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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello. This a first post on here and its really just an experience I had with my dog and if its useful to someone so be it.
Around 4 years ago I adopted a GSD. Lovely big quiet dog. She had been eating dried food so I just kept on with the brand she had previously been on. She was 4 years old when I got her. After a few months, I noticed her scratching herself against the hedge. Thought it might have been her shedding but noticed some red spots like acne on her back. Also licking a lot at her rear. Took her to vet who said was most likely allergy of some sort. GSD prone to that sort of thing. Anyway after a few months of different treatments. (Steroids and various bathing regimes) the spots would always come back worse. Couldn't keep giving her steroids, very hard on her. Wasn't given option of any allergy tests from the couple of vets I took her too. {I didn't know there were such tests). Allergies always blamed.
Although she had been fine on her original food when I got her, I tried multiple different dried foods, even an expensive anti allergy brand. No luck. Tried wet food but she wouldn't eat any brands and was losing weight. I've attached picture of her back when it was bad. Lost fur, arching her back when stroked etc.
Sounds odd, but a relative had a dog food recipe stashed away I thought Id try. I first made a batch with beef. Enough made to make a months worth frozen into batches for a days worth of eating, thawed out the night before.
Very interesting - my dog couldn't get enough of it! At least she was eating again. There was me thinking she was a picky eater. Anyway, after a few weeks using the new food and some antiseptic ointment the spots died down and her fur started coming back. Several months later, using my new food (Different meats too, beef pork chicken) and nothing else, her coat is brilliant, she is noticeably happier and healthier. I've put picture of her coat now. She has now been eating this food for over a year.
Its just a quick story. I was very sad when my dog was itching and in discomfort The vets were telling me all sorts of different things and selling different tablets. If you are having this problem which I gather is very common.

Try some home made food. It worked for my dog and shes now a pain in the neck looking for food all the time! Maybe not for everyone but its definitely worth a try.

Bad back pics - The pictures don't do it justice. Her back was really bad!

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She looks great! What exactly are you feeding her? I found it isn’t what I feed my dog but what I don’t feed. Mine is on a prescription food with only two ingredients. Everyone says protein causes skin allergies but in my experience, It was the huge range of other ingredients and additives in kibble that was causing irritation and skin lesions. Both my dogs were on Fromm which is an excellent food, but neither could tolerate it. The other dog developed IBS and is no one grain free THK and is completely symptom free.
 

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Thank you, yes shes great now. I make large batch at a time. It consists of basmati rice, pearl barely, cabbage and cooked minced meat. Can be pork, beef or chicken for her. No hidden ingredients. I just then put into tubs, enough for 2 meals a day. Freeze and then thaw one the night before. Shes been on this for over a year and still loves eating it. Any bought food she went off.
That's why I wrote this post as I was SO happy to see her well again. Ill write down the proportions of what I make as I do the same each time. I'm no expert in anything but this worked for her! I would agree it must have been something in the commercial stuff but I don't know what.
 

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I'm so happy for her and you! Home cooking and/or raw can really make the difference. BTW be sure to add a calcium supplement if you aren't...She looks great!
 

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I'm so happy for her and you! Home cooking and/or raw can really make the difference. BTW be sure to add a calcium supplement if you aren't...She looks great!
Thank you. Hadn't been giving her any extra calcium. There's probably some in the dark cabbage leaves in the recipe. I'm sure there's always ways to tweek her food. She still gets occasional bone. I'm happy with the way she is now. (y)
 

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Yep, you need to supplement calcium or you'll run into problems. :
Calcium
Unless you feed RMBs, all homemade diets must be supplemented with calcium. The amount found in multivitamin and mineral supplements is not enough. Give 800 to 1,000 mg calcium per pound of food (excluding non-starchy vegetables). You can use any form of plain calcium, including eggshells ground to powder in a clean coffee grinder (1/2 teaspoon eggshell powder provides about 1,000 mg calcium). Animal Essentials‘ Seaweed Calcium provides additional minerals, as well. And here is a good list of calcium-rich foods your dog may like. Just please note this list is for humans and includes orange juice, which is not a good thing to give your dog as the acidity can cause stomach upset.
 

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Yep, you need to supplement calcium or you'll run into problems. :
Calcium
Unless you feed RMBs, all homemade diets must be supplemented with calcium. The amount found in multivitamin and mineral supplements is not enough. Give 800 to 1,000 mg calcium per pound of food (excluding non-starchy vegetables). You can use any form of plain calcium, including eggshells ground to powder in a clean coffee grinder (1/2 teaspoon eggshell powder provides about 1,000 mg calcium). Animal Essentials‘ Seaweed Calcium provides additional minerals, as well. And here is a good list of calcium-rich foods your dog may like. Just please note this list is for humans and includes orange juice, which is not a good thing to give your dog as the acidity can cause stomach upset.
Thank you for the reply. Will have a look at the egg shells. Good idea. This is why I didn't put my recipe or exactly what else she gets. My main point was that the home made food really made a life changing difference to her.

Thank you
 

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What a great story to hear, I can't imagine how frustrated you must have been after trips to the vet and not getting a solution! I looked at the pictures and my God, her back looks great now! Such a beautiful shepherd. She's very lucky to have you and vice versa.
 

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What a great story to hear, I can't imagine how frustrated you must have been after trips to the vet and not getting a solution! I looked at the pictures and my God, her back looks great now! Such a beautiful shepherd. She's very lucky to have you and vice versa.
Thank you. Yes shes great. 8 years old and running like a pup again. I wouldn't normally write anything on the internet but felt compelled with the difference the homemade food made. Over a year in and she has no itch. I had read and read about different drugs etc. Good old healthy simple food! Its actually made of things I would quite happily eat it myself in these strange times if push came to shove!
 
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