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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, I am finally following up (in the right thread) on Rico's lip lesions. They are crusty, raised patches on his lip. The hair has fallen out of the center of these areas.

Our vet says he believes this is caused by a fungal infection, brought on by the rubbing from chewing bully sticks. The vet HATES bully sticks for many reasons....this being yet another. Rather than immediately doing a biopsy and confirming fungal infection, cancer (he doubts), etc....we have started him on a treatment of an antibiotic, Simplicef and an anti fungal, Ketoconazole.

We return for a follow up in 2 weeks to see what progress Rico's made and reassess doing a biopsy. Vet says it will look worse before it looks better and that it could be 4 to 8 weeks until it is gone.......NO MORE BULLY STICKS OR FLOSSIES!! OMG, Rico will be so upset when he figures this out!

Any experience with this type of thing? Advise?
 

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Oh, my! That sounds terrible - does it seem to be bothering him? Keep us informed of his progress!
 

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Gucci's mom
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Yikes! That is awful :(

Is there any way it could be from outdoors? IF the vet hates bully sticks that much, he's bound to have seen more than one bad incident with them.

There has to be a treat that can replace them and they like just as much,..

I've never bought bully sticks, they are just too gross for me to deal with, but the dogs sure seem to like them..

Hope he gets better soon :kiss:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't think it's painful.....he does lick it every now and then. I'm just so happy it's a treatable problem!

My DH hates the Bully sticks as well. Some of them have a bad smell, but I guess they are addicting! We former smokers and smokers know about that oral addiction! LOL

My problem is Rico loves to chew, but I guess that's part of the problem....it can be caused by plastic chews, rubbing against plastic or rough bowls surfaces when they eat or drink. Once the area has become abraised, anything can get into the surface and cause it.

I don't think I'll ever know where the fungus came from........
 

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Oh poor Rico! Years ago I had a Husky and the kids use to buy those Pig Ears (Yuck) and he loved them. He kept geting infections...Vet said it was the pig ears. Stopped them and he didn't get them anymore. We gave him those Better Then Pig Ears, they don't last as long and he liked them just as much. Hope Rico's lip clears up soon (Raja's took over a month).
 

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LINDA
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Wow, I hope the antibiotics help!

I give my guys flossies every night. We have not had anything like that happen. I will keep an eye out for it though!
 

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Linda, Not all dogs get sick or have trouble with these things as my Vet said "Just the lucky ones" her sense of humor was like that.
 

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Oh, dear, Sophie loves her bully stick.Hasn't bothered her, but I think I'll buy a nice new clean one today! Cesar Milan loves them for training, so they can't be all bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Geez, you need to buy a clean one? Rico eats one in under an hour! Each night, that's his ritual....he starts around 9:00PM when I sit down to watch TV. He wants to chew his bully. He can eat through a Floosie in 5 minutes!

DH thinks this is great as we'll save about $1,500 per year in flossie/bully stick costs without giving these out each night to the two dogs. Too bad I just ordered a carton of 100!! :(
 

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My thoughts are that if a bully stick can cause an infection, it must be because it's been around awhile. Sophies front teeth are not fully formed yet, so she's been working on the same one for 3 weeks. Bacteria wise, it must be seething!
 

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Evelyn
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What exactly are bully sticks made out of. Are they different from rawhide chews???
There are so many things on the market I am often confused as to what to buy.
 

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I am quite surprised to hear that the vet thinks it is fungal from the bully sticks. In the 7 years I have had Havs, and the 4 years on this forum - I have NEVER heard of that. If by the next visit it isnt gone, I would demand a biopsy!!!

But if you do decide to not give the bully sticks again - please consider donating them to Havanese Rescue. Since I do the supplies for the eastern side of the county, I am sure the new rescues would be thrilled to get a bully stick along with their blanket, toy and harness!! :)

How about cow hooves - they can just chew and chew and chew on them, but nothing really is eaten on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Laurie-

I've never heard of it either. I was blaming the "callous" on the rubbing from the bullies.....the vet thought it looks more like a fungal infection. The vet says he attributes the abrasion to the rubbing from chewing the bully sticks. The abrasions can also be caused by chewing plastic bones, or rubbing against a rough bowl when eating. None of which are an issue here.

