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02 May 2008


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Colorado Transplant

I am so glad you gave us such a positive update on Kyrie's skin condition. It must feel so wonderful to have her well again. Your research paid off big time.

`I had an infected fingernail for years and years. I was outside and got stung on that fingernail by a bee, for which I was very angry. But my fingernail was cured shortly afterward without any further treatment.


I just skimmed your long post but what I got is: honey cures everything - is that right?

haha, only joking. And so glad to hear you found something that worked!


Great news! I hope things continue well for Kyrie.

While I share your caution about "natural" remedies being over-hyped, every so often some "natural" remedy turns out to be something of real pharmacological value that hasn't been sufficiently recognized yet because the right questions weren't being asked. Or it could be simply that this is an antibacterial agent that hasn't been used a lot on MRSA and MRSI infections--anything sufficiently different would have worked.

Or, as you say, it could be the topical application of an effective antibacterial, rather than which antibacterial you used. I'm not a fan of systemic approaches when a local approach will work, either. If I had to bet, my bet would be on a combination of of 2 and 3--less commonly used antibacterial, and the "direct approach" of topical application.

Christie Keith

slt, honey does cure everything. Cancer, AIDS, asthma, low self-esteem, obesity, cellulite, insomnia, low IQ, chronic yeast infections -- just be sure to get the special 3.4 percent potency raw honey fed on the wildflowers of the high mountains of the Andes, because all the other honeys are imposters.



Glad to hear she's feeling better. Thanks for such a rational, common sense report. I'd been wondering how the cultures and sensitivities came out. My parents ran a medical lab for 35 years. The procedure for our family was ALWAYS culture, sensitivity and treat. I was floored the first time a doc handed me a scrip for antibiotics without doing any tests at all. I told him he was doing it wrong. He didn't want to be my doc anymore. Being raised with the AMA hard line and knowing how unregulated the supplement biz is, I'm always skeptical of miracle cures. However, I'm positive we will have to take a different approach to treatments in the future due to the over-use of many of our current drugs and the sloppy practice of medicine. I hope this is it for Kyrie and there are no more battles with this bug.


I was struck by your magic bullet remark. Sometimes what seems like magic isn't really. I have been watching a video podcast recently called Terra: The Nature of Our World - they touch on a lot of subjects but the one you might find interesting is the Jewels of The Jungle series. Here is the blurb from Series 1 Part 1:Dr. Gary Strobel's signature red stocking cap lives in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Why? Strobel is one of only a handful of plant scientists scouring the planet the old-fashioned way for the next "super drugs" . . . the kind of medicines which may end up curing malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases. Strobel's red hat is a way of paying homage to the long tradition of herb and plant collectors before him - figures known in traditional cultures as "medicine-men." Dr. Strobel is a fascinating example of the unification of cutting-edge modern science with wisdom derived from the practices of centuries-old healing traditions around the world. Travel along with Dr. Strobel as he hops around the world, from the rainforest to the outback, on his latest round of collecting. Last time, Strobel discovered an organism that now helps supply the world with cancer drugs, what will he discover this time around? [ ]

Your medical honey probably contains the endophytes he searches for

Laura Bennett

Along the same lines as Colorado Transplant, I had a wart on my finger when I was a young girl. One day when I was putting my bike chain back on, a so-called friend stepped on the chain and my finger got trapped between the cog and the chain, piercing my wart. It hurt like hell and bled a lot (being a tomboy aged 8, even I couldn't help but shed a tear or two) but the wart disappeared shortly thereafter, much to my amazement. I'd forgotten about it until now. Can't say I'd recommend it as a cure though but happenstance worked well here.

But I digress. I do though like the idea of taking in all sorts of ideas in treating chronic health conditions. I'd say there's a lot to synergy and natural catalysts we know very little about.


"The reason I hesitated to share this story is that I am allergic to magic bullets."

Well, there are no magic bullets as well you know, neither here nor in allopathic medicine.

Quite frankly I'd be infuriated no professional vet med person had suggested concommitant application of topicals. First reaction is massive application of oral or injectible antibiotics, which is the reason we have so many resistant bacteria out there to begin with. That tells me there's something terribly wrong with the way conventional medicine thinking has gone.

I don't believe in miracle cures from the allopathic community either, no matter how much they advertise them. Those magic antibiotics are no different, just that they've had journal articles in professional rags. And many of those articles may be yesterday's news was of ghost written articles by drug companies about off-label drug use to be given to Drs., with the hope the drug companies can get some money rolling in after a very tough year.

