German Shepherd Itching Constantly
None of us want to see our German Shepherd itching like crazy and constantly in discomfort.
Or, worsein pain from their own skin!
But there are solutions for German Shepherd allergies and dry skin that you can use right now to help your dog from itching like crazy.
Ill show you the exact things I do to help keep my German Shepherd from scratching and itching her dry skin that gives her quick relief. And you can do them right now, too!
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.
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
Routine Care Diet And Exercise
Build her routine care into your schedule to help your GSD live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine.
- Supervise your pet as you would a toddler. Keep doors closed, pick up after yourself, and block off rooms as necessary. This will keep her out of trouble and away from objects she shouldnt put in her mouth.
- She needs a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year she blows her coat and loses crazy amounts of hair daily brushing is recommended during this time.
- German Shepherd Dogs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!
- Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Dont worrywell show you how!
- She has a high prey drive, so she needs to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must.
- Shes a large smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or shell get bored. Thats when the naughty stuff starts.
- Naturally a bit wary, shes distrustful of strangers bond her to children early to trigger protective behaviors.
- Keep your dogs diet consistent and dont give her people food.
- Feed a high-quality diet appropriate for her age.
- Exercise your dog regularly, but dont overdo it at first.
Diagnosis Of Skin Rash In Dogs
The veterinarian will want to go over your companions medical history. He will want to know when the skin rash started and if you have noticed any other symptoms. The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination and may recommend a complete blood count . A complete blood count can help determine if the dog has a bacterial infection or if he is anemic. A skin scrape or biopsy may be taken to be analyzed under a microscope. This can indicate the presence of parasites or secondary infections, such as a yeast overgrowth.
Managing Skin Problems With German Shepherds
Fatty acids, zinc and antioxidants may reduce the symptoms. Its a main reason we added them to our Skin & Coat Supplement. Avoid taking your German Shepherd to early morning or late afternoon walks if youre dealing with a pollen allergy. You may also regularly vacuum or wash the dog in hot water to remove the allergens. Keep them away from either the laundry or the basement, or other areas in the house where its humid.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Canine Atopic Dermititis
Symptoms normally present themselves between six months and three years of age.
The glands that produce wax in the ear tend to produce more than necessary in an attempt to counter the allergy. This can cause bacterial and yeast infections inside the dogs ear flaps which may turn red and get hot.
Similar to eczema in humans, it will usually appear in the form of dark brown or red areas that itch. The symptoms can progress if the dog chews, licks or scratches the afflicted area. You may catch your dog rubbing up against furniture in the house to relieve the itchiness or pain. Also keep an eye out for any places on their fur that look matted down or wet.
This is the most common and obvious sign of CAD. It normally happens in areas such as the head, legs and stomach. It can present itself in various ways, including biting, licking or scratching. The most frequent sign is the dog licking its paws. While this is common in felines, dogs do not practice this to stay clean. They may also rub their face on the carpet to scratch the irritated area.
Loss of hair or patches of hair missing is a good indicator of CAD. Extreme itching can lead to excessive scratching. This can lead to abrasions or wounds on the dogs skin.
Signs Of Flea Allergies In Your German Shepherd
Flea allergies in our furry friends tend to have a few common symptoms.
Though every Shepherd is different, the most common flea allergy symptoms in German Shepherds include:
- Constant itching and biting at the skin
- Hair loss, usually around their back end
- Seeming frustrated and suddenly biting at a certain area
- Skin irritation and redness
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German Shepherd Skin Allergies
German shepherds are susceptible to skin allergies due to their thick coats. They can develop skin allergies at any age in their lives, but they are more likely to do so from 1 to 5 years old.
Environmental factors like dust, mites, fleas, etc., play a major role in skin allergies of German shepherds. These allergies are triggered by allergens that are commonly present in the environment or food.
Genetic mutations are also a factor causing skin allergies. Canine atopic dermatitis is the most reported skin allergy among German shepherds. Some other skin allergies are also observed such as:
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
How To Treat Dog Food Allergies
If you suspect your German Shepherd has a food allergy, first try strictly implementing the diet prescribed by your veterinarian. Dog food allergies can also be caused by preservatives and artificial ingredients in foods, so look for natural products without these additives whenever possible. Then, eliminate the common food allergens from your dogs diet for 6 weeks. Then, if their symptoms begin to go away, you can add one food type back in at a time and see if they have an allergic reaction to any of them.
