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Skin Problems In German Shepherds

What To Do About Dull Coats And Skin Problems In German Shepherds

Why Is My German Shepherd Scratching So Much: Skin Issues That Plague GSDs

On a recent visit to my vet, I asked if there were something I could do to help, and the vet asked if I gave the dogs an Omega supplement. I explained that I gave the dogs a high-quality dog kibble that claimed to have a balance of nutrients, including Omega-3 fatty acids.

This is where I learned my first mistake.

My vet explained how dog food, even though it claims to contain Omega-3, rarely has any fatty acids that are biologically available to dogs. Biologically available? I had to have my vet expand on that one. Apparently, when dog food is processed, it is exposed to high heat. Omega fatty acids just so happen to be very sensitive to high heat. So by the time you pour Fido a bowl of kibble, the essential fatty acids are no longer in a state that is beneficial to your dog. In addition to dry, itchy skin and unhealthy coats, I was told that Omega-3 deficient diets also lead to:

  • Prolonged healing of wounds

  • Hot spots

  • Excessive itching

Fortunately, my vet offered a solution. She recommended that I start my dogs on an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Sounds easy? Not so much.

I also learned that all supplements are not created equal. The ingredients that are used to derive the fatty acids is key. I think most people know that salmon is high in Omega-3s, but did you know that its also high in toxins, such as lead and mercury?

What Does An Allergy Mean For German Shepherd

An allergy is when the bodys immune system responds inappropriately to a substance, causing a reaction to something which normally would not pose a threat to the body.

The substances which trigger an allergic reaction in dogs include things such as different types of food, insect bites, medications, or environmental triggers such as dust or pollen.

The allergic reaction to this substance can cause a wide range of symptoms which may affect different body systems including the skin, eyes, ears and digestive system.

How Is Hip Dysplasia Diagnosed

Though the signs listed above can point to hip dysplasia, the condition is usually diagnosed via hip x-rays in both young and adult dogs, says Sarah Kirkwood, DVM, of Kansas City Veterinary Care in Kansas City, Mo. Your veterinarian may also use their hands to examine the hip and check for looseness.

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Using German Shepherd Hip Pain Home Remedies

Using a natural German Shepherd hip pain home remedy is a smart choice to provide a more natural approach than typical prescription medications, or as a complement with your vets approval.

Home treatments are readily available and offer owners and dogs options that produce noticeable results.

A German Shepherds ability to get around is likely to diminish when he becomes a senior or impacted with hip dysplasia. But that doesnt mean his activity should stop or his life becomes less interesting for him.

With you by his side using these dog hip pain home remedies he can still get on the couch to keep you company. Of course, I cant stop him from requesting to watch Animal Planet again!

Congenital And Inherited Skin Disorders In Dogs

German Shepherd Skin Issues And Treatment Options

, DVM, DACVD, Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dogs can be born with or may inherit any of several different kinds of skin abnormalities. Most of these conditions are uncommon to rare. Some occur with greater frequency in particular breeds of dogs, as noted below. Some hereditary conditions are present at birth, whereas others can take months to appear.

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Common Health Problems For German Shepherds

We view German Shepherds as intelligent, loyal, and brave dogs who can take on even the toughest of tasks. As a breed that works with military and police personnel, its hard to imagine these dogs as anything but tough. But like all other dogs, German Shepherds have their fair share of health issues that slowly arise as they start to age. Lets look at some of the most common health problems associated with the German Shepherd breed.

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Cost Of Treatment For Dog Skin Conditions

The cost of treatment has a large range depending on the condition and severity. Initial consultations can cost a few hundred dollars, while dermatological treatments can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Because skin conditions in dogs are so common, it is best to be prepared with pet insurance to avoid paying steep bills out of pocket.

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How Can I Help Soothe My German Shepherds Sensitive Reactive Skin

Although your German Shepherd will try to resolve their discomfort on their own, their efforts often increase the risk of pain, inflammation, and infection. While youll find many over-the-counter treatments intended to help treat canine skin issues, theyre not all the same.

Vetericyn® is leading the at-home animal care market. Whether youre looking for a product to calm an itch, soothe irritation, or reduce the risk of infection, consider how the following Vetericyn® products could help your German Shepherd feel better fast.

Vetericyn Plus® Antimicrobial Hot Spot Spray

Licking, rubbing, biting, and scratching irritable hot spots can prevent healing. Delayed healing increases the risk of infection. Vetericyn Plus® Hot Spot Spray helps calm itchy, reactive skin. Since the product is made without alcohol, antibiotics, or steroids, you can use this spray as often as needed to keep your affected dogs hot spots and skin lesions in check.