I don't know why you're so angry about unethical people flogging natural stuff. I really don't think the general public is any more susceptible to it than to Dr. spiel on the latest new miracle drug, though I'd say most people accept a doc's word without question.

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

Wow, that's pretty amazing.

But when I first read about her and again when I began to read this post I immediately began to think - poltice. Thats actually what this is.

Now there are many different types and it is in fact a very old and well proven cure for a number of things mostly having to do with infections but also some types of small sub-cue cysts et al. Ingredients include things like mustard and onions, garlic, vinegar etc... mostly high acid compounds that creates an unfriendly environment for bugs that our skin can tolerate longer than they can.

But I also think there is something special about honey. This is not the first time I have read about it and its a well established fact that it does not decompose and does have anti-bacterial properties.

But it also sounds to me like your vet was treating her with pills and/or shots. For a skin infection? Systemic antibiotics only go where blood goes. Last time I checked the epidermis is DEAD and has no blood flow at all. Since dogs dont even sweat there is no chance that the skin can get any benefit of those meds by osmosis either. It would have seemed that a much more logical course would have been a topical ointment to begin with.

Forgive me but I just cant resist the temptation to raise this old issue. Remember the rather hot discussion we had about that old vet in MN and pain treatment for a dog. I would bet a weeks pay that he would have known about using some such treatment in substitute for the new-fangled antibiotics.

Given that this is really just a variation of one of the oldest cures in the book and the new age vets were remarkably incapable of dealing with it could it be that the old timers really do know something after all?

No, no secret cures known only to the pharohs here. Just a cure not known to modern book smart doctors who got their education from Phizer and their pals. In having lived and dealt with animal health issues both personally and commercially all of my life I have learned to view vets with the nicest modern facilities and equipment with a jaundiced eye. In my mind that fancy animal hospital says more about their skill at extracting money from angst ridden clients than success in treating my animals.

Give me the old docs working out of their back door and car trunk. I prefer results over technology.


That's really wonderful that Kyrie is over this thing!

I see that the WoundCentral folks also have the medically approved silver impregnated bandages for wounds as well.


Christie, while you're "allergic" to magic bullets, I'm "allergic" to drugs.

People have been helped by some drugs, but it seems to me, more and more, we are seeing so many bad side effects, and cases where they just don't work.

I am so happy for both Kyrie and you. I was feeling your "pain"...just imagining if it were one of my animals, and I was standing by helplessly, trying to figure out what to do to help them.

While I agree that we must not jump at some of these cure-alls that come along...we must also be open minded to nature, and what it has to offer us in the way of possible cures.

After all, we are a part of nature too.

Sharon H

WoooooHooooo! Good for you and good for Kyrie!!

Great news and I loved your blog post. There isn't a magic wand but sometimes, it's pretty cool when one does show up to help you out!!


Great News!!

I have to agree with Bernie; I remember those mustard plasters, and other poltices we experienced as kids. Things that were brought over from the "old country" and from the rural country. Today it is very easy and quick to pop a pill-

There has been lots in the literature lately re: honey. So this is really amazing.

Medicine and Magic Bullets: I can remember while working in the medical field many years we looked upon chiropracters,podiatrists and optometrists as not real doctors.



Wow, I'm just so glad Kyrie is doing so much better! I was scared for both of you. Being a huge lover of 'medicinal' honey, taken internally, this gives me some food for thought (pun intended, snorkle). Really, I think there is a lot for modern medicine to learn from traditional treatments; it doesn't have to be all one or the other.


What great news! I'm so happy for you! And even more glad to read this having just spent the last hour reading about Eight Belles. Thanks for such a well reasoned post- very logical. The quality of the honey, being 1) active, 2) from the Manuka bush, and 3) prepared as a topical pad, are all very important elements that should not be overlooked by anyone seeking information about the utility of honey in wound healing.

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

Id just like to add that unless you had a culture done and the specific strain of the bug was positively identified I would not be so quick to use the term "super" bug. It sound much more like a less than effective course of treatment for an otherwise treatable infection.

Of this bug I can only pass along what an old colleage of mine used to day... "its easy to look like an eagle when you are working with turkeys."


