Skin Infection

Dog skin infection

MyGermanShepherd Health ManualSkin Infection is an acquired progressive disease describing the condition of infected tissue anywhere on the body other than where it has been given a more specific name, like say Ear Infection or Anal Infection. Therefore much of what I wrote in Ear Infection and Anal Infection applies here just the same way.

A key difference is that a Skin Infection say on the belly, flank, or back is more often triggered by bacteria, not by yeast. Likewise parasites like mites or fleas rarely are a trigger here, normally only with untended stray dogs. But environmental irritants are more common triggers than with Ear Infection and Anal Infection.

Another trigger is high skin pH, but its commonness cannot be assessed because skin pH testing is so rarely done.

The most common cause of Skin Infections too is:

  1. poor diet
  2. administration of immunosuppressants or antibiotics, whether purposefully as medicaments or unnoticed in meat and dairy
  3. needless and yet harmful vaccination "boosters"

All of these impair the immunological defense mechanisms, part of which are the Langerhans cells of the integumentary system. So now pathogens can occupy the skin, triggering an infection. Pathogens that a healthy integumentary system routinely controls, both in terms of number and type of pathogens.

In today's food chain meat and dairy are loaded with antibiotics and steroids, and the meat and dairy that is tested and found to be too much contaminated for human consumption is used for animal feed nonetheless: The largest groups of buyers of contaminated meat and dairy are the farm feed wholesale industry and the pet "food" industry.

When you click the above links you will understand the exact process how antibiotics and immunosuppressants cause Skin Infections.

The average allopathic physician however likely does not know this process and will merely diagnose your dog's Skin Infection as either Pyoderma or Dermatitis or Hot spot. All of these are no more than the name for a symptom, and so that diagnosis isn't worth a penny.

Hopefully you won't accidentally pay for that. Or worse, also pay for the standard drugs that this average allopathic physician will then want to prescribe: steroidal anti-inflammatories, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, antibiotics.

So let's briefly get these three symptom names out of the way, so that we can focus on cure - instead of the all too common palliation or suppression of mere symptoms.

Pyoderma ist just the name for a pyogenic bacterial Skin Infection:

  • pyogenic means producing pus
  • bacterial means triggered by bacteria
  • and Skin Infection - well, you just read that at the start of this chapter.

Note that the name for the symptom "Pyoderma" leaves UNanswered:

  • why is the body producing pus?
  • what strain of bacteria is it?
  • and most critically, has the physician identified the cause of the Skin Infection?

Next, Dermatitis is just the name for an inflammation of skin tissue. That's all.

As you know from clicking the link to the definitive Periodical that gives you all the key medical knowledge in a nutshell, an inflammation is the response of the defense system to a disease, disorder, or defect.

Here, the response to a disease because we look at Skin Infection. However Dermatitis can also be the name of an inflammation in response to an allergy, and in fact Skin Allergy is way more common than Skin Infection.

This is because diseases are comparatively rare these days, disorders are way more common, and an allergy indeed is a disorder.

Note that the name for the symptom "Dermatitis" leaves UNanswered why does the defense system respond with an inflammation, what's causing such response?

In fact, the diagnosis "Dermatitis" does not even specify what triggers the inflammation? It may again be bacteria like with "Pyoderma", but maybe it's a fungus or parasite?

In rare cases the inflammation is triggered by a virus or protozoa. Most times the inflammation is triggered by an allergen, thus it is the response to a disorder, not to a disease.

So if your physician merely diagnoses "it's Dermatitis", (s)he neither knows what causes nor what triggers the inflammation. I wouldn't pay a penny for that. Nor for the then prescribed blanket treatment: "Treatment consists of steroids". Click the link to verify that most physicians say exactly that! :roll:

Make sure you always click all new links here to see the proof of what I am writing, else you might wrongly be thinking I am making things up, lol!

Finally, Hot spot is yet another name for inflamed skin, or "Dermatitis". Again, regardless whether the inflammation is the body's response to an infection (disease) or to an allergy (disorder).

To bring more clarity into medicine, even though this is just about names for mere symptoms, it would help to reserve "Hot spot" for itchy inflammations only, but not all physicians do.

My reasoning is that most people associate with a "Hot spot" that the dog is licking and/or scratching the spot, making the spot hot and the inflammation worse: The dog licks and/or scratches because it itches.

Conversely, most people seem to associate with "Dermatitis" dry reddish sores or flaky patches, or (later) oozing, crusty, or scabby patches, neither of which necessarily itch.

