Hi...we have a 22 month old GSD. Around a year old he started with ear infections and scratching and biting himself all the time. This scratching and biting has occasionally turned into impetigo which he was treated with cephalexin. He takes atarax (hydroxizine) as needed which helps with the itching. He eats Taste of the Wild and before that Acana so he is eating a high quality food (all of this started before the food switch.) We've come to the realization that he is an "allergy" dog. Our next step is the allergy testing which is crazy expensive. We cannot swing that at the moment. I was wondering if anyone has had any success in possibly a supplement/vitamin etc to keep this at bay so it doesn't keep leading to the ear and skin infections. Thanks
We were experiencing a lot of itching and biting as well. We were getting ready to do the allergy testing and changed our minds. We just switched to raw this week and within 2 days, his itching had decreased dramatically and 2 hotspots are no longer raw.
We couldn't even get through a whole training session because he was stopping to scratch all of the time.
IME, getting my dog off a kibble with chicken in it made a world of difference with his seasonal allergy symptoms. Your dog might have a food intolerance too, like mine, which makes things worse. Maybe try experimenting with another type of protein? I went from Fromm LBP to Acana lamb to Orijen 6 fish.
i would first get your dog on a limited protein diet such as natural balance with either duck or venison or bison
they are limited ingredient or limited protein to help rule out food allergy
it is my belief that if you can reduce the allergen in the food this will also help with environmental allergies
try the bison or venison or fish
be aware that it can take 1-3 mos to see a big difference so if things dont improve in a week or two dont get discouraged
if after a few months the dog hasnt improved try another type of food than the one you switched to
sometimes loading up on proteins is not good for dogs since they mix so many together and the dog could be sensitive or even allergic to one or more of the proteins packed in those high quality foods
Thanks....right now he is eating the "high prairie formula" which has Bison, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, egg product, beef, roasted venison, as the first few ingredients. Maybe I can try another formula.
yes you have to switch
you have no clue if hes allergic to the lamb or chicken but both are highly overused in dog foods so that is why dogs have become more sensitive to chicken in dog food
btw did you get your dog from a shelter or rescue or a breeder?
I am going through the same exact thing with my 23 month old girl Tess. She has been licking, biting, scratching herself for the past few months, ever since the trees began to bud. Vet is pretty sure it's environmental allergies. She is also on Atarax, which helps somewhat but not enough for my liking. She was eating Taste of the Wild High Prairie but due to it having chicken in it, I decided to switch her to the Pacific Stream. It has a lower amount of protein than the Bison does and it's all fish based with no grains.
She hasn't scratched to the point of rawness yet but her ears are getting pretty red from her scratching them. She also bites her nails... It sounds awful when she does it too!
I'm going to keep her on the TOTW Pacific Stream for a few months to see if that helps her out at all. It's so hard watching her suffer like this and I can't afford to take her to an allergist doctor, at least not now.
I added raw bee pollen to my dog's diet and I believe this helped him through his allergies last fall. If you go this route, you need to make sure that the pollen comes from bees in your area, and also that the pollen is collected for the season you're having the issue with - in my case, fall. This could be all hogwash, but I did see a difference. I had switched foods by this point too, so maybe it was more that than adding the pollen? Who knows, but it was much nicer for my dog to deal with a few hot spots than the infected eyes, ear, and anal glands that fall brought him the previous year. I'm hoping for even better results now that he's on the fish based.
linda i would try the natural balance in a protein you have not tried yet
taste of the wild has a lot of different potential allergens in it sad to say
just a thought
costco has turkey or fish you could try which might be cheaper than nb