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Dog with skin rash, reoccurring UTI's and prone to bladder stones

by The Vayns
(NY, NY)

My spayed 8 yr old Havanese has been on antibiotics for a large part of the past year. She first started having very localized skin rashes about two years ago and would have occasional flair ups and was prescribed antibiotics for that. She would also have UTI's at least once a year and would also be given antibiotics for this.

Nevertheless, last year in March she had bladder stones removed and since then the skin rashes have been appearing more frequently and so have the UTI's. She has a foul fishy smelling urine and the rashes first appeared on her belly and genitals and now are all over her back and chest too.

They first start off as a localized small raised bump and grow with liquid inside which eventually hardens, crusts and flakes off leaving either raw skin underneath or darkened skin. Before the rashes just seemed to be oily and a bit like caked raised skin. This new rash is flaky and dry.

She also developed a sebaceous cyst on her neck that has been growing and when you press it, fat comes out (lots of it).

She is constantly licking her genitals and paws.

She has been on so much antibiotics in the past year that the regular 2-3 week courses no longer work. Before the stone removal she was eating dry wellness dog food and afterwards Hill's/science diet CD.

I want to know how to best approach this holistically but due to so many issues going on, I am not sure where to start.

What should I feed her? Raw food? Wet food?

I also don't mind cooking if I knew what to include and not include.

She weighs 12 lbs but should be weighing 9-10lbs.

I also am not sure what should I be bathing her with that will soothe her skin. Also, should I give her supplements?

Thank you in advance for all guidance and help.

Comments for Dog with skin rash, reoccurring UTI's and prone to bladder stones

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Jan 30, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with skin rash, recurring UTI's and prone to bladder stones
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hello to the Vayns family,
Your poor little female spayed 8 year old Havanese has certainly had some health issues over the past 2 years! Allow me to summarize her history:

She has had ongoing antibiotics to 'suppress' her skin problems, which sounds like allergic dermatitis and secondary superficial pyoderma AND her urinary problems in which she developed bladder stones (you did not report what kind) which were removed in March 2011.

And now, she has had ongoing Urinary Tract Infections (UTI's) and worsening of the skin problems. So, it is not superficial anymore, it is going deeper into the dermis, and she even developed a sebaceous cyst. She is overweight, constantly licks her paws and genitals, and she requires longer courses of antibiotics to suppress the symptoms.

Her diet used to be DRY Wellness and now it is (dry?) Hill's C/D.

Hopefully, your veterinarian has not continued to give her any vaccinations during this time! Since the insert that accompanies every box of vaccine states, "To be administered to HEALTHY dogs only." A holistic veterinarian will write an 'exemption' form to exempt her from any vaccines, if she is due, at this time.

Of course, it will take MORE than some diet changes and supplements to help her, but this is a start. For BOTH skin and urinary tract to maintain health, they need adequate moisture in the diet. DRY DOG FOOD is not healthy. Even if it is the C/D by Hill's, it MUST be canned.

Actually, a RAW dog food diet would be the best. You will need to gradually transition her to a canned and/or RAW diet and monitor the pH of her urine. Normal dog urine has a healthy pH of 6-6.5. If she had Calcium oxalate stones, it means that her urine was too acidic (usually these stones form in a pH of 5-5.5). If she had Triple Phosphate (struvite)crystals, then her urine was TOO alkaline (7.5-8). Using litmus paper from a pool supply store, or Urine pH strips from a pharmacy, you can tear off a strip and stick it under her urine every morning to check her urine pH.

See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options. For any changes in diet, it is best to go slow and gradually add in the NEW food to what she is eating now to get her GI tract used to it. You can also check Dr Richard Pitcairn's book, Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, for some home made diets that include raw meat. NO RAW PORK OR RAW FISH.


Jan 30, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with skin rash, recurring UTI's and prone to bladder stones PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

(cont'd from above)

Also, a raw diet will help her lose weight. If she should weigh 9-10 lbs she needs to eat 250 calories per day, or 125 calories per meal, two times daily. Adding in some supplements such as Cranaidin, a cranberry supplement for dogs, in a chewable table form by Virbac. She will need the one for small dogs (one tablet two times daily).

Since she has been on long term antibiotics, she should have acidophilus added to her food two times to replace the 'good' bacteria in her GI tract. PB 8 is a good product, and she could have 1 capsule opened and sprinkled in her food two times daily.

For immune system support, please start her on: 1. Immuplex from Standard Process
2. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

For her skin, bathe her with oatmeal shampoo one to two times per week, in COOL water to give her some relief from the itching.

You can also make up Rescue Remedy, a Bach Flower essence, 10 drops in 2 oz Spring Water, in a pump spray bottle to spray on her feet or genitals as needed to calm down her skin. It is also good to calm her down if she is anxious and is restless at night chewing or licking her skin.

For deeper healing, and to end the suppressive effects of constant antibiotics, and recurrence of cystitis, she will need to be seen by a holistic veterinarian. Especially one trained in homeopathy, to address the issues due to effects of vaccination, and from suppressive effects of antibiotics.

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

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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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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