In fact, "Dermatitis" is commonly used as the name of the visible symptom only, while "Hot spot" is rather used as the name of a behavioral symptom too, as in "the dog licks and scratches the spot all the time, now it looks hot, inflamed!". Indeed.

Be aware that many skin conditions that go by the name "Hot spot" do not produce pus, thus they are not "Pyoderma", even though they may be triggered by bacteria just like Pyoderma.

Because of this lack of clarity even in naming mere symptoms, currently dog owners and physicians use the name "Hot spot" as long as they don't know (or don't care) why the skin is inflamed and they cannot describe how it looks. It is a "catch-all" term. :-)

Now you see why at there is this rather detailed Dog Problem Consultation form: it ensures some degree of precision when dog owners seek help with their "dog problem". Because requests like these leave a LOT unanswered: "I need help! For a month already my dog has really bad hotspots on the belly!" :mrgreen:

Who Suffers Skin Infections

In general, any dog with a lesion can contract a Skin Infection. In general, because even with a lesion, healthy dogs rarely succumb to a Skin Infection since a healthy integumentary system's Langerhans cells can easily thwart off the everyday pathogens.

Most times a lesion stems from accidental injury or from a dog fight. While Skin Infections following veterinary treatment are extremely rare in developed countries, thanks to protocols of hygiene.

Accidental injuries come down to abrasion from bushes etc, harsh coat care with sharp blade, rake, or teeth, or household or yard accidents.

The typical infection pathway of dogs that do not have a lesion from accidental injury or from a dog fight is:

  • the dog lies down, may even roll around
  • an irritant, or possibly an allergen, causes an itch somewhere on the dog's body
  • the dog starts scratching, or at least feverishly licking
  • the itch intensifies
  • the dog scratches ever more frequently
  • the skin gets sore
  • ruptures or micro-cracks arise in the epidermis
  • parasites, bacteria, fungi, or more rarely viruses infiltrate the sebaceous glands at hair follicle shafts
  • where the infiltrating pathogens trigger an infection.
  • The body responds with an inflammation to alert all available mechanisms of the immune system to assemble and fight the pathogens.
  • At this point the average physician responds with a symptom name for this infection and prescribes antibiotics and some anti-inflammatory drugs to mitigate the inflammation... :roll:
  • ... such that you believe healing occured and, quite pleased, you pay for drugs and consultation. :mrgreen:

For now everyone is happy, until spin-off symptoms surface because cure is outstanding. :shock:

Cure is outstanding whenever:

  1. you didn't use up all prescribed antibiotics (usually for 7 to 12 days) because the also prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs quickly relieved the inflammation and made you think "it's already cured!", or
  2. the infection was triggered by fungi or other pathogens but not by bacteria: if at all, antibiotics can only help with bacteria, or
  3. the infection was indeed triggered by bacteria but these bacteria are resistant to the antibiotics: Note that against more than half of the major group of bacterial infections NO antibiotic is effective!

So then when spin-off symptoms surface:

  • the average physician either tries a different antibiotic, and again you pay for drugs and consultation, and the above a... b... c... starts all over
  • or the physician considers the new symptoms to be a new health issue, diagnoses it with another symptom name, and prescribes different drugs or just more of the same.

Of course still healing is outstanding. Commonly, the first indication of this is that the new symptoms are diagnosed as Digestive Disorder or Ear Infection.

Digestive Disorders are a common spin-off because of what antibiotics do to the digestive system. Ear Infections are a common spin-off because antibiotics cause proliferation of yeast into other tissues, and the delicate outer ear and middle ear tissue is particularly sensitive to yeast.

As mentioned before, high skin pH too can trigger a Skin Infection. Dog skin is mostly alkaline anyway, and the average skin pH of German Shepherds is particularly alkaline (about ten times more alkaline than that of a Golden Retriever).

The more alkaline, the more attractive to bacteria and fungi, including the pathogenic strains that can trigger Skin Infections.

Be aware that many drugs impact on skin pH. The changes in skin pH can then cause new strains of bacteria to settle on the skin that may briefly challenge the immunological defense mechanism of the integumentary system.

If at that time the immunological response:

then the organism may be unable to prevent an infection.

Other than all the above, generally the more humid and warm the living space of the dog, the more likely a Skin Infection. This is because both bacteria and fungi thrive in humid warm environments.

Be aware that when the dog has a chance to lick the infected tissue, the dog will even ingest the pathogens. And scratching the infected tissue, and then other body parts, will spread the pathogens all across the body! Both makes the whole situation much worse.

