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Ask Dr. Todd Lawmaster Your Own Question
Dr. Todd Lawmaster
Dr. Todd Lawmaster, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 60
Experience:  DVM - Small Animal Internal Medicine & Surgery; Certified - Ultrasound
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my dog has a rash on his underbelly around his ...

Customer Question

my dog has a rash on his underbelly around his genitals and up tward his chest and legs but no where else my vet said it's a food allergy but we've tried lots of different foods and they also said it was a bacterial infection .. his brother from a different litter is allergic to grass and i'm sick of watching him chew at himself until he's raw and i'm tired of trying to get him to stop he's a very picky eater i don't want to keep putting him through the changes of food help me!!!!!!
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Todd Lawmaster replied 9 years ago.

How long has this been going on for? How old is your dog? What breed?

Dr. Lawmaster
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Todd Lawmaster's Post: since he was little, we were feeding him nutro lamb and rice, now were feeding him royal canin german shepherd , he's a german shepherd , he's 1 year and a1/2, they gave him antibiotics it went away this summer and came right back, he did have fleas when he was little though but we have them under control now
Expert:  Dr. Todd Lawmaster replied 9 years ago.

Well it does sound like your GSD (German shepherd dog) has an active allergy condition. The challenging thing about allergies is that their are almost always a myriad of things that can trigger an allergic reaction in your dog. Common allergens include:

1) Grass, trees, an other things in the environment. These allergens usually result in an allergic condition known as atopy. There are two ways to help definitively diagnose what your dog is allergic to.
a) Intradermal Skin Test - usually done by a veterinary dermatologist.
b) Allergy Blood Test (Serology) - next best test to the skin test and it can usually be done by your local veterinarian.
In either case, once you identify the allergens, a dermatology lab can make an "allergy" vaccine that your give to your dog to help desensitize them to the allergens, therefore reducing the frequency and severity of the allergic outbreaks. The allergy vaccine works approximately 80-85% of the time, with 5% of these dogs being totally cured of their allergies.

2) Food - Certain food items (ie proteins, carbohydrates) can trigger an allergic reaction. Usually, but not always, this type of allergy manifests with GI signs (ie diarrhea, vomiting) as well as skin issues. Strict food trials are the best for this component. The trick is to find a "novel" (new) protein and carb that your dog's GI tract has not been exposed to before (ie fish, rabbit, duck, and even kangaroo)and stick with the diet for at least 6-8 weeks with NO OTHER sources of food, including treats. This is the hard thing for some people because they can't resist to give their dog a treat or give up the food trial after only a few weeks.

3) Staph Bacteria and Yeast In the Skin - It is common for some dogs (and cats) to actually be allergic to the bacteria (Staphylococcus) and yeast that is normally found in their skin. This can be diagnosed with a skin test usually and be managed with antibiotics and antifungals.

Other helpful things include:

1) Daily omega fatty acid supplement (ie Derm Caps) - works synergistically antihistamines to reduce inflammation.
2) Flea control - Since flea saliva is a common allergen to dogs, it is important to use a high quality topical flea product. My favorites are Advantage and Frontline Plus. You can go to for the best prices I have found. You can save 40 to 70%.

I hope this answers your question. If not I am available for follow up questions.

Good Luck.

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