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We recently adopted a 5 yr old GSD from Austin, TX which is about an hour and a half from San Antonio where we live. We've had him for about 11 days. He seems to be scratching a lot, particularly on his sides about 3/4 of the way back from his neck. When we visited him at his foster home, I saw him scratch a couple of times and they said he occasionally would get after a spot here and there, but it didn't seem like an issue. Since bringing him home it seems like he's been scratching an awful lot at his sides. He's our first dog, so I'm not sure how much scratching is too much. I wondered about his skin reacting to a climate change, but he only moved an hour and a half south. We bought some hot spot treatment, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Should we take him to the vet to have it checked out?
 

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Have you checked for any fleas? Was he treated for fleas? (ie. Frontline, Advantix, ect) Check his skin, does it look irritated? Redness? Flaking? Any odd smells? What food was he eating at the fosters house and what is he eating now?

Scratching can be caused by many things. He should have gone to the vet when you picked him up or within the first 2-3 days at the latest. It's always a good idea to get a good check up after bringing home a dog. If he was, did the vet have anything to say about it? If not I'd take him in for a good wellness check and ask about it at that time.

Thank you for adopting! :)
 

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Like Chance said... could be so many things.

Have you check for fleas? Did you recently change his food (or treats)? Is the house dry?

A vet checkup definitely wouldn't hurt.
 

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Bella has the same issues in the same areas and they flare up and calm down. We took her to the vet (no fleas in the area where we live). The vet treated w/ an antihistamine - that helped and we give Omega 3 vitamins 3X a week-that helps too- and a spray (that Bella hates, so we don't use it). After the first round of treatments she imporved so much that we haven't needed to go back for 9 months. It could also be stress of the new environment. By the way, Bella also has bouts of really bad gas...is that an issue for you too?
 

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We are going through the same thing with our 9 month old. Vet said she is too young for an effective blood test to determine allergies. Our old GSD was allergic to dust and mold when she was younger, that meant vacuuming under the bed, sofa, etc. If you have ruled out fleas and food then all you can do bath your pup with a soothing shampoo, keep your house clean and see if the vet can recommend an antihistamine or a medicated topical ointment.
 
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