Skin Allergy

Dog skin allergy causes

MyGermanShepherd Health ManualSkin Allergy is an acquired disorder describing the condition of an allergen triggering an inflammation because the immune system responds to the allergen as if it was a pathogen.

Meaning, there is not really a pathogen, and so no infection and no disease. But note that there must be an allergen, else it is no allergy. Many physicians diagnose an "allergy" but neither find nor care to find the allergen!

To understand allergies, let's briefly look into this. MUCH SIMPLIFIED, in terms of an allergy a healthy immune system works like this:

  • Bone marrow produces 16 types of white blood cells (leukocytes), one of which are eosinophils.
  • These eosinophils (and many other leukocytes) patrol the body via the cardiovascular system.
  • When they encounter a foreign substance, the eosinophils leak from the bloodstream into the tissues surrounding the site of encounter.
  • There they "drop bombs" subject to how harmful the foreign substance appears to be: they deposit granules of cytokines, chemokines, and even cytotoxic proteins that irritate, modify, or destroy the foreign substance and surrounding own tissue that already appears harmed.
  • The many wounded on this "battlefield" (remember "bombs") show as the symptom inflammation.

The reason why for this MUCH SIMPLIFIED immune system process description I mention eosinophils (and not one of the many other leukocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, or indeed the many beneficial bacteria that also help the immune system!) is that eosinophils are the key immunological response in an allergy (so is the present medical understanding).

Now, when these eosinophils encounter an allergen, they drop "bigger bombs" (more harmful protein granules) than this same allergen warrants in other organisms: they treat the allergen as if it was a disease-causing pathogen.

So the question is: Why does the immune system treat the allergen like a pathogen, what may cause this apparent "over-reaction"?

I put over-reaction in quotation marks because clearly from the point of view of the immune system itself it is not "over-reacting" at all, only from the outside view of allopathic medicine.

As you learned from the interactions between all body systems, the immune system permanently communicates with all the other body systems (directly or indirectly). It knows - much better than any physician could ever know(!) - that in some way the organism already is sick.

Therefore it aims to keep any potential further harm at bay! It drops "bigger bombs" (more harmful protein granules) than the allergen would warrant in a healthy organism.

In other words, the immune system does not "over-react" here, it just naturally reacts more than it would if the organism were healthy to start with!

Or what do you do when you look after someone you know is sick? You keep any potential further harm at bay! Right?

And you don't consider that an "over-reaction", you consider that common sense. Because you know that a sick person (say your child) is at particular risk of further harm at that time.

And so this is my answer what causes allergy symptoms: earlier harm done. And in the particular case of an allergy almost certainly the cause is vaccination while sick.

Vaccination protocol, and even every vaccine leaflet, explicitely prohibits this because at a time when the immune system deals with sickness it gets critically shocked the moment the vaccine is injected directly into the bloodstream.

Interestingly, shock results in confusion, and often memory loss too. You see there are more types of shock than they list here, and there are more causes of confusion than they list here, and memory loss is not limited to the mind, in fact fundamentally it is on a molecular level anyway.

The confusion is maxed out when a vaccine combination is administered. Now the immune system is totally lost as to how to react, and it may no longer be able to react right going forward: it got harmed long-term.

And yet both is common practice:

  • most dogs see the vet because of some sickness
  • the vet rightfully fears the owner will not come back when the dog is fine
  • and so despite being treated for some sickness, the dog also is vaccinated!
  • And to max out the vet's chances, the vet administers a vaccine combination, often even the six-pack DHLPPCv!

Again, this is my answer. As said, in mainstream medicine the answer is: "In an allergy the immune system is over-reacting, and steroids are the right solution to suppress this over-reaction."

You may choose to agree with what mainstream allopathic physicians say, and prescribe, and make you pay. I won't hold a grudge.

Just be aware of the consequences: When you allow - and pay for - the standard treatment of an allergy (namely steroids and/or NSAIDs), you add to the body more of what makes the body's cells sick! And my Foundation of Health clearly states:

"When you add something that healthy cells don't like, you make some healthy cells sick."

So now when you add more steroids and/or NSAIDs, you make even more cells sick! In my point of view, medical treatment could not be more misguided.

But I admit, the way it's done it makes the most money for physicians and pharma industry. And indeed, individual medical history of treated dogs (and people!) shows: Patients treated with anti-inflammatories always come back for the treatment of further health issues.

So even if you choose to disagree with my explanation of the cause of allergies, isn't it striking how well all this fits together? In science this strongly suggests it is correct.

Obviously another cause of allergies is steroid treatment itself: As the linked word explains in more detail, both steroids and NSAIDs always have anti-inflammatory properties, they drastically impair the immune system, or shut it down completely. Even months after the end of treatment!

Thus if you pay for any steroid treatment (possibly of an allergy), you may also acquire (new) allergies, but that won't be your only problem. Same for your dog.

