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Old 12-20-2012, 01:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Lost hair, Now digestive problems

I have a 9 yr old GSD male. About 3 years ago he started losing his fur. I've had him to about 7 vets, 2 of them were dermotologists. Since he was about 4 yrs old, he started having problems with allergies and ear infections. The vets said he had flea dermititis even though he was on flea meds. I bathed him with special shampoo (no help), he's been checked for mange and has had blood tests. All negative.His current vet says he has food allergies. He is now eating For Health Chicken & Rice formula. He no longer has ear infections. He only has fur on his head, neck, legs and tail. In the winter he wears a sweat shirt to keep warm. This past summer he started to strain when he pooped and the problem continues. His stool looks ok, except when he eats something other than his regular dog food, but he continually strains like something is stuck. Finally 1 or 2 little pieces are eliminated and then he's ok. Lately he's been having bouts of diahrea when he eats something other than his dry food. I gave him a tiny amount of sweet potato last evening and during the night he had gas and diarrhea.
I want to try him on the BARF diet, but am concerned about his food allergies and his reaction to foods other than For Health, (carried by Tractor Supply) It has no wheat, corn, egg, artifical ingredients, etc.
Any help or ideas of what could be his problem(s) would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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what is he eating now.
does he have any essential fatty acids in his diet .

you can clean him up outside -- a good bath with Defendex , some Zymox for his ears, a handy spritzer of Vetrycyn , all symptoms of what ever is deficient addressed. Then you need to go to the root cause. EFA's, GOOD source of protein , minerals , probiotics - anti inflammatories.



Last edited by carmspack; 12-20-2012 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a 9.5 year old male GSD and have been through very similar issues in the past year. This is what we found (I mention these as "has your vet ruled them out?" the smoking gun could be many different things but it may take a lot of persistence on your part to get answers.

Straining to poop. Is he intact? Have vet check for enlarged prostate. I gather there are medical ways to manage; we neutered Grim. Also make sure he does not have perianal fistulas that was the first sign I got when a different "neutered since youth" male started to strain and had the oddest shaped stools.

The coat - I had to prevail on that as well as the dog had a glorious coat all his life (well it was a bit of a broken wiry coat but was not excessive with the shedding and thick). Get a thyroid test (full panel looking for autoimmune issues etc.) and print off Dr Dodd (search for Dr. Dodd and thyroid) and see if that is possibly an issue. Grim's was low normal but I kept arguing GSDs are supposed to be closer to midrange. He now gets Armour Thyroid -300 every day and the levels bumped up (still low end of range but better and his coat is all good again)

FWIW any recent surgery/anesthesia and apparently the coat can go amiss there too. I did switch him over to a holistic vet (she did acupuncture) after he was written off for an assumed back injury and she gives him various Chinese herbals that have done wonders for him.

Beau -NAPWDA Certified Cadaver Dog
Waiting at the Bridge (italics=GSDs) (hemangiosarcoma=blue):Grim , Cyra, Toby, Rainbow, Linus, Oscar, Arlo & Waggles
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to the board - sorry about your boy.


Meet Apollo - his story might help you.

I would look at a possible home cooked meal by consulting with someone like Monica Segal Individualized Nutrition For Your Dogs But I would also be worried with what you describe - that GI system sounds wonky for sure.

I wonder if a vet teaching hospital that has a variety of services might be helpful to you.

I have used DMG supplement (usually from Vetriscience) for skin things and in my mind, it helped.

A few years ago Texas A/M did a study on IgA levels in GSDs. My two participated. One was normal, the other, low (she was 11). She had skin issues - pretty bad - GSD Pyoderma, and it was definitely tied in. selective IgA deficiency We were going to try this http://www.neogen.com/AnimalSafety/p...tins/08892.pdf but she developed GI lymphoma before we got the chance.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd look at thyroid and Cushing's.

Cushings Disease - Non GSD
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Food Allergies, Hair Loss

I have an appt tomorrow with a homopathic vet. I will mention thyroid, as well as Cushings, IBS and get him back on the BARF diet. I gave him some yogurt yesterday and that didn't upset him. Maybe he needs some probiotics.

Prince is neutered. My vet did a physical exam and found no problems.
Right now I am feeding him For Health which was recommended by my vet. Prince used to get ear infections. After I changed him over to For Health, he stopped getting ear infections and his skin is not as flaky, but his hair has still not grown back.
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