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So I have an awesome Black GSD Born Feb 2. Purchased from a breeder in north Florida. We got him home (north central florida) and things went a little south- pun intended. Breeder said he cleared on hookworms and wasn't- not a huge deal, we were taking him to the vet right away anyway. Vet made suggestions to me about some sore spots on his joints where he was losing hair attributed this to the cement pad he had been on up to that point. Fast forward just another week or two take him back in for severe scratching, Vet put him on CEPHALEXIN broad spectrum meaning to me IDK what it is but lets get it treated, thought that was fair. BTW those joint areas healed quickly and nicely, no baldness. Now over the last two days we have noticed on the inside of his front legs has scratched a large amount of hair off of the inside of his front legs.


Some things to note are:
Started him on the Blue Buffalo but switched to Royal Canin on the suggestion of our Vet.
BUT we do add an egg or chicken liver to his kibble. -sometimes with water
He does spend time in our pool (mostly on the raft) and the pool deck sometimes laying on the pool furniture or pool deck.
Our lawn isn't that great, he goes out to pee/poop (good consistency) and spends time chasing insects that I barely see. ants mosquitos even with no success (on or off leash) squirrels. He's in training so I do spend time with him off leash and he does come 75% of the time.
He enjoys his XXL crate sleeps in it fine and goes voluntary when the lights get cut off. maybe a nap or 2 during the day if our daughter is aggravating him to much:frown2:.
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We will be taking him back to the Vet this week, just wanted to hear from the group as I just signed up today.
some of the attached pictures are older the ones showing his sore spots are from last night


PS was a Doberman guy from childhood until I joined the Army (no dog 20 yrs), retired a few months ago and the family agreed on GSD- really happy about that.
 

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Your dog needs to be on a better food first off. Vets for the most part know little about nutrition and receive commissions for selling food in their clinics. Blue isn't great either. I would do some research.
Shadow was doing almost exactly the same thing as your dog and it was in no way related to food allergies. It proved to be a nasty combo of stress and pain. I used an antibacterial spray and kept the area clean and dry. I had to really stay on her about licking as well.
I don't know exactly what your dog might be dealing with but I can tell you that Shadow had a very problematic leg that she was gnawing at constantly and on advice I put her on NEM and she is now fine. The down side is I cannot take her off it but it is all natural and relatively inexpensive so I don't really care.
He is lovely and I hope you get it sorted out.
 

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That kind of scratching where there is fur loss and skin is not red or irritated I would have the vet check for mange especially if your yard is visited by foxes or coyotes. Or in the woods a lot. there are two kinds sarcoptic and demodex- often skin scraping comes back negative 90% of the time of the vet feel it is likely mange he will treat the dog. There is a pedal penal reflex test mentioned in the article below. Also is the dog lying on fertilized grass or anything that can cause this kind of itching. Blue buffalo as Sabis mom mentions not the best food with many problems. I could never understand why vets will often suggest food that they do but now I understand they often will only suggest food that has nutrionists and a team of veterinary staff backing them up. Not to say I would want to use the food they suggest unless my dog was not doing well but it makes sense to me. Was a shampoo used and not completely rinsed. Vetercyin is great for to help stop any hot spots that may form. Also I have not used this but wondercide look to have a good anti itch spray.
https://www.wondercide.com/skin-tonic-spray-itch-allergy

https://www.wondercide.com/natural-solutions/mange-in-dogs
 

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My mind jumped to fleas. Especially in FL! Our yard was infested with fleas, and we had no animals at all. We had to be careful to wipe down ourselves before going inside, and they still managed to hang on. We had monthly pest control, and that didn’t deter them. Luckily it didn’t become an infestation inside, just would see an occasionally flea, and when sweeping, would find dead ones.

I have no advice, but in the second picture, it looks like you live across the street from my old house in FL.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He does wade in the pool mostly on raft. As I said before I’m new to the breed and have been listening to a podcast winterkommt to get a better education on things from food, behavior genetics and everything in between. Seems I have a lot to learn.
My wife took him to the Vet and he said there wasn’t an infection prescribed some meds. He asked nothing about his food which surprised me when I asked her about the visit. He did say to stop use of the shampoo that he sold us on our first visit that we used every 10 days as he told us to.
As for stress, don’t think that’s it. He sleeps all the time. He has three different nap spots that are HIS, he doesn’t get bothered at all in them. I am going to switch to TLC food, we’ll see if that helps. The dilemma though is if he improves I will not know if it’s the meds or food that corrected the problem.
 

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What is the name of the anti bacterial spray?

Our dogs r 2 years old... the vets say that the itching is atopic dermatitis... and will b long term... get worse and expensive rubbing their hands together ?

The vet said the the black coloration is pigment. It doesnt wash off... it is under arm pit too (leg)... it appears first and the the itching begins.

Got them both on apoquel and one on antibiotics....

We need to find a natural fix!
 

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In Florida number 1 differential is generally fleas until proven otherwise. There are quite a few other potential causes, but with what you mentioned about your pup I would also be wondering about a reaction due to the chlorine exposure or something in the yard.
 

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The care you're providing sounds pretty solid to me, the whole 9 yards, esp using the vet for a follow ups...

...can't hurt to spray spray some Vetericyn on those areas between vet visits.

As far as chlorine goes I dunno, while me dog swims in a natural pond I rinse him off in a chlorinated dogie pool and he's had no hot spots or coat problems at all.

Keep us posted, and good luck.
 
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