Who Suffers Skin Allergies

In general, dogs are just as susceptible to allergies as people. Only that allergies in people primarily show in a runny nose, coughing, and sore eyes, while allergies in dogs primarily show in the skin.

Hence why it makes sense to label this chapter Skin Allergy: Dog food allergies too show in the skin. So do drug allergies.

While any dog can develop a Skin Allergy, they primarily affect dogs that have to eat industrial dog "food" (kibble or tin food). Across all disorders, feeding waste clearly is the most common cause because the cell toxins the waste comprises accumulate in all body cells on a daily basis.

For the particular disorder Skin Allergy however I would argue that vaccination when sick is the more common cause, because most dogs are subjected to an array of vaccinations already at puppy age, when dog food hasn't had long-term impact yet.

Finally, lightly short-haired German Shepherds and those with no undercoat may be more susceptible to skin contact allergies from floor cleaners, carpet binders, wood stains, yard pesticides, flea bites, etc.

Because less hair means that any allergen can more readily come into contact with the skin. Any harm done to the integumentary system or the immune system may then cause allergy symptoms.

Warning Signs

  • patches of irritated reddish skin
  • within days in several locations
  • possibly slight swelling (if severe swelling it's either from an infection or from prolonged scratching/biting)
  • possibly hair loss
  • dog scratches, bites, or licks the skin more habitually than aggressively*
  • possibly frequent sneezing or coughing, or rubbing the eyes
  • any sign of symmetry of symptoms on the skin
  • but not the signs of an infection:
    • no pus or other discharge
    • no odor
    • no puncture wounds
    • no lesion (except if from scratching/biting)
    • if any marks then rather whitish dots than blackish dots
    • no visibility of parasites (eg mites, fleas, ticks, worms)

* Note that the dog will scratch, bite, or lick the skin more habitually than aggressively, because disorders including allergies rather cause discomfort, while infections (diseases) rather cause pain.

Behavioral symptoms like this are very helpful for correct diagnosis, but rarely enquired by the average veterinarian.

Preventing Skin Allergies

Miguel at 28w Can you give back a bit today?




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    My 9 yr old GSD had red, itchy skin problems for years. It was diagnosed and treated with antibiotics and antifungals. It would clear up for a while, then come back. I noticed since I switched his dry food to Earthfare's Senior Dog formula, for the first time in his life, he isn't scratching and the fur on his belly is really thick and healthy, instead of thin. It's a little more expensive than regular old dry food, but not that much. Definitely worth it to avoid vet bills!


    I have a GS Collie Cross Female 5 years old who broke out with the quite common skin problem with the usual itchy condition. After several attempts to combat this problem with Antibiotics and and anti-flamatories [which made her incontinent] I decided to try an old remedy. working on the theory that the skin problem was created by pathogens [unidentified] I applied -- IODINE in Spray Form -- to the infected areas ---and Lo and Behold the Itch has gone and with it the red inflamation of the skin has gone and the scaly eruptions and appearance has also gone. As all you folk know Iodine is used extensively in hospital operating theaters and other critical areas to disinfect and kill all germs.
    I hope that all of you with dogs with this condition will try this old remedy.
    Your dog will thank you and reward you with a return to her or his happy self.


      Yes Eric, Iodine solutions are not only helpful for your dog/dog's skin problems, they help you too/in many other ways. Thanks for reminding everyone here!


    Can anyone help? 16 months old german shepherd has metatarsal fistulation. Is atopica the only medicine? What about food? Can food be the cure?


      Susanna, metatarsal fistulation is a rare autoimmune defect that seems to primarily affect GSDs, hence it is hereditary (at least partially). Being an autoimmune defect, in my opinion the worst one can do is to administer immunosuppressive drugs like tacrolimus, protopic, atopica etc, and in my opinion the best one can do is to support the immune system instead. But you know I am not a vet, I apply academic insight and common sense. Many vets love to give the above, in conjunction with strong antibiotics. Again, wrong, in my view. And when you see a "holistic vet" you are likely to hear support for my view.

      The problem however is, what can you do about metatarsal fistulation? And how can you support the immune system?
      - balanced diet of natural homemade foods - no kibble, no processed foods at all!
      - prevent scavenging!
      - serve a daily portion of varied fruit and veg!
      - lots of varied outdoor exercise
      - no stress!
      - NO antibiotics, NO corticosteroids! - If you adminstered them in the past, you worsened it. Will take longer now.
      - No atopica etc, see above why (plus, it leads to cancer!)
      - now for pads: keep them in the best condition: not on hot asphalt, gravel, icemelt and other chemicals; consider your floor cleaners and carpets at home; apply a flimsy coating of Sudocrem (in UK this) daily; provide soft, comfy crate and resting places.