Thanks for a fair and balanced article on allopathic/ natural medicine, however, while I also do not approve of any magic cure alls , either naturopathic nor allopathic, it does strike me as odd that the vet didn't think of trying to treat the skin infection on the skin...Even when seeking allopathic care, sometimes the solution is right under our noses. My dogs see a homeopath, I see an accupuncturist and we all have allopathic doctors who understand and support our position regarding medicine as well.

It is becoming increasingly clear that an integrated approach is probably best, leaning toward naturopathic care for non-emergency situations.

The general public needs to hear these stories and being cautious with them only keeps pets getting the care they need. While I appreciate where you are coming, regarding restraint, next time you hesitate to share the benefits of any form of health care, allopathic or natural, think of all of the pets needlessly euthanized because their owners didn't have the knowledge to try alternatives.

It is up to the community of natural health practitioners and educated pet parents to make this information easily accessible on the web. This is how people find alternative medicine!

Christie Keith

Bernie, I had cultures done... and the strains were identified as both methicillin-resistant staphylococcus intermedius and multi-drug resistant staphylococcus intermedius. Did you not read all the links?

Colorado Transplant

Talking about bees and honey, the reason I had mentioned about the bee biting my finger (and the cure following) is because the newspapers in Boston did a series of articles about people going to get bees to sting a small number of people for skin cures. It had worked for them, also. I guess that faded out. However, the problem with my finger never returned.

However, given that the bee population seems to be dwindling, the less overuse of bees the more will be available for necessary usage.

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski


Sorry to say, no I usually dont get the time to read all the links, much as Id like to.

But my larger point is that especially knowing that they had a resistant strain they continued with systemic antibiotics and not topical treatments for a skin infection...

Almost every farmer I know knows that for those type of wounds you apply topical medicines of the antiseptic variety and preferrably with some type of drying agent - at the very least.

If that fails, a poltice is standard issue.

Im really glad that you discovered this one and I will put it in my personal arsenal for sure! But whats up with your vets? They get a D- I think.


I'm so relieved! Considering how desperate the situation was getting and how quickly it cleared up, its pretty miraculous to me.


I had a similar (if less dramatic) experience in trying to get my Golden Retriever's chronic pyoderma under control. At first I took him to a dermatology vet, who prescribed antibiotics and peroxide-based shampoo treatments. That worked great... for 6 weeks. Then 3 weeks after we finished the antibiotics, the pyoderma came back with a vengeance.

I really didn't want to put him back on antibiotics, so I took him to my holistic vet. She told me that moisture exacerbates bacterial problems, so even plain peroxide was out (since it's water-based). Instead, I treated the area daily with Listerine (original formula) and Gold Bond medicated powder. Problem solved!

Suzanne  Keener

Christie, i'm so glad Kyrie is doing better, and prayers that she continues to! when i saw a cross post of your plight on a yahoo list, first thing i thought of was honey! I have the well-touted Manuka honey and i see it is different than the one that you used on Kyrie-i wonder your thoughts on different modes of honey? Thanks!


I only breezed thru your article. I am glad that your dof isdoing much better. right now, my dog Abby is going thru the exact same thing. She currently is on baytril and luckily is tolerating it well. She was starting to appear like she may be getting better, but we have now noticed new spots on her behind her tale and although a few spots seem to look much better, she has others that look worse and the vet has increased her dosage of the batril. She now takes 4 tablets two times a day. This is her third week. Now the vet wants to do a biopsy on her. Tehy already did a culture which is why they put her on the baytril. She has her biopsy on tuesday, but I really do not know what good it will do. Abby seems heathy and does not seem to be in pain, but really is bothered and constantly licks at her wounds which i am sure does not help. You said the medgrade honey worked right away. How did you apply it and did Kyrie lick at it or try removing the dressings. I would want the dressings to stay on her and may keep her on the baytril while using the honey. Also how long did it take you to get it? Can you get it locally in a health store or do you have to get it online? I really want Abby to get better. Her wounds look horrible and it is eating away at her skin. If you can please email me. Thanks, I hope this will work for Abby, like it has for Kyrie.


I ordered the MediHoney for Abby. I'll let you know how it works for her. I'm sure it will be a few days before I get it.

Christie Keith

Angela, one of the things I've learned is that this strain of bacteria develops resistance to the class of drugs to which Baytril belongs VERY EASILY, so much so that many specialists are now suggesting to not even use it, no matter what the culture and sensitivity testing indicates about it.

