This article is supplied courtesy of Dr. Gerry Retief. Dr. Retief has a regular newsletter which is of great value. To sign up for his newsletter and enjoy his site visit http://www.vet-to-petnet.co.za/index.php
pyoderma "White Bull Terrier Disease”
The Case of the Spotty White Bull Terrier
You either hate Bull Terriers or love them to distraction. Mr and Mrs van der Merwe (name changed) loved Bull Terriers. They brought Amy to me from puppy-hood and I must confess that she crept into my heart too. She was quite lovable and did not seem to have a mean bone in her body. Unusual for Bull Terriers, she seemed to get on well with the rest of the van der Merwe canine family. I don't know how she behaved towards strange dogs - but most Bull Terriers love fighting with other dogs. After all, that’s what they were bred for in the first place.
When she was about a year old, she started getting pimples and what looked like small abscesses all over her body. This is such a common condition in white Bull Terriers, that some vets actually call it “White Bull Terrier Disease”. The scientific name for the condition is pyoderma. Pyodermas can be deep (the worst kind) and superficial (more manageable) The only effective treatment is to give antibiotics over prolonged periods.
I treated Amy with Cephalexin capsules twice daily for a month and the condition seemed to improve. Two months later she was back again and this time her skin was worse!
I gave the van der Merwes strict instructions to continue with Cephalexin capsules twice dailyfor at least three months. I also prescribed weekly baths with an antiseptic shampoo (Pyoderm shampoo). I changed her diet to one prescribed for dogs with a sensitive skin. (Hills Science Plan Sensitive Skin).
There was some improvement, but not enough for my liking. I began to suspect that the van der Merwes were perhaps not as conscientious about giving daily treatments for the full prescribed period as they should have been.
I asked them, “Are you sure that you are giving Amy her capsules every day for the whole period?”
Mr van der Merwe looked a bit uncomfortable and glanced at his wife before he said, “Of course we do ou Dokkie. We always do what you tell us to do!” Their red faces told a different story. I now knew exactly what to do...
Recently a new drug Convenia® became available to vets in South Africa. A single injection lasts for a full 14 days, so the vet need not worry that the pet's owners may not give the full treatment as prescribed.
I told the van der Merwes, "I've got good news for you! There's a new injection that will last for a whole 14 days, so you won't have the schlep of having to remember to give Amy capsules every day. It is quite expensive, but I can almost guarantee that she will recover. We might have to give her another injection after 14 days though."
I could see the relief on their faces, "I don't care what it costs, ou Dokkie, please go ahead. You know we'll do anything to get Amy better!"
I duly gave her the injection. That was about 14 days ago. I saw her yesterday. Her skin was beautifully clear, but there was one little spot left on her belly. Consequently I gave her another shot of Convenia® and I have no doubt in my mind that she will totally recover.
If your dog has a similar condition and you are close to giving up, don't dispair: go to your vet and tell him to tell you about Convenia®
This is a photo of a white bull terrier with deep pyoderma taken from an article in the Canadian Veterinary Journal.