      Let me know how it goes with this.


    my jockey is of 20months it is suffering with skin Allergie that it looses hair where rash appeared and it gets bad smell with in 3hours after having bath
    how can i avoid that rash from my jockey


    After several years of feed my dog a high dog a high end dog food, I switched to another brand. The skin allergies cleared up and no more visits to the vet. I never would have thought the problems were caused by a specific dog food.


      I went from Merrick to Blue buffalo finally to Iams. The iams solve my dogs yeast ear infections. I spend thousands in vet visits and a change in dog food solved my problem. All the vet wanted me to do is keeping giving my dog steroids which would shorten my dogs life. The dog food that saved us is a prescription Iams, Iams KO. I strongly recommend it you wont regret it. Good luck


        "I spend thousands in vet visits and a change in dog food solved my problem."
        As our Periodicals and my books are saying! Thanks for your feedback Lee!

        "The dog food that saved us is a prescription Iams, Iams KO. I strongly recommend it"
        I am entirely against wasting money on commercial dog food that always is inferior to balanced homemade food.

        I can not possibly understand why you haven't tried that, instead of buying "prescription diet" commercial dog food? :roll:


    Hi there,

    I have a 6 month old GSD pup, when I bought him at 5 weeks they were feeding him Eukanuba, I then changed him from Eukanuba to Royal Canin which he is still now on. My problem is that he is continually scratching and itchy and you can see the irritation on his tummy. He doesnt chew or scratch himself open but hes just always itchy and I'm wondering if it maybe the food I am feeding him?

    I live in SA and also mentioned a new dog food called TechnoPet, if anyone has remarks on that negative or positive will be helpful?


      Yes Ashlee, very much so! Particularly if you feed Royal Canin.
      If you are not subscribed to learn about healthy homemade dog feeding, at least take a look at the commercial dog foods we suggest for German Shepherds (for good reason). If you choose the first starting with z you can't go wrong with a GSD.


      My boy will be 4 in December and he's had skin issues since he was 1.

      I find every few months he has issues with an itchy face & hot spots on his back. The vet puts him on a course of cephalexin (this was only after I spoke to my breeder & she recommended this) tablets which usually works. Initially when I took him to the vet (when he was 1) the vet put him on a course of steroids which after speaking with my breeder I took him off them straight away. Apparently that wasn't good for him.

      I have more faith in my breeder then I do vets (sorry any vets reading this) for reasons I won't get into but I would suggest owners speak with your breeder & they could recommend something as the parents may have the same issues.


        Danielle, what a stupid breeder and what a stupid vet! I'd get rid of both instantly if it was me.
        If you hear in our Interview Series what Ian Dunbar said about such breeders, you'll concur.

        "cephalexin tablets which usually works" - they do not work: You see, it's been coming back for years! - which is typical for antibiotics treatments! READ my FREE Health Manual.

        "the vet put him on a course of steroids" - Read first line above again.

        "I have more faith in my breeder then I do vets" - I notice that. You're falling for emotions there, not for competence.

        "I would suggest owners speak with your breeder & they could recommend something as the parents may have the same issues" - Read first line above again.


        Thank you so very much for replying Tim.
        Jaeger means the world to me and there is nothing I would not do for him!
        I will read up on the health manual & hopefully his skin issues will clear up for good soon!
        Thanks again for the reply


      Years of my family raising gsds royal canin doesnt have enough fat or protein for gsd. Though they say its for the breed it really isnt. Reading labels helps. Because royal canin doesnt contain what gsd needs it will cause problems such as dry skin, dull coat. We have always fed our gsd food that contains 30%protein and 17-20%fat. I can tell you Royal canin is what is the issue it initially isnt a good dog food. Hope this helps!


        Yes, and ALL pet food is a waste product from rendering plants. They all contain carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, steroids, etc and very little, if any, food. Artificially concocted crap. Not limited to Royal Canin.
        Homemade foods, the only sensible choice!


    I have a 15 week old GSd that has scratches since the day I got him. Took him to the vet and he has no fleas or anything like that. What food do you recommend for him? I'm tired of him scratching and looking so pitiful!


      Please see my prior reply here AND the Food Periodicals you received earlier. Thx.


        I have tried everything for my 4 year old Shepherd, He constantly scraches and gets nixy I think because of the discomfort. Tried several vetsm groomers, antibiotics, preisone for a short period and also a ned for dermatis. Bought Dinovite, on it for 2 months and no change. Please My Layaway needs help. I feel so bad for him. Thank you


        Georgia, when you study our Periodical on Skin Allergies, you'll know why everything you write you did was wrong and could only aggravate your dog's misery, and what to do instead. I wish him the most speedy recovery possible after this lab med odyssey.


    my dog is 5 years old which has been suffering from skin allergy recently,
    the allergy causing the intensive hair fall, scaling (like our dandruff) and some times smells too..It has been facing its tough time. I cant see my dog like this,Please someone help me......................................


      We did already, we even have a Periodical on this topic, a book, all the help is there. Even the link where to subscribe!


      my dog is 2 months puppy which has been suffering from skin allergy from 3 weeks. the allergy causing intensive hair fall, scaling like our dandruff and same times smells too it has been facing its touch time I can't see my dog like this. please someone help me.....


        Pl say what of the above you have applied and what not and why?


    I have a white German shepherd who experiences allergy symptoms. He has redness mostly on his face and eye area. He scratches and rubs his nose and face on the rugs. It appears to be mos prevalent in the summer. We live in Florida and it seems as the weather gets colder his condition improves and then subsides . Hot weather returns and the cycle repeats itself.


    My 4yr. Old male gs stinks so bad. He crazy has scaly skin,and sores. He also rubs his face.on carpet or couch. We gi e him flea med. He hasbeen to thee vet & was given steroids & antibiotics. As soon as hes done withmeda not.long after he starys up agian with itching. We fed him the expensive dood w/o grain etc. Didnt seem to.male a.difference. we feed.him Pedigree.for large dogs. I feel so bad for him. I dont know what to do? I have no money.....he needs help......


      If you had no money, you'd stop wasting it on steroids and antibiotics that ultimately kill him!
      See the MyGermanShepherd Health Manual. It may cost you too much though: it's free.
      The dog's situation will only improve if you stop complaining and instead start to ACT.


    My GSD Max 8 Month has under his front legs a rash where the skin is extremely irritated and raw. What could this be?


    We have a 5 year old Duetsch Partial long haired GSD who started itching her flanks and ears and biting her paws and legs. Tic and flea treatment up to date and no evidence of fleas. We switched her to hypoallergenic diet of venison and potato. No improvement noted. She also started to develop an odor. There was no loss of hair or skin redness or flaking but she did start to develop multiple sebaceous cysts on ther trunk. Trips to the vet revealed sebaceous cysts per pathology and lab showed allergens to grass and demedex mites. They began treatment with high dose ivermectin injections that continued for 3 months, we also bathed her with ketoconazole shampoo weekly. There was a slight decrease in itching and cyst formation but then her hair became very course and brittle, losing its shine. This entire time she stayed on hypoallergenic food. The itching persisted day and night and she was exhausted. Now we are 9 months into the situation without any resolution and only intermittent improvement. Further testing showed no auto immune abnormalities (thyroid, diabetes), normal blood counts and further allergy testing showed allergy to dust mites. She was started on apoquel twice a day for 2 weeks then decreased to daily. Tried stopping it after 2 months but itching returned. Now on 6th month of Apoquel and constant itching, sebaceous cysts and odor have returned. We still give her a bath with ketoconazole shampoo monthly or as needed. We freeze her food (to kill mites), add a little broth to kill any possible survivors, vacuum like crazy, wash bedding at least weekly in hot water with high heat dryer. Any further suggestions?


    My 10 month old German Shepherd has redness between his pads on his back left foot. He he's been limping on it . No foreign objects , cuts , or scrapes. Any ideas on what I can do?


      Have you got a photo?
      Sounds like there definitely was an irritant (eg some debris), maybe you just can't find it now anymore. Redness between paw pads doesn't come by itself. It's either:
      - sore from an irritant
      - or punctured by an irritant or insect or other parasite
      - or an infection from a pathogen
      - or an allergy
      That's it.
      His limping clearly indicates pain. Even when the limping stops, it doesn't mean the underlying cause is resolved. Find the cause.


    My German shepherd has chronic inflammatory disorder the vet keeps saying its A topica and steroids I have read up on the side effects and don't want to keep her in these what else can I do, she has hills zd ultra allegen and we try hard to keep her away from any other scraps not always successful, she had her spleen removed and a hysterectomy when she was 8 months old, she has leishans on her rear end and I need advise in what to do to help her I don't want to risk cancer and shortening her life is there any anti inflammatory she can take safely? I'm using Benadryl at the moment but she is very panty and I'm not sure if it's safe long term? She is 5.5 yrs old now and beautiful she wasn't insured at 8 months stupidly so it's cost us everything but she is worth it any advice would be great x


      Carol, as one of the Top Dog Experts in our Dog Expert Interview Series says very clearly: "It is always stupid to give steroids", he means any anti-inflammatories, and he explains why. I couldn't agree more, and write that clearly in EVERY book I published.

      Now, it seems, you've had a different view, certainly your vet has. That's why (s)he is not in our Dog Expert Interview Series. :idea:

      So, what else could I say? I would take your dog off ALL lab medicaments instantly, and seek to find the CAUSE of any health issue. Anti-inflammatory drugs cover up and distort the cause, and RUIN the dog's health. Note that an inflammation is the body's NATURAL response to an infection. With anti-inflammatories you STOP the body from healing itself!

      Find a holistic vet. This Periodical will help.


    Our white GSD had terrible skin problems for months. I thought perhaps the grain in commercial food caused his problem. Our vet advised that the allergen is typically NOT grain, but rather the type of protein in the food. On his excellent advice, we switched our dog to POULTRY-FREE dog food, and Voila!, no more allergies.


      Glad you're happy for the moment, just be aware that soon other allergies will arise. :-(
      Neither "I thought perhaps the grain in commercial food caused his problem"
      nor "rather the type of protein in the food"
      is the real problem. Commercial food itself is the real problem! You haven't been feeding your dog what you think you did (poultry protein), you have been feeding toxic waste from rendering plants.

      Poultry protein is perfect for GSDs as much as for other dogs. Same with grain, perfect. If only it is real grain, real poultry, real food! If yours comes from rendering plants, it certainly is no "food" in the human sense of the word.

      Go to one and watch what goes into it...


    Our gsd has just turned 6. Every year from April/may to September he's prone to skin allergies. We put him on benedryl now switched to reactin, we also combat it with a 6 essential oils we put on his skin weekly, he's on a powdered probiotic and we feed him a high grade food. This year our summer was very hot and he's suffered with pink spots and very flakey skin etc.
    He did have a bacterial skin infection and eat infection recently, the vet put him on antibiotics that worked but not 100%, now they want to put him on steroids which we are against! His skin improvded a lot but he still is itching and has a few pink spots and dandruff.
    I read that ladies reply about iodine spray? Wondering if I should try that next or is there any other advice to combat this issue before fall. Does coconut oil work?
    Thanks in advance!


      Jennifer pl read all the other relevant pages (use search) and my comments, permanent repetitions couldn't be worded any better.
      And I would get rid of such vet! The authoritative Periodical for that was linked before as well.


    Our 3 yr GSD itches, we feed Fromm grain free, there are no spots on her skin her coat is pretty. I give her baths with oatmeal and it does nothing. I'm wondering could it be carpet? Any suggestions?


    Hello TIm...thanks for all you do for us GSD lovers on your site here! I'm new here. My question is will either you or Eric explain what the Iodine spray solution consists of. I went out and bought Iodine Tincture USP. I hope I have the proper Iodine to start with. I want so badly to help my GS with this itching and skin issue in general. Thank you very much.


      Cecilia, Iodine is a trace mineral with MANY properties, this means applying it wrongly or to the wrong individual or at the wrong time may have drastic side effects.
      I cannot possibly assess your dog's situation and what you bought, please ask the right veterinarian before topical application (study the linked Periodical, it is HUGELY important!); do NOT use it orally in any case anyway, dogs and people get plenty of iodine through food intake.

      The KEY is (and if you have the wrong vet, they won't bother about this!) that you identify the CAUSE of the "itching and skin issue" BEFORE you decide on any treatment! Do not ever allow any "treatment" that doesn't explicitely address the CAUSE. :idea:

      "Treating" symptoms makes things only worse. Always. Down the line. You notice it through ever increasing vet visits, for seemingly unrelated issues.


        Thank you for the expeditious reply to my inquiry Tim! I totally understand what you are saying, however, I don't understand why your opinion/recommendation is wavering. The Iodine that I purchased is the regular CVS brand first aid antiseptic, 1 fl. oz. bottle. The remedy that I am referring to is from Eric Gijsberts (total comments: 1)
        18 August 2013 at 22:54 and yourself above. I was willing to give this a try because through all my own research it sounds like the same typical skin irritation that many dogs have, including specifically Eric's. I have the Iodine. What I would like to know from either you or Eric is what is the rest of the "solution" before applying it to the skin please. Thanks again.


        Pl read my reply again, unbiased, and you'll see it's not "wavering at all" (unfair to say), it's the professional reply anyone in virtual space should give. I wouldn't follow anyone's prescription online if I were you. I don't either. Too risky, for the reasons that I wrote. Also, what I am doing/using I wrote on this very page. Sorry that I replied, only because Eric likely won't, see his comments number.


    I was merely going specifically by what I read in your comment (included above). Perhaps, yet and still, I misunderstood something there? And again, I very much appreciate all that you do here to help and am grateful that you did/do reply. Please keep up the good work. But, please point me directly to the comment of what you are doing/using on this very page and I will go from there. My dog is waiting for me to help him.Thank-a-million.


      Cecilia, a) pl do not duplicate content here by quoting it. Because aa) I know what I wrote, ab) Google penalizes that. I trust you don't want that to happen.
      b) Instead of quoting what I write, read it. NOWHERE it says that I am planning to write WHAT solution to use, WHEN, in WHICH situation, on WHAT dog, etc - because I can't. And I did say this before. And I warned you of following someone else's virtual advice like this. And I said why I warn. And I said whom to ask instead. I even posted you for FREE the link to the most valuable content on finding a vet.

      No thanks, no nothing. Seemingly not read? Okay.
      PLEASE READ THAT, it will save your dog's life or at least quality of life.


      Okay, got it now! I'm new here...thanks for bearing with me though!


    someone please help i have an 8 month old male German Shepard and he is losing hair in patches on the back of his ears. Hes constantly scratching itching and nipping at himself and i don't know what to do. hes on grain free performatrin large breed puppy food. because when he was younger he was really itchy so switched him to grain free. but a few months later and he started to itch again. and now his ears are balding :( he went to the vet yesterday to get a skin scrape done to check for mange or some sort of mite causing this hair loss and he tested negative out of 2 skin scrapings.. They dont know what it is and im worried for him.


    Hi Tim,
    read all comments with much interest. What diet would you consider to be good for gsd's with these types of allegies? Would you consider meat/poultry cuts mixed with, say, eggs and rice? Thanks in advance.


      Judy, in my experience - and corroborated by our Top veterinary nutritionist(!) - allergies of any kind can only be cured with human-grade fresh homemade foods, while allopathic drug therapy of any kind results only in palliation (there is serious science behind these words, so anyone who takes them lightly better first learns from our Dog Expert Interviews with Reviews!).

      Accordingly we always only feed what you can see here (or in more detail of course in My New Puppy Diary).

      And don't these meals even look enticing?? :-)


    Thanks for the advice, Tim. most appreciated!!


    My 7 month old GSD boy pup is suffering with an itchy red rash between his hind legs, armpits, sides of his mouth and even his ears are starting to go red. Been to vets twice, had antibiotics which helped it but as soon as stop taking them rash returns. Has had test for infestation,negative, and is on allergy free food bit no better. Any suggestions please?


      Andrew.... really, why don't you read above, incl all my answers on exactly the same question.


    please help my germansheperd has bad skin allergies spent 1000 dollars at the vet since this past spring 2015 the stuff they give him only works for a little while .his allergies just started this past spring he eats lamb and rice has for a long time I've switched food some made it worse .he's 8 years old now he comes from a very good pure breed the breeder only breeds his dog for law enforcement lukas was a male they didn't want him not sure why i love him so much he's the best friend ive ever had so can some one tell me how to fix his problem moneys not a issue


      Mark as said just do what's bold above, it will solve all your problems. No money needed.


    Hi I'm from the UK, my 7 month Gsd has had skin problems since about 3 months. Someone mentioned iodine spray in comments, but there are so many different ones with different price range, how do you know which one to choose? Thanks


    Thank you for your comment Tim.


    I'm new to here.
    Ive read what I can. I'm stuck or maybe just need to wait for results but hope I'm not missing something?
    I have 2 almost 2yr old female GS's ( siblings ) one has no problems.
    One is anxious ( vet mentioned as a puppy and also professional trainer ) I work with her and whilst she is improving its her makeup I think.
    The anxious one has for the last 4 months had:
    hot to touch skin that is moist sometimes and has lost fur behind the back of neck , along back and tail ( scratching and biting ) and these developed into black pigment that looks toughened.
    Some black under belly.
    She's a Black & Tan GS.
    Both GS's from beginning BARF DIET on bones and raw food, grain free biscuits ( v rare as treats in playtime and exercises ) they have pulped veg spinach , sardines in oil, coconut oil added with ACVinegar and natural pot set yoghurt. No ear infection but sometimes shakes her head.
    At night she has her collar on.
    I'm home most days and they are close by.
    She scratches and bites her tail.
    I have seen some improvements but overall not feeling I've "got this".
    She's on flax seed oil ( no chicken anymore ) lamb,beef,turkey,sardines in
    oil. Seedless Watermelon sometimes.
    Ice blocks with meat and yoghurt occasionally on hottest days.
    I've dipped her.
    I wipe her with coconut oil and massage daily.
    They have Collodial silver in their water. I wipe her ears with this also diluted.
    Supplements omega 3
    What am I missing ??


    Hi my dog keeps scratching her back & rubbing it against the wall which resulted in hair loss. The area is red & inflammed. Any suggestions as to what it could be & what can I do to prevent it?


      What a coincidence! I have posted solutions to this right above on this very page! Even more. Have you seen the menu?


        Laughs at that last comment.

        Scrolls back up and uses all of the advice for GSD's allergies.

        Doesn't have to bother anyone to do it.

        Thank you, Tim. I appreciate the patience I've seen you exhibit. I don't think I would have it in me to do the same.


