This is my first post here, though I have been a frequent visitor since we decided to get our German shepherd puppy – Rush. Overall, he is a very healthy nearly 5 months old male. He is very active and already weighs 54.3lb as of today. However, we have an ongoing problem that is driving the entire family completely nuts. He has a severe itch and scratches constantly.
The itch seemed to begin two weeks after Rush came to live with us.
Since he was just 8 weeks old, I did not want let him outside the house prior to our vet’s visit. So, for about 5 days he was inside of our house and there was no itch.
Our vet makes home visits (that is primarily why we deal with her). She examined my puppy, gave him the required shot and de-worming medicine, then okayed him to go play outside in our rather large backyard "as long as there are no other animals there". That is when his itching began.
After a couple of nice baths in puppy shampoo I saw no improvement (and no evidence of flees). So, I called our vet and described the situation over the phone. She decided that this “must be mites" and stated that "it is a very common”. Because Frontline was used as a de-wormer and did nothing for the itchiness, she prescribed oral Ivomec and suspected a Sarcoptic mange (though there was no hair loss noted and she took no skin samples).
After a couple of weeks with no effect from the previous medication she prescribed topical Revolution (every 2 weeks for 2 months). Well, no luck. The skin is still clean, no hair loss and dog is itching like crazy.
It was then that our vet suggested that it could be an allergy to something in his food. Originally, I cooked for him (beef or chicken with brown rice, rolled oats, veggies and supplemental raw beef bones, cottage cheese, fruits, etc.) and included "Science Diet" lamb and rice dry food for large breed puppies. She suggested to stop cooking for him and feed Science diet dry food only. No luck.
I decided to switch to "Nutro Ultra" chicken and rice dry food for large breed puppies. After several weeks, again no luck.
My last attempt was to switch to a pretty expensive "Blue Basics" turkey diet with no grain. No luck there either
It was then out of desperation that we decided to try another vet. This vet seemed to immediately think that the pup had a fungus and that, in her opinion, most dogs in Texas have this problem because of the climate. Though our puppy had no indications on his skin and certainly showed none of the typical rings of ringworm, she took a skin sample in one of the itchiest areas and did a culture. No luck here either. The culture was negative and poor Rush is still itching.
I do not know what else to do. I am bathing him in skin sensitive shampoos, he eats the best dry food I can possible come up with, his bedding is changed every couple of days and he is itching like a maniac. His fur also stinks even right after bath. Otherwise it looks nice, thick and shiny. No hair loss. No rash.
Before I will rip all the grass from my very large backyard to remove the possibility of a grass allergy (we have Saint Augustine grass and nothing else there), and because my vet has run out of suggestions (she thinks Rush is still too young for an allergy test), I have decided to ask for help here. So, here - PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!