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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 6-year old Great Dane girl, Leia. She was diagnosed with a MRSA (methicillin-resistant staph) infection, and it's been over 2 months, and the infection doesn't seem to respond to treatments.
I guess it all started about 3-4 months ago. One day my brother texted me that she must have fallen outside and hurt herself (we have a fenced yard to let the dogs roam around a little) because she couldn't walk or even stand up. (A similar episode happened a few years ago, and when we took her to the vet, they diagnosed her with arthritis in 5 vertebrae, gave her pain pills, and with rest it pretty much went away, even though she had slight mobility issues, like when she tried to sneak onto my bed that sits pretty high.) So we took her to the vet. He prescribed Derramaxx and prednisone. He did an X-ray and supposedly saw damage in her cervical vertebrae (I didn't see anything abnormal on the images, but I'm not a doctor). He wasn't really optimistic though and even hinted the possibility of having to put her down. He also ran some blood tests to make sure she didn't contract Lymes or any viruses.
First few days we had to help her express herself since she had no control of her rear body. Miraculously, in about 1 or 2 weeks, she was back on her feet walking, though slowly and with our help, but still. Oh, and a few days after I had started giving her steroids, I had to stop because she was having some pretty bad diarrhea.
Anyway, maybe a week or so later, I started noticing some pretty bad inflammation around her joints and on her feet. I thought maybe it was just from all the lying around and lack of moisture. So I applied some vaseline at first, and then later on I tried Johnson&Johnson baby oil. Unfortunately, it created a bad reaction and lesions formed and started oozing. I thought it could be just some allergy to oil/vaseline, so I gave her the rest of steroids. Predictably, inflammation subsided, only to come back even worse than before once I ran out of prednisone. I took her to the vet. They took a blood sample, and a couple of days later it came back positive for MRSA.
The vet prescribed ciprofloxacin. It slowly helped somewhat - her giant wound about an inch in diameter closed up, and inflammation reduced somewhat, but still new lesions were forming and bleeding. She also started having more trouble walking. The vet said I should resume Deramaxx, but honestly every time I'd give it to her, it seemed to cause more inflammation and bleeding. She also started having trouble walking again.
After cipro, the vet prescribed chloramphenicol (CAP), which is 95% effective against MRSA. It's been 3 weeks, and while her condition is stable, it's not getting better. I started giving her yogurt to maybe boost her immune system, bought probiotics and enzymes from Nzymes.com, but there is no improvement. She is highly tolerant to pain, I believe, so I can't tell by her mood if she's hurting or not. She still barks at mailmen and cars outside, tries to lick everybody, even though she can barely walk.
Can you guys please help me heal my doggie?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you for the 'wound diary' suggestion - it's a great idea. Some days I think my perception of her condition and whether she's improving depends on my mood. Having objective data will definitely be very helpful.

Yeah, the vet didn't mention anything about gloves while handling CAP, but I found out about this fact after searching the web. I did read about different staph strains too. I'm actually planning on another blood sample analysis to see what the results are.

Thank you for your support. I was actually thinking about hydrotherapy myself. I was almost ready to start building a pool for her in my back yard. My concern is though she has open wounds and I don't know if I can sanitize water enough so that Leia doesn't get additional infections from the water itself.

So I took her to another vet a few days ago. Based on my info and the visual examination, he actually believes it could be a viral or a yeast infection. He says he'd like to have to take a blood sample and send it for a new analysis. But she'll have to be off any antibiotics first, for about 10 days.
So she's been off CAP since Saturday, and the wounds are in the same condition, but she can walk better. Or maybe again it's just my perception. But she was able to get up a few stairs on the porch all by herself, as opposed to me having to help her.
 
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