Vetericyn Plus® Antimicrobial All Animal Wound and Skin Care

Vetericyn Plus® Antimicrobial Wound and Skin Care helps alleviate pain while cleansing, moisturizing, and reducing the risk of infection. The product is safe for all types of pets, and wont sting, burn, or stain. The advanced hypochlorous technology offers a powerful, non-toxic alternative to steroids and antibiotics and is completely non-toxic, even when ingested.

Vetericyn Foam Care® Medicated Pet Shampoo

Do Grains Cause Skin Allergies In German Shepherds

GSD Skin Condition Diagnosis by Dr Pam Wiltzius

Beef is more likely to cause allergies in your German Shepherd rather than grains.

No, grains dont generally cause skin allergies in German Shepherds. Grains are actually less common causes of allergies than animal products, despite the opposite being widely reported on the internet.

Corn is responsible for only about 4% of allergies.

However, wheat grains are reported as a food allergen in 13% of dogs.

Although grains are a less common cause of skin allergies its a good practice to check the dog food youre buying for any wheat ingredients to avoid this known allergen.

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Eliminating The Source Of The Allergy:

The ideal and often simplest way to treat an allergy is to remove the cause, for example by modifying the diet or using flea control products regularly. Insect allergies are probably the simplest to treat a good flea prevention strategy including treating the dog and household environment should be sufficient to keep these pests away from your pet.

Eliminating the trigger in food allergies can also be simple the hard work lies in the initial detective work to identify the source of the allergic response. There are many diets available for dogs with allergies. These may be marketed as hypoallergenic, meaning the proteins have been modified to reduce the allergic response or other diets are available which contain just a single source of protein and carbohydrate, such as turkey and potato.

Environmental sources of allergens can be much trickier to eliminate, even if the source can be identified. Veterinary tests may show that your German Shepherd is allergic to specific types of pollen, such as grass or flowers.

Even if you could limit direct contact to these allergens you may find it almost impossible to eliminate airborne particles. Consider modifying your exercise routes or areas to avoid allergen hotspots, and avoid walking your dog at times of day when the pollen count will be higher, such as early morning.

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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When Should You Call The Vet

Mild itching every now and then usually isnât a sign of serious health conditions, but if your dog starts to develop other symptoms, frequent or persistent itching or licking, difficulty getting comfortable or restlessness from itching, loss of appetite, or depressed mood talk to your vet ASAP. Itâs important to treat the underlying cause of its severe, chronic itchiness to avoid developing more open wounds and infections in the skin. Depending on the cause, your vet will treat as appropriate.

If your dogâs itchiness is occasional or mild, however, there are plenty of totally safe, all-natural ways to treat occasional or mild itching at home. In fact, you probably already have most of the remedies in your pantry! Read on for seven simple remedies that can give your itchy pooch some real relief.

Consult your vet before starting any skincare regimen for your dog, and stop the treatment if your dogâs symptoms remain the same or worsen.

Canine Pyoderma: A Severe Skin Infection In German Shepherd Dogs

I have a German shepherd with skin problems. I live in Florida, and it ...

As Veterinary Practice describes, canine pyoderma is one such severe skin itching issue that wont resolve without veterinary intervention and treatment.

Pyoderma is caused by bacteria. Veterinary researchers do not fully understand how it gets started and why some dogs are more affected than others.

Dog breeds with underlying sensitivities to food, environment, allergens such as pollen, and pests are more likely to get pyoderma, which includes the German Shepherd dog.

Canine researchers believe there may be an underlying immune system issue that causes GSDs to be more prone to pyoderma and it may also be inherited.

Pyoderma is hard to treat and may recur many times. Usually, a combination treatment approach is required.

Once your German Shepherd is diagnosed with pyoderma, you may need to administer antibiotics, apply special medicated shampoos, change your dogs food, apply topical treatments and have your dog tested for underlying thyroid or immune issues.

The warning signs of pyoderma often begin with intense sessions of scratching and itching.

Over time, this leads to skin lesions and this is when opportunistic fungi, bacteria, pests, or parasites move in and colonize the skin.

Pyoderma may be re-triggered by one or all of these issues, all of which can be present in a single dog at one time with more severe cases.

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How Often Should I Bathe My German Shepherd

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.

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Your German Shepherd Dogs Health

We know that because you care so much about your dog, you want to take good care of her. That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the life of your Shepherd. By knowing about health concerns specific to German Shepherd Dogs, we can tailor a preventive health plan to watch for and hopefully prevent some predictable risks.

Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pets breed. There is a general consensus among canine genetic researchers and veterinary practitioners that the conditions weve described herein have a significant rate of incidence and/or impact in this breed. That does not mean your dog will have these problems it just means that she is more at risk than other dogs. We will describe the most common issues seen in German Shepherd Dogs to give you an idea of what may come up in her future. Of course, we cant cover every possibility here, so always check with us if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms.

