infection is spreading, etc.). If his skin stayed wet for too long, the Staph would worsen much quicker and now I just applied the SCD and let him dry, much quicker and easier to manage! If the dog is smaller, it would be easier to pick them up and put them in a bath; but applying it is not a problem for the record!

Sadly, I had already decided “prior to the SCD” that I would have Max with us for one last Christmas, and in January if I could not come right I would do the “right” thing and euthanased him! You can not begin to imagine the suffering of this dog and I would hate to live like this if it were me. Imagine ALWAYS being so itchy that you tear your skin to blood. Wherever Max sat he would leave blood behind!

I had also scheduled an appointment with another “new” homeopathic specialist to see Max, as my last ditch attempt at trying to help my poor dog.

I have cancelled the specialist appointment and I have cancelled the “fate of January”, and I am actually smiling for a change! My dog is sitting here while I have been typing this and has not scratched once. I know that it is early days still for Max, but he is healing so beautifully and every day the scratching is less than the day before. I read that the small intestine can take anything from 7 days to 9 months to heal depending on the severity of the damage. The Colon can also take a long time for all the baddies to disappear, the good guys to get a hold of what is going on in there, and the thymus also takes a while. So yes, it is early days – but if anyone can produce a result like this in such a short period of time, I have a feeling that soon Max will be 100% sooner than I expect! I will also start to slowly re-introduce different foods to Max – I will take this process very slow and as his body can handle. At this stage given the results, I am seeing and imagine that for him that I will probably try this after about another month or 2 – I will start with rice (as an example) and if he can tolerate it, I will let him eat that for a while as a carb, with Ostrich as the protein, and then try add in something else. I will treat him like a baby; slowly add, check, go back if he reacts, and wait a bit and then try again, until I can successfully bring back his ability to handle any food.

Here is some of his before SCD and after 6 Topical Applications, and 8 Oral dosages (remember that his whole body except for a 22cm wide piece of skin down the center of his back looks like this):

So, I and Max, would just like to thank you! He is finally on the road to recovery! I can not believe the results; even my Vet is excited about his recovery! I will keep you updated on how we get along and continue to send photos. You have never met Max. He is simply gorgeous! His ears never stood up, but I never minded and now he has a bright new future! Thank you from both of us! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Note:  Pro-Canine is a licensed name for SCD Probiotics Digestive Health in another country.