I'd strongly recommend you add the honey (Kyrie never tried to remove her bandage, it was quite secure and my understanding is that medical grade honey tastes horrible, although I admit I didn't test that out personally) to your treatment protocol, but I would also suggest trying another class of antibiotic.

Is she being treated by a dermatologist? If not, consider that. Your dog really wouldn't be getting worse, and getting MORE lesions, if the drug were effective.

Christie Keith

Suzanne, Medi-honey is a Manuka honey. But not all Manuka honey is Medi-honey. I went with this because the bandages seemed like a very good way to use the honey, cleaner and easier to use, and also because, since the product is FDA approved, I knew it would be standardized and almost certainly contain exactly what it said it did, whereas I feel no such confidence when buying products at the local health food store.

And let me clarify, if a supplement company that I already trust made a Manuka honey, I'd trust that product. But none of the companies I already know and rely on does make such a product, so I felt far more comfortable with this one.


Christine. No right now she is not seeing a dermatologist. We do not have one in our area. We were lucky enough to have one visiting in the area while he was giving a lecture in the Boston area. he was the one who noticed right away that Abby probably had staff and the cultures that he had my vet order prooved it. I will talk to her about changing Abbys antibiotics, as the baytril is probably no longer working. This may have been caused by her being off of it for two days when she ran out over the holiday weekend and the vet wanted to see her again before giving her more. the vet thought she was looking better and only increased the dosage.

Colorado Transplant

Angela, I pray the medi-honey works.

I am glad you are going to try it to stop your dog's suffering. Skin application seems best. It should be soothing.

Often the dogs and cats hide their pain.

That staff infection is TOUGH!!!!! We have to outsmart all the superbugs--if we can.


Christie thanks for your reply. I understand where you're coming from on Manuka honey. I have some from a reputable website and my cat has EGC (eosinophilic granuloma complex) a TOUGH case of it (luckily he was never vaxxed, eats fresh raw and is under control by a TCM vet) and he had awful wounds that i applied Manuka honey to and it seemed to produce healing in them, albeit EGC plaques are entirely different from staph infections. He had one non healing lesion excised surgically and healing was going very well until vet thinks he had a poss. reaction to the suture site and guess what? Lesion back (this yr has been a nightmare) we are going to try topical tacrolimus (protopic) as i don't want to at this point go the oral cyclosporine route but if that doesn't work i might try the honey again, am wondering if i should try the bandages you are, where do you obtain them? Thanks for your time :)

Colorado Transplant

Just want to add a side note: a human dermatologist told me--that the wound likes a covering even though we would think it best to have the wound exposed to air.

Just a thought, particularly since Christie has had success with the medi-honey bandages that did indeed cover the wound.

Suzanne VK

My Golden Retriever has methicillin resistant staphylococcus intermedius. I am curious about the Medihoney treatment since

my dog's staph is resistant to almost all antibiotics. My dog has

sores all over his body so I would be unable to use a bandage for the Medihoney. Is there anyother acceptable way to apply the

Medihoney ? I realize that I can't apply honey all over the dogs body since it seems like it would be too sticky. Has anyone used the Medihoney treatment on a dog with sores covering large areas of a dog's body. The dog is on Choriphenicol and steriods.

Any advice is appreciated. The dog has seen two dermatologists already.

Suzanne VK

John Seets

Your "medical grade" honey is no different than the raw honey I sell from my hives. You are just talking it up to be something "special" in order to charge an unbelievable price.

Unfortunately, there are so MANY uninformed idiots out there that you will most likely make a tidy profit selling honey under this specific aegis when in reality it is NO different than what we beekeepers who process RAW honey are selling.

And there's a bunch of us out there.