Warning Signs

  • reddish spots
  • often quite circular
  • often uneven skin
  • receding fur
  • possibly swelling
  • often itchy
  • often odor
  • possibly pus or other discharge
  • increasing in size and/or spreading out elsewhere
  • if any marks then rather blackish dots than whitish dots
  • possibly visibility of parasites (eg mites, fleas, ticks, worms)
  • and behavioral signs of an infection:
    • reduced appetite
    • lethargy
    • general malaise
    • possibly even fever

Preventing Skin Infections

As always, the key to prevention is to nurture all body systems, not to intoxicate the body's cells with:

We nurture all body systems by providing only REAL natural foods and water.

It is that easy, indeed.

Other than that, GSDs have a particularly thin skin, and so regular coat care and gentle skin care will help as well:


Oh! I can now add an update on this: While I continue to suggest to rinse your dog off after salt water contact whenever you can, I observed now that IF the dog is kept healthy then rinsing off is not required for healthy dog skin:

Currently with Miguel I have the chance to go swimming in the ocean every day (because we now live in a tiny house on wheels, yes, and so for the last half year we have been parking the truck house right next to a beach). We have no way to rinse off here (unless we catch an active irrigation system, which is rare).

In short: Miguel has no dry skin nor any other skin issue. No Skin Infection, no allergy, nothing. Despite a LOT of salt water contact and a lack of rinsing off, his skin is entirely healthy.

So, IF the dog is kept healthy then rinsing off is not required. Indeed, Miguel is kept very healthy, after all I teach that topic. :mrgreen:

Well, one correction: With this dog I wasn't able to stick to consistent meal times and related points, and so promptly he did develop a habit of scavenging as expected. With consistent meal times it is so much easier to stop scavenging for good.

As for coat care, I brush him every single day with a Furminator type of tool from the UK, else we would drown in lose hair in this tiny truck house! Whenever the house inside will be done and upon unpacking the boxes I find the Love glove, I will polish him off with that again, like before. I also found that the Love glove is the only effective remedy to gently get loose hair off his legs. So yeah, I love the love glove.

Further tips how to prevent Skin Infections relate to stress and boredom:

  • A stressed dog is likely to scratch a LOT more, and at some point so much that the skin gets sore, up to and including a lesion. Both can trigger a Skin Infection. The key factor to prevent stress for the dog is the #1 Secret about Dogs.
  • A bored dog too is likely to scratch a LOT more. The key factor to prevent boredom is to integrate the dog into our lifestyle as much as possible, and when we cannot, to provide safe toys: Top 6 Toys that German Shepherds Love.

I even took Miguel with me when I was working in a cafe! I "sold" the idea as "protection" for both cafe and customers. I leashed him outside the entrance to a bench. Somewhere on the website is a photo.

Be imaginative to accomodate your dog's needs.

Since both stress and boredom find relief with plenty of varied exercise, a good exercise regime helps to prevent even Skin Infections too.

Finally, keep in mind that if your floors are tile or hardwood, and all the more if they are carpet, floors (obviously) quickly accumulate pathogens that may trigger Skin Infections when excessive scratching leads to micro lesions and we have not kept all body systems healthy for a proper defense.

This is why we were always using a steam-cleaner: They keep floors hygienic (pathogen-free) without any chemicals! Sounds too good to be true, I know. And yet it is: The hot steam kills every living thing (microbes!) but leaves even carpet fibers intact if used right (short intervals, repeated).

Treating Skin Infections

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As always, the key to treatment is to treat the cause, not the symptoms.

You saw at the start of this chapter that the cause of Skin Infections comes down to an impaired immunological defense of the integumentary system (Langerhans cells). Naturally, such impairment occurs when we don't nurture the body's cells, or worse, intoxicate them:

  1. poor diet
  2. administration of immunosuppressants or antibiotics, whether purposefully as medicaments or unnoticed in meat and dairy
  3. needless and yet harmful vaccination "boosters"

You see that it always leads back to the same principles, and it's clear why it has to:

  • After all an organism needs the right fuel to function!
  • Like a car engine needs the right fuel to function.

Regardless whether that fuel is petrol, gas, diesel, electricity, or here: REAL natural foods. Fuel must always match the construction parameters of the engine. Evolution constructed neither people nor dogs to function on processed waste products, plastics, medicines, etc.

Maybe one day we substitute natural evolution and create dogs that permanently function well on that, but for now, no way! Drug prescriptions, veterinarian treatment protocols, total dog health cost, and dog lifespan, all are proof.