    I have a 2 year old German Shepherd with bad dry flaky skin. His skin is so bad he will stay up most of the night scratching and biting himself. I have taken him to the Vet. The Vet had a skin infection and prescribed a steroid and antibiotics. It seemed to help a little but when the prescription ran out he is back to where he was. His skin will come off in white flakes. I have changed his diet and nothing. I currently feed him Taste of the Wild (Salmon blend) and cooked chicken breast. He also gets a multi vitamin and Fish oil supplement. I have tied different shampoos to. Nothing seems to work. I would note that he did not have this issue his first year. His skin has red bumps, red spots ( like a rash) and white flaky skin. Any suggestions? I have made another appointment with the Vet but I am not sure if it will help.


      "I have made another appointment with the Vet but I am not sure if it will help" - it will NOT help, no.

      Please see my other reply here, the same applies to you, and everyone so desperate here. :-(


    My 11 months old GSD is having some kind of allergy near his nose with some red pimples and hair loss around nose and mouth. Apart from that he also licks his belly and paws often. What kind of allergy could it be? Please recommend some treatment for him?


      Aditi, that's obviously hard to say from your few words. As I've written what feels like a thousand times already, now No 1001, to cure your dog from immune system disorders (that's what allergies are too) - IF still possible, ie dog not too much ruined - you MUST do this:
      1: Only REAL human grade food, absolutely NO commercial crap full of allergens!
      2: NO antibiotics and NO steroids or NSAIDs
      3: NO needless vaccinations, and certainly NO "boosters" anyway!
      4: Only choose a holistic vet - if you leave with a prescription then she most likely isn't.

      So NO treatment suggestion here, did you notice?
      That's because you need CURE not treatment (= more rounds of $$$ for vets).

      Got it?


    Help please 4yo pure bred. On 2 Apoquel per day, having breath through skin infections now after 3 years on the meds.
    He has been on an antibiotic every 2 weeks wi9fail and an antifungal for a year. Belly is black and sticky, awful fungal smell, allergy testing done, allergic to all grains, ckn, beef, tky, fish....can have duck which he is on now, my next options are kangaroo and gator.
    Anyone have similar experience? This poor guy has had MRSA due to overuse of antibiotics, but here i am again...any advice i would appreciate.

    Mom of 3


      Heidi, why on earth do you allow your vet to prescribe and to make YOU PAY for Apoquel??
      Had you read anything on our site you'd know very well what to do instead. Sorry but I have to place this: !!

      I pity the millions of poor dogs of owners who don't READ BEFORE THEY PAY. It's so sad. :-(


    My gsd having skin allergies from last week ...she is having hair loss..mostly the area of her back is scrached and all the time she itches very much.... i give her bath once in a month ...some licks are also in her body...she is 2 years old ..pls suggest me what should i do ...


      Identify the CAUSE like explained above. Your info is patchy, it could be food, infestation, allergy, medicine, stress...


    My 5 yr old GSD has recently lost a lot of hair on her stomach and chest there is redness in certain areas but this may be from biting however her skin is very flaky and there are dark scabs here and there, she does eat dried food however this is the only one that we have found that she likes as she won't eat other top brand dog foods which have been suggested by others other than flea treatments (which don't seem to be helping the problem as she is treated regularly) and changing her foods what else can I do to help her.


    Hi! My 7yo has been itching, biting and has hair loss on the tip of his tail. We tried the vet with antibiotics and steroids and ever a collar so he couldn't lick it. Well he reached it. He bites and licks until it's bleeding. I've tried peroxide and apple cider vingegar. I don't know if it's anxiety or food allergies. This started about 6 months ago and progressively is getting worse. We currently feed him 4 Health grain free dry food. Any help is appreciated as we are at our wits end! We need a dog food that will work as I and my husband work all different crazy hours and we have a 1year old. So our time is work, baby and play with the dog. Please please any suggestions!! Thank you!


      "We tried the vet with antibiotics and steroids" - what did you learn first-hand upon subscribing to the MyGermanShepherd Periodical?

      The 3 secrets that guarantee dog health. Yes.
      Take that in slowly: GUARANTEE dog health.

      I am sorry but cannot help if my help is not taken to heart. I cannot *force* dog owners to re-read all our pages here until the last one fully takes in the wisdom shared.

      "We need a dog food that will work" - again, who do I write for if you don't read? This topic too we have dealt with in detail, on more pages than I could count.

      Poor dog.


        Thank you for your "professional" sarcasm. I will not subscribe to your "periodicals" due to your lack of so called help. I have tried everything and every source. Poor dog-yes I feel bad as there is nothing helping and I was looking for ADVICE not snide remarks from a so called know it all. My GSD is a FAMILY MEMBER not just a dog.
        Some people do not have time to research your entire website or articles for help. Would it be so hard to give appropriate help when asked??? I guess you answered that in your comment. Thank you for you're so called help. I hope others can read my question and your "advice" and will seek help elsewhere.


      meg, Been thru this for years and i know it sucks and its hard. My dogs are my family and what I've learned is that NOBODY knows your baby like you. We did steroids which is temp fix. it does reveal thats its immune disorder. Vets will think they know it all and sell u expensive drugs. From experience ....keep a journal see what works. steroids are good for temp relief. I found the flea protection orally and being dry and indoors helps the best after 4 vets and thousands in bills. u know ur dog best and sensitive skin pops out in different ways. good luck


        I have to chime in here to ensure no dangerous tips are published in our house, elsewhere are already more than enough such dangerous tips:
        "steroids are good for temp relief" - that's a dangerous statement impairing the health of MILLIONS of dogs and people alike, Missy. Feel free to study anything in this house, on this website, and you will understand why. A little bit of effort will bring so much enlightenment.

        As for steroids: Steroids impact on the immune system. You don't even need to consult the world's top immunologists (which you can't pay), and you don't even need to book our Dog Expert Interview Series with Reviews (which you could easily pay, and the Reviews of which would give you the combined insight of all top dog experts (incl. vets and even immunologists) I have ever interviewed).

        You don't need to do either, because what steroids are and what they do to the body I have explained on this website for free for everyone with an open mind to benefit from, incl. you. And dozens of times already. So, feel free to study the free content on this particular site as it avoids that you pay "4 vets and thousands in bills". :shock:

        What? You say you paid "4 vets and thousands in bills"? Phew. And instead you could have consulted the world's top experts through our site for a handful of dollars only, and saved those "thousands in bills". Phew! :-(

        Imagine what could you have done with those thousands of dollars.
        Now you can just imagine.


    Hello my name is Joslyn and 1.3 year old gsd she has a completely black black belly and ear itch and she itches on her belly. She has to lean her head on the side that itches and flicks her head a lot help plz.


      Sounds like you have not taken her to a quality vet yet?

      As DIY diagnosis do this:
      1) Check the coat for fleas with a flea comb
      2) Check the skin for mites (Top remedy for mites is here)
      3) Review what you give against infestations

      Once you have ruled out an infestation, rule out allergies:
      4) Review if you feed her REAL FOOD or toxic waste products?
      5) Ensure that you don't ruin the dog's immune system further with needless yet harmful vaccinations, nor with antibiotics, nor with steroids or NSAIDs.

      Once you follow all above steps, the skin problems will be a distant memory.

      If you choose not to follow all above steps, you are advised to take your dog to a quality veterinarian immediately. Note that if you pay your vet for prescription drugs that contain antibiotics or steroids then you did not choose a quality vet but an average ordinary allopathic vet - who will make your dog's health much worse. Mark my words. We get that in the thousands here.


    I ahve 45 days old GSD puppy Suffring from allergy in body parts

    So pls Suggest me


    Mr. Shaun Singh, my 6 yr old male GSD has exactly the same issue. He is losing hair around the face has bumps all around his body, flaky skin & smelly. He scratches & licks all the time. Vet just started him on allergy shots. The shots may take up to a year to show a good outcome. This is after several years of diet changes, anti-biotics, anti-fungals, baths, seborreic shampoos & recent steroid use. Steroids really helped, but he was so hungry & constipated. Now we have gotten rid of any food with yeast, salmon oil & oatmeal (tested positive). So, what has helped you at this time? Anyone else have answers?


      Stacey? "started on allergy shots"?? "The shots may take up to a year to show a good outcome"???

      Why did you not read above and go through the menu first before advising others in a way that more innocent dogs will suffer FOR LIFE and cost their owner a FORTUNE? So PLEASE in your own best interest: STOP that crap from that allopathic vet IMMEDIATELY if the health of your dog and/or the state of your bank account means anything to you??

      "This is after several years of diet changes, anti-biotics, anti-fungals, baths, seborreic shampoos & recent steroid use." - OMG, no wonder then your "vet" goes for more of that! CASH CA$H CASH

      "Steroids really helped, but he was so hungry & constipated. Now we have gotten rid of any food with yeast, salmon oil & oatmeal (tested positive)" - No, the steroids didn't "help" an inch, they ONLY removed the symptom, there was no cure ever! And his "so hungry" and "constipated" and "yeast, tested positive" were just the beginnings of "side effects" (lol) of your praised treatment, the caused health issues have only just started, stock up your bank account to be ready for ever more frequent vet visits. :mrgreen:

      "So, what has helped you at this time? Anyone else have answers?" - yeah my dear Stacey, the right answers are all here on this site, and here, even free. Ever noticed the oh so clearly structured menu at the top of any page? Please save your money and nerves and your dog's health and life by simply studying the menu links here for free.
      Thank you
      In case you don't


    Hi I have an 8yr old gs. I got his hair trimmed however after 20 days he developed skin infection losing hair and reddish which he has made worse by scratching and biting. Plz lemme know the solution


      "he developed skin infection" - I would look THERE then.
      When you need bread you don't go to the butcher, do you? :mrgreen:


    Thank you for sharing, you are chaing the life of many dog owners

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