lisamarie grosso


i have an 11 year old chow/german shepherd mix. for the past 2 years she has been suffering from a recurrent bacterial infection on her skin. i've been to 3 different vets and spent quite a bit of money trying to get some help for her. the first few times i was given antibiotics for her. they seemed to work for a while. but the infection always returned. my new vet insists a food and/or seasonal allergy is the underlying problem. she prescribed cephalexin 750mg twice a day for 21 days and also put my dog on a strict diet of royal canin rabbit and potato (rabbit being a novel protein for my dog) the infection seemed to clear up but within 2 weeks it was back. itching. oozing sores, hair loss, and a horrible smell. she blamed me for not returning before the end of the course of antibiotics so she could determine if my dog needed further antibiotic treatment. unfortunately, i just didn't have the money since i paid almost $500 on the visit before( office visit, prescription food, drugs and thyroid panel). she also insisted that i wasn't following the diet correctly. so i decided to see the head veterinarian at the same clinic. i insisted on a skin culture since the first vet didn't perform one. he confirmed a staph infection and now wants my dog on the cephalexin again, but this time for AT LEAST 6 weeks. he also gave me a chlorhexidine shampoo and wants me to bathe her twice a week.i don't like the idea of loading my poor dog up with this amount of antibiotics. i know how horrible they make me feel so i assume my dog can't be feeling all too great. on top of the strict new diet, the twice weekly baths (which she hates) and the discomfort of her skin issues. but i'm going to do it because i just don't know what else to do. i want to try the medical grade honey dressings. she has sores around her neck area, on her sides and a lot of irritation on her abdomen. what do you think is the best way for me to apply the honey and where can i purchase it? do you think i should get the dressings or the tube? any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

lisamarie grosso

Christie Keith

lisamarie, you say you had a skin culture done; what did it say?

If this is just garden variety non-resistant staph, then there is an underlying condition, and an allergy is a good possibility. The recurring staph infections are a symptom, not the primary cause of the problem, albeit a symptom that causes your dog a lot of distress and that needs to be treated.

Veterinary diagnostics are expensive, and I had a dog with terrible, terrible allergies and skin problems, and I know how very hard they can be to keep under control. And by the way, my poor dog was allergic to chlorhexidine, so be aware that might be extremely irritating. Tea tree oil in a lotion or body wash (this was for humans) was actually found to be MORE effective than chlorhex on resistant staph, so you might want to try Desert Essence Therapeutic Tea Tree Shampoo or their Relief Spray, and see if those don't work better with less irritation. The honey might also help her sores, but again, that and the tea tree are just addressing the symptoms.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to the underlying problem. And no cheap ones, either. But if this were my dog, I'd put her on a homemade diet -- I've seen many dogs on kibble have longstanding allergy and skin issues resolve as soon as they stop eating commercial foods. They might be allergic not to the actual food items in the kibble, but to contaminants like molds and insect droppings, or some other ingredient.

Consider a true 90 day allergy elimination diet... a REAL one, not a halfway measure like changing from one multi-ingredient food to another. I have info on that here:

Lastly, are you working with a board certified dermatologist, or some other kind of vet?

lisamarie grosso

i christie,

thanks so much for your help. i'm not working with a dermatologist, just a regular DVM. as for the skin culture, he didn't go into details about the type of staph. he just said cocchi-something. i could call him and find out. also, when the sores and odor first began appearing again, i did bathe her with a tea tree oil shampoo. i mentioned this to the vet and he seemed skeptical about it helping her and gave me the chlorhexidine. but, at this point, my experience with any kind of traditional medicine has been to take some of it with a grain of salt. in my mind, it's a given that they just don't know as much as claim to. anyway, i would like to try feeding her a homemade elimination diet. i'm just not sure how to do it. do i need to give her supplements? the vet said supplements can be problematic because they are often sourced from foods that the dog is allergic to, like beef. and how do i know which protein to pick? she's had almost everything (i was feeding her merrick) except rabbit. again, thanks so much for the help.


Lisa i don't know if this will help but i had an Akita that was rife w/all the inherited genetic skin diseases. When he was young i found Moducare Sterinol and that put him into remission for quite awhile until it stopped working. He was on a raw diet and only vaccinated once. At the end of his life (about 2 yrs before he died) he was on DAILY antibiotics to control his terrible skin disease. I realize of course that this isn't ideal by any means but it is what it took to maintain quality of life and make him comfortable and i supported him the best i could with the help of a holistic vet until he died at age 14. What i did learn in all my research on antibiotics and dermatitis in dogs is that a MINIMUM of 6 weeks is necessary to treat dogs with reoccuring pyoderma like this, or any skin infection and you must continue with the antibiotics for TWO solid weeks after clinical signs of remission. In other words, when the condition looks like it is completely cleared, abx must be continued 2 weeks after that. That adviced truly saved my dog and he was able to go long periods of time inbetween dosing until finally he had to have them daily. Finding the cause of the symptoms is ideal but not always feasible. I imagine my dog had some kind of immune defect and i don't know any holistic way to "fix" that, unfortunately. AFA food allergies, that is a tough one, you need novel proteins the dog hasn't been exposed to and be STRICT about everything, even treats and chew toys.

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