Only after we've made sure that we nurture all body systems and avoid all intoxication, we consider and address the less likely triggers:

  • Environmental irritants: Is there anything in household or yard that may irritate the dog's skin, cause itching, and so the dog scratches a lot?
  • Skin pH: Did the dog receive drugs that may have changed skin pH, inviting unusual pathogens to occupy the skin?
  • Parasites: Can we see a mites infestation, or fleas?

If so, we eliminate the environmental irritant (replace it with a more natural product). We stop using the drug (likely without replacement). We keep the dog and the environment clean (and maybe use a mite or flea remedy).

Here it becomes clear why the first step has to be the change of diet such that we nurture the dog's cells well: The healthier the dog, the less likely the dog will at all be affected by environmental irritants, by necessary and sensible drugs, by mites or fleas.

Every organism (person and dog) can deal quite well with a one-time infringement of the Foundation of Health. Just not with frequent infringements (repeated vaccinations, rounds of drug treatment, daily dog food).

A strong antiseptic spray, applied to the infected skin tissue three to nine times a day, and where required hard-bandage to prevent further injury from scratching (particularly at night), measures like these surely will get most pathogens under control, but what happens then, what happens going forward?

We really must treat the cause in order to achieve healing and prevent recurrence!

Experience shows that dog owners who do anything less or different, generally complain soon thereafter that they "can't get rid of the skin infection", or that "it's always coming back" - both of which costs them a lot of nerves and money for ongoing consultations and ongoing treatments.

Finally, I don't want to forget to mention an important part of the treatment of infections (diseases), like here Skin Infection, as opposed to the treatment of allergies (disorders).

With any infection it is essential that we take care not to help the spread of pathogens: Don't touch the infected area with your bare hands, use those disposable latex gloves, and still avoid touching the area.

Either way, wash your hands thoroughly before and after treatment, using an antiseptic lotion on your hands too.

Also remember here my note on home treatment.

Brief sun exposure is good for Skin Infections, just not prolonged exposure. In fact, with a Skin Infection we must not extend sun exposure by applying a sun block to the lightly haired body areas (ear pinna, nose top).

Don't let your dog swim anywhere for at least a week after the Skin Infection has disappeared completely. Don't bathe your dog either during this time. Showering the dog is good though because of the cleansing effect of clean running water.

Don't forget that if you used the strong antiseptic wound spray or Vet's Best Hot Spot Spray then it must be re-applied after showering.


If you follow the treatment of Skin Infections laid out here, and in this order, then you will achieve permanent cure, and overall improved health. This is a world of a difference to the palliation or suppression of symptoms that you pay for when you visit the average allopathic physician.




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    This explains my dog's symptoms perfectly. Yet, after visiting three different vets now the problem still remains, in fact, seems worse than ever. I plan to visit a fouth vet next week, however, the feeling of helplessness that I have is becoming unbearable. I just wish I could make this poor dog better again.

    Robert Gray.


      After reading some of these posts, I thought I would share our trials with our dog. After endless research, countless visits to many different vets, and about a year dealing with constant hot spots forming, we found out our dog is allergic to wheat and grain. Wheat and grain is common in many dog treats. Once we changed our food and eliminated treats with wheat and grain, our dog has not had a hot spot in over 6 months. I hope this helps, it broke my heart for such a long time to see our dog suffer from these, but try different foods and/or diet. Best.


        Sorry to hear of your odyssey. Had you had a chance to go through our help systematically, you would have realized within a day or so that he has an allergy - which is entirely different from an infection. Please study this Periodical to acquire all the critical medical knowledge in a nutshell.

        The money for your "countless visits to many different vets" you would then have saved too (and saved your dog's health). Indeed, the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL is invaluable, yet FREE. Why? Because you can't put a price on that, no one of you could pay it. ;-)


      Use all natural organic coconut oil - I rub it directly on the hot spots and they are cleared up within a few days. If this doesn't work, use Apple Cider Vinegar, the undistilled "with the mother". It will sting a little, but it will rapidly kill the bacterial infection.


    I feel the same way it makes me sad and aggravated thaht I can't do anything about it I have tried a lot of thing but a few of those tips r new to me I'll give it a try thanks


    All the above symptoms my dog is also suffering, Many potions, creams and shampoos have been tried to no avail, and it is so upsetting to see the animal suffer. I have now tried the above recommendations - and so far, so good!


    My dog also has the same issue. I have visited the vet multiple times and they just keep giving him antibiotics that have done nothing for him. I have a friend of mine that had a dog with the same issues and they tried a shampoo they got on malesab shampoo. you scrub that in there skin while giving them a bath and let it soak for about 15 mins. Im going to try that, she swears by it!! Ill let you all know how it goes.


      HOW MANY TIMES have I warned here - with clear comprehensible reasoning - NOT to take antibiotics? Three hundred times?

      anti - biotic
      against life

      Accordingly, unless my dog (or I) was dying, I would NOT take antibiotics. There are always much more effective remedies available that have zero side effects. I choose those.


        From what I've read on this site your obviously the most informed about German Shepard skin problems what are your recommendations for getting myself up to speed


        Don smith

        Ps I like your no bs pay attention attitude

        Semper Fi


        No idea, getting up to speed with what? Vet exams?


    My Jagermeister has sores on his belly and legs, they are red with a blackish crust on them. They don't seem to itch him and his hair fell out around them. What could this be????

    Help disperate mom!!!!


    ya I feel really sorry for my dog as well going to try essential oils . we have had him to vet as well, ANTIBIOTIC DID NOT WORK!


    My GSD has hotspots on his backside. I'm going to try all the above. Would you suggest shaving his backside 1st or just use the medication above?


      I wouldn't shave, no. If you spray the disinfectant at a shallow angle, it will penetrate through the hair onto the skin. If you think it doesn't, you may want to gently rub a few times against then with the hair-growth to get it onto the skin.
      It may not be an infection, but an allergy?


    Oncein a while my german shepherd bites himself to much above his tail, hes gotten an inspections twice now I've taken him to the vet And all they do is cut his hair and give me some Ointment to put on his infection. What can be causing him to bite himself


    Mine has had many episodes of hot spots. After several vet visits and steroid treatments, they kept returning.
    i finally came to the conclusion that wearing a dog cone would keep her from licking and biting at these sites. Dogs wear these after getting fixed so they can't get to stitches, etc.
    She did not like it, but she healed and now leaves her legs alone:).


    My little guy had this problem occur when I was out of the country and when I got home, I took him to the vet immediately and he was treated with antibiotics, and was doing great for about 7 months, until he started to get them again. This time I just treated it with Neosporen, antiseptic spray and tea tree oil to help the itch. After ripping it back open a few times, it started to heal over... 4 days later, with absolutely no other symptoms, we went to play fetch and he dropped to the ground convulsing and was gone in under a minute. I don't know what possibly could have caused such a circumstance in an active dog, less than 5 years old, with not one other symptom and no possibility to have consumed any form of poison.... Any suggestions would be comforting.


      I am very sorry to hear of your loss, Brian.

      "This time I just treated it with Neosporen, antiseptic spray and tea tree oil to help the itch."
      Not quite, you treated it again with antibiotics, Neosporen is an antibiotic ointment.

      Nowhere on our entire site can you find a single suggestion to give antibiotics. This lack of such suggestion is for good reason, and explained in countless places, and now specifically here.

      I cannot understand why so many dog owners (and ordinary allopathic physicians) use antibiotics so thoughtless: as blanket treatment for anything.

      Well, that's wrong, I do understand the reason: Allopathic medicine has nothing else, only painkillers, anti-depressants, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories (steroids and NSAIDS) - ALL OF THESE only suppress or palliate the symptoms, they do nothing to cure the cause!

      You may want to study our Periodical How to find the right veterinarian (or you may not want to, because it can't help you with your grief now, it will "only" help going forward).

      Note that Neosporen (even per its label!) must NOT be given in the mouth (and nose, and eyes, and ears) as this may have dramatic adverse effects. Possibly your dog found a way to lick off the Neosporen? Another possibility (much less likely) is an allergic reaction to the tea tree oil you administered. All possibilities aside, it sounds like your dog had an anaphylactic shock, so sudden was his death. This may have been caused by the antibiotics.

      What did the vet say about the circumstances of death?? And based on what examination? Do you mind sharing?


    Thanks for the support info. Bronx, 6/mth. yr old GSD, chewing legs and scratching different spots. Has 1st hot spot on top of butt, hair falling out, large scab but not biting at it. Put coconut oil on hot spot, gone in 3 applications. Tried 4 different foods and raw diet on whole chicken. Interesting note, on raw chicken, puked it all out for 2 days straight. Did tick & flea baths. Now, changing food to no grains and will try skin care as mentioned above. Will let you know how this goes. New frustration, trying to find a good food for GSD with no grains! Any thoughts?


      Ron, forget the "no grain" myth, domesticated dogs owe their very existence to having been fed grains for thousands of years. What you must not feed is the grain waste (husks etc) ie the mill-sweep that makes up the "grain" part in industrial pet "food" (which only exists since about the 1950s).

