Thanks for all the quick replies. Here's some more information.
I've had Mak since a puppy in 2009, and within the first year he showed signs of ear problems. Dark smelly build-up etc. That started the rounds of steroids and antibiotics and otomax ointment from the vets and diet changes. I changed him to many different foods and after a while, I was able to get his ears to a manageable state so it never concerned me much more.
Then around 2013-2014 he started developing skin problems. The skin on his belly became very dark and he began loosing hair and scratching constantly. At first it was slow and only a small patch of his belly. Now after the next few years, it progressed all along his belly and up his neck. He also has lost some fur on his face around his eyes from rubbing it on his bed and furniture, and missing fur from his paws and elbows.
I consulted many different vets. Every time was the same--- Diagnosis allergies; Treatment steroids and antibiotics.
Whenever I asked about the things I've found in research like: "The steroids suppress his immune system; Could he have leaky gut syndrome; Its gotta be the carb and preservative filled food; I think its coming from inside him not from the environment." The vets just play dumb and don't really answer and hand me some home cooking suggestions written by HILLS Science Diet. Finally I expressed to my last vet that I was upset about how much money I have given her clinic and haven't seen any results. She called the next day and said there's this new magic drug 'Apoquel.' I just don't trust it and feel there's gotta be some natural ways to fix this that I'm just missing right now. That was the last I spoke with that vet.
Where we are now:
Mak was given steroids in April from the last vet, and of course his skin cleared up for the time being, but then returned to ruins once the steroid wore off. He is missing fur from his belly, sides, face, elbows, and paws. Its dark, crusty, smells, is hot at times and he looses lots of dry skin flakes from scratching (sometimes scratches till he bleeds). He also has discharge from his ears and scratches uncontrollably.
He is currently eating Orijen 6 fish, only because I refuse to put him back on the Royal Canin HP or Hills ZD diets and picked that as being a kibble without grains, potatoes or a lot of preservatives.
Around the end of 2015 I did try switching him to a raw diet, but I don't think I did it right and introduced some of the organ meets to him too quickly. He began having bad diarrhea and lost a lot of weight. The vet was concerned and had me put him back on kibble food.
From this site I learned about Dr. Jean Dodd's and found that her clinic is only and 1.5 hours away from me (I'm a San Diego Resident). So last week I took him in for his first appointment at Hemopet and he saw Dr. Adam Lassin. We ran a full blood and Thyroid test. I was actually hoping there was a problem with his Thyroid as it may be easier to treat than allergies, but unfortunately the test shows all normal Thyroid function and his blood counts were okay as well.
In the past I had allergy testing through VARL done for environmental and food allergies. Dr. Lassin said those are accurate for environmental allergies but not food, so he wants me to run the Nutriscan test. I just sent it in and will have a couple weeks until I get the results. I did have Mak on some probiotics and other supplements like Nupro and DMG, but Dr. Lassin had me pull him off everything until the Nutriscan results are in and we can adjust his diet then.
I bathe him in Malaseb but currently have tried Murphy's Oil soap and Zymox shampoo as I was looking for something more natural to bathe him in and hopefully be more soothing. Sometimes it seems like the Chlorohexadrine makes him itchier....
Dr. Lassin prescribed antibiotics, keto, and Apoquel, along with some Chinese herb medicines (Wei qi booster and Damp Heat skin). I still haven't started the drugs as I'm concerned they're just gonna prove to be steps backwards just like every time hes gotten steroids, and I would like to wait till the Nutriscan results are in. I'm slowly starting the Chinese herbs. Has anyone had any luck with these????
Thanks again for all the help!