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german shepard skin allergies

My 4month old German Shepard had extreme skin allergies and is NON-STOP itching, we've changed to a dog food recommended by the vet and are giving her supplements. Anybody with any suggestions, it would be deeply appreciated.


Asked by Member 554240 on Feb 3rd 2008 in Health & Wellness
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Dr. John Zoidberg

Which food did you begin using?

We see this at work all the time (I work for a vet but am not medical). The advice is always to adjust the diet and remove any possible allergens from the home. This would include scented candles, aroma sprays, et cetera. If you wash his dog bed, use a fragrance free soap and fragrance free softener.

My vet always recommends a raw diet. If that is not possible, try eliminating all foods that have wheat, corn, soy, or dairy (casein) in them. Those are the top four allergies for dogs in foods.

For food allergy info, check out www.dogtorj.com. He's a wealth of knowledge.

Good luck and please post with your progress.


Dr. John Zoidberg answered on Feb 3rd.

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Molly

I grew up with 2 German Shepherds, they are such wonderful dogs! When our big guy was about 8 years old, he developed such severe skin allergies that he would literally chew and itch off all of his hair until he just had bare, often raw skin on his hind quarters. We tried everything we could to rid him of his skin problems: from topical treatments, to dressing him in make-shift "pants" so he couldnt chew at his skin anymore. The only thing that worked was to keep him out of the foothills that he loved so much and we also took him in to see the Vet once a month for an anti-histamine injection. It's a tough situation, because we had to change his lifestyle, and keep him out of the hills where he used to roam free when we'd go on our trail runs, but he eventually got used to getting his exercise on a leash in our neighborhood. The monthly shots were relatively expensive, but as you'll probably agree, we're suckers of our 4-legged friends and we'll do anything for them!
Hope that helps!


Molly answered on 2/3/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Guest

How long has your dog been on the new food & supplements? It usually takes 6-8 weeks to see improvement with diet change.

Did your vet discuss allergy testing with you? Allergy testing is great-basically, blood is drawn & sent out to a lab where they are able to pinpoint almost every allergen that your dog reacts to. Once you get the results, you can choose to 1) administer desensitization treatment/immunity booster injections or 2) omit all of the allergens (if possible).

Option 2 doesn't work well when it comes to environmental allergens, but if her allergies are totally diet-related, simply omitting those foods from the diet will do the trick.

Allergy testing is costly initially (on the order of $200-$400), but will save you (and especially your pet) a lot of future aggravation! And the risk of long-term steroid use is avoided.

I am familiar with Bio-Med (www.bmslab.com but there are other labs available. Check out the site, and discuss this with your vet.


Member 300693 answered on 2/3/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Duke

My dog had a really severe case of Demodex (he was a rescue) and he was litterly scratching himself bloody. We had him on meds from the vet but I needed to find something for relief - we found an amazing product - EPI-PET spray - we used it up to 5 times a day when his skin was bad but now he has made a full recovery (skin breakout was Nov) and all of his hair has grown back thick and shiny and we only use the spray once a day. Check it out at Epi-pet.com - it is for all kinds of skin problems, allergys, itching etc... and it has the benefit of a great smell. We like lavendar/vanilla but cedar is nice too. We also bought the shampoo and get a bath twice a month which also helped to soothe the skin. Give it a try - it is very affordable and the people there are great - you can call and ask their advice and they are very knowledgeable. Ask for Lisa.


Duke answered on 2/3/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Clay R.I.P. my handsome boy!!

WOW 4 months old is REALLY young for allergies to be popping up.You may want to contact the breeder and see what skin issues she has had with her dogs.You may also want to have your Vet do a skin scraping to check for mites. It takes up to 8 weeks to see improvement from diet change. Hope things start going better.Sure not a way to spend puppyhood.Poor little girl.


Clay R.I.P. my handsome boy!! answered on 2/3/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Guest

I have a 4 year old female German Shepherd. I feed her Royal Canin German Shepherd dry food. Its a specially designed formula to fulfill the German Shepherd needs. They have several dog breeds. You can purchase it at pretty much any pet store.

Also I dont remember the name of it but there is special dog food made for dogs with wheat allergies. Maybe you'll want to look into that?

Have you given the puppy a bath? Maybe she's allergic to the shampoo? Or her bedding or the detergent/floor cleanser you use?


Member 546633 answered on 2/4/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


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