      That mill sweep is as bad for your dog as it would be for you - all well explained by our top veterinarian nutritionist and immunologist in the Dog Expert Interviews with Reviews (for those who truly want to get ahead of their dog problems).

      Thus, either feed only fresh homemade natural foods like we do too, or if you must(?) choose real pet food that doesn't come from rendering plants and that doesn't follow fashions either - like "no grain" or "raw meat only" etc. All that is nothing but a fashion, nothing of that bears scientific substance.

      Site members see comprehensively what I feed in My New Puppy Diary.


      I found a grain free salmon and pea at Walmart that seems to work well with my GSD and my lab. It's Pure Balance brand. Not super expensive, and they seem to like it. It seems to have cut down on their skin issues a lot. Also make sure you are washing any bedding regularly as well as their bowls daily. All this has seemed to help. They still get it from time to time, but now I believe it's mostly seasonal allergies.


        I disagree. As we've explained in countless places here, ANY industrial dog "food" that you can buy in Walmart & Co is toxic, and WHY.
        Your currently chosen brand may be an improvement over your prior brand, but just as well will lead to more chronic health disorders, from allergies to cancer, indeed!

        No need to "believe" me, it's all corroborated by the Top Dog Experts in the world, right on our site here. So personally, I'd never feed such rendering plant crap. But that's me, having to deal with dog health problems every day and learning of the huge bills dog owners have to find ways to settle, and learning of all too early deaths of the dogs.

        I guess, had I not, I too may have ended up being one of those overcredulous pet "food" buyers. That's why I now pass on my found insight.


    My 3 yr old gsd birch has been to vets twice for this it's still not clearing up he prescribed anti biotics they two didn't help just gave her the runs the worst Ares affected is her back legs between her paws and elbow has gone bald and swollen up feels squidgy to the touch I have also noticed her heel pads are not black but wig white .


      Right above it says clearly: "It should never require antibiotics - which generally don't work here anyway - they are inappropriate for both Skin Infections and Skin Allergies (see 19)."

      I will never understand why people do what they learned doesn't work. Had only you done what we teach your dog would be fine. Maybe you want to start right now. IF so, then this will help:

      1) Choose the right veterinarian - NO lab medicaments, NO blanket treatments (antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDs, vaccines).
      2) Feed natural homemade foods - NO industrial crap from rendering plants.
      3) Come back, post a before and after photo, and say "Thank you".

      (3 is irony, you won't do it anyway ;-) )


    Thank you for the helpful hints and comments. My dog allergy seems to be grain food related. I put her on a fast from all treats & she cleared up with benadryl and olive oil treatments in a couple of days. It's amazing how red she was.


      Highly unlikely "it's grain food related", in industrial dog "food" is no grain but non-edible grain husks etc together with mill sweep, all mixed up in rendering plants with a variety of toxins. This toxic mix is what dogs are allergic to. And frankly, people would be too had they to eat what dogs have to eat!

      Or have you ever eaten industrial dog "food", day in, day out, and yet stayed healthy?
      I have not, and I don't even dare tryin'. And so I would never feed that crap to our dogs either.


    I have a belgium malimua shes a rescue from a used tire shop in san diego. Ive had her for 8 yrs now and she has allergies, fleas make her miserable but even when there isnt a flea to be found sometimesher skin goes from white to BLACK.. ACROSS her belly you can almost watch it change. Lately shes been coughing alot right before sun up. Any ideas or help would be appreciated, thank you


    My GSD was in the lake all weekend, running in the woods and now has a slightly red rash between the dew claw. Assuming this is from the moisture, the anti-septic spray you mentioned above and some soothing cream would help?


    My dog is a double coated german shepherd, 1 & a half years old.. He is suffering from skin problems. Firstly he had Ticks & then mites ,resulting in skin rashes n loss of hair frequently.. He keeps on licking n scratching them . Originally he had beautiful white skin on the inside portion, but now its getting black ..including the genital areas ..n also rashes all over .. Now there are NO ticks n mites .. but the skin has not recovered yet .. there are NO Good vets family has doctors but NO Vets ...Please tell me what to do ???????


    My 2 yr old German Shephard developed a rash 2 days ago on his back a little past the neck area. It is now pussing. I was wondering what I should apply to it first to clean the infection now that it's gotten to this point.



    Hi plz help me all the symptoms dicussed above are in my dogs I am visiting vet from last one year yet no change in the problem plz help me


      Rahul, I have finally taken the time to improve this chapter drastically incorporating my today's knowledge. Please study it again, this will help - if only you actually apply it.


