German Shepherd Dog Forums

German Shepherd Dog Forums (
-   Health Issues (
-   -   Demodex (

silvershepherd 03-11-2014 08:47 AM

I'm currently wondering why I bothered going with a breeder of the gsl of Australia given the current issues I am having with my girl. The latest being demodex. There are many red flags with this breeder that only came to light after I purchased my dog. There is really little I can do except take it as a lesson learned and get on with her life away from her idiot breeder!

So the issue - demodex. The vet was surprised, (as was I), that she had it. She has two spots missing fur, one on her hip and one on her right elbow approximately an inch in diameter (although not completely circular). I did check her I've and it really appeared that she might have just lost a bit of fur rough housing with my other GSD. Except the fur just didn't seem to be growing back. This week her paws started to look, well wrong. She is a white german shepherd so the skin on her paws was really obviously pinker than her normal skin. They also started to look what I will describe as threadbare. Not chucks missing, flaky or scabby skin, but just not enough fur. So that's when I took her off to the vet wondering what on earth was wrong with her THIS time. A skin scraping later and it is confirmed demodex. Seriously just not cool. She will be having injections for the next 6 weeks or so and I am planning on getting her desexed shortly. We are both pretty sure that given her short history, she won't be able to mount a proper immune defense and it will become systemic if left untreated rather than resolving itself.

What can I do to help boost her immune system? Her dry food is a mix of wellness and Canidae. I make a couple of different loafs which I give to both dogs at night. Chicken (or turkey sometimes), brown rice, mixed vegetables and egg is the first one, second is beef, kangaroo, mixed vegetables, brown rice and some pasta and the third is usually a "surprise" in that it can be a combination of whatever I have left over in terms of the meats, pasta, rice and usually an egg. My 12 month old has never had a single health issue and I constantly get asked about her because she has the most plush, super soft and glossiest coat you have ever seen! They also both get beef soup bones as snacks. So apart from the dry food, they eat all human grade food that I make. My 12 month old is on the featherweight end of the scale at 52lbs but she decides when she has eaten enough and just stops - never had a dog like her! She is lean but there are no bones, ribs, vertebrae.

The demodex puppy is 49bs at 18 weeks and is going to be a massive dog! Her parents were both massive dogs. Both my girls are inside dogs but do get to run in the yard.

I'm not sure what I can do diet or supplement wise to boost her immune system. Exercise, sunshine and fresh air are covered. Both are walked morning and night plus I've been taking them swimming at the beach on weekends. I feel it is better to get Summer swimming where I can rather than pounding the pavement walking her developing joints for kms. I do a 35 min loop, drop her home and continue with my other girl for another 45 mins on a different loop.

Any suggests welcome

LaRen616 03-11-2014 08:53 AM

My GSD had Demodex Mange twice.

This is the thread I started about it, several people posted some very good information about Demodex in the thread.

I ended up buying Immune Supplement pills for him and they helped clear it up.

LoveEcho 03-11-2014 08:59 AM

I struggled with demodex with Echo for a long time. Oral ivermectin and some homeopathic remedies (I don't remember what now, it was years ago) kept it at bay until he got a little older and his immune system developed a little better. He has pretty extreme allergies, and the two seem to frequently go hand in hand. As LaRen said, there are a ton of threads on this that will hopefully help. On the spots of skin where hair was missing but the mange was gone, I used MTG oil and it worked wonders for hair growth.

As for diet, I'd try nixing the grains- going grain-free made a HUGE difference for my guy- the allergies got better, and since his immune system got a break, the mange got better.

misslesleedavis1 03-11-2014 08:59 AM

Dexter had that, we did not know what caused it and we chalked it up to an injury above his eye. They put him on ivermectin and it cleared up within 2 months. He has not had it since and his skin srapes came up clear.

blackshep 03-11-2014 09:08 AM

Can you get a picture?

Your dog getting demodex isn't the breeders fault. All dogs have it, but a healthy immune system is normally able to fight it. My dog gets flare ups too.

Sarcoptic mange is the contagious type.

Momto2GSD suggested trying SeaVive which contains colostrum, in addition to many things, so I'm hoping it will help boost my dog's immune system. The one spot she had on her lip is gone, so I'm hoping it's helping, but they do seem to clear up after a time, so time will tell.

I feed my dog raw, to keep her away from any unnecessary fillers (she has allergies as well)

Is the spot with missing hair possibly from sleeping on a hard surface? They can get callouses on their elbows, but my dog was also getting the demodex there and I was getting pretty fed up with people telling me it was 'kennel elbows', when it wasn't. I know what kennel elbow looks like!

Can you try giving your dog a bath with an antifungal/antibacterial shampoo? I'm wondering if it could be something like ringworm?