As I understand it, the new bully stick is not depositing the fungus, it is causing an abrasion that is then open for other things to enter. That's my guess anyway. To me it looks like a pressure sore. I was blaming it on too vigorously chewing the sticks nightly.

The bully sticks are made from bull tendons, apparently the 'boy parts' of a bull. I always thought they were one of the best chews there is. He never liked the cow hooves, nor pig ears.

As for the biopsy, we opted to wait because the biopsy is problematic as well. He has to be knocked out, the spot sliced, and some treatment would be started anyway. Taking this wait and see attitude gives us time to see if this treatment works before diving in to the more complex treatment.

If Rico hasn't improved by the time we return for our follow up in 2 weeks, we will do the biopsy.

If we do find the bullies are a factor in this, I'll get in touch with you for an address to send this carton to. Good idea!

It's interesting that someone mentioned their dog having this from pig's ears. I bought a package of Merrick "Value pack treats". Pig's ears were in it. Rico didn't really like them, but did chew a few. I wonder if that was the cause??

It's a mystery....
 

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I agree that the callous most likely is from the chewing sticks. You sure do have to be very careful about an open sore, as you are right, anything could get into it - including staph.
Is Rico upset not to have his bully at night now?? I wonder, would he be ok chewing on a frozen kong with treats in it?

I sure hope you get to bottom of this!!
 

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Pepper's mom
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You give them a full bully stick every night? Wow.

What would happen if you cut that back to maybe 2-3 times a week, if the sores aren't really caused by the bully stick itself? Maybe he's rubbing himself raw from the nightly chewing.

Pepper gets a 6" bully stick 1-2 times a week. He doesn't always finish in one sitting either, so I'll give him the second half a few days later.

Also, since bully sticks are beef, could Rico be developing an allergy to beef?

Whatever happens, I hope he's healed and done with this soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The spot looks the same to me. Don't think the antifungal med or antibiotic have done anything yet, but I was told it could take months.

It would be nice, when this is resolved if he could go back to 1-2 sticks a week. That would be a special treat for him and lucy......

We'll see.
 

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I was in the pet store today buying a new flossy for Eli. I asked and neither the bully stick or flossy are made from bull pizzle. They are made from tendons in their legs.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just returned form vet visit today. The rawness and hardness has gone away. The hair is beginning to grow back! I still think it was a pressure sore from the daily chew. The vet agrees but thinks there was some fungal infection there as well. So we're in the clear and still continuing the antifungal pill for 30 days more.

I gave Rico a chew the other noght, against DH's better judgement. He loved it! When this is all resolved, I think I'll save the bully sticks as special treats that they get no more than once a week.

Ellie- I don't doubt a clerk in a pet store would not know or want to know or be told where they come from, but here's the scoop. There probably are bs's made form other beef parts:

What are bully sticks dog treats made from?

Bully sticks, also known as beef pizzles, pizzle sticks, beef sticks, steer stix, are made from 100% bull penises. Bull penis is a single ingredient of bully sticks. Some suppliers and merchants say that they sell bully sticks made of "beef tendons" or "dried muscles" as that part of the anatomy is a tendon and muscle indeeed, and this may sound less repulsive for some people with psychological barrier thinking of feeding bull privates to their furbabies.

In the beginning of manufacturing process the bull's penis that is usually 23-25 inches long, is removed and cleaned. It is hung vertically for the fluids contained to fully drain. Without these fluids bully sticks are odor free. At the next stage of processing bull penises are stretched, twisted or braided, dried and then may be smoked for flavor. The result is a 30-40 inches long very hard brown stick which is cut into pieces suitable for dogs of any size. Thus you can buy small bully sticks of 4'', large beef pizzles of 30 inches and any length between, such as 5'', 6'', 7'', 9'' and 12''.

As bully sticks are 100% natural product, thickness, shape and color may slighty vary.

Compared to other dog chews, bully sticks last incredibly long time. It can take weeks for a small dog to chew on one bully stick, while large breeds may enjoy chewing of bull pizzles between a few hours and a few days.
 
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