    Have had our 10 month old GSD for three months and been dealing with allergies of some sort, won't stop scratching, (did see vet, no bugs of any sort) finally changed to a sweet potato and fish food and he was getting better then but he didn't really like it, we tried his old food (canidea) but a different formula and within two days he was rubbing his face, licking his paws and scratching his side that appeared to have had hives. I now have him on Orajin large puppy for 5 days, his hives are goin away but he's still scratching like crazy and now I'm seeing red raw spots on the side of face, under his chin and his back leg and hot spots in both sides of his hips (treating him for a day with the vets hot spot foam) could he be reacting to this new food too or still the old food after 5 days? I don't want to keep changing his food but he seems miserable! I don't see how to upload pictures.


      Did you notice above the sub chapters "Preventing Skin Infection" and "Treating Skin Infection"?

      Oh, as for "uploading pictures": images on the net are posted like this:


    My 10 year old German Shephard is a direct import of top German & Belgium Bloodlines. The breeder breeds title dogs in Schutzhund that have OFA hips/elbows or A-stamp hip/elbow ratings.

    Even with this Maximus has been plaques with allergies his entire life. I am at my wits end now, he has hot spots that have gotten bad and has caused the bacteria to get into his digestive system - causing him to have really bad diarrhea. He is eating Bill Jac food now witch is great - but I don't know if he is allergic to chicken, wheat or what...I am pretty sure it is outside allergies. We live in NC and there is always something blooming and it's the worst for Max in the Spring and Fall. I will try the above remedies and also Apple Cider Vinegar. I have heard a lot of good things about that. In the past they have put him on anti biotics and sterroids but I don't want to do that. Any other advice would be great!!


    Hi i have read the comments so far. My gsd has bad skin problems and unfortunately i have already taken him to the vet for his problems where they treated with antibiotics then a 8 week course of injections for his problem. But of course the problem is back. He gets red spots, also what seems to be rashers under his chin on his face and his top back legs his thighs his hair has all gone and his skin is black. Should i take him back to vet im at wits end im confused upset and dont know where to start. I was recommended eukanuba dermatosis pet food should i start on this straight away ?


      John, you can't roll the time back, so let's not fret about past mistakes, just do it right from now on until eternity. ;-) The updated chapter right here above says it all. :-)


        Yes but what type of homemade food i have no idea whats causing this problem. I have no idea what home made dog food is. Do i cook him up rump steaks this dog is costing a fortune and i need to fix this problem. Any ideas on meals i can cook up


        I fully agree that kibble "costs a fortune", you are right, see here.

        I do NOT "cook extra for the dog" (no time for that), I just share the natural food leftovers if you so will. Like it has been for tens of thousands of years for domesticated dogs. That's why dogs EXIST today. Indeed, dogs wouldn't even EXIST today had they had to survive on kibble & co! NO ONE, not even DOGS can survive on that crap.

        To acknowledge you've seen all I linked, pl reply back here, okay?


    Hello, all. My dog Duke is a german shepard who spends most of his time outside and has fleas. My mom is going to take him to the veterinarian for a health-check soon but I wanted help now. He seems to have an odd skin condition. Instead of of boils, scabs, bleeding, or mange he has some kind of scabby skin(apart from callouses and I'm not sure what it is. It seems to only affect the bottom of his snout and ears. Please tell me what it may be from the limited information given.


      Daniel, no one can tell you "what it is" from your limited information given. And when your mom takes Duke to the next ordinary vet, the vet will give you/your mom a lovely sounding Latin word describing the symptom, and then that vet will give your dog antibiotics and possibly even corticosteroids. NONE of that helps you nor Duke nor your mom.

      What you need to do is, address the cause, not the symptoms. The CAUSE you can only address when you strictly adhere to the insight I shared above. Because poor Duke already has an impaired immune system that is unable to maintain skin health (integumentary system).

      Steroids and NSAIDs both will merely temporarily suppress or palliate the symptom, they are placebo.

      So seek a quality vet - for which of course you pay. Or just do what I wrote above - you don't pay. What do you prefer?


    I am writing to let you know there ARE people who read and do follow instructions. Thank you for the precise directions on how to resolve this skin infection. I purchased the sprays and applied as you suggested and Shadow is doing much better. He still has a way to go, but he's not scratching or chewing nearly as much and is clearly much improved.

    Most importantly I have changed his food to a raw diet (still purchased from a pet store until I have time to make some at home), but the raw, frozen Prairie patties he's eating now seem to have had an immediate impact as well.

    It's hard for people to wrap their brainwashed minds around the fact that kibble just doesn't give their dog what they need to maintain optimal health. This includes me, but it's undeniable that Shadow, at least, is a far happier and healthier pooch. Thanks much!!


    My intention is to make homemade meals going forward following a recipe from another blog which gives options for raw, partially raw, and fully cooked. I planned on cooking meat at low temps and providing the veg/fruits raw. I'm curious to know if you feel there any reason why I should reconsider that plan?


      I can only reiterate that I would NOT do that. I would do what I suggest above. Hence why I suggest that, and not some half-baked ideas from a "blog".


    Hi, my mother has a german shepherd and hs black spots all over his belly and he seems depressed. He smells bad and looks sad. Shes changed his food, taken him to a dog clinic and showered him but nothing has helped completely. Please let me know what can help! God Bless you! Thanks!


      "Please let me know what can help!" - I did John! I cannot make it bolder than bold above. Reading the advice is FREE, applying the advice is FREE. What else can I possibly do? Shove it under your eyes?
      Well, I did that too. :mrgreen:


    Hi, my 8 month old GSD started about a week and a half ago biting and scratching her left hind leg. She has been treated with a flea pill and I have checked for fleas also. The area is not red or irritated either. So here are her habits. At 8:30 am we are out and she eats then I hit a tennis ball across the yard for about 20-30 mins. Then around noon we go to the lake to swim and play more tennis. I thought it could be the dog food ( pedigree) don't judge me, my Rottweiler does fine in it. Lol so I just changed her today to Pure Balance grain free salmon and peas. I thought it could be the lake water but we didn't go last week and she still was scratching that area. Any ideas of what it could be? The only time I think she gets anxiety is if I put my shoes on.She will grab a tennis ball and push to get out the door before me.


    My German shefard has got red skin on lower part of body how to rid of it


      First you must identify the CAUSE as explained above. Only thereafter you may consider treatment. Treatment of the CAUSE, not treatment of the symptoms.

      Ordinary allopathic vets make you pay for treatment of symptoms, without even knowing the CAUSE. Either because they don't know any better (unlikely), or because multiple and prolonged treatment attempts bring more income.

      Regardless which one you think is the reason, choose wisely whether you follow my advice or theirs. Best wishes.


    My German Shepard doea not allow me to touch him to treat the hot spot. What do I do?


      You could use Distraction tools from the Dog Training Toolkit.
      Also calm down yourself, and so calm down the dog.
      Then be as gentle as possible and ignore what she "allows". ;-)
      Oh, and right above you find a detailed, well-structured chapter of the MyGermanShepherd Health Manual for free. I would make use of that as it's really good stuff. :-)


    Admiring the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you offer. It's good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same unwanted rehashed material. Wonderful read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.


      I guess the reason is, this is not a "blog", sir. :mrgreen:
      I agree that this breadth and depth of scientific quality information one cannot find on "blogs".


    please help me out my dog is in very bad condtion i gave him everything antibiotics steroids everything please guide me i dont wanna loose him


      We helped you already: I quickly prepared this medical book chapter right above, and just for you. Enjoy!


    Put apple cider vinegar in their water 1 tablespoon a day. Natural antibiotic. Will help with infection.Also give dog 1 ester c vitamin a day. Spray half water half apple cider vinegar on wounds. Then apply coconut oil.


    Are you set up to receive payPal $
    Please let me know

    Have a gsd. which gets hot spots. Have taken to the Vet. Dr. Sig. loma linda animal hospital, loma linda, ca. Was given shots, med. etc. This was about 6 weeks ago and it looks like its starting again.

    God Bless


      "Was given shots, med. etc." - What "shots, med. etc", Larry? Can you be specific? Normally you can see the names on the receipt you get after payment.

      I suspect I know what kind of "shots, med. etc" Max-A-Million got, because you write: "This was about 6 weeks ago and it looks like its starting again." - No surprise here. It will get worse, more, and in other places. Treated with more "shots, med. etc", and at higher bills. :-(

      Hence why, right above, I suggest how to proceed instead. I can't force anyone to change their habit, can I?

      And no, no paypal, paypal is corrupt, you can find plenty of proof from victims on the internet. Also, no service attitude at all, yet ripping small business owners off nonetheless! Hence why we use Stripe. Seen the big blue button on every page?


      Hi Tim,
      The medicine: Prednison 10mg/d x 15 days. Amoxicillion 500mg/2d x 10 days.

      also he was given Bravecto 3 mo. coverage.



        Exactly like I suspected. Although I don't even know your vet. Surprising, huh? :mrgreen:

        Amoxicillin is a penicillin-based antibiotic, