Possible Allergies, Where to Go from Here? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 05-22-2014, 11:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Possible Allergies, Where to Go from Here?

Starting about a week ago my girl started licking and chewing at her two front paws, I didn’t think much of it until a couple of days later when she started to limp and the biting got worse. I took her to the vet and the doctor said she probably has allergies and gave me a steroid (Temaril-p) and an anti-biotic (Cephalexin) to give her for 2 weeks. Her two back legs are fine.

We’ve also had other issues with her itching…

First, her ears usually get very itchy, especially during the spring and fall. This spring she has been itching at her left ear for almost two months now. I use ear-cleaning solution, but the itchiness always comes back.

Secondly, last summer she ended up with a rash on her stomach, then in the fall she had a rash in one armpit and two of her nipples were swollen (probably from scratching). I thought these problems were from her playing in water and not getting dried off right away.

She has been eating the same food (Life’s Abundance) for about a year now and I give her the same types/brand of treats. She had itchy ears before and after starting this food. Nothing new has been introduced into her diet in the last month that would suddenly make her itch her paws. She has been playing on a lawn that was fertilized about 2 weeks before her feet started to itch.


The doctor suggested we change to a completely different food and cut out any food/treats that she has been eating. I started comparing her current food with limited ingredient foods and it seem impossible to find a dry food that doesn’t share any of the same ingredients. Mainly the vitamins and minerals are the same between brands.


Has anyone dealt with similar problems before? How did you go about narrowing down what could be the culprit?
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Itchy ears, rash and itchy coat can also be a yeast overgrowth.

I'd put your dog on a grain free diet, you can try adding a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar with mother to her food, and even use one cup of ACV in one gallon of water as a rinse and/or to dip her paws in.

Although it does sound like it could be seasonal allergies.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Another thing I should note, I have been giving her Nature Made Fish Oil pills (1000mg burp-less) twice a day with her meals and Dasuquin once a day.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshep View Post
Itchy ears, rash and itchy coat can also be a yeast overgrowth.

I'd put your dog on a grain free diet, you can try adding a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar with mother to her food, and even use one cup of ACV in one gallon of water as a rinse and/or to dip her paws in.

Although it does sound like it could be seasonal allergies.
What benefit does the ACV have?

I was thinking of switching her from the Life's Abundance food to Nature's Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Kibble, which is grain free and not chicken based.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with blackshep. A few months ago, my dog became very itchy. He began chewing his paws, scratching his ears, losing hair, & developed hot spots. He had been eating the same kibble & treats for some time, but, the kibble had whole grains in it. After multiple trips to the vet, & no answers, I decided to switch him to a grain-free diet. Some believe that a dog can develop an allergy to grain after eating it for a period of time. The itching stopped almost immediately. Then over the next several weeks, the hot spots healed, & the fur grew back. Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Allergies are hard to figure out. I could be food and/or environmental allergies. I strongly recommend testing. Saves time and money in the long run. There will be no guessing.
If you think it's food you could have your vet do a an allergy panel or you can do a Nutriscan food intolerance test for dogs in your own home and get the result via e-mail. They will even send a copy of the results to your vet.

NutriScan Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Test for Cats and Dogs

What you describe does sound more like environmental allergies to me. Symptoms worse in spring and fall. Symptoms worse after applying chemicals to your lawn. Your vet can test for those as well.

Although, I wouldn't rule out a grain intolerance or a combination of the two.

Just me thoughts. Hope girl is feeling better soon.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I guess the first step is to change her food to a grain-free food.

I'm going to try Nature's Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient dry food for a few week and see if that helps.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Dasuquin has some ingredients in it that could be causing itching. You might try Cosequin instead and see if that helps.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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After thinking about this more, is it best to eliminate grains and chicken from her diet first, then if her allergies persist eliminate more things?

Or just eliminated everything possible and then slowing introduce items back in if the allergies stop?
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I suggest you get the testing done ASAP. When you do food eliminating, it takes 6 weeks to learn if there is any improvement. You could go through this for months and not find the answer. It may not even be the food, but environmental allergies. While you are doing the elimination trials, your dog is suffering. I did not want to do the testing either, but at least I knew why my dog had so many episodes of yeast and staph infections on the skin. From my experience allergies started with ear infections and licking front paws. Then sores on the underside and hot spots. If you do not figure it out, the allergies become progressively worse as the dog matures. ACV, coconut oil, and digestive enzymes help with us. My dog had food and environmental allergies. Testing helped me prepare me annually what to expect and when.
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