Fur thinning - Guard hairs gone - Help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-21-2014, 09:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fur thinning - Guard hairs gone - Help!

Dolly has been suffering with chronic itching for the past year. We've been to the vet many times and every time they try something new.

We have had her scraped and tested for mange and scabies. All negitive.

We have been told it is an alergy and prednisone was perscribed. She immediately stopped itching until we stopped giving it to her (in smaller doses). The itching returned almost instantly once we stopped giving it to her.

I have no desire to keep her and last time I was at the vet I demanded they do a allergy test, but the vet was 90% sure it was a food allergy.

We've been giving Blue Buffalo for almost 2 years. We decided to go on a diet and give a single sourced protiene diet. We chose Salmon (Wellness Super5?) and pure Salmon only treats (also Wellness). Always been grain free.

Well, 4 weeks later no results and have started noticing her fur thinning out and her guard hairs disapearing. See picture below. The pure white only area used to be a normal sable ring which is now spreading. The fur is very very short (1/4 inch and very hard) and thinning by the week. The guard hair used to cover the area. We aren't sure where to turn now. The vet says to try a new diet as her allergy may be fish and maybe switch to TOTW Lamb?

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Old 01-21-2014, 09:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Contact Dr Dodds and have a thyroid test run. Try to get with an allergy specialist as your vet doesn't seem to be offering any advice other than switch diet. Did you ever do an allergy test? I'd rather know sooner than later, and not play the diet switch game.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you can, try the Nutriscan panel. That way you know for sure.
Also try Feedsentials.
Last, but not least, if possible, put the dog on a raw diet.
http://www.nutriscan.org/

http://ineedthat.corecommerce.com/FEED-SENTIALS.html
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just an pet owner here no expert but my first thought was thyroid. Has she been tested?
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Edit: I meant to say no desire to keep her on prednisone not so desire to keep her. She is like my child.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You can scrape repeatedly and miss mange. I'd treat for mange and see if that helped. I had two dogs that were diagnosed with allergies (the relatively expensive blood test indicated all sorts of things). I put them on shots (and it got so they knew when I was coming with the shots and didn't much like it) and they did little good. Finally the vet thought we should treat them for mange because a visitor's dog came down with mange.... Bingo. However my dogs had gotten very very very bad with mange in the time we were treating for allergies. My wallet had gotten significantly lighter, too.
So I'd be tempted to treat for mange.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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just an FYI, there is now an oral serum for allergies instead of doing the injections. My dog avoided me too when I had to give her shots...I stopped them before I saw any improvement.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Have you tried using coconut oil? It won't solve everything, certainly helped our dogs coat though, fairly quickly too.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your input. I scheduled an appointment for blood to be drawn to send to three places for food allergy, environment allergy, and thyroid testing. I'm told I will know the thyroid results within' a day or two but the allergy test is 1+ week.

One thing that I've noticed is that Dolly gets winded very quickly (5-10 minutes of fetch) and she has to lay down. She is extremely driven and will continue to run but every time she stops running she just plops on the ground. I wonder if that is related? She is not overweight (76 lbs) and gets daily exercise (2-5 miles a day).
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Before you spend a lot of money on blood and allergy tests, please read the Nutriscan website.
It is a saliva test and it measures sensitivity. A dog can be sensitive and react to a food without having a full-blown allergy.
That test resolved almost 2'years of ongoing problems for us.
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