My 3 year old GSD has been itching quite frequently. It even looks like his hair is starting to thin out because of it. He also has a hot spot on one of his paws. I started giving him fish oil last month thinking he had dry skin, but it has gotten worse. So I took him off the fish oil two days ago. I will continue to monitor his itching. Does anyone know if it could be something else? I feed him Iams large breed dog food. Is it maybe a food allergy?
Was your dog vaccinated recently?
The easiest way to find this out is to change to a High Quality ONE Meat Protein Food.
There are a few items in dog food AND treats that dogs can be sensitive to: Chicken Items (Meat, Meal, Fat, Eggs, Cartilage) Potatoes, Flax seed or oil, certain Fish and Yeast supplements. Grains of all kinds (including oatmeal and oatmeal shampoo!), "some" dogs are even sensitive to "Non-Gluten" grains, Lentils/Pea items, . So read the ingredient list VERY carefully.
are the ingredients in the IAM's that "could" be making your dog itch:
Nutritional Info Ingredients Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal (Source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Ground Whole Grain Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Dried Brewers Yeast, Flaxseed, Caramel Color, Salt, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Carrots, Tomatoes, Fructooligosaccharides, Spinach, Green Peas, Calcium Carbonate, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, Dried Apple Pomace, L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, Dried Blueberry Pomace, Mixed Tocoperols, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid.
I would also suggest a high quality Digestive Enzyme (helps to assimilate food) & a ProBiotic (keeps the "good" bacteria in the gut). Since about 75% of the immune system lies in the gut (immune system helps fight allergens and MANY other things) it is very important to keep it healthy.
Below are Probiotic's/Digestive Enzymes that are Human Ingredient High Quality Products made for dogs:
Sunday Sundae : http://www.carmspack.com/ (click on “Contact” and use the email to order)
*They also sell great combinations of natural Human Grade supplements
including SH-EMP oil which contains Herring Oil, Hemp Oil and Coconut Oil.
Gut Sense: http://dr-dobias-natural-healing-usa...ducts/gutsense
A balanced raw food diet would be the best but it that is not possible, I would definitely change to a high quality
-ONE PROTEIN- kibble AND treats like Acana to see if it can help. No other food items for at least 6 to 8 weeks for an elimination trial.
Acana Limited “Singles”:
Pork & Butternut Squash: http://acana.com/our-foods/singles/p...ternut-squash/
Ingredients: Deboned pork*, pork meal, green lentils, red lentils, pork liver*, butternut squash*, pork fat, green peas, yellow peas, canola oil, algae, garbanzo beans, pumpkin*, carrots*, pork kidney*, freeze-dried pork liver, kelp, chicory root, ginger root, peppermint leaf, lemon balm, mixed tocopherols (preservative), dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.
Pork & Squash Limited treats: https://acana.com/our-foods/dog-food...uash/?lang=usa
Store locator: Store Locator | Acana
Personally, I would not let the vet give my dog any steroids (shots or pills) as this is a vicious circle which cannot "cure" the problem. It only puts a band aide on the itch temporarily.
For a natural approach, Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar from a health food store can help with itching. Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. You will know it is organic because you will see “The Mother” (which contains the medicinal properties) floating around in the bottle. It can be used internally (to aide in digestion) and externally (for itching). Make a 50/50 mix of the the Organic ACV with purified water (not city tap water) and after a bath with a mild herbal (non-grain) soap bath, rub the Organic ACV mix down into the skin/coat, working in small areas, until the whole dog is covered including legs and belly. Always be careful of eyes (vinegar stings). Let dog drip dry, do not rinse off. Do not get into eyes or open sores.
You can put the mix in a spray bottle and spray on their coats and specific itchy spots (if skin is not opened) a few times per day till you see improvement. You can also use this mix to wipe out ears.
IF you have a dog that is sensitive to grains, beware of other GLUTEN BASED ingredients, with names that we do not recognize, that could be in the Doggie Shampoo that you are using!
WHEAT: hydrolyzed wheat protein or triticum vulgare (wheat) or stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl (hydrolyzed wheat protein) or hydroxypropyltrimonium (hydrolyzed wheat protein).
OATMEAL: or avena sativa
BARLEY: hordeum vulgare or maltodextrin (can also be from barley)
RYE: secale cereale
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein can be derived from: Soy, Corn, or Wheat