Tess is Scratching a Lot, Could it be her Food? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 11-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tess is Scratching a Lot, Could it be her Food?

Tess will stop in the middle of playing or training and start to scratch or bite the area on her rear backsides. She has been doing this very frequently these days; while I have her on Frontline and checked for fleas, which I haven't found, I'm wondering if it could be her food. I have her on Blue Buffalo LBP food and I'm finding that she doesn't seem to like it anymore and it also gives her very loose stools. Although I do give her bully stick's too, so that could be part of the problem too. She barely eats what I put out for her these days.

I have a bag of Innova LBP, which I wanted to put her on when I first brought her home from the breeder, but that too created loose stools. I really don't think I gave it enough time though. These past couple of days, I have started mixing a tiny bit of the Innova in with the Blue Buffalo and find that she will pick the Innova out and leave most of the Blue Buffao. Where I have a full bag of the Innova and it is considered an excellent food, I am going to give it another try, moving her over slowing over a two week period of time.

I was wondering if maybe the grains in her food could be causing her to scratch all the time. I plan on asking her vet when I bring her in next Monday for her 3rd set of shots.

I'm wondering what other's think about her scratching, or if anyone else has run into this problem. Tess is 12 weeks today.....my how time fly's.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Go the obvious route first. Fleas are hard to see, and back-end biting and scratching, especially when it's sudden, it's a huge red flag for fleas.

I just went through this with Spirit. I looked for fleas, didn't see any, so dismissed it. Then he got a skin infection so I took him to the vet ... took her all of 5 seconds to spot a flea. Boy did I feel stupid.

Have your vet check for fleas
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, I will do that. Can she possible have fleas even though I applied Frontline to her on 11/4 and her breeders vet applied it to her and he litter mates on 10/4? I would have thought that the Frontline would have killed them. I'm wondering where she could have got them, the only time she's been around other dogs was at training last night and she's been itchy for a while now. Even at training, she stayed pretty much away from the other dogs, as they were a little older than her and she's still very young.

I did run a flea comb through her fur, after I dipped it in soapy water and didn't see anything but like you said, they don't really appear visible to the naked eye.

My husband thinks it's dry skin, our house does tend to get pretty dry in the winter, I'm thinking of getting a humidifier to help with the dryness. I also read on another post that puppies will start scratching a lot when their fur changes, have you heard anything like this before?

Thanks for the advice, this will be the first issue I bring up when I take her to the vets next week.

Last edited by Linda1270; 11-16-2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Or maybe she's having a reaction to the pesticide you are putting in her blood. She's not even 12 weeks old, on spot-on treatment and going for a Third round of vaccines???

It might just be that Her immune system is malfunctioning and it hasn't even fully developed yet...she should defininately NOT get any more vaccines until you know what is wrong.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, she could have a sensitivity to the food, but its way more likely an environmental allergen or a flea sensitivity.

Frontline will stop the fleas from living on and reproducing on your dog, but it will not stop a bite. Your dog may have a sensitivity to the actual flea bite.

Do a white sheet test, where you stand your dog on a clean white sheet. Comb the dog very thoroughly with a fine tooth comb, or even a flea comb. Then check the sheet for flea dirt. If you see small black flecks, add a drop of water to them, if they turn red, its flea dirt.

I would also start making sure that the environment is as flea free as possible. (Wash, Vacuum, D. Earth etc)

It is important though to get the digestive tract happy again. Was she ok with just the kibble? Did the loose stool first appear with the bully sticks were given? Any other things added to her diet right now?

Is she on fish oil/coconut oil? Probiotics?

I agree that the preventatives could also be causing some problems and would be something to look at as well. Have you discussed with your vet the prevalence of the pests you are treating for in your area?
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Only when playing or training? Outside?

I would suspect an environmental allergy if it's situational.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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check for tapeworm
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorBytes View Post
Or maybe she's having a reaction to the pesticide you are putting in her blood. She's not even 12 weeks old, on spot-on treatment and going for a Third round of vaccines???

It might just be that Her immune system is malfunctioning and it hasn't even fully developed yet...she should defininately NOT get any more vaccines until you know what is wrong.
I will leave that up to her vet on whether or not she should get her third round of shots. I've been with this vet for a long time and she hasn't steered me wrong yet.

I did the white sheet test and nothing, no small black flecks at all. Although there is a lot of dry skin flakes, but I'm not a professional so I will let her vet check her out and find out why she is scratching.

As for her food, she's gone through almost a 30 lb bag of Blue Buffalo LBP and never did get firm stools, they were always a little bit loose and now, she only picks at it. When I add a little Innova to the kibble, she eats a lot more and if she leaves any, it's the Blue Buffalo.

Thanks for all your input and advice, it is very much appreciated. I will find out what is going on with Tess' scratching, whether it be fleas, allergies to her food or something else or just plain old dry skin, I will find out what is going on and work on fixing it immediately.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Frontline just does NOT work. It worked for my cat but not for my 2 gsd pups! Try washing her with tick and flea oatmeal shampoo.. it worked for my pups perfectly.

Or it can be dry skin, or even the food!

But to be on the safe side, gotto the vet clinic and just get it checked :P
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Frontline kills ticks, but is not so good for fleas IMO. Advantage works much better for fleas. The biting at the rear end, and the fact that she will do it suddenly, right in the middle of playing, is consistent with flea bites. If she has a flea allergy, one single flea can bite her and jump off, and she will have a reaction for days to that one flea bite. So even if you don't see any fleas on her, it could still be a flea allergy that is driving her nuts.

Do you see any red or raised areas where she is chewing?

I would not immediately suspect a food allergy, but you could try a grain-free food and see if it helps.
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