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German Sheppard Itching Problems

May 8th, 2004, 01:32 PM
Please help! We have a 1 year old german sheppard puppy. He is a pure-bread dog from a reputable breeder (about 75 lbs.). However, he has this serious itching problem He scratches all of the time. He has scratched his sides so much he is losing his hair. We have had him to several local vets, who have ruled out fleas, scabies, bugs etc., and then referred us to a dermatologist at the University of Penn. Here the vet put him on Purina Hypoallergenic diet, and he is still scratching. He has been on the diet for about 4 weeks now, with very little relief. The scratching started in the fall, when we stopped using our air-conditioner and started using the heater. Is it possible for dogs to take Allegra, Claritin or Zyrtec, or are there special meds. for dog allergies?? He has taken Benadryl in the past, but I don't want to give that to him everyday, and it only give him very mild relief. Any suggestions??? He is also experiencing discharge from his eyes in the mornings mostly. It is almost as if he has the same allergies as my husband (grass, weeds, dander, pollen, etc). Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!!!!

May 8th, 2004, 01:40 PM
Your VET recommended PURINA? Thats odd :confused:

Check your environment, what do you clean with..whats in his bedding etc..any toxins? chemicals used for cleaning the floors?

I would never give my dog purina crap. Try a natural home cooked diet of very bland food for about 10 days to see if there are any changes.

Only give him boiled chicken or turkey (but never together) and some potato's or rice. Add to it some flax seed oil (teaspoon a day) to see if this helps, can also give him a capsul of vitamin e squirted on his food every day.

Rule things out one by one.

Some dogs scratch/itch from anxiety. Is he left alone a lot and does he get enough attention/exercise?

May 8th, 2004, 07:35 PM
What type heat do you have?
Gas fired furnaces will dry every drop of moisture from the air and many people suffer in the same way.
If the condition started when the change over from cooling in the summer to heating in the winter, that would seem to be a fine place to start looking.
As for changing the diet, I would not think that was really the problem. The well bred G.S. is basically a stable animal and at that age (1 year old) if he has an allergy something has dramatically changed in his environment. Find that and solve the problem. You did not mention you had changed his food and the situation started so I would not guess it was his diet that is to blame.
I'd try adding moisture back into the air during the heating season for starters. You might also check out electrostatic air cleaners. :confused:

Lucky Rescue
May 9th, 2004, 12:34 PM
The first thing I would do is change the food! Purina can cause these kinds of problems. Many dogs have reactions to high filler content (corn) in this stuff.

Wait about 4 weeks after putting him on the new food to see if the problem goes away.

Just as many human doctors and surgeons are not knowledgeable about human nutrition, so many vets are not trained in proper nutrition for dogs either.