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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26150
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Our 8 week old German Shepherd female Is shaking her head,

Customer Question

Our 8 week old German Shepherd female Is shaking her head, biting her back paws, scooting, has diarrhea, vomiting, goes from sound asleep to running around scrathing and shaking her head in no time and is running into things. We had her fecal test come back normal 2 days ago and the vet said she's great. Not great today. Any ideas? Please help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. Her behavior is pathognomonic (particularly indicative) of both atopy - allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc. - and food intolerance. When paws are being licked and bitten it behooves her vet to differentiate between the two hypersensitivity reactions. Atopy is usually initially addressed with a corticosteroid such as prednisone or the new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel).
Food intolerance - which should be an important differential because you're also seeing symptoms of gastrointestinal distress - is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that her immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin