German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Kadin has been quite a bit more itchy the last few months and I'd really like to find her some relief. I can't imagine how uncomfortable it must be..

Anyhow.. It all kind of started a couple months back and at the time I had assumed it was from the Royal Canin GSD blend. I know.. I know.. Poor food. I had some things going on at the time and couldn't feed the Innova LBP that she had been on. In addition to her kibble, she is is given a chicken leg at each meal.

As the itching continued I figured the Royal Canin kibble was to blame with its substandard ingredients. So I picked up a bag of Innova EVO (Red Meat formula) for its grain free makeup and noticed the itching subsided slightly, but she was really disinterested in it. So I decided to try giving her the Innova Adult that I feed my older rescued GSD. She seems much more interested in that kibble, although it isn't grain free.

The itching has still continued. I've given her a bath with a oatmeal based shampoo, and that seems to give her a temporary relief, but she's shortly back to itching not long after. Her coat is very soft and shiney. She doesn't have hot-spots, or sores. Her skin is occasionally a little reddish looking which is indicative of a problem.

She is inside most of the time, but does spend time outdoors with me out in the deserts of Southern New Mexico while we're out hiking/biking/camping along with SAR training. We also do our Schutzhund stuff on a grassy field (dead, dry grass). After reading here, it seems like this could very well be enviromentally caused. Which doesn't make me too happy, because these activities are our life!

Any ideas on what I should do from here to give my girl some relief? I really don't want her to suffer the itchies like this if there's anything I can do to help her. Is this a seasonal thing perhaps? We've been here in Southern New Mexico since June last year and the itching wasn't an issue until just recently. I'm open to all advice..

Thanks for everyone's time,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've been feeding her chicken legs since she was about 16weeks old. The problem surfaced recently.

Is developing a intolerance to the chicken a possibility?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Justin,

It may be just only a huge lack of humidity that's causing Kadin to be itchy. My husband and I used to live in New Mexico.....the dry air was even more worse during the winter months, it seemed. The onliest thing that could provide the fastest relief would be the very best you can afford whole room humidifier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
Just so you know, a dog can develop allergies to food they've been eating for most of their life. However, I'm not so sure this would be a food allergy.

Sounds like an environmental allergy. Have you spoken with a vet or a dermatologist? If not, I would consider testing for allergies. You can do a blood test for both environmental and for food. Food allergy testing isn't always 100% correct, but can give you an idea to their sensitivities.

I did VARL testing (blood testing) w/ Phoenix. Found out what his environmental allergens were and opted to do allergy shots to help with them. The shots have made a world of difference. But because he's allergic to dustmites and molds, we do what we can to keep those to a minimum in the house. You also need to know that dry air can easily cause itching. I believe Gmthrust indicated that New Mexico can have especailly dry air in the winter. Maybe add a bit more humidity into the air in your house. A good range for the RH is around 30% here but can go up to 40% without too many problems. Sometimes an antihistamine like benedryl could help. But like most medications, I'd want to visit the vet first before giving medications to get his input into the problem.

If your dog has environmental allergies, it doesn't mean life as you know it has to end. We still do tons of outdoor activities with Phoenix. We have just learned how to manage his allergies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
First, thank you all for your input!

I've not seen the vet or done anything specific yet to treat the itching as I wanted to get an idea of what may be happening before I have a bunch of time and/or money invested in things that weren't focusing on the root problem.

I'm totally ignorant to all the different types of skin/bloodwork that can be done to determine what she may be alergic too. I just didn't want to visit and say "my dog is itchy". I figured educating myself somewhat before I visited the vet would be a smart thing..

The air here is very dry, and I'm currently not using any humidifier. I might invest in that for both Kadin's comfort as well as my own.

Should "most" vets be able to do the bloodwork/skin tests you all suggested? Or would I need to seek out a specialist? As I mentioned in my first post, I'm fairly new to the area and haven't really established a relationship with a local vet like I had with the one in Colorado (Where I lived previously).

We're going to be taking a break from training for the next week or so due to work and other things, so time out in the desert and on the grassy training field will be little to none. I'll take this time to make a visit to the vet. I'm going to do a bit of reading to better understand what these tests you all suggested are.

Regarding the Benadryl, is over the counter stuff ok to use??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
If you want to educate yourself on the various testing that can be done, here is a decent site to look at:

http://http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2144&aid=504

As far as who does the testing. I initially did our blood test via our regular vet. He drew the blood and then sent it off to a lab (VARL in this case) We got a good idea on what the worst allergens were for Phoenix. If we were not able to get the issue under control, our vet recommended trying the skin tests. He is very familiar with doing the skin test, but recommended if we didn't get things under control to go to see derm and getting the skin testing done. The cheaper option, of course, is going the route of blood testing.

I know there is another lab you can have the blood sent for allergy testing but here is the one my vet used:

Home

You can google "labs that test of allergies in dogs" and get a few other labs that do the blood testing.

I think it is an excellent idea to first try the humidifier route since both of you will benefit from it. Many people are quick to change foods, thinking it's a food allergy. When a dog starts itching, you need to step back first. First, check the environment...is it dry...could it be a flea allergy...if you can check those two off as a no, then the next is to look at possible environmental allergies. The last, food. More often than not, it will be an environmental allergy vs. a food allergy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,102 Posts
I went to my regular vet also and had a blood test done in my case it was the HESKA test. I think it ran 180.00, they tested food(cooked) and many environmental triggers as well. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
We had the same "itchy" problems. Tried different shampoos, supplements for allergies, changed food flavors, changed food brands.....and after months and months of trying to find a remedy I put Meka on TOTW....oh my gosh.........Meka has not scratched at all :) it's only been a week but i have NEVER seen her go 1 day without scratching. I hope week 2 goes just as nicely.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top