Love&Frustration--need advice on several issues - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Love&Frustration--need advice on several issues

Let me start by saying I'm without a doubt in love with my boy. I'm only voicing frustration because I feel sure some of you have gone through this before and I just need a little guidance and advice for how to make things a little smoother in my house.

The love--I have the most calm well behaved pup around my house. He's wonderful for pushing 6 months old. He's calm at home and whenever we go places, it's great! The vet has even complimented his behavior. He is absolutely my little shadow, goes everywhere with me. He is pretty much house trained except if he has an upset stomach, or if hubby accidentally falls asleep when I'm not home and doesn't take him out soon enough(that's only happened once). He hasn't chewed anything he isn't supposed to except the tip of a flip flop and its still quite wearable. He prefers his toys and cardboard and paper when he can find it, so glad he doesn't have expensive taste!

The frustration--He had health issues when we got him, ok that's been sorted out. He is exceptionally small. He's not the big, athletic boy I was anticipating and hoping for. That's ok, I'm good with one that turns out smaller than expected. Easier on hips and other joints right? Wrong. He wont jump on anything(not into the car and not on the couch unless highly motivated) and he has an odd gait. Like I notice it all the time and when I've taken him to my in-laws house they commented that he looked like he had trouble with his hips, and I had never mentioned anything to them about it. (I would like to take a video of his movement and see what yall think here before I go skipping off to the vet--again.) He's extremely low drive. The only time we had the 'zoomies' was when he was on meds from the vet. But I digress....

So now he's gotten itchy. He doesnt have fleas and vet and I don't think it's his food. Vet said he had dry skin and to put him on fish oil. He's been on fish oil a couple weeks now and no change. And I wouldn't be worried about it not working very fast if it weren't for all his scratching at night and keeping hubs and I awake all flipping night. That combined with waking us up to get water several times a night. We solved the water problem and just put the bowl in the bedroom(against all puppy advice) and we've been letting him sleep out in the room instead of crating him. That way he can get water when he needs it and he knows not to potty in there. Back to the itching, he'll lay against the door, or the wall or the bedframe and scratches and it of course is loud and wakes us up. *Cue exhaustion the next morning* So last night, I gave him a tiny bit of benedryl before bed to relieve the itching and hopefully help the humans to get a full nights sleep and put him in a crate-with water bowl. So he got sick and at 2am i was cleaning up diarrhea from his bed and blankets and him and the floor where he stepped when he got out.

So now I'm exhausted and thinking about my lazy, small(32lbs tops), itchy, hot, thirsty, odd gaited, potentially hip displaced 6 month old GSD that I, for some strange reason, love to death... Boy did I win the puppy lottery. I just wanted a healthy playful puppy. That's it. I didn't care about perfect conformation or whatnot.

P.s. He's also got and odd, almost perfectly round patch of hair missing on his hip. He's got the undercoat but no long hair over it. It's been that way a while now and it's not cute.

Last edited by Contego; 04-22-2014 at 11:12 AM. Reason: typos
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 11:15 AM
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I know all dogs are different, and have different energy levels, but small size, itchy skin and missing hair, and not a lot of energy concerns me a bit. Sorry to hear you are frustrated! I would love to see a picture of him.

Did the Benedryl help? My dog had a few times when he was itchy after going to the farm and putting him on Benedryl for a few days really helped. What kind of food is he on?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 11:43 AM
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Chevelle is almost 7 months, also very very itchy (she leans against the wall or door or furnace and scratches hard, bonk Bonk BONK! haha! I have changed her to a corn free food but she is still itchy. I think it's a shedding thing. She is shedding a LOT. Since it is spring, and puppies are very itchy anyway, hopefully it will pass soon. Try brushing him more, maybe?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 12:23 PM
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How many fish oil pills are you giving? My GSD itched bad and had a "hot spot" which resulted in hair loss in that are. We started off with 2pills hidden in her food and once the itching stopped, we dropped it down to 1pill a day for Maintenence. If you are only giving one pill, I would increase it
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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The Benadryl helped the itchiness but gave him diarrhea. I'm guessing that's what did it--nothing else was different with different with his dinner last night. It would have been a golden night had he not gotten sick.

I can definitely try brushing him more, I'll cross my fingers it helps. He's already on corn free food so that base is covered.

I'm only giving him one now, I can definitely up it though. How many milligrams is what your giving? I don't want to overdo it.

I'll work on pictures tonight, I've never loaded any on here so I may struggle.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure if that one will work because of privacy settings. Fingers crossed. You can see the missing hair spot on his hip.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 12:50 PM
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I'm so sorry about your pup's health issues. Our previous dog had low thyroid and then cancer. Our current dog had lots of health issues as a pup, GI and itchy skin, and now as an adult some orthopedic.The constant health issues an be so stressful over such a long period of time.

Without going into a lot of our own history, I just want to say switching foods helped a lot. We went off kibble and switched to The Honest Kitchen brand. Actually we did 1/2 kibble and 1/2 this for about 4 months, saw impressive improvement and thought, why not just get off the kibble. So now we use 1/2 THK and 1/2 a prepared frozen raw food by Natures' Variety. Skin is great, sometime our dog still get GI issues but recovers in a day and we don't need to go to the vet for treatment.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 01:21 PM
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Sunrise products sound like they may help. we have the Garlic tabs they make. Teana coat looks awesome I must say. but after reading one of their catalogs I see they have several things that may help you.
its wonderful how much you love him, ill bet everything works out just fine.

Teana- black & red GSD (rescue)July 10, 2013
CHANNING American white shepherd
Ladybird-Min-Pin 1-10-01 until 2-12-14
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. I definitely don't have a bad dog, this is not the normal frustrations I see from others on here. I guess I'm just in shock a little bit at the health problems. I've never had an unhealthy dog so this is all brand new. And now this paranoia about his hips--quite honestly it sucks. I got a video of him walking around at lunch, I'll try to get that posted soon, would love some input. I'll post that in the hips section too. I knew hips would/could be an issue but I certainly didn't expect it at 6 months.

Would you mind posting a link to the Sunrise products? A quick google search didn't turn up the right thing.
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