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Hi Everyone! There's something really wrong with our dog but no vet can figure out what's going on. We have a 4 year old German Shepherd (and a 2 year old Bernese Mountain Dog) that we've had since she was a puppy. She comes from a working line, had a beautiful coat, super healthy etc. About a year ago, she started to get some flaky skin. No big deal at first. But it soon became that she has excessively flaky skin all over her body. She also has lost so much hair that we can't even brush her anymore. It all just falls out and your'e left with only tons of flakes on the brush. It actually looks more painful to her than anything if we try to brush her. It almost looks like she has no undercoat at all left. On top of this, her face looks like it's fallen in/sunken in a bit but she's still maintaing a good weight. We've taken her to 4 different vets and they've run all sorts of tests and blood work. All blood work came back fine. Nothing wrong with her thyroid either. Skin scrape test showed some bacteria, so we were given a ton of antibiotics but it didn't solve anything. Also given prednisone, and bathed her with special shampoo. Treated her with parasite topical stuff from the vet and she's current on flea and tick prevention and heart worm. Then she was put on an elimination diet of only horse meat, sweet potato and wild berries (Wolfsblut brand). She's been on that for 3 months and while it is slightly better, it's not fixing the problem. She has always been on high quality food so it's not a cheap food brand issue either. The vet just took a urine sample yesterday to test that for something hormonal. She's been drinking a ton of water lately and always acts like she's starving even though she eats plenty and is a good weight. I can't understand why she's doing this lately. She just seems really irritated too (probably because she doesn't feel well). She's spayed (went through 2 heats), weighs about 70-80lbs. Not scratching herself at all really but does lick her legs or butt sometimes. She also just likes licking in general, not sure if it calms her down or makes her feel better.

We love her so much and no one seems to know what is wrong. Have any of you ever experienced this? She's lost so much hair and just looks so miserable and irritated. Her tail is so thin now, almost no hair at all. We really want to help her but don't know how. Desperate for any suggestions!! Thank you so much!
 

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Wow! I am so sorry that you and your poor girl are going through this. I am clueless. I hope someone will chime in soon with some ideas.
 

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Could it be Cushing's Disease?

I am sorry you are going through this too. I haven't had anything like this. I hope you can find some help here though.
 

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Thyroid?

I had a foster with allergies and he was on an expensive venison brand allergy food with no improvement. i started feeding him raw chicken only and he improved within two weeks and the hair started growing in. I suspect that he did not tolerate well some of the preservatives in the commercial food.
 

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Do you think you could post a close up picture of her skin? Perhaps that might help.
 

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It sounds like Cushing's. Whole Dog Journal did an article on it a while back and lots of dogs are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
 

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Masticatory Muscle Myositis - Page 2

I would suggest you get to holistic vet that has a much larger arsenal of treatment options

Between the skin and the sunkeness in the face, you are looking at an auto-immune issue.

conventional medicine only has steroids and atopica to offer - both toxic in of themselves and suppress the immune system as a whole - not just syndrome, disease, symptom specificially

The skin issue could be related to IgA deficiency - you want to look into Bovine Colostrum - 40% immunglobulin - this is a modulator - works to suppress where needed and boost as needed - the job of the thymus gland

A natural b-complex -
B3 is anti-bacterial - is being studied as a treatment for MRSA, C-diff
B6/B-12 which should be in methylcobalamin form (natural), not cyanocobalamin (synthetic)...b12 is req'd maintaining the protective fatty barrior of the myelin sheath

Magnesium is important for over 300 processes in the body incl. heart, neuro, muscle

promoting glutathione via nutrition in RAW meat which contains 100% of essential amino acids in the MOST bio-available form (you will want grass fed meats) - glutathione is the bodys in house detoxifier/anti-ox...promoting this thru RAW would benefit

Take your dog off the HW/flea prevention - this is a toxin and your dogs body is in too much distress to deal with pesticides being dumped in his blood and is KNOWN to cause skin conditions (I will find the link later from the "enviromental protection agency" about) as well as many other things

Vit. C, apple pectin (suppliment), natural heavy metal binder and remover (causes - also in vaccines - aluminum, mercury)

That is just some of what you can do - but conventional Vet won't be able to help with that...
 

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Cushings was my first thought too
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you!!!

Thank you all so much!!! I did some research on Cushing's Disease after you all mentioned it and I was absolutely shocked at how many of the symptoms she has. I really believe that is what is going one. We just dropped off a urine sample so we'll see what comes back in a week. I am absolutely amazed that no vet has ever even mentioned this before to us. One vet even told us "Well, her blood work is normal so your dog must be healthy." And wanted us to leave when CLEARLY something is wrong with her.

Thank you all for taking the time to help us. While I'm scared to think about what the disease will end up doing to her, I am glad to have a name to her illness. At least it's something to work with now. Thank you all so much!! We truly appreciate it! I will let you all know in a week what her results show. Thank you!
 

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A Cushings dog should have an elevated liver value that would show up on their bloodwork. A friend of mine had a Cushings dog for years. You will need to take her in for further testing to determine if this is the issue. Just because it sounds like it, doesn't mean it is. You just dropped off a urine sample? My vet took the foster I had in for the day to run the tests.
 

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Yes, we aren't vets and we are guessing without seeing the dog. However, you are seeing the dog, and read the links, so now you have something to suggest the vets test specifically for. The reason I thought Cushings is because someone I know had a horse with it, and I heard it happens in dogs as well. But again it is just a guess. I really hope that you can find out what it is, so that you can treat it.
 

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Cushings can be auto-immune induced.

The sunken face has me thinking about the other link I posted...again auto-immune related

The link from Mercola talks about grey area, this is the area conventional vets ignore...it is here where you want to adress with nutrition, suppliments, no vaccines and NO pesticide treatments to possibly halt the degeneration before ending up on steroids or worse - atopica (a mycotoxin this is made from fungas or is it mold? I forget)
 

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Another possibility might be sebaceous adenitis.
 

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Is your dog still on the prednisone?

If so that would explain the hunger, thirst, and irritability. Just wanted to point that out because if she is on prednisone those symptoms are very likely from prednisone instead of the illness - unless she also had these symptoms prior to the prednisone.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just wanted to give everyone an update. Jäger's urine analysis came back and everything looks normal. The vet is at a total loss and said we should just wait 3 months and then maybe try testing for thyroid again. I don't think this will do anything as she's been tested twice in the past year for it with all tests coming back normal.

I really don't understand what is going on. She has all the signs of cushing's disease but it's not showing up in her urine. I don't know what to do for her but clearly there is something very wrong. I hate that we always get to this point and vets just tell us to wait... wait for what? I feel like we should be doing something. The vet said she could give me some topical sprays to help her coat a bit, but again that's just a bandaid. It doesn't actually solve what's wrong. Sorry no answers for you guys... just wanted to give you an update.
 

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I need to find a thread for you later this afternoon/eve. If I forget, PM me.

This dog was loosing tons of fur - went through the usual pred. and ??? with Vet. who suggested allergy tests etc.

He/she took the RAW root and 2 months reported success. Sounded like this dog was a mess.

Oh, I don't think a urine test is used for cushings...ATP test I think...the mercola link tells you.

Also I think mentioned about Dodds thyroid test and pre-cushings.

What about the other issue and link provided for that. Did you read or only go w/cushings possibility?

You have TWO major issues here - they both point to auto-immune...
 
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