Good luck! My dog does get the odd flare up, but they seem to clear up and are more infrequent now. **touch wood**

blackshep 03-11-2014 09:08 AM


Originally Posted by misslesleedavis1 (Post 5174970)
Dexter had that, we did not know what caused it and we chalked it up to an injury above his eye. They put him on ivermectin and it cleared up within 2 months. He has not had it since and his skin srapes came up clear.

Just a note, you want to have your dog checked for the MDR1 gene, common in herding breeds, before treating with Ivermectin.

Stosh 03-11-2014 09:47 AM

My dog had it as a pup as well. Not that uncommon. I go to a holistic vet so I have no idea what he treated Stosh with, but it cleared up and he never had it again.

GatorBytes 03-11-2014 11:21 AM

It is related to immune suppression from vaccines.

Seavive is a combo of bovine colostrum and seacure, however you are in Australia so may be extensive wait for said product.

bovine colostrum - "New Zealand (grass fed cows)" is heavily promoted as colostrum supplement so you should have no problem finding it.

Ivermectin (pesticide) will suppress the immune system further as deals with toxic load - that is why takes months to clear up

LoveEcho 03-11-2014 11:50 AM

Is it neem oil that I was thinking of, for a holistic topical treatment?

Sent from Free App

silvershepherd 03-11-2014 12:40 PM

Excuse me for being thick tonight, but I'm confused as to whether some of you are talking about my original post or talking to loveecho or missiles. I'm kinda tired so forgive me if I'm misreading the obvious!

Apart from a tiny bit of pasta I am feeding grain free. Wellness and Canidae are grain free and all of the ingredients of the home made food is grain free. My cat has a grain allergy (note allergy not just an intolerance like most cats) and vomits if he eats grain. As he is 100% grain free and I use grain free dry as he is a pig and snitches the odd piece of kibble from the dogs every now and then. I guess I can ditch the small amount of pasta.

I'm not using ivermectin so I assume none of those comments are for me?

Ringworm - I've had her to the vet and we got very positive skin scrapings for demodex. Not just a single mite, a whole pile of them. I'm familiar with ringworm and I can tell it isn't ringworm just by looking at it. I've helped a friend deal with a ringworm outbreak in a kennel/cattery (not hers, we were helping with the animals specifically after being removed from the kennel).

It isn't kennel elbow either. I too know the difference ;) it isn't a callous from sleeping on hard surfaces. It is on the one elbow but above the area where a callous would develop.

Demodex is passed from mother to pup so most likely she got it from her mother. This is different to adult onset where the immune system is compromised. I didn't give you her full background, but if I went into detail you too would assume it came from the breeder. I'm not bad mouthing her breeder by naming and shaming nor am I the type of person to say "omg she got a flea it must be the breeders fault" 6 months down the line or something silly like that! ;) Her age was altered on her paperwork by the breeder and I'm pretty sure I was lied to about her age initially. According to the breeder she is currently 18 weeks old but I have a feeling she might indeed be a month older because the dates do not line up at all. The hip/elbows survey dates for the mother don't make sense either when you look at all the paperwork together and consider the gestation time . Her actual microchip number is different to her paperwork. In theory her microchip hasn't been issued to any animal and there is no record of any other animal showing up with the number that was originally assigned to her. I've had to jump through hoops to get her number officially changed as well as deal with idiots at the council who suggested I've gotten her mixed up with someone else's dog. Like I went for a walk and came back with the wrong dog without noticing?! I don't think so! Or that I am trying to pull some sort of trick and swap dogs around. Well no in actually not! I can't register her officially in Australia as a German Shepherd despite the pedigree of her parents because she is white. I can't show her and am not breeding her so why on earth would I try to fake something and swap her for a different dog? The breeder won't talk to me or return my calls/emails since the day I took her home. The vet and I first noticed the chip mismatch when I brought her home and got her checked over the next day. As soon as I got home I rang and mentioned the chip number not matching and could she have given me the wrong chip number by mistake? I assumed it was a legit error of the wrong sticker being given to the wrong pup on the paperwork. she hung up on me and now won't acknowledge me. That isn't normal for a simple error! The list of weird inconsistencies and her general poor health so far makes me think I've been screwed over. The most important thing was to get her registered to me with the correct chip number so that she is MY dog and nothing is disputed over her ownership in the future given the bizarre breeder behaviour. Fortunately I have a good vet who wrote a stat dec confirming all these issues and that this is the same dog I came home with! In reality I can't be sure that her parents are actually her parents. There were 3 litters a few weeks apart so who knows what she has done or what she is trying to pull.

Getting a new puppy is supposed to be fun!

Thanks for the thread links I'll check them out!

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome