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Samanthia, please do work with a veterinarian. We adopted an eight year old German shepherd dog nine months ago. She was a mess because of neglect and allergies. Imagine a GSD with no hair and infections in eyes, ears, urethra, anus, and toes. We have never dealt with a dog with allergies and, thankfully, let our vet guide us. We went through countless medicated baths and bottles of medicated ear cleaner, two Cytopoint shots (They were a real game changer for our girl.) and Z/D dog food. (Yep, we have also had to deal with the recall but, thank God, her Vitamin D levels are okay.) She is now on a maintenance schedule of one medicated bath a month and weekly ear cleanings. We think she has both environmental and food allergies so it is an excruciatingly slow process to figure things out BUT she is relatively comfortable so we can all sleep. She is not itch free but almost, and a world improved. And, we now have her at a point where we can experiment with one food and see if it causes increased symptoms.
The hardest part for us is the food. First of all, we would never have fed a food like Z/D. Second, she is not fond of it and we want a highly palatable food for training because she was neglected in that area too. Hill’s Hypo Treats are not gonna make her do back flips. We hope that one day we can find food she loves that loves her and is not grain-free. But meanwhile, we are grateful for Z/D and know that if we have to, we can stick with it. (Hubby and I find it Very difficult to withhold treats because we have always shared our food with our dogs. Her allergies hurt us almost as much as they do her.)
But our vet was the key. She tested swabs from between toes, from the ears, from everywhere so she would know exactly what was needed to treat her. Then she did it again after a few weeks so we made steady progress without overwhelming her (and us) with chemicals. It was beyond expensive but became less so as the diet/drugs/and chemicals did their job. She goes everywhere with us and now we hear, “What a beautiful German Shepherd.” A far cry from a nearly bald dog a year ago.Deb DMember
Susan, I went to the Facebook link and requested to join the group. I received notice that I could access the group and did so. It seemed to be JUST what I am looking for — especially as it is science-based information. Went to bed with the idea of tackling it this morning, but now I “can’t get there from here.” Do you know how I can make contact again?