Bearded Collie with ehrlichiosis and staph infection

CHLOE (Bearded Collie with ehrlichiosis and staph infection)

Four years ago, at the age of 60, with grown married kids and the recent loss of two bearded collies, my husband and I anxiously awaited the birth of our 4th bearded collie, Chloe. We chose her from a litter of 8 puppies and visited her weekly, practically from birth, until she was old enough to come home and live with us. She instantly bonded with us and we with her, and she was adored by our grandchildren.

Chloe is the great granddaughter of our last beardie, Raggs, who sadly died of complications from a long bout with ehrlichoiosis. We could never quite cure the infection no matter how many times he was treated.

Chloe was a perfectly healthy puppy, with a great disposition and a very hearty appetite. At the age of 18 months she became a champion show dog and then, from a tick bite, got equine ehrlichiosis. She was treated with antibiotics and seemed fine. This is a dog who is fed a raw diet, takes supplements, sees a holistic veterinarian and was given all the nutritional and glandular support to keep her immune system strong. But after her first round of antibiotics, she didn’t bounce back quickly.

We could tell by her personality that something was seriously wrong with her. Normally social, active, and friendly, she started sleeping most of the day. Because she sometimes lost interest in food, we kept changing the varieties of her raw food, which peaked her interest for awhile. But then she’d lose interest again. We kept taking her back to the vet for more testing. We have reams of paperwork from all her blood work.

High titers showed that she was still fighting ehrlichiosis, and she was treated a second time with antibiotics and this time a little longer than the first time. She bounced back but only temporarily and by the time she reached the age of 3, everything about her no longer seemed like our perfect puppy. She had low thyroid on blood tests. She was given thyroid supplementation. Her hair was thin and oily looking. Her expression “just wasn’t right.” There was a clear odor of sickness surrounding this dog. Her skin smelled bad. She’d be groomed weekly but after just 3 days her skin was smelly again.

Our groomer tried natural shampoos to no avail. She smelled awful. And then she started biting on her body, scratching herself, and biting her feet because she felt so itchy. This caused sores on her skin, which really smelled bad. Our vet said it was an allergy. But why? We changed shampoos and conditioners repeatedly, insisting the groomer was doing something to irritate her. But no, Chloe was ill.

Our vet said many of his canine patients were itchy that year. We tried homeopathic remedies. Nothing was helping. Poor dog was literally biting herself every waking moment. The rest of her moments, she was sleeping for most of the day. Out of total frustration and desperation, although we’re into holistic care, we scheduled a visit to a conventional veterinary dermatologist and a skin biopsy confirmed staph infection.

The infection was on the sides of her nose…oozy skin that bled and scabbed. When the scabs fell off, new oozy skin appeared. This went on for months. The dermatologist put Chloe on a very strong antibiotic. She couldn’t tolerate it and kept vomiting after taking it. We had to find another solution. There were scabs and staph spots on her paws. One spot required minor surgery to open up a large deep wound to drain the toxins.

We tried a bunch of natural anti-microbials like olive leaf extract and grapefruit seed extract. She would vomit yellow bile a lot of days first thing in the morning. She really looked pathetic and sad. By this time, our vet suggested System Saver. He told us to try it, although he had no personal experience with any of his canine patients using it. We gave Chloe 2 pills in the AM and 2 in the PM with meals.

After a few months on System Saver, she was starting to heal. No, let me say this differently—she was getting no new staph lesions. The old lesions were still not really healed. But we were making slow but steady progress.

And then in early Spring of this year, listless and unable to run around in the yard, we had her titers checked again for equine ehrlichiosis. The number was sky high. In addition, her hormone levels were completely unbalanced. The vet wanted to neuter her. We still had dreams of mating her, to keep the lineage of our dogs continuing. Knowing what we knew about our last dog Raggs who died a painful death from this horrible tick-borne disease, we decided that we’d try one more round of antibiotics.

Never having taken Chloe off System Saver, we completed 12 weeks of Doxycycline while she was taking System Saver. And this time, the antibiotic worked. System Saver, I believe allowed the antibiotic to work. It healed all her lesions.

Chloe is presently healthy. Her skin looks perfect. She doesn’t itch or bite herself. All staph is gone and what is sustaining her immune system now is System Saver.

I wanted to make it clear that this story has a happy ending right now, but we are totally aware that flare ups of erhlichosis could continue and that we might have to do another round of antibiotics. But I feel confident that she will continue to hold her own now. The point I’m making is that the 3 rounds of antibiotics didn’t work prior to us using System Saver. We believe they worked because of System Saver. And now this dog looks good, feels good, smells good and is happy once again.

There is hope. It might not be that a person or an animal can completely give up medication, or that they wouldn’t need adjunct support, or that they wouldn’t relapse at some point. The point is that System Saver gave us hope and gave us back our dog. And she’s doing really, really well.

I am eternally grateful to SystemSaver!

~ Mady Kushner, Katonah, NY