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Dog diagnosed with skin infection, then Lyme, now pancreatitis

by Emee
(Loma Linda, CA)

I recently submitted my story/question about the nightmare we have been going through. Well, it just keeps on getting worse.

I lost my 16 yr best friend 2 weeks ago to reasons unknown. I was financially unable to get veterinary help at the time. Then my 8 yr old Lab, Coleman, gets a skin rash.

The vet gives him Ceph for a bacterial infection. Two days later the Humane Society vet diagnoses him with Lyme disease after I asked for a heartworm test to be done. I was reaching I guess, but couldn't afford a blood test at the time.

Anyway, he puts him on Doxy 350mg. After a few days of watching his every breath and counting the moments I have left with him, I decided I'de had enough of this whole situation (we've been in hell since moving last month). I tracked down EVERY record I get my hands on (which included a blood panel done 2 yrs ago. I even wrote out a timeline with EVERY symptom/medication/vaccination he's had and went back to the vet. I figured giving him a "visual" may help him in case there's something that's been going on all along. Ridiculous!

The test came back yesterday and now he says Coleman has pancreatitis! He said it was serious, then sent me home with Viokase- no verbal instructions and the printout on the label is unreadable.

I believe it's all of the antibiotics they're giving us causing this. Now I don't know what or which problem to concentrate on. I started feeding him boiled chicken breast with green beans and baby carrots. I've been adding just a little of the old kibbles to wean him off hoping not to shock his system. He's still eating and drinking fine.

No diarrhea or vomiting so far, but his stool is yellow and soft. He's still probably 6-8 lbs overweight. I think there's been something going on for awhile now that they've missed. So really I don't know what to feed him.

Help! Thyroid problem? Erlichia? Heart? Do I need to worry he'll be ok one min then gone the next? Now it seems to ALL apply to him the more that I read. I'm probably making him worse with all of my stressful energy. I'm just so afraid to make another bad decision.

I'm attaching both of the test results. Thank you so much for your time. He means everything to me.

Comments for Dog diagnosed with skin infection, then Lyme, now pancreatitis

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Apr 17, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog diagnosed with skin infection, then Lyme, now pancreatitis
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Emee,
Is Coleman still on the 2 different antibiotics--one for the skin and one for the Lyme Disease? He NEEDS to also have acidophilus added to his food. The lab results you posted are TOO small for me to read. So I am not able to answer your questions regarding severity of pancreatitis, or IF it is pancreatitis, or thyroid, or anything else.

Viokase is an enzyme supplement used for treating what is called, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. Or when the pancreas is not able to produce enough digestive enzymes. In some cases this can be caused by pancreatitis, but Viokase is not generally a treatment FOR pancreatitis. The directions for use is 1 tsp added to every cup of food fed. To be added 20 minutes prior to the meal. Keep the food at room temperature, to help the enzymes digest the food before it is fed to Coleman.

I suggest the you feed him 900-1,000 calories per day, for a 60-70 lb dog.


Green beans--2/3 cup, (15 calories)
4-6 baby carrots--(10 Calories)
1/2 cup of steamed white rice--(50 calories)
3 oz boiled chicken breast OR 1 jar of chicken baby food--250 calories
TOTAL= 325 calories X 3= 975 Calories per day
Add in acidophilus, (human dose) to each meal
Add in VIOKASE 1 TSP to each meal, 20 minutes before feeding

You should consult with a holistic veterinarian for more immediate 'feed back' to answer your questions and relieve your stress and worry, and a second opinion on the lab work!

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Jun 09, 2012
Even more problems!
by: Emee

The last time I sent in our story, Coleman's lab work came back showing high amylase & lipase among other "abnormalities". The vet interpreted it to be pancreatitis & gave Viokase. I never gave it to him because I doubted the vet's competence & diagnosis.

I was able to take him to a holistic vet that also doubted the diagnosis (all of them) & prescribed happy earth as well as the chicken diet you recommended.

About a week after, the original vet called to bring him in for Leptospirosis testing. The first test has come back negative & still waiting on the 2nd.

The vet said to start him on Amox with the Doxy asap. Terrified of making wrong decision I gave him the antibiotics along with vit c,e,omega 3, gluco/condroitin & Happy earth. I also had another bloodchem done. I ran out of money & coulndn't get to the holistic vet so I went with his advice. Which also included them giving Certifect (I immediately regretted & tried wash off next day).

He was doing fine for 2 weeks, then his lower eyelids got red & droopy. His front legs seem to bother him & kinda shift outwards. Then came the fleas, itching his face, paws & rear end. I kept on the chicken diet & sometimes add in sweet potatoes & chicken or beef livers for variety.

I've tried to keep him from itching by hiding treats in his kong.(bits of meat, low salt peanut butter & popsicles out of the left over cartilage pieces & broth from the chicken.

I've been different baths with apple cider vinegar, colloidal oatmeal, lemon juice, fresh aloe vera, neem oil, coconut oil & vit e mixed with dawn. I started using the neem oil just a few days ago.