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Bathe With A Medicated Shampoo
A medicated shampoo will help relieve your dogs itching and soothe their skin almost immediately after application. Medicated shampoos are routinely recommended for German Shepherds with allergies, especially because theyre so inexpensive and easy to apply.
Look for a shampoo that contains coal tar which moisturizes and calms the red, irritated skin.
Regularly wash your GSD with Sulfodene Medicated shampoo and conditioner as this helps your GSD so they dont itch or scratch themselves constantly.
Its not a 100% German Shepherd itchy skin cure, but in combination with the other tips listed this shampoo can help relieve German Shepherd allergies and wont break your bank.
Over bathing can cause more irritation by stripping the skin of natural oils and removing the protective layer. This can increase itching and scratching. Only bathe your dog with the medicated shampoo as needed to control their symptoms.
Dont use a people shampoo since these lack the proper pH for your dogs skin and may increase dryness and skin flakiness. And always rinse twice to ensure theres no shampoo residue left behind, which will cause your dog to itch constantly.
Signs Of Contact Allergies In Your German Shepherd
Contact allergies in German Shepherds bring with them a host of uncomfortable symptoms.
Though each allergy will vary based on the allergen in question, the most common contact allergy symptoms in German Shepherds include:
- Localized skin irritation or redness
- Appearance of burns or severe irritation in one area
- Intense itching or irritation
- Biting or chewing at the skin
- Hot spot in the affected area
- Localized hair loss
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Bathing Your German Shepherd With A Coconut Oil Treatment
A coconut oil treatment leaves your dogs skin velvety smooth and helps create a healthier skin protective layer.
These treatments also improve the health of your dogs nails and paw pads.
- Apply coconut oil straight to the skin. Let the oil absorb for about five minutes. Massage the oil into dry areas prone to itching.
- With your double-coated GSD, its difficult to get down into the skin through the thickness of the furinvest in a Zoom Groom tool for better results and ease of use. The Zoom Groom brush is soft and gentle.
- After five minutes of massage and letting the oil sit, apply this moisturizing coconut-based shampoo and work the shampoo in with the Zoom Groom massaging brush. This removes dead hair and loosens dry, flaky skin.
- Finish with a thorough rinse to remove all traces of the shampoo and coconut oil. Any shampoo left on the skin leaves your dogs skin more irritated if not rinsed completely.
- Over washing your German Shepherd can lead to more skin dryness and irritation, so dont bathe them more than once a month.
Maybe you want to use coconut oil, but dont want to provide a full spa experience for your dog. If youd rather avoid bathing your dog, follow the easier recommendations below.
Diagnosis Of Allergies In German Shepherds
If you suspect that your German Shepherd may have an allergy you must seek veterinary advice promptly. The severity of symptoms of an K9 allergic response may only be mild at first but they can become more severe over time. The symptoms displayed during an allergic response can also be very uncomfortable for your German Shepherd and may lead to long term problems such as weight loss, hair thinning or skin thickening.
Your veterinarian may advise diagnostic tests such as blood tests, saliva tests or skin allergen testing. They may also recommend elimination trials, particularly when a food allergy is suspected.
Elimination trials involve feeding your German Shepherd a single type of food for 8 to 12 weeks, such as a hypoallergenic dog food like Jiminys Good Grub or Cricket Crave.
If your dogs symptoms resolve after this time then you may wish to continue feeding just this diet, or you could start to reintroduce different food types to identify which one triggers an allergic response.
Sometimes it can be very difficult or even impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of the allergic response, even with extensive testing in these cases the allergic response will need to be treated symptomatically.
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Avoid Giving Table Scraps
You should also avoid giving your shepherd table scraps because dogs cant process some substances in human food.
Allergy symptoms can be reduced by fatty acids if the allergen has nothing to do with food.
Steroids, antihistamines, and some other medications can also help.
They usually come with some side effects that can include drowsiness.
What Is Food Intolerance
Many people confuse food allergy with food intolerance and they are not the same. We have learned that an allergy, for example to a certain food, is a response of the bodys immune system to defend itself against a threat. For example, a milk allergy is caused by an allergic reaction to the protein in milk.
In contrast, food intolerance or food sensitivity encompasses a large category of adverse food reactions that do not affect the immune system and can affect the digestive system. The food may have too much or too little fiber, too much fat, or have other ingredients that do not match the dog but are not due to an allergy.
