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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all.

My boy has been scratching pretty furiously at times for a while now, I assumed ticks/fleas since he does interact with street dogs but applying frontline haven’t really made any difference. My vet said it’s probably allergies and I tend to agree, but allergies against what?

I did change food a month and half back but of all the kibble they have here this is by far the best one so I want to look at other options before changing food. I guess I should consider going raw, but that's for another thread..

So my questions are:

1. What are the most common allergies with GSD’s?
2. How does the allergy tests work, as in how do they do them? (I don’t even know if they would know how to do that here).

Any info appreciated.

-Thomas-
 

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It could be an airborne allergen--pollen, dustmites, mold, are all possibilities. Have you noticed that the itching is seasonal? that might be a clue--or if it gets worse after being outdoors, or improves after a bath?

Over-the-counter Benadryl (dyphenhydramine) can be a safe, effective way of dealing with allergic itching. That's something you can ask the vet about.

Allergy tests are done by drawing blood, (I think) and then testing it for antigens when exposed to allergens in the lab. If the tests are positive for a particular allergen (barley, or chicken, or flax)--then you can eliminate it from the diet and you're good to go. If the allergen is airborne, you can't remove dust or pollen from the dog's environment completely, so you're back to treating symptoms. Although you can do things like washing bedding, or removing rugs, or even just rinsing the dog off more frequently.

Good luck. I battled this with our little Corgi last year and it's no fun.
 

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Tracy - don't forget the fabulous raw local honey!!!!! That thread is around here somewhere....

We did allergy testing on our male. He tested positive for many environmental allergens. We tried the allergy shots, but I don't feel that they worked for us (they do work for some, just not us). I got better results by doing a raw food elimination diet (you can do a homecooked one as well). I saw results in 3 weeks (although I am assuming that can very from dog to dog). At that point, I was able to stop the 24/7 antihistimines. I was still battling those pesky environmental allergies, and tried the raw local honey that I mentioned above. That combined with organic Apple Cider Vinegar has helped tons!

Just a note: you can do blood or skin tests for allergies.

I will make a note here: My vet felt my dog had environmental allergies (hence the allergy test), but I went ahead and did the elimination diet on my own after tons of research. The change in diet eliminated a majority of the itching for us.

Good luck!!!
 

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Quote: Tracy - don't forget the fabulous raw local honey!!!!!
Oh, I didn't...I just didn't want to prescribe anything to the OP without some notion of what the allergy might be.

Fanny's been taking her daily teaspoon of local honey since last winter and, so far (knock on wood) nary a sign of any itchiness. Last year at about this time it was so bad she was on Prednisone, and daily baths with cortisone shampoo. I don't want to jinx it...but I have no way to account for it except the honey.
 

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Originally Posted By: Luca_stl
Quote: Tracy - don't forget the fabulous raw local honey!!!!!
Oh, I didn't...I just didn't want to prescribe anything to the OP without some notion of what the allergy might be.
That is the thing with allergies...you have to take it one step at a time so you can actually find out what is causing the allergies!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok. So I guess my next step in any case would be to do the tests. Hard to know where to start without some idea of what he is allergic to.

I have not tried advantix, is the difference that big? (he is almost 5 months).

"fabulous raw local honey": that's just pure unsugared honey presumably? Will look into that thread you mentioned.

Thanks all,

-thomas-
 

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At merely 5 months of age I wouldn't worry so much about allergy, but rather fleas, contact irritation, dry skin or mites. Many folks have commented on frontline's effectiveness not being as good as it used to and I have had good results from advantix.

What about the vet checking for mites? Having contact with street dogs as you commented could have passed them to your dog and you wouldn't be able to see them without a microscope.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Interesting.. now to find the spanish word for mites


mites = ácaros. Ok, I am going to my vet this afternoon so I will ask him about that as well. I will also check if advantix exists here (I was soo happy when I found frontline)..

Cheers natalie,

-thomas-
 
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