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Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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My 3 year old GSD has had a skin rash on and off for 18

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my 3 year old GSD has had a skin rash on and off for 18 months It started after we had flooding in our yard in the spring/summer of 2015. We have taken him to the vet where they did a skin test and put him on a steroid but never solved the issue. This year he has scratched it so badly that the underside of his neck has no hair and looks like a baby with cradle cap. When I bathed him last week I worked all of the cradle cap off like I would when my kids were babies and after the bath I applied coconut oil hoping to keep it soft but he has it back again. Any suggestions? We have taken all of the dogs off of food with grain in them.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 months ago.

Hi Jeanine,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

While grains are one possible cause for allergic reactions. Beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish are common causes of allergies in dogs. Most owners put dogs on adult food at about 1 year of age, so that would be about the right timing for a food allergy. You might compare the puppy food your dog was on with the adult food you switched him to and the current food and look for common ingredients. Usually when you switch foods, you go to a limited ingredient food such as venison and potato and one the dog has not been on before. Even after the switch, any skin dermatitis present needs to be cleared as well.

Staph dermatitis and yeast dermatitis are skin conditions generally seen with allergies. Staph usually occurs on the lower regions of your pet and tends to have small pimple type bumps. Shampoo containing Chlorhexiderm and/or Oatmeal can help with this condition. Yeast typically shows as a greasy area that has a sweet musty odor. Sometimes the skin can become inflamed, darker and thickened due to itching. Yeast likes areas such as between toes, armpits and ears. Selsun Blue Shampoo can help with Yeast dermatitis. When shampooing, lather and leave on 15 minutes before rinsing. These shampoos are not meant to be a cure, just a relief until your pet can see a Vet. Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours for itching due to allergies.

Seborrhea is also seen with allergies and you can read about this here:

You can read about allergies here:

Here is a site that goes over itching in dogs.

You might supplement your dog's diet with Omega n3 fatty acids. You can do this using fish oil capsules giving 180mg per 10 pounds of weight. This might help if dry skin is also an issue.

He is fairly young so you might want to consider allergy testing since it can also be an environmental allergen such as a grass, cleaning supply or even laundry detergent. At least then you would know for sure what your dog needs to avoid to solve his skin issues. I am assuming the vet did a skin scraping to rule out mange.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** have the dogs on fish oil for about 6 months and nothing changed. I will try it again and look at the foods he is eating. I will also get Selsun Blue shampoo and try that. He has a yeasty smell so I have tried to avoid any shampoo with oatmeal in it. I will let you know how this works out for us. If he doesn't get relief, we will look for a dog allergist. I just hesitate to do that because I fear that he will be put on meds for his life and I would rather find natural ways to get relief
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 months ago.

I understand but if the allergen can be avoided, then you won't need to have him on medications for life.

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 months ago.

Just following up to see if you found my answer helpful. I hope you will take the opportunity to rate my answer as we are not compensated until we are rated. Thank you.

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