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Bone And Joint Problems

A number of different musculoskeletal problems have been reported in German Shepherd Dogs. While it may seem overwhelming, each condition can be diagnosed and treated to prevent undue pain and suffering. With diligent observation at home and knowledge about the diseases that may affect your friends bones, joints, or muscles you will be able to take great care of him throughout his life.

Intervertebral disc disease is a common condition in Shepherds. The disease is caused when the jelly-like cushion between one or more vertebrae slips or ruptures, causing the disc to press on the spinal cord. If your dog is suddenly unable or unwilling to jump up, go up stairs, is reluctant to move around, has a hunched back, cries out, or refuses to eat or go potty, he is likely in severe pain. He may even drag his back feet or be suddenly paralyzed and unable to get up or use his back legs. If you see symptoms, dont wait. Call us or an emergency clinic immediately! For less severe cases, rest and medication may resolve the problem. In many cases involving paralysis, well recommend surgical removal of the ruptured discs . As with so many other diseases, weight control helps to prevent this problem. You should also use ramps or steps from puppyhood on so that your dog doesnt spend a lifetime stressing his back by jumping on and off of the furniture.

Measurements Of Serum Iga

German Shepherd Skin Disease Treatment: Demonstration

We measured serum IgA concentrations with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using polyclonal goat anti-dog IgA antibodies , polyclonal mouse anti-dog IgA antibodies and polyclonal, AP-conjugated goat anti-mouse IgG . All antibodies were diluted 12,000 in PBS and the serum samples were diluted 125,000 150,000 and 1100,000 in PBS. All samples were measured at least twice. The coefficient of variation was calculated. Samples with a CV value 15% were measured again. Before the average concentration was calculated, potentially outlying concentrations were excluded. With a maximal variation of 15% the reproducibility of our measurements are in the lower range of ELISA measurements which can be as high as 25%.

Dogs with serum IgA levels 0.10 g/l were considered to be IgA-deficient and thus not deemed appropriate controls for CAD. All the dogs were sampled at the age of more than one year except for one individual that was 11 months and 13 days at the time of sampling.

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German Shepherd Dermatitis On The Back

It is commonly accepted that pruritic dermatitis on back is due to flea allergy. And there being no trace of this matters little as this objection is answered by defining that one flea is enough and that it can hide anywhere, escaping even the most meticulous searches. Not even the lack of their feces, small black balls that are located on the skin at the base of the fur and which systematically accompany the presence of this annoying parasite, leads to at least the suspicion that something is not quite right. Furthermore, modern pesticides have the power of an atomic bomb on a city, they exterminate everything leaving no escape, and this should lead us to asking further questions. What, then, is the truth?

The Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies With Skin Allergies

German Shepherd puppies can also experience the discomfort of skin allergies.

If you own a German Shepherd puppy youll want to feed a dry kibble dog food that is specially formulated for sensitive skin and stomach, has limited ingredients, or is created for gentle digestion. Its a better practice to provide a large breed puppy with a nutritionally complete sensitive kibble for them to avoid any imbalances during their crucial growing time.

Dry kibble is the easiest to feed your puppy due to convenience, price, and the polishing effects on your puppys teeth for dental health. But, if your puppy prefers, you can moisten their food with warm water to soften the dry kibble into a mush to make the texture more enticing.

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German Shepherd Pituitary Dwarfism

  • Links
  • SkinProblemsWhat is seborrhea?What causes the seborrhea in dwarf dogs?TreatmentAtopicaPrednisoloneStaphylococcus pseudintermedius,Apoquel

    Malaseb ShampooMalaseb shampoo is an antibacterial and antifungal shampoo for dogs, for the treatment and control of seborrhoeic dermatitis associated with Malassezia pachydermatis and Staphylococcus intermedius. This is a prescription only shampoo and is currently being tried on Harley a female dwarf.

    Keep Their Nails Trimmed

    German Shepherd Skin Problems &  Ear Disorders

    Many owners dont know this, but your dog walks on their toes or digits, called digitigrade walking. This means they need to feel the surface beneath their toes in order to provide feedback for their balance and prevent falls.

    Keeping your dogs nails trimmed isnt only healthy paw care, but it allows them to maintain their natural gait and smooth walking, which assists in their balance.

    Ignoring your dogs foot health, especially when they have hip problems, can create a multitude of additional health and joint pain down the road. When their nails are too long, they may change their gait which can cause skeletal changes and aggravate arthritis in their feet and toes .

    Dont let overgrown nails cause your dog pain!

    You can trim their nails at home or ask your vets off to trim their nails. This is usually a small price and sometimes free with a regular visit.

    And many dog groomers offer mobile services that cater specifically to older dogs or dogs with special care needs. Its not as expensive as you think and its free to call and ask the groomer for a quote.

    Trust me, its better than keeping your dog in pain with overgrown nails.

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