Old dog with severe adverse reaction to Advantage

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    My 15 1/2 year old Aussie Josie has been raw fed all her life, minimal vaccines. Her major health issues have been hip arthritis and a severe heart murmur. She has been on Lasix for the heart murmur for about a year, but seemingly was holding steady until her cough worsened over the last six weeks or so.

    I try not to use flea control poisons, but with four dogs and four cats, sometimes the fleas come up and get severe, and so I will treat everyone but her with Comforts. She hates being groomed and is a hair factory, so about two weeks ago I began clipping the mats on her, behind the ears, backs of legs and such. There were no skin problems and she has never been a skin dog, even with fleas. I decided to put Advantage II on her, which I think I had put on once before probably a year earlier.

    Four days later I discovered that her whole body was covered in serum-y scabs, on her scalp, behind her ears where I had clipped the mats, down her back, on her legs, literally everywhere, and I”m talking places where she couldn’t reach or scratch! I gave her a bath to try to remove the poison, and took her to my vet a couple of days later. My vet is supposedly holistically minded, but she really disappointed me, as she didn’t put any weight on my adverse reaction theory and made comments about brushing mats being hard on their skin, and her immune system not working properly….She did blood work and found that she had a systemic infection, thyroid at the very bottom of the normal range, and that her liver and kidney values weren’t great. She chalked it up to her being an old dog, sort of hinting that at her age all we could really do was keep her comfortable but to not have great expectations. That’s the sense I got. Put her on thyroid meds, an antibiotic for 10 days, tramadol for the pain given her liver…and Keachlor shampoo.

    Her appetite has not been great over the last week, and she has turned her nose up at breakfast, so I end up catching her up on calories at dinner.

    This morning, she refused breakfast, and she is on the thin side so I caved and gave her a little bit of kibble. She ate it, but threw it up not long after. Her skin is still broken out, with scabs on her muzzle and chest, arms, everywhere, still.

    I am distressed thinking that this is the beginning of the end for her and that I did this to her, that she was otherwise doing well before this happened! I’m feeling that we have done nothing to help her detox and I am at a loss of what to do, other to give her another bath and try milk thistle, which I now wish I had done earlier! I fear that her liver/kidney issues are caused by this and that they are making her sick so she can’t eat.

    I live near Fresno, CA and I honestly don’t think there’s another holistic vet in our area, and all the rest just think horses (flea bite allergy and old dog organs) rather than zebras (adverse reaction).

    Betsy and Josie

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Oh dear Betsy, I’m so sorry to hear about Josie. I’m also sorry that this reply is delayed.

    I agree that an Advantage reaction sounds most likely. However now that we’re weeks after the application, how’s she doing??

    In general, acute homeopathic medicines can be very effective at treating these kind of skin reactions. The correct remedy will be based on the specific overall reaction (“the totality of symptoms”) to the cause. For example, not wanting to be touched or going off on her own after the Advantage points to remedies like Nux vomica.

    Please let us know how she is doing now.


    Dr. Jeff


    Hello Dr.Jeff,

    I truly appreciate any response at all.

    She is doing a lot better, though still covered in scabs. She went after spots on her legs that she could reach and created secondary issues, but 24 hours of the cone and baths have moved us past that. Hair falling out with scabs, and there are still spots that look relatively fresh (scabs are new, not old and flaking off) so her system is still dealing with the toxin I guess. She is still itching now and again. Appetite and attitude are better, though she is still being finicky with food.

    She has always been a dog that hates being messed with, and runs from me if she thinks I’m going to do anything to her. She has hated having her feet touched since a young age, I think related to having a toenail quicked when she was a puppy. Would Nux vomica help for that? Her grooming is neglected because of this, since she can’t stand being brushed.

    Thanks! I wish I lived where I could access your services! I live in Fresno county, CA and far as I can tell we have no real holistic/homeopath vets 🙁

    Thank you, again!

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Hi Betsy. Thanks for getting back to me.

    I’m so glad that Josie is better!

    Unfortunately Nux would probably not help much with her deeper issues.

    The good news however is that you can still add a well-trained and experienced vet homeopath to her vet care team. Even though you don’t have one nearby many of us act as remote consultants!

    That’s why I formed the nationwide [url=https://www.homevet.com/browse-articles/for-healthy-pets/veterinary-homeopathy-consulting-group-brochure]Veterinary Homeopathy Consulting Group [/url]a few years ago.

    theavh.org is another great place for referrals.

    Good luck!

    Dr. Jeff

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