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JimboJones1981 January 30th, 2012 12:21 PM

Austrailian Cattle Dog Staph infection and hair loss
Hello, I have an Austrailian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler that is about 6 yrs old. He gets ear infections on a regular basis. We rescued him when he was 3, his leg was broken by a horse and the family at the time never had it fixed, so he had to have surgery to fix it. Other than that, he has been in pretty good health. About three months ago he had a small growth on his side above his shoulder area that was checked to be not cancerous and was removed. That went fine, hair came back. About the same time he started to scratch and gnaw at himself to the point of losing hair near his tail at his rump area. We went to the vet and was told it was allergies. We tried a different diet, multiple times, changed bedding, etc. that did not make a difference, then we noticed he had a bump between his legs near his groin that was red and like a pimple but the size of a dime. Took into the vet, determined to have a staph infection and ear infection in both ears. Given the usual steroid and antibiotic, drops for the ears. Ear infections were determined to be yeast infections. He's on the medicine for the staph now for 2 weeks and seems to be more lively, but has hair loss and bald spots now. He lost hair around his chest between his front legs, rear near rump. Coat feels different, like really dry. He's not scratching, it's like he's just shedding, but very extreme. He shakes and hair comes off. Also, he eats like he has never been fed before, wolfs it down. He licks the floors constantly, my wife vacuums daily, does not use any shake on floor deodorizer or anything, just vacuums. I am concerned that there may be more to this than appears. I know infections in pets can cause hairloss, but this seems extreme. I am looking for second opinions on this as he just doesn't seem himself and can't tell me what's wrong. I feel like I have tried everything the vet recommends and there doesn't seem to be any change. Is this something I need to be more patient with because staph takes a while to clear up? I know this post is long, but I wanted to give all the info I have, thanks for any help in advance.

Goldfields January 30th, 2012 07:24 PM

Hi JimboJones1981. I currently have my 13th Australian Cattle Dog, so watch out, they can be addictive. :) Haven't had this in an ACD, only in a sheltie, but have you had your boy tested for hypothyroidism? The coat, increased appetite, bald patches, itchiness etc. sound like it so it is worth checking out, but have a look here and see if there are any more similarities.


There are some very good photo's on that site.

JimboJones1981 February 6th, 2012 10:46 AM

Thank you for your advice, have a vet appointment wednesday night and will discuss that with the vet. Will post anything I can come up with.

Goldfields February 6th, 2012 05:17 PM

Have you noticed any unusual aggression? Prior to Dundee, my sheltie, being diagnosed for hypothyroidism and medicated, he had been wanting to fight my other boys, and when he did it was quite surprising how aggressive he was. They play together just fine now.

Anyway, good luck at the vet, I hope he can pin it down and help your boy.

JimboJones1981 February 8th, 2012 08:21 PM

Thank you for your response Goldfields, I appreciate your interest. As far as Cody being aggressive towards other dogs we have not seen that. The biggest change has been that he was scratching himself so bad that we put a cone on him to stop him.

Well we took him to the vet and had him checked out, the vet seemed to think that it was normal for the amount of hairloss to be occuring with the staph infection. She also said that sometimes the hairloss can occur 6-8 weeks after a particulary stressful event in the dog's life as it takes that long for the hair to actually fall out. Makes sense considering he had the cyst removed and he absoulutly hates going to the vet. She also said full hair regrowth takes as long as 6 months. We went ahead and had his blood work done and that all came back ok. I asked her about the hypothyroidism and we had his blood sent out to have the thyroid levels screened.She didn't think that he had the symptoms of that, but just to make sure we had it screened. We won't hear back from that for 5-14 days. So barring any issues with the thyroid it seems that all we can do is wait. I'll post what we find out.

Goldfields February 8th, 2012 08:41 PM

We can learn so much from other people's pets and their ailments . Oh, just remembered, a general anaesthetic will cause a coat drop also, which is why friends with coated breeds(shelties) hated anything happening that would necessitate their dogs being given one. Anyway, of course I'd be interested in your ACD, love the breed!! If you really want to see a coat drop, you should see a female ACD after she has reared a litter. You would not believe a cattle dog could be so BALD! Like a whippet. LOL. I think one of my shelties needs a ? something removed from his neck, I should take a photo of his before and after coat.

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