If your German Shepherd is experiencing a food intolerance he will not be able to digest or absorb a particular food. Adverse reactions to a particular diet or food are often due to unknown causes, but may be related to a particular ingredient or food additive.
A classic example of food intolerance in German Shepherds is lactose intolerance . This is when they have insufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase that is needed to break down the sugar found in milk and dairy foods. This can lead to a number of stomach problems, including excessive gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
There are other types of adverse food reactions that can occur in your dog. Among them is food poisoning, for example by eating toxic foods such as chocolate or grapes . A reaction to the toxic effects of a bacterial disease, for example Salmonella, is also possible.
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German Shepherd Allergies Treatment
Before getting to German shepherd allergy treatment, lets look into certain things.
Caring for allergies involves many steps. Decreased exposure to irritants, administering drugs if necessary, and getting rid of the allergen if possible. But any possible treatment requires the mandatory first step of recognizing the allergen.
So, what are the potential substances that your German shepherd could be showing allergic reactions to? Before tackling this question, an even more basic understanding of allergies is required. To successfully identify an allergen, distinguishing an allergy from another disease is important too.
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.
Final Thoughts: German Shepherd Allergies
German Shepherds arent more prone to allergies than other breeds. However, any dog can develop them, including your German Shepherd.
If your dog develops an allergy, medication may be an option. This is usually the case with environmental allergies that are difficult to avoid, like pollen. Your dog cant exactly avoid pollen, so many dogs need to be put on allergy medication.
However, the easiest way to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergen altogether! This can be easy to do for dog food once you know what your dogs allergen is. Fleas and dust mites can be a bit more difficult to avoid, though.
Featured Image Credit: Callipso, Shutterstock
Common Allergens For German Shepherds
- Shampoos and other cleaning products
Allergies are a hypersensitive and damaging response of the immune system to external allergens, such as pollen and food. Its the same for humans and dogs. However, with dogs the signs and symptoms may go unnoticed because our furry friends cant tell us whats wrong. So as the leader of the pack, we need to be hyperaware of what to look out for.
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Common German Shepherd Allergies
If your German Shepherd is excessively biting, chewing, and scratching, these are signs of allergies. You and your dog are not suffering alone because allergy concerns are one of the most booked appointments with veterinarians.
German Shepherds are among the most popular breeds, but their prestige doesnt exclude them from developing allergic reactions to food and things in their environment.
Unlike humans, who sometimes outgrow allergies, dogs develop allergies as they age, rarely improving without intervention or treatment.
Skin Problems In German Shepherds And What You Can Use To Help Relieve Them
Inflamed SkinBacterial InfectionsFungal/YeastRingwormDermatitisSeborrheaCanine AcneFolliculitisDemodectic MangeItchy, Dry Skin
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Over The Past 2 Decades We Have Seen Huge Rises In The Number Of Gsd’s With Skin Problems And Allergies Which Are Both Distressing For Your Pet And Costly For You The Owner The Aim Of This Information Is To Help You Lessen The Likelihood Of These Problems In Your Dog And Help You Choose Safe Natural Remedies That Won’t Further Compromise Your Pet’s Health
OK, first a bit of science – there are some pedigree breeds that are predisposed to low serum concentrations of IgA, one of those breeds is the German Shepherd. This important immunoglobulin is responsible for protecting the lining of mucosal sites from pathogens. Low concentrations of IgA are associated with canine atopic dermatitis and pancreatic acinar atrophy. This is why we are seeing an ever increasing number of itchy dogs and more suffering from pancreatic insufficiency. Scientific Evidence of IgA Deficieny in German Shepherds.
Preventative Methods and Natural Remedies
DON’T VACCINATE – THE MOST IMPORTANT PREVENTATIVE MEASURE.
We have already published large amounts of evidence against vaccines, especially the yearly vaccine scam here – Campaign to Expose the Dangers of Vaccines
Chris Day from Alternative Vet also states -‘we see increased incidence of possibly vaccine-related illness in certain breeds but this may be a reflection of their poor innate immune stability and robustness.’
Even giving just the puppy vaccines is not safe as this is when your dog’s immune system is immature and at its most vulnerable. Don’t, however, leave your puppy/dog totally unprotected – use NOSODES. We recommend the 6 in 1 which includes kennel cough.
Important foods to add to your dog’s diet are cooling food such as celery.
Left to their own devices, dogs would scavenge and eat a wide variety of foodstuffs including fruit and vegetation. Unlike cats, they are not obligate carnivores