Horrible itching and some fur loss - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Horrible itching and some fur loss

So my girl Bärli has developed some allergies. She has infected scratches on her stomach and is having fur loss around her legs with red patches in its place. I took her to the vet and they gave her antibiotics and anti itch pills. I am just concerned that this isn't really treating the problem, only the symptoms. I've had her on the medicine for two days now and hope it helps. Has anyone else experienced this? I believe it's due to something outside as she is on a grain free novel protein diet. Should I consider allergy testing to really get to the bottom of things? I don't want her to be uncomfortable or in pain :/ thanks for any help
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 08:45 AM
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Could be allergy - which is a real pain. Could be thyroid. I would talk to your vet about allergies and perhaps go down that path first, your vet can explain how.

Also, have you tried giving her raw organic virgin coconut oil - this is really amazing stuff and I have had great success with stopping my 2 from scratching a lot. It may help alleviate some of the irritation for her.

if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 11:03 AM
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which food is she eating?
we have had the best luck with salmon variety
or bison
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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We have her on wellness bison and add a pump of salmon oil. I will definitely try the coconut oil in addition. I just hope my baby feels better soon and this doesn't get any worse.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 12:32 PM
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Allergies are tough and frustrating I went through a very frustrating time with my GSD Jax where he ended up with a staph infection because of his allergies. Here are a few things I recommend:

1. Allergy tests - I got Jax tested (blood) and it gave me some solid information on what he is allergic too. I have no regrets about it and I think it cost me about $400 (CDN). The test covers food and environmental but is limited and only tests for common things (I think there were 90 things he was tested for). Lots of people think allergy tests are inconclusive. Tough call, but you should get your current situation under control before you test as the tests might be skewed from your current situation.

2. Antibiotics/Steroids: I absolutely hate having Jax on steroids. But since he has environmental allergies and we are pretty active outside, I do have him on Vanectyl-P (lower dose of steroid mixed with an antihistamine) when he flares up. So in the winter he is mostly fine. Now that it is spring I have him on a pill a day.

3. Vitamins and supplements: Coconut oil is awesome! I totally agree with Harry and Lola! It is great for the skin and helps with itching. I also feed a vitamin E supplement and fish oil to help the skin.

4. Hotspots and skin problems: I have found that bathing the area in epsom salt and hot water twice a day helps. I also use coconut oil on itchy red spots. I have seen hotspots reduce redness in just hours. Need to watch that this doesn't increase the licking of the area though.

5. Food: I would try her on just one protein at a time - Food elimination. No other treats, scraps, etc. I highly recommend trying a raw diet of a single protein at a time, so only feed one type of food at a time, like beef only. But if you are going to try raw you need to make sure that you are getting the portions right. if that isn't your thing, you could talk to your vet about a single protein kibble.

6. Environment: Try not using anything with a perfume. So try scentless laundry detergent, cut out the fabric softener, no dryer sheets. If you are using any sort of carpet odour remover or scented sprays - try stopping. For bathing Barli, try something natural like oatmeal and baking soda

7. Other: I did have Jax allergy tested and he is allergic to corn and soy. Which means I need to be careful when selecting supplements and trying new meds as a lot of gel vitamins have a soy base. Jax also gets eye infections - and the base for a lot of ointments and drops is corn or soy base. Just something to keep in mind.

This was my original post on Jax if you want the history: Help! 16 Month Old Male GSD Red Bumps on Belly, Allergies? Staph Infection?

Hope this helps...
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 01:08 PM
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I also would add the Coconut oil to his diet, put it under the can't hurt category. Our guy had itchy problems for seven years, vet perscribed fish oil and allergy pills, none of it made any difference! And an annual shot.

Coconut oil started making a difference within a couple of weeks. At some point I noticed I had sttoped using the allergy pills almost every other day!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 01:15 PM
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Food allergies are not that common, actually. Environmental, yes.

#6 from member Allspark - definitely take a look at.

You do have to support the immune system - start on the inside.

Does she scratch her ears and lick/nibble on her paws?

Have you ruled out fleas?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-08-2014, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Courtney View Post
Food allergies are not that common, actually. Environmental, yes.

#6 from member Allspark - definitely take a look at.

You do have to support the immune system - start on the inside.

Does she scratch her ears and lick/nibble on her paws?

Have you ruled out fleas?
My dog has gone through a groin area rash since I got him at 8 weeks. I have been through numerous antibiotic cocktails and it always returns adter the steroids wear off. I have and continue to use coconut oil for all the added benefits it seems to give dogs.
I am in the middle of switching over his food from Purina to Canidae hoping that will make a difference finally?
But lately I have noticed him nibbling his paws. What does that mean? Courtney I noticed you mentioned it, any help would be greatly appreciated?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2014, 06:09 PM
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I have walked in your shoes. I recommend the blood testing for allergies. I tried almost everything suggested on this forum and it stressed me out worrying trying this and that so I bit the bullet and had her tested. The results showed my dog has environmental and food allergies.

We changed dog foods multiple times and the test results helped rule out what Tosca should not have in her food. It has been difficult finding a kibble that has absolutely nothing that was on her allergy list.

Licking the paws is a good sign of allergies. So are reoccurring ear infections.

This year I am keeping a diary of what my dog is doing and when and try to figure what is triggering it outside in the yard. I also took her off the Trifexis heart worm meds and so far we are doing better than this time last year.

We have her on a kibble that has no ingredients on the allergy list, wash her feet every time she comes inside from the backyard, give her powdered spirulina, digestive enzymes, krill oil, coconut oil with every meal and put apple cider vinegar in her water. We can see the skin on her muzzle has changed due to the allergies, but her scratching has dramatically decreased. I have not had to give her as many antihistimine pills as last year. We do flush her ears as needed too.

I suggest your keeping the nails short so that if the dog does scratch, the skin is not broken which can encourage a staph infection. Our vet said dogs naturally have staph on their skin, but when the skin breaks that's when we have problems.

Please bear with my stupid questions. This old dog is learning new tricks. lol.

Jazz von Jagenstadt aka Tosca
J litter

Last edited by DHau; 05-09-2014 at 06:13 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2014, 06:44 PM
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I tried everything for terrible recurring skin sores and only this, done twice a day, has finally worked.
A Simple Remedy to Treat Dog Skin Infection
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