Yes I know.. more itching and bald spots. - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Yes I know.. more itching and bald spots.

The new (now 11 month old) pup Dax, has been itching and creating bald spots all over himself. His paw pads are also red. I called the vet and she said it's probably just allergies and that she goes through the same exact thing with her dogs. She just prescribed benadryl. I was wondering what the people on this board who've gone through the same thing with their dog's recommend? I've switched his food to Bil-Jac, started giving him fish oil, vitamin E, biotin, and sprayed his bald spots with hot spot spray for about 3-4 weeks. It's very frustrating because it seems like he's not really progressing, although it has lessened but he's still itching and looks terrible. I'm to ashamed to even take him outside with the way he looks. Also, Bruce is having zero problems with fur loss or even itching. In fact his coat has never looked better. If pictures would be helpful just let me know and I'll put some up. Just need some real help.

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Last edited by bruce23; 01-04-2013 at 11:17 AM. Reason: need to add more
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Biljac is very low quality food - if your label reads "corn, wheat, soy, by-products" or "chicken" or "chicken meal", consider switching to Natural Balance, in a Venison, or Fish or another "unique" protein in it. Bison, would also work.

Do that for 6-8 weeks and see if you see an improvement. Natural balance is one of the best for allergy trials.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I assume you've ruled out fleas and environmental allergies. Has the vet given you a medicated shampoo so your dog does not get secondary skin infections? That might be helpful.

Natural Balance is good for allergy trials but not long term use, IMO, due to the grain free varieties have sweet potato as first ingredient and I would hope for more protein in the long run. There are many limited ingredient dry dog food brands to choose from now.

We thought our dog had food allergies, found out she just does not do well with kibble. Started her on dehydrated raw and prepared raw foods and she can eat any protein. No allergies after all (at least not to meat or vegetables).
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Natural Balance is good for allergy trials but not long term use, IMO, due to the grain free varieties have sweet potato as first ingredient and I would hope for more protein in the long run. There are many limited ingredient dry dog food brands to choose from now.
Actually many dogs do fine on NB long-term.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you considered taking your pup to a vet dermatologist?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, I've been washing him using 3 different shampoo's 2 times a week for infection(no he doesn't have an infection). But I just read another thread talking about itching being related to rabies shots. He had just went in for a rabies shot and worming meds, and about a week later he started itching and losing fur. I went through this same exact thing when Bruce was 4 months old and went in to get a rabies vac and the vet "pressured" me into getting him a parvo shot, and low and behold he got parvo. Luckily he's still alive. So I called the vet and asked if it was possible he was allergic to either and they said they haven't seen it so.... But I got him a cone and everything stated above once he started the scratching. Can you guys give me the names of the foods that are of "good quality". I really appreciate all your help.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I second the switching off of grain-free food. Once you're feeding a limited ingredient diet, see what works and what doesn't in terms of protein. It is so often the food...and so often due to grain. If he has allergies this severe, I would also highly recommend seeing a dermatologist and having an allergy test done. It might not give you anything to work with, but if it does it is often valuable information.

My guy has SEVERE grain allergies. He's also allergic to chicken, salmon, and lamb. I feed Pinnacle Limited Ingredient and it has worked well for us. When his food issues were under control and he continued having seasonal issues, we had the allergy test done and determined that he was also very allergic to the fungus that is frequently found in grass in the spring and rotting leaves in the fall. There was no cure for this obviously, but it made management a lot easier.

My mother ran out of his food and didn't realize I had left her another bag...so she started feeding him her dog's grain-based food. Within a couple of days he started developing severe rashes and bleeding sores on his lips. It really can be that severe. Unfortunately, most vets aren't really equipped for dealing with it besides saying, "give them benadryl."

In the mean time, try claratin OTC-- it's more expensive, but it has less of a drowsy effect. Oatmeal baths are also very helpful. Veterycin has been very helpful for dealing with the sores that arise, and septiderm or the doggie hydro-cortisone lotions also help with irritation. I've had great luck with emu oil as a general skin conditioner. Also keep an eye out for yeast infections, especially in the skin between the limbs and body (if you ever see what looks like dirt crusted in the fur, or smell a funky odor, it is often that). I use a benzoyl peroxide and antifungal combo shampoo when he starts to get welts, and it also has soothing ingredients (hydro-cortisone and oatmeal) in it. A cider-vinegar rinse can also be helpful for yeast issues, especially in the ears. Don't over-bathe! You could easily cause more irritation, especially with chemical shampoos.

Also keep track of his ears and eyes. Whenever Echo is having an allergy attack, it very frequently cascades to goopy, irritated eyes and/or goopy, irritated, yeasty ears.

Good luck! It's a tough, often very frustrating road... but don't just settle at "give him benadryl" and assume there's nothing else to be done


Out of curiosity... you said he's not itching much... did they do a skin scrape for demodex?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Natural Balance is good and fairly inexpensive in the scheme of things, and it's very limited in ingredients.

It's "grain free" but grains aren't always the culprit people think they are with allergies that is.
Grains can cause intolerance far more than allergies - it's the proteins in the meat that cause allergies.

That's why it's recommended to try a "unique" protein source, one the dog isn't regularly exposed to. Lamb, beef and chicken tend to be the most over-used sources of protein in pet foods, so that's why it's good to try with another source like Bison and different things like that.
We've used duck, fish, and venison with good results.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce23 View Post
Yes, I've been washing him using 3 different shampoo's 2 times a week for infection(no he doesn't have an infection). But I just read another thread talking about itching being related to rabies shots. He had just went in for a rabies shot and worming meds, and about a week later he started itching and losing fur. I went through this same exact thing when Bruce was 4 months old and went in to get a rabies vac and the vet "pressured" me into getting him a parvo shot, and low and behold he got parvo. Luckily he's still alive. So I called the vet and asked if it was possible he was allergic to either and they said they haven't seen it so.... But I got him a cone and everything stated above once he started the scratching. Can you guys give me the names of the foods that are of "good quality". I really appreciate all your help.
Nature's Variety. There is Nature's Variety Instinct Limited ingredient kibble, also freeze dried raw (I have not tried this) and frozen raw. We've used the kibble and frozen.

The Honest Kitchen (dehydrated raw)

Blue Buffalo grain free products - we don't use this brand for our dog, but overall I've been happy with it for our finicky cats. It's a brand that seems to be easy to buy in both the big box stores and the natural food pet stores.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Those are good foods...but the key is eliminating all but ONE protein source.
Any food that has more than one source of protein (for instance, fish and venison) is out, since you need to rule out what foods aren't working.
If one of the above listed has only ONE protein source, feel free to experiment but if it has multiple proteins then forget it.
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