I haven't seen any fleas in a couple of days, but the itching hasn't stopped. He started having small bald patches with dried yellow stuff that look like the pics of mange! He had chewed his butt, tail & the back of his legs raw.

Last night I tried a oatmeal bath followed by massaging in all of the oils & not rinsing off.(I did use a bit more neem) I found a neem site that suggested was safe. I tried to keep him from licking, but he got in a few laps.

An hr later he vomited foamy white stuff & undigested food. He had a hard time pooping & it looks "mucousy", dark yellow & loose. His temp was 99.7 & 100.5 today. He's acting depressed & even turned down treats but has eaten meals.
He has suffered from one thing after another.

We're overwhelmed & I need help! I'm STILL terrified I'm missing something or doing more harm than good. I could use ANY help or advice you have. I wish I could attach photos in this page to help diagnose the skin problem.

Once again, thanks for your time, knowledge & advice! Your site has given us more useful information & compassion than any vet we've seen & we are so thankful.

Emee & Coleman

Jun 10, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog diagnosed with skin infection, then Lyme, now pancreatitis
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Emee,
Sorry to hear that you are still having problems with Coleman. Since the holistic vet started Coleman on Happy Earth, it would indicate that he needs support for his liver.

I am not clear why the original vet wanted to put Coleman on Amoxi and Doxy antibiotics, when the 1st Lepto Test was Negative and the 2nd Test is still pending. Since you DID give the antibiotics, and Coleman's still on Happy Earth, I suggest ALSO giving him Acidophilus to replenish the GOOD bacteria to his gut, and also start Milk Thistle at 8mg per pound TWO times daily. If he weighs about 60 lbs, that would be about 480mg TWO times daily. (or you could 'round' it off to 500 mg TWO times daily.) Milk thistle is a western herb and will work well with the Chinese herb, Happy Earth, to help the liver to heal.

Certifect contains Amitraz which can be toxic to the liver. If you waited 24 hours before washing it off--it will NOT wash off. Therefore, it is more important than ever, for Coleman to continue with the Happy Earth and start the milk thistle, and DO NOT repeat any of the Certifect!

For Flea control use Cedar oil on Coleman, and Cedar oil in the yard outside to control fleas and in certain areas inside to control fleas. See our sectopm on indoor flea control for more information.

I suggest that you keep it simple...

1. Bathe Coleman two times per week with the oatmeal shampoo for at least 3-6 weeks. Then decrease to one time per week for 3 weeks, then every two weeks maintenance. Apply the Evolv after the shampoo. NO MORE NEEM oil or any other kind of oils.

2. Follow all the directions for control of fleas in the house and yard.

3. Since he now has digestive upset from swallowing the Neem oil, he really needs to have the Acidophilus. Give him 1/2 the 'human' dose two times daily, and continue for the next 4 weeks.

4. Continue the same diet, with the Happy Earth and milk thistle added.

5. You might also consider a few supplements to help boost Coleman's immune system, such as... 1. Missing Link Canine Formula
2. Immuplex from Standard Process
3. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us
by clicking the like button at the top of the left
. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Lyme Disease in Dogs

Jun 16, 2012
Consider a raw meat diet and garlic for bug control
by: Anonymous

First, I need to say that I am NOT a vet but a nutritionist w/ a background in holistic human and dog health. My dog (and many dogs I've worked with) have had many of the issues your sweet pup is experiencing. The following has proven to be very helpful; in some cases has even relieved them completely. THESE ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS, SO PLEASE CONSULT W/ A HOLISTIC DOG NUTRITION STORE AND/OR VET:

Feed Raw - Dogs have a short digestive track & their bodies are made to eat raw. They actually need it and in many cases their bodies heal itself w/ raw. Primal or Bravo Patties are very good high quality convenient brands.

Add 1/2 - 1tsp of garlic (I used minced in water) to their food once a day to bitter their blood. Bugs don't want to bite them as the garlic is offensive. Adding brewyers yeast can also help bitter the blood.

Add 1-2 tbsp of a mixture of organic canned pumpkin and organic plain or vanilla yogurt to your pup's food. Yogurt helps to keep good bacteria high and yogurt helps keep digestive tract strong/healthy. If dairy isn't an issue then I agree w/ others in this post about adding powdered acidophilus . Hope this helps!

Jun 18, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog diagnosed with skin infection, then Lyme, now pancreatitis
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

You posted some excellent suggestions!

I wanted to add one comment regarding the garlic as a preventive for fleas. Several years ago they did a study at the U of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, (where I graduated from Vet School), to see if adding garlic with or without brewer's yeast helped prevent fleas. The result showed only a 50% improvement. (50% of the dogs that received garlic and/or garlic with Brewer's Yeast did not have fleas and of the dog's that DID NOT get anything, 50% had fleas).

But it will certainly NOT hurt to add it to the diet!

I will recommend using cedar oil, Evolv, from Wondercide, to help with flea control.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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