Skin and allergy issues in German Shepherd - Page 1

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by GSmom517 on 03 March 2020 - 13:03

We have a 2 1/2 year old female German Shepherd from who has suffered from chronic UTI's and skin issues - sebaceous cysts. She has been on numerous antibiotics and steroid shots since 3 days after we picked her up from the airport at 10 weeks old. She has been on Chicken and Brown Rice, Hydrolyzed protein from Royal Canin, skin support from Royal Canin and then a limited ingredient food by Wellness that contains salmon and potato. This past December the skin started itching again causing her to get a hot spot on her rear quarters. We took her to a dermatologist and the doctor requested an ELISA blood test and the results came back that she is allergic to every animal protein including milk, rice, flaxseed, brewers yeast and wheat. She is now on another brand of hydrolyzed protein food containing soybean and corn. During this time period she has also developed hematomas on each ear. No ear infection involved. We want to know if you may have any suggestions or have experience with symptoms such and these. Please keep in mind fortunately she does not have any digestive issues.

Thank you

by Klossbruhe on 03 March 2020 - 15:03

Get rid of Royal Canin. Several dogs in our club have used it and their GSDs all had itching issues. Switch to one of Dr Tims kibbles, such as his Ancient Grains and other allergenic foods he has, or Victor. Do not just feed kibble. Mix it with a 5 star wet food like Merricks, Victor, Weruva, Taste of the Wild etc. You can try raw feeding but be careful. You must know what you are doing and most who do it do not. You can also try cooking for your dog. There are books on the subject you can buy.

Since you know some of this is a food allergy find out where she came from in Germany or Cechia or whereever and find out what what food they were feeding and the vegetation there was in the area. Does she have litter mates. Can you find out from the breeder where they are and contact owners to see if their dogs have the same problem. Maybe it is a genetic problem.

It may not be food. It could be vegetation, grass, plants, household mold etc.
You will have to eliminate things one at a time. Winter itching can be caused by dry skin. Keep you house at 66 degrees F or less or have a room for her which is not heated. Do not shampoo your dog. Washing a GSD is not necessary ever unless they fall in feces or mud or some other nasty substance. Then use a hyperallergenic shampoo. Otherwise do not.

Depending on your dog's coat, sebaceous cysts are usually caused by oily skin. Discontinue any oils you feed such as Fish oil.

After a while, scratching and biting become a behavioral issue and not necessarily caused anymore by the allergy. And continued scratching and biting can lead to an underlying skin reaction that has nothing to do with the allergy. Steroids are harmful and should be a last resort.

by Rik on 03 March 2020 - 16:03

not German Shepherd, but there are 3 shih tzu (none related) in my family, all have allergies. from mild to severe. all get "anti allergy" injections.

#1 is my sisters. she controls his diet very strictly and he only gets the shots during a certain part of the year. I guess one could assume his allergies are environmental, but he looks and is doing great.

#2 had severe allergies, had tests run at University to determine what he was allergic to, and a specific injection was concocted for him that he gets monthly, year round. pretty expensive.

#3 belongs to my Dad, who is 93 and refuses to alter the dog's diet. he eats whatever my Dad eats and more. He gets a shot monthly, the same shot my sister's dog gets. this dog is severe without the shot. ears are also in a constant state of infection. I treat them on every visit. he does pretty well as long as he gets the shot. but who knows what that is doing to him.

I'm not sure the name of the shot, but I can find out. think it's a steroid. this is also pretty expensive.

wish I could offer more. tests can be run to determine if your dog has specific allergies.

good luck,

by GSmom517 on 03 March 2020 - 18:03

Dear Klossbruhe,

Thank you for your reply. Our girl is no longer on Royal Canin (that was 3 foods ago) - she is now on Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet (Vegetarian) Hydrolyzed Protein. According to the blood test she is allergic to Chicken, Beef, Fish, Venison, Beef Liver, Duck, Turkey, Lamb, Pork, Rabbit and Kangaroo as well as the products I mentioned earlier and pinto beans and beet pulp. That is why we are so very limited in the food she can have and that is why the dermatologist prescribed the Purina Pro Plan.

She actually came from Indiana however her one or more of her parents, grandparents come from Germany. I have tried to reach out to the breeder to ask if any of her siblings had the issues she has had and I have been told no one has contacted her. I thought the same thing... could be genetic. I can try and just give the breeder our email address and have her send it to Hope's siblings parents and see if I get any replies.

Also the blood test came back that she does not have any outside allergies such as grass, tree or fungal. However she is allergic to dust mites and storage mites.

She is considered a "plush" coat and the cysts are located on her lower back towards her rear quarters. Since the test showed that she is allergic to fish we did take her off fish oil.

I have been reading conflicting stories about blood tests for food allergies. We just want to figure out what is going on with her. I have also been reading about a saliva test to diagnose food allergies. She has only been on the new food for a week now so we need to give it more time but in the interim wanted to reach out to anyone who might have experienced the same or similar issues.

Thank you again for your reply.


by GSmom517 on 03 March 2020 - 18:03

Dear Rik,

Thank you for your reply. Shots will be our last resort - she has been on so many medications and we really don't want to have her on anything if we can find an alternate solution.

Thank you again and wish you and your family and their fur babies the best.


by Klossbruhe on 04 March 2020 - 01:03

Wow, that is a bummer. Poor girl. Allergic to virtually all typical proteins including beans. That is really terrible. I wonder if her parents or grand parents had this. If so, they should not have been bred. Unfortunately, it is the rare breeder who will give you this information...

I had a wonderful German show lines GSD with plus coat and it had sebaceous cysts exactly where you described. Throughout most of his life. Maybe a total of a dozen over a period of 8 years or so. He lived to be 15. They started at around age 2 and stopped by age 9. Some say do not pop them they will only come back or get worse...that is not always true. Sometimes yes, some times no. One had to be cut out and hair shaved surgically by vet, but only one.

Vetericyn makes an excellent hot spot solution. There is a homemade one which an old German breeder gave me many years ago which also dried out the cysts.

1/2 cup strong brown tea, 1 cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 2 crushed aspirins into powder

Good luck!.

by NatureDragon on 04 March 2020 - 11:03

What about paying attention to pH appropriate food? I think Canine Caviar claims that theirs is.
How accurate are these allergy tests? A canine allergic to virtually all meat? Is this common in GSD's?
Was your dog having problems while with the breeder? If not find out what kind of food the breeder was feeding.
(This sucks if it is genetic and some selfish jerk would be greedy enough to breed anyway and produce dogs who will suffer all of the time.)
Zigniature makes a goat based meat food, but not sure about the other ingredients in it.
Nulo, Acana and other brands have limited ingredient foods as well.

by jettasmom on 04 March 2020 - 11:03

I feel your pain. Check out my post on Auto Immune disease. Been dealing with skin issues itching with my boy since he was 8mo old.
My boy shows allergy to storage dust mites as well no food or environmental allergies. Seems to effect his face ears but does itch. Skin is clear but hair loss on face eyes little bumps on head. He’s on raw. Skin biopsy’s show vascularitis in regards to his ears.hes on non steroidal meds I won’t use steroids. I have no clue and next visit will be with dermatologist. Very frustrating.
Care to share breeder? PM if u want ozzys breeder could care less about his issues. BYB. Next dog if I ever get one will be a rescue mutt.


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