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My GSD is having some pretty bad problems with allergies. Her symptoms are near-constant ear infections, chewing her feet, and excessive licking on her belly. I have tried many things to help her, but after running out of options started her on Apoquel a couple of weeks ago, and it's helping. But I have concerns about her being on this long term, and I wonder if finding the source of her allergy would be beneficial. My vet thinks that allergy testing is expensive and often inconclusive and so doesn't think I should do it. Would love to get some opinions here from anyone who has gone through it with their dog.
 

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Hi. It sounds like your dog really suffers from itching.

I read your other post too.

My dog had immediate relief from the Apoquel. He was on 2 pills for 10 days then one pill each day after that. He's very comfortable and is not itchy at all.

I don't think it can hurt to have your dog allergy tested.

Plus the allergist can also advise you in regard to Apoquel.

Good luck.
 

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We got our GSD when she was 3 years old, recurring ear infections (that would bounce right back if we stopped her ear drops), constant licking of paws (until they became raw), she was miserable. We did blood work, cultures, tried oral steroids, steroid injections and cyclosporine (Atopica). We switched to raw 4 months after we got her, put her on fish oil, vitamine E, probiotics and several other supplements. She was only symptom-free when she was on steroids. Atopica controlled her symptoms by 70-80%, but I could not taper her, not even after 6 months.

My vet at the time said we could do monthly steroid injections. I read on a dog forum that I could take her to a derm vet, so I did. 14 months after we got her, we took her to a derm vet, did intradermal skin testing, put her on allergy (desensitization) shots (started at once every two weeks), she was symptom-free at her 6-month follow-up. We eventually dropped her allergy shots to once/month and she stayed symptom-free. She is 11 years old now and is still doing well. We were also able to discontinue Atopica (I kept her on it for a few more months after we saw the derm vet, just in case, but I was able to taper it down to every other day, then once a week, then twice a month, then once a month, and then fully discontinue).

Other than a very high dose of Grizzly salmon oil and monthly desensitization shots, she does not need any other allergy medication.

Good luck!
 

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We got our GSD when she was 3 years old, recurring ear infections (that would bounce right back if we stopped her ear drops), constant licking of paws (until they became raw), she was miserable. We did blood work, cultures, tried oral steroids, steroid injections and cyclosporine (Atopica). We switched to raw 4 months after we got her, put her on fish oil, vitamine E, probiotics and several other supplements. She was only symptom-free when she was on steroids. Atopica controlled her symptoms by 70-80%, but I could not taper her, not even after 6 months.

My vet at the time said we could do monthly steroid injections. I read on a dog forum that I could take her to a derm vet, so I did. 14 months after we got her, we took her to a derm vet, did intradermal skin testing, put her on allergy (desensitization) shots (started at once every two weeks), she was symptom-free at her 6-month follow-up. We eventually dropped her allergy shots to once/month and she stayed symptom-free. She is 11 years old now and is still doing well. We were also able to discontinue Atopica (I kept her on it for a few more months after we saw the derm vet, just in case, but I was able to taper it down to every other day, then once a week, then twice a month, then once a month, and then fully discontinue).

Other than a very high dose of Grizzly salmon oil and monthly desensitization shots, she does not need any other allergy medication.

Good luck!
San.
Did you ever find out exactly what it is that your dog is allergic to?
 

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A year ago last April, after 7 years of chewing, scratching, hot spots and other skin infections we went the canine derm vet route. She did the exclusion diet for 3 months and we concluded Quinn had no food allergies to what he was eating. I took him off chicken many years ago because that seemed to help. Quinn had no reduction in symptoms so we did a round of prednisone, chlorhexidine baths and anti-fungal and antibiotic meds. This got him through to the fall when the vet prefers to do skin testing. She does not have much confidence in blood tests but feels skin testing is reliable. Turned out that Q.'s only allergy is dust mites which accounts for the non-stop symptoms. He began the sub-lingual drops last fall and is still on them. I would consider them semi-successful as he scratches much less but he still has a few skin issues. Those are treatable topically so I finally feel we have a plan and he is comfortable. It is pricy to go this route but well worth it in my estimation. I hope this helps :)
 

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I know what you are going through!

It was a very frustrating 14 months for us. Our vet never offered to refer us to a derm vet (and I didn't know I could go to a derm vet), I really hated putting her on steroids and Atopica but she could not stop licking her paws. Our derm vet is wonderful! Wished we had gone to her much sooner.

Best of luck! I hope Jazz has great results with her immunotherapy =)
 

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I still have the copy of exam report the derm vet gave us.

They tested her on 36 allergens, she was allergic to 28 of them: 5 types of grasses, 4 types of molds, 7 types of weeds, 5 types of trees, plus house dust, cat dander, yellow pine, staph, flea, house dust mite, and Malassezia (what she had between her toes)
 
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