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Old 03-14-2014, 09:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Skin/anxiety issues... vent ahead!

I was on a work assignment that involved travel, so for the past five months, my parents were watching my GSD mix, Sora. I brought him home last Friday to discover that he had TONS of skin issues. I don't claim to be a vet/expert, but it seems to be yeast. He has black, scaly patches in his armpits and groin area. He also has inflamed/red skin inbetween his 'toes.' I noticed that his ears were gunky, too. My parents had basically been feeding him a plethora of human food. Well, I cut out the human food ASAP. I put him on a grain-free kibble with no potatoes/chicken (Canine Caviar Wilderness ALS) mixed in with some Tripett & Jarrow Pet Dophilus. I also gave him a bath with anti-fungal shampoo, and cleaned out his ears with K-9 Ear Solutions.

Anyway, I got home yesterday after staying at work longer than expected. I brought him outside to play fetch for about an hour. When I brought him back inside, I noticed that his paws were bloody. My first inclination was that the snow/ice ripped up his paw pads, but upon closer inspection, he actually gnawed his legs and paws bloody (and I think the snow agitated the wounds open.) I also discovered that he chewed the very tip of his tail completely raw/bloody. Well, I popped him in the bath and cleaned him up... applied some Septi-soothe to his wounds, and gave him a Rx antihistamine because he was itching like CRAZY. I spent the rest of the night trying to deter him from scratching and biting himself.

Anyway, I know a vet trip is in order (I texted our vet tech last night some pictures of his wounds, and she thinks it might be allergies and stress from his routine changing.) I just feel so awful. I keep in touch with his littermates, and none of them seem to have the skin issues he does. I'm also concerned that it's anxiety manifesting itself, too. When he was with my parents, someone was home with him 24/7. Now that he's back with me, he's alone for 8 hours a day. I exercise him before and after work. His crate is in my bedroom. I have tried to keep him on a very solid routine for the past week to help him acclimate.

I am just frustrated. I feel like I'm botching this somehow and making things worse! Thanks for letting me vent... if I only I could slip some Kahlua into my coffee this morning.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh, I am so sorry for you and your Zora. Your parents meant well. I hope his skin issues clear up soon and he settles back into his healthy routine with you.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh goodness. I can relate.

Black spots can indicate a thyroid problem. Has this been ruled out?
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh no poor Sora

I'm new to this so no advice. Hopefully you get answers and something that helps.

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Old 03-14-2014, 10:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It sounds exactly like Lola's symptoms - she has thyroid issues. Her armpits and groin skin go blackish colour, constantly licks herself in these areas and as a result her hair falls out.

It tends to flare up when seasons change and to treat her, depending on the severity, she is on 1 to 11/2 Thyroxine twice daily, macrolone 3 to 5 days a week, stilboestrol 1 to 2 days a week.

I also give her coconut oil, seaweed extract, vitamin E, seavive, apple cyder vinegar and a probiotic (Protexin)

Ask your vet to test for thyroid.

Here is a photo of her groin which I took a couple months ago I think when it really flared up.
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Skin/anxiety issues... vent ahead!-lola-groin-2.jpg   Skin/anxiety issues... vent ahead!-lola-groin-1.jpg  
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if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

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Old 03-15-2014, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry and Lola View Post
It sounds exactly like Lola's symptoms - she has thyroid issues. Her armpits and groin skin go blackish colour, constantly licks herself in these areas and as a result her hair falls out.

It tends to flare up when seasons change and to treat her, depending on the severity, she is on 1 to 11/2 Thyroxine twice daily, macrolone 3 to 5 days a week, stilboestrol 1 to 2 days a week.

I also give her coconut oil, seaweed extract, vitamin E, seavive, apple cyder vinegar and a probiotic (Protexin)

Ask your vet to test for thyroid.

Here is a photo of her groin which I took a couple months ago I think when it really flared up.
Thank you for the information. May I ask what other symptoms, if any, Lola had regarding the thyroid issue? I've considered that this may apply to Sora as well, but I have only done some cursory research of the symptoms. Some of the symptoms that do not apply to him include lethargy, weight loss, intolerance to cold (although I almost wish that one were the case... this WI winter has been terrible!), and lack of appetite. The black patches and itchiness (and some hot spots) are the big issues for him, though. I will definitely keep this in mind as something to ask our vet. Is it just a blood test?
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Dog's skin has a natural yeast on it. When they lick constantly at one place it can cause a yeast infection to form. Raina had a problem with staph infections before I got her allergies under control. She would have itchy spots that she either licked or scratched at until they got infected. Now I have discovered the skin antiseptic Resi KetoChlor by Virbac. I put it on after baths when she is still wet on the spots and between baths I put it on a wet sponge and go over the spots. It has worked very well. Some allergies do make dogs lick their feet. Before I had the allergy test done to find out what the allergens were Raina licked her feet a lot. Now that I have her on a good diet without any allergens she rarely licks her feet, unless she gets a grass seed stuck on the fluff between her toes. The leave on antiseptic really helped me a lot with her skin issues. Good luck with this.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zlata View Post
Thank you for the information. May I ask what other symptoms, if any, Lola had regarding the thyroid issue? I've considered that this may apply to Sora as well, but I have only done some cursory research of the symptoms. Some of the symptoms that do not apply to him include lethargy, weight loss, intolerance to cold (although I almost wish that one were the case... this WI winter has been terrible!), and lack of appetite. The black patches and itchiness (and some hot spots) are the big issues for him, though. I will definitely keep this in mind as something to ask our vet. Is it just a blood test?
Lola was never lethargic or had weight lost, rather the opposite with weight, I have to watch her intake of food.

My vet is very experienced with GSDs and their issues and diagnosed thyroid straight away from looking at her skin and symptoms. We did do a blood test as well.

Before diagnosis, Lola's ears were often red and itchy looking, I had to always treat them with ear antibiotics, she would scratch and itch often. And then the black skin started and the constant licking of these areas which made the hair fall out - this is when my vet diagnosed thyroid.

We have been managing this for about 3 years now and I have noticed symptoms flare up during change of seasons, I have also noticed symptoms get worse each flare up to the point where I have to increase her medication to manage it and then once managed, I reduce medication down. During seasonal changes, it is a constant watching and adjusting medication. My vet says this is normal unfortunately and her symptoms may increase in severity as she ages.

Good luck with your diagnoses and hopefully your vet will be able to diagnose correctly.
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if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

http://www.epi4dogs.com/epiinsnapshots.htm
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