10yo with hair loss and paw chewing - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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10yo with hair loss and paw chewing

Hi everyone. I'm actually new here, this is my first post.

I was hoping for some help. As of April I took over my family dog, a german shepherd by the name of Sherman. Hes roughly 10 years old and Male gender. From what I know and have gone to the vet once with is this. (My father never believed in going to vets, he believed in once an animal couldnt walk on it's own, they're to be put down in the backyard. I dont believe in this and had to take him out of my own worries.)

-He has deteriorating spinal nerves in his rear legs and hips, so when he runs or walks he doesnt exactly know where his footing is. He falls down every so often. More often than not, he has a hard time even getting up, but he does still.
-Arthritis which also affects his joints and mobility with the nerve issue.
-He has always had an issue with dry skin and always scratching. At one point I did have fleas but I have not seen an issue with them since.

Here is the things I have concern on but I dont have the funds to afford to go to a vet.

-Last night I noticed he was having some hair loss around his eyes, as well as his inner legs. His belly just looks off but I very rarely see his belly. Is this normal for older dogs? Is there any way to help him not lose the hair and fur around his eyes or legs?

-While I did mention he has had dry skin in the past, I do believe he still has it. He chews himself at points, specifically his front paws or right above his butt. He will also just lay there and mock at the top of his paws. Is there anything over the counter or a common household item that I can use to help decrease the dry skin and his chewing? The groomer I take him to uses a dry skin relief shampoo, she said throughout the years of grooming him, she noticed that works best with him and his coat.

-I cant afford to pay $75 plus the other vet expenses dollars a month for the Tramadol and Rimadyl refills, but they did give me those to help with the nerve issues and pain. Is there anything over the counter or online that I can get something similar? Aspirin or anything?

While he has been a family dog to me, I've never owned a dog on my own, only cats and reptiles, so I dont know everything that goes on with dogs... I could really use the help!!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 05:10 PM
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This is a bad situation for sure! I don't have any suggestions for remedies, but I know that many Humane Society facilities have funds set aside to help people keep their dogs, so I'd definitely recommend talking to them ASAP. Your dog needs the meds he was prescribed. Maybe consider cancelling his visits to the groomer and use that money to take him to see a Vet? It sounds like he'd benefit more that way. Good Luck!

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 08:00 AM
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Hi FurMama and WELCOME!

Good suggestions by Tim!

Nix the groomer and spend the money on meds!
This poor old guy needs help to relieve the pain and suffering he must be going thru! German Shepherds do not always show the pain they are in.

If he smells or gets dirty you can wipe him down with a small towel and a 50/50 mix of ORGANIC Apple Cider Vinegar and purified water. (do not get on any opened sores or in eyes...vinegar stings)

Itching/paw chewing and hair loss could be from the food he is eating or environmental sensitivities, or mites, bacterial, fungal or yeast problems.

What is he eating?

When was the last time he was at the vet?

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Last edited by Momto2GSDs; 10-14-2018 at 08:15 AM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 08:37 AM
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Phytovet CK shampoo is maybe 20 per bottle. Follow lable directions and wash the dog every other day then 2x a week, then 1x a week. It will really help. The dogs usually get some relief from the first wash and it will help if not totally treat any yeast or bacterial skin issues. You can order it off amazon. It's the best shampoo out there.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 08:38 AM
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Forgot to mention that chewing/itching at parts of the body could indicate pain.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 09:48 AM
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There are numerous over the counter pain remedies for dogs. Go to Chewy.com and search dog arthritis pain medication,
the first page that comes up is by prescription only but there are numerous other pages to read up on things you might try. I've had success with Glycoflex3 for arthritis.
For the dry skin, what is he eating now? You might want to change out his food to a different one. He could be allergic
to something in the food.

You can also try giving him fish oil, over the counter human capsules and just cut them open and drip around on his food.
And it never hurts to give them a senior vitamin/mineral supplement for dogs.
Also if you can get him to eat several raw eggs every few days, it will help his coat and skin.

Last edited by Orphan Heidi; 10-14-2018 at 09:51 AM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 11:23 AM
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I wouldn't spend money you don't have on a shotgun-approach to buying expensive supplements...or grooming. Here's my advice to helping this dog on a shoe-string budget:

1. Meds:

First, ask your vet to change your next refill of the Rimadyl to generic "carprofen" (same stuff, but in a pill not a flavor chew...Rimadyl is the pricey name-brand version). Then you can fill it at WM Pharmacy, or online. Walmart does carry carprofen for dogs, as do Sam's and Costco. They sometimes call it "vetprofen" (call the pharmacist and ask before you do the refill, so that the vet can write it the way they want it). With my vet's RX, I can buy a whole bottle of the 60 pills of generic at Valleyvet.com for around $30....two months worth!

Second, price check the Tramadol before your next refill. It should cost no more than about $10. It's a human generic med that you can fill with your vet's RX at any human pharmacy -- prices vary, so use this tool (print out the coupon on the site, and take it to the pharmacy to get the pricing they promise):

2. Supplements -- a lot of high-end supplements are very expensive. Don't forgo meds to by them, and don't spend money you don't have trying to guess. HOWEVER, WM does carry a product in the pet aisle called VetIQ Maximum Strength Hip & Joint -- it's a pouch of chews that sells for about $12 in the stores. It has fish oil, MSM, hyaluronic acid and a few other things. I was expecting it to be low quality and ineffective at that price -- but it's actually surprisingly effective. My dad is on a fixed income and buys it for his old dog, and it's made a significant difference for her. If you can manage $12 extra dollars, that's the one supplement that would be worth it -- I say that knowing every dollar is very precious, and there are none to waste!

3. Shampoo -- I agree with TheCowboysGirl about a medicated shampoo. The one she recommended has 4% chlorhexadine -- very important ingredient to rid the coat and skin of bacteria that can cause itching. If the brand she recommended is outside your budget, there are other brands that are a little cheaper on Amazon, with free shipping:

(Keep these products away from the head--only from the shoulders down so that they don't come near the eyes! They can cause blindness.)

4. The loss of hair around the eyes is sometimes a common thing that happens with mange -- demodex mites infect the dog. Usually that happens when the immune system is running low. They can lose nearly all their fur eventually, and it's very uncomfortable. It's not terribly expensive to treat though at the vet. A skin scrape at the vet is usually needed to diagnose it.

HOWEVER...thinking outside the box about the cheapest way to help...a single NEXGARD pill might be another option. It's a monthly antiflea med...that also happens to work really well on getting rid of Demodex mites. If it's not demodex, he'll just end up with excellent flea protection for the month...and if it is, it will help knock it out. It runs about $30/pill at the vet (or with your vets RX, about $60 per 3-pack online) --

https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail....3-2B3C4A9CB667 .

Last edited by Magwart; 10-14-2018 at 11:30 AM.
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