Introduction On German Shepherd Skin
German Shepherds have double coats. Their outer coat tend to be thick and straight while their inner coat can be wiry and soft. Originally, they were bred as working dogs that can withstand harsh weather. Thus, having double coat. But having double coat is the reason why they are considered as great shedders. And as shedders, GSDs tend to have more sensitive skin than other dog breeds.
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.
Common Causes Of Canine Skin Disease
Flea allergy dermatitis, environmental and food allergies are the leading causes of to dog skin lesions and rashes. Even if you don’t find any fleas on your dog, they are skilled at hiding, with even a few able to cause a problem in allergic dogs. Symptoms are usually in the form of raised red bumps known as hives. They are itchy and will cause your dog to scratch. Excessive scratching may break the skin, leading to infection.
If no infection occurs, hives will usually go away on their own once exposure to the allergen is removed. If infection develops, however, medical treatment will be needed. See your vet if your dog has sores that dont go away in a few days, or sores that ooze anything yellowish in color. He may need antibiotics.
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Switch To Natural Cleaning And Hypoallergenic Products
Some store-bought cleaning products can cause itchiness in your GSD, especially if youre cleaning their bedding and blankets with these products. The chemicals can even cause allergies to become worse in German Shepherds or they can develop breathing problems when you use too many chemicals products around them.
Theres plenty of natural cleaning products on the market now that will lessen the chance of allergies in your GSD.
Switch to hypoallergenic and fragrance-free laundry detergent to clean your dogs bedding and towels. Dont use chemically laden cleaning products around them and wait for surfaces to fully dry before letting your dog walk or lie on the surface.
Switch to a more natural cleaning option when possible. Just because you dont experience any allergies or itching from using these products doesnt mean your dog wont. Youd be surprised all the allergens in common household and cleaning ingredients that can trigger your dogs scratching!
Use the following helpful information to understand why your GSD may have allergies and what contributes to allergies and scratching.
Why Is My Pet Scratching
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:
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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 s 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.
Pitbull Shedding: How Much Do Pitbull Terriers Shed
Like most single-coated dogs, Pit Bulls will shed a little bit throughout the year with their two biggest sheds coming as they put on their winter coat at the end of the fall and when they shed their winter coat during the blossoming of spring.
10 other answers
Why is my pitbull scratching so much? Asked By: Sam Ritchie. Date created: Sat, Feb 13, 2021 1:09 PM. Best answers. When dog scratching gets out of hand, it is often the result of allergies to food or environmental triggers, including mold and pollen. Dogs may also develop a skin irritation called contact dermatitis when they encounter substances like pesticides or soap. Boredom or anxiety. Answered By: Delphia Ullrich. Date created: Sun, Feb 14, 2021 3:12 PM. FAQ. How much a month does …
Whatever may be the reason, allergies cause the Pit Bull to scratch a lot. It leads to the point where they end up scratching so much that it removes their skin, which causes infection and in turn leads to serious complications. If your Pit Bull has a skin allergy then its skin will feel dry, scratchy, and itchy.
Pitbulls often have skin problems. There can be many possible causes. From what you have described she may have a skin infection that needs a longer course of antibiotics. Sometimes if we do a course of antibiotics that is not long enough then the infection comes back again.
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Learn About German Shepherd Scratching From A Canine Veterinarian
In this YouTube video, you can watch a canine veterinarian examining a German Shepherd dog patient who is struggling with ongoing itching and scratching issues.
As you will notice, the veterinarian takes a look at the dogs skin and paws and talks with the owner about possible issues with pests, fleas, saliva allergies, seasonal allergies, and also signs of other skin issues like mange.
If you have tried to identify what might be causing your dogs itching and scratching and you cant see any visible triggers, it is definitely time to call in the pros to help diagnose your dogs issues and get the right treatment.
Have The Seasons Recently Changed
YES If the dog is middle-aged, then not likely a seasonal allergy. Seasonal allergies begin to show up after 6 months to 1 year of age.
YES If the dog is 6 months to 1 year old, then his itching is likely due to a seasonal allergy.
NO A seasonal allergy is probably not the concern here. They will show up the vast majority of the time when spring has just arrived. The exception here are dust mites.
If you suspect that dust mites are the culprits, then talk with your veterinarian, as you will not be able to see them. Dust mites are only visible under a microscope, and even then they still look very small.
If youre not dealing with dust mites, then you are most likely dealing with a pollen allergy. Pollen gathers on a dogs skin, ears and paws. This often causes excessive paw licking, recurring ear infections, hair loss and redness in the groin area.
You will also notice seasonal allergies recurring each year, and worsening as the years pass.
The next step at this point is to perform an overall examination of your dogs skin to see if he is allergic to something else in the environment most likely pollen.
You will need to check your dog and look for signs of skin irritation.
To do this, use your fingers and thoroughly go over the entirety of the hair on your GSDs body. Not a small task, but a necessary one. Feel your dogs hair. Evaluate whether it is very dry and brittle, or if there is excess dander present.
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Allergy In German Shepherd
For instance, your canine might need to get into the trash can and eaten an old piece of chicken from the final nights dinner that made their abdomen sick.
The limited however nutritious elements embody LifeSource Bits which are an exact blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Its additionally enhanced with minerals and vitamins that help present a complete and balanced food regimen for your German Shepherd.
One in seven canines suffers from one sort of allergy or the opposite has common allergic reactions. As in humans, allergic reactions in canines occur when the immune system is uncovered to an everyday substance similar to sure pollen or food.
When talking about animal allergy symptoms, their fur isnt actually the wrongdoer, its the pet dander or microscopic bits of skin that will get loose, that cause the problems.
Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Ears
There are different causes of itch in dog ears. These include both medical and non-medical causes. Individual dogs have different reactions to different triggers and therefore something that leads to one dog scratching ears may not have the same effect on another. Some of the common causes are as discussed below.
Allergic Reactions Resulting in Dog Constantly Scratching the Ears
Where a dog is having allergic reactions to something, his ear flaps may become inflamed. This form of scratching may result from allergens that have been inhaled or absorbed leading to the dogs immune system fighting the same.
As a result, there is excess wax production plus other secretions. This brings about a favorable environment for the growth of bacteria and yeast. With the presence of these organisms, there is greater inflammation leading to an ongoing cycle of itchy ears until the allergens are eliminated or the reaction suppressed.
Yeast and Bacterial Infections Causing Dog Itchy Ears
Like mentioned above, yeast infections can be a secondary effect of allergic reactions. This though is not always the case and at times there are just the right environmental conditions for them to thrive even where there no allergens are present.
Just like with yeast infections, bacterial infections are mostly secondary effects of allergic reactions. They, however, can occur independently. These infections are known to be notoriously itchy.
Excessive Dog Scratching Ears from Ear Mites
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References For Skin Disease In Dogs
Swaim SF, Henderson RA Small Animal Wound Management Lea and Febiger, Philadelpha, pp 52-86
Skin and coat care of the atopic dog. Laura Navarro Combalia. Departamento de Patologia Animal. Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad de Zaragoza. Clinica Veterinaria August. Zaragoza. October 2012.
Food Allergy Dermatitis S. Colombini Osborn Southwest Veterinary Dermatology, 2006
Washington State University
Carmichael, L. Recent Advances In Canine Infectious Diseases
Management Challenges in Canine PyodermaPeter J. Ihrke, VMD, Diplomate ACVD
Treatment of Canine Generalized Demodicosis R.S. Mueller, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximillians-University, Munich, Germany
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, David Scott, D. W., Miller, W. H., Griffin, C. E.Muller and Kirks Small Animal Dermatology
Canine and Feline DemodicosisDidler-Noel Carlotti Dr. vet DIP ECVDEysines , France EU
Sarcoptes, Demodex and Otodectes: Treatment Options, R.S. Mueller, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lugwig-Maximillans-University, Munich, German
Dermatophytosis: Still Underdiagnosed & Overdiagnosed. Dr. Peter J. Ihrke
Viral Diseases of the Dog, Remo Lobetti, PHD, Internal medicine Braystron Veterinary Hospital
A Standard of Care, Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Peter F. Ihrke, VMD, Diplomate ACVD, Professor of Dermatology, School fo Veterinary Medicine, University of California.
What Causes Hot Spots On Dogs
Hot spots on dogs are normally caused by chewing, licking, and scratching of an affected area. This trauma to the dogs skin then causes inflammation and even secondary infections. This then creates a perpetual cycle of itching and scratching since the bacterial infection is another irritant. Due to this, any condition that results in your dog itching can lead to hot spots. Some of the most common conditions include:
Anal sac disease
Anxiety, stress or boredom resulting in excessive licking
Many of these conditions are chronic problems that require proper management, otherwise they may lead to recurring hot spots. Speak to your veterinarian about any underlying issue that may be causing hot spots so you can find the best treatment.
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How To Get Your German Shepherd To Stop Itching Itself
Below, I will show you a number of things that you can do about your German Shepherd itching itself a lot.
Take it to a vet
Often, a dog biting itself will be something that a vet will be able to deal with since a dog itching itself often has an underlying medical cause such as a rash.
If you are unsure of why your German Shepherd has been itching itself or you think that it might have a medical cause then the best option for you would be to take it to a vet.
Give it exercise
If the vet has verified that there is no medical issue then it would help to make sure that your German Shepherd is getting enough exercise.
You can do this by walking it for an hour per day, teaching it to play fetch or by getting a dog walker to exercise it for you.
Avoid negative reinforcement
Negative reinforcement training is where you give your German Shepherd what it wants in order to get it to stop misbehaving. The problem with this is that it will teach your German Shepherd that misbehaving will get it what it wants so it does it more.
If your method of getting your German Shepherd to stop itching itself is to give it things such as treats, toys or attention then it could be causing it to do it more.
Instead, you could try rewarding your German Shepherd when it does not itch itself. When it does itch itself you could try avoiding giving it what it wants if it seems to be doing it to get something from you. You could also try spraying it with a bitter spray to prevent it from wanting to do it.
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.
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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.
But Doesnt Scratching Mean Your German Shepherd Has Fleas
Greencross Vets explains that a flea infestation is only one possible reason why your German Shepherd might be scratching.
It is true that fleas can irritate the skin to the point where other opportunistic bacteria, fungi, or parasites can get in and cause further irritation and itching.
But often a dog that is itching doesnt have fleas at all. The itching is caused by something completely different.
However, if your dog does have even a minor issue with fleas and has an allergy to the bugs, this can cause more intense itching. When this happens, it is called flea allergy dermatitis.
Flea allergy dermatitis is a specific type of allergy to flea bites. While getting bitten by fleas will cause itching for any pet , in affected dogs the itching becomes severe and is often concentrated around the tail area.
For dogs with severe flea allergy dermatitis, all it can take is a single flea bite to set off the itching.
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