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German Shepherd Hair Loss And Itching

Why Is My Pet Scratching

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There are many reasons why pets become itchy. Sometimes the cause can be fleas, even if you cant see them on your pet. Some pets experience seasonal allergies, just like people, but instead of having a runny nose and other symptoms we associate with hay fever, they actually get itchy skin. Food allergies may also be the source of constant scratching, licking and chewing. Skin infections can also be itchy or painful and require treatment. Diagnosing and choosing the right treatment for your pets itch will be easier if it is addressed early, as a simple parasite problem can develop into a complicated infection, which may require not only a longer treatment course, but multiple different medications.

Constant itching and scratching can affect your pets quality of life, so it is essential that they get relief from their discomfort. We often see dogs and cats who have scratched themselves to the point that the skin has been broken. This can lead to bleeding and infection which in turn leads to further self-trauma.

This level of skin damage requires a visit to your local Greencross Vets to ensure a diagnosis and correct treatment are commenced.

We are here to help!

Skin disorders can be difficult to diagnose. The expertise of a professional veterinarian is needed to ensure safe and effective treatment is started to get your dog back to full health. Some common causes include:

Which Skin Issues Are Most Likely To Affect German Shepherds

German Shepherds are susceptible to many of the same health and wellness concerns as their human family members, including allergies. However, you may not realize your German Shepherd has a significant problem with common allergens until the reaction affects their skin. Although allergies can develop at any age, the allergic reactions most likely to trigger German Shepherd skin issues generally appear between the ages of one and three years.2

Of course, its best to consult a veterinarian any time you have concerns about your canines overall health and well-being. Until then, you may find it helpful to consider the three most common causes of German Shepherd skin issues.

Hot Spots

Hots Spots are areas of inflamed, infected skin. Although most often found on the paws, ears, hips, rump, or chest, hot spots can emerge anywhere your dog has been licking or scratching. If you dont catch a hot spot in its earliest stages, your canine can develop painful, oozing lesions that can spread to other areas of their body. If your German Shepherd dog seems uncomfortable, consider examining your pet for the following symptoms:3,4

  • A swollen, inflamed area of skin that feels warm to the touch
  • Areas of moist, blistered skin that cause pain or discomfort
  • Itchy round patches of skin that increase in size
  • Hair loss or patches of matted fur crusted with discharge
  • Scarring caused by continuous scratching, licking, or biting inflamed, infected skin

Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Food Allergies

How To Help My German Shepherd From Itching And Scratching

Treating a German Shepherd with itchy skin at home can help decrease their itching and scratching so they are more comfortable and regain healthy skin.

To help your German Shepherd from itching try to:

  • make sure they are free from fleas and ticks ask your vet for parasite treatments
  • use medicated shampoos made for dry skin
  • apply moisturizing sprays and creams
  • stick to a regular grooming and brushing routine
  • and add in supplements to increase skin moisture

Sometimes, you just cant figure out why theyre having allergies or itching like crazy, so go through the tips above and seek your vets advice if needed.

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How Vets Diagnose Alopecia In Dogs

A thorough physical exam by your veterinarian is the single most important step in diagnosing the cause or causes of alopecia. It is seldom a quick fix when it comes to skin disorders in dogs. Your vet will take multiple factors into consideration before determining what diagnostics are appropriate in your dogs case .

Unfortunately, there is no simple recipe to fix alopecia in dogs. Figuring out the cause is essential to choosing treatment options. Also, many causes of alopecia are ongoing conditions that will need periodic medications or other treatments. Understanding this before you even make the vet appointment will go a long way in saving you from frustration if symptoms return in the future.

When seeing your veterinarian, be prepared to answer thorough questions about your dogs history, including:

  • Number of pets in the home

  • Degree of pruritus

  • Parasite medications

  • Prior health issues or blood work abnormalities

Once your vet has these answers, they can examine your pet and determine possible causes. Your vet will check closely for any evidence of fleas or flea dirt , ticks, or saliva-stained areas such as the feet, tail base, and flanks.

They will also note any unusual odors. Yeasty feet smell like Fritos, and ears have unique smells depending on yeast or bacteria. Your dogs skin may have a waxy or greasy feel, which will help decide what topical therapies to use.

Are German Shepherds Prone To Allergies

Finally found the source of constant itching

Though our German Shepherds are impressive pups with many capabilities, they are quite prone to allergies that can impact their daily lives.

German Shepherds are one of the most impacted breeds when it comes to skin allergies, making it so very important to understand how allergies can impact our Shepherds.

Since German Shepherds are so prone to allergies and conditions that affect their skin, it is likely something you will encounter at some point throughout your Shepherds life.

Another factor to keep in mind is the fact that allergies in German Shepherds may be hereditary, and can result in their offspring being more prone to allergies.

Though the allergies themselves cannot transfer from dog to dog, many believe that breeding a dog with sensitives can result in their offspring inheriting the sensitivities as well.

Due to this, its best to not breed a German Shepherd with chronic allergies.

It is also, therefore, very important that you discuss with your breeder the allergic histories of your GSDs parents.

An ethical and reputable breeder will not hesitate to disclose any such information, and you and your Shepherd will be better prepared for what may arise in the future.

Now that weve discussed the basics of allergies and what symptoms to be aware of, lets discuss the types of allergies that our German Shepherds can potentially experience.

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Combination Allergies And Their Secondary Effects

All dogs affected by allergies, irrespective of breed and including the German Shepherd, can be affected by more than one allergen.

In fact, having allergies to more than one allergen is more common than being allergic to just one thing. Being allergic to a range of things makes allergy in pets a complicated condition.

This may mean an allergy to multiple grasses, tree pollen, foods, insects, etc. in the same dog. Some pets may be affected by a large range of food allergens without having additional allergy triggers.

In dogs affected by multiple allergies, identification of the most important allergen is always the key. Ideally, most or all of the offending allergens need to be identified to help ensure good patient comfort. This in turn, will help limit secondary skin infections in a breed like German Shepherds, that is quite prone to skin infections as we will find in the next blog discussing skin infection related conditions of German Shepherds.

Early and definitive identification of allergy signs is always helpful in stopping progression of allergies and their impact in any dog, but is especially true for German Shepherds. If your German Shepherd shows allergic symptoms of itchiness, redness of skin, hair loss, or changes in skin quality, it may be time to consult with a vet dermatology clinic so that your pet dermatologist can help identify the true problem.

Allergy Locations On The German Shepherd

Allergies that manifest externally can occur anywhere on a German Shepherds body. Frequent locations for allergic inflammations in this breed are the face, ears, paws, sides, hind end, legs, and stomach. Dandruff, flaky skin, dry skin, hot spots, hair loss in patches, and sores are symptoms of skin allergies that can be found in any of the previously mentioned areas of the dogs body.

Allergies that affect the eyes and ears must be monitored and addressed with care. These are common allergy locations, so look out for irritated, red, teary eyes and ears that are itchy, smelly, and red. The ears, in particular, can lead to painful secondary infections if the allergies are not resolved.

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What Are The Most Common Allergens In German Shepherds

Though your German Shepherd can be allergic to anything in the world around them, there are some common allergens that are known to cause issues for our beloved German Shepherds.

Some of the most common allergens to be aware of in German Shepherds include:

Though these are common allergens for German Shepherds, it does not mean that your Shepherd will automatically have a reaction to these items.

Just be sure to monitor for any signs of allergies if you know your Shepherd is exposed to any of these substances or items.

Bald Spots In Dogs: Common Causes And Treatments

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There are lots of reasons dogs may lose hair , from infection to irritation caused by parasites. A few of the more common reasons include:

Allergies

Allergies are a frequent trigger for hair loss in dogs. Like people, dogs can have an allergic reaction to foods, environmental triggers such as pollen, or to parasites like fleas or mites.

Flea bites are behind most dog allergies, however. Along with hair loss from licking and biting the irritated areas, signs of flea allergies include itching and redness. For a particularly allergic dog, it may take as little as one flea bite to start an allergic reaction that lingers for days.

While any dog can have allergies, some are more prone to them than others. Treating your dog’s allergies may include topical or internal medication, allergy shots, a change in diet, and avoiding the allergen.

Cushing’s Disease

Hair loss in dogs may also be caused by hyperadrenocorticism, or Cushing’s disease, a condition caused by the overproduction of the hormone cortisol. Medication and sometimes surgery is available to treat Cushingâs disease, also known as Cushing’s syndrome.

Cushing’s disease is more common in dogs 6 years or older. Other signs of Cushing’s disease include eating, drinking, and urinating more, panting, as well as having a pot-bellied appearance. Take your dog to the vet if you notice any of these signs.

Genetics

Infection or Infestation

Pressure Sores

Rashes/Hives

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Susannes German Shepherd Milly Was Diagnosed With Aggressive Cancer

Susanne Sullivan rescued Milly at 18 months of age. She decided to take out pet insurance cover, and was glad she did, because at 6 years old, Milly developed an aggressive form of cancer in her paw, which has since recurred. Bow Wow Meow reimbursed 80% of her veterinary costs on both accounts and she is very grateful that she made the choice to insure Milly.

Demodectic Mange Can Also Cause Intense Scratching In German Shepherds

The American Kennel Club explains that a different type of mite causes demodectic mange, or Demodex, in German Shepherds.

The big difference between scabies and Demodex is that the scabies mite is a definite invader, while the Demodex mite is always present on the skin.

Typically, as long as your German Shepherd stays healthy with a strong immune system, the mites will live peacefully inside the hair follicles.

But if there is any disruption to the immune system function, the mites may start to cause itching.

The most common warning sign besides intense itching is patchy hair loss.

Some dogs may develop the condition in puppyhood, but in most cases, it only occurs if there is an underlying serious illness that weakens your dogs system, such as diabetes.

Your veterinarian may recommend clipping your dogs fur close and using dips and medicated shampoos or solutions as well as oral antibiotics or allergy medicines.

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How Can I Stop My German Shepherd From Losing Hair

A: There are a few things you can try to help your German Shepherd stop losing hair. You may want to consider trying one of these methods:

1) Bathing your dog in apple cider vinegar and water once a week will help with the shedding process.2) Giving your dog a supplement that contains biotin, which is an amino acid that helps with healthy hair growth.3) Using natural oils like olive oil or coconut oil on your dogs coat to help prevent

How Often Should You Brush Your German Shepherd

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The only way to reduce the amount of shedding is to brush your dog regularly. Every German Shepherd shed at different rates and in varying amounts as well. You need to figure out what brushing schedule works best for your dog.

Start by brushing your dog once a week and determine how much they shed after that. If you think there is too much fur everywhere, try brushing them twice a week. Keep doing this until you find out how often your German Shepherd needs to be brushed to keep things under control.

To maximize brushing efficiency, use the undercoat rake at least once a week. Be thorough about it and get rid of any loose fur that may have accumulated under the top layer.

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Infections May Hurt Your Dogs Coat As Well

Serious hair loss may be caused by a previous or ongoing infection. Infections can have a variety of sources. Some more common sources of infections and skin infestations include: Ringworm, Mites, Bacteria and Mange.

Different types of infections may cause different symptoms. For example, ringworm causes inflammation and infected crusts, while mites cause oily skin. Common symptoms across different infections include itching and inflammation, and all will also result in hair loss.You may also be able to gauge the type of infection by the hair loss itself. Ringworm causes circular hair loss, whereas mites cause general hair loss around the ears, eyes, and mouth.Your vet will be able to diagnose and treat infections. Have a list of the symptoms ready, in addition to a stool sample. Infections can be treated with medication and antibiotics.

Keep Them Clean Especially During Allergy Season And Winter

You can keep some allergies to grasses or other plants at bay by wiping your dogs paws when they return home.

You may also find wiping their bellies and legs with hypoallergenic wipes to help ease itching and scratching if theyre allergic to grass or pollen.

My German Shepherd itches and licks her paws a lot in spring because of grass and pollen allergies. So, Ive begun wiping her paws and stomach to help soothe her discomfort.

Use a brand that has ingredients to help with scratching and itching. You need a wipe with soothing ingredients found in them, such as Tropiclean Oxy Med Allergy Relief Wipes that give your dog clean skin to lessen irritations.

Wiping and washing help reduce allergens on your dogs body. You dont need a full bath to get rid of allergy-causing deposits, but you need to pay attention to their paws, belly, legs, and muzzle.

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Why Do So Many German Shepherds Develop Skin Issues

The more time you spend with your German Shepherd, the easier it is to pick up on subtle cues of them having a skin issue. When your four-legged companion starts biting at their fur, licking their limbs, or scratching a persistent itch, you might naturally assume a flea treatment, tick check, or bath will alleviate their discomfort. While thats a great place to start, you may not get the immediate results youre hoping for. Its possible that there is a skin condition causing all these symptoms. Said skin condition can also indicate other causes, such as a secondary infection. Many canine researchers believe German Shepherd skin issues are hereditary, meaning they have strong genetic components.1

Treating Environmental & Inhalant Allergies In Your German Shepherd

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Since it can be a bit tricky to find the exact cause of your German Shepherds environmental or inhalant allergy, your vet will often approach it from all angles.

If your vet has ruled out the presence of a flea allergy, they will likely try a few different approaches to cure your GSDs discomfort.

These options generally include:

  • The use of daily benadryl during times of the year that your dog experiences symptoms
  • Offering a prescription strength antihistamine for daily use
  • Offering a daily medication called Apoquel that help to relieve the symptoms of allergies in dogs
  • A monthly injection called cytopoint that helps to relieve the symptoms of allergies in dogs
  • Recommending a weekly bath with a shampoo that helps to soothe the skin and relieve itchiness

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How To Deal With German Shepherd Dry Itchy Skin

Did you know that German Shepherd Dogs visit their vets often because of skin problems? Excessive scratching, itching may lead to skin infections that may eventually deteriorate your GSDs health. Having knowledge on the basics of German Shepherd skin problems will help you treat and prevent them from happening.

Follow These Tips To Control Your German Shepherd Losing Hair Everywhere In Your House:

  • Groom and bathe them regularly and thoroughly
  • Use natural shed-reducing nutrients to help prevent excessive hair fall
  • Give your dog an optimum, balanced diet for skin and coat health
  • Keep hair shedding removal tools and sprays handy and use them often
  • Add in fish oil and hair loss supplements to their daily diet

If your dog sheds more than the normal or shows signs of illness, its time to see your vet as your dog may have undiagnosed health issues. Therere many medications that can help your dog regain its skin and coat health when needed.

Its impossible to stop a German Shepherd from shedding altogether.

But, by following these shedding tips you can reduce hair loss and keep both you and your dog happy and thats a German Shepherd shedding solution thatll put a smile on both your faces!

When all that fur flying has got you down, just remember

Why not get this funny magnet as a gentle reminder to yourself and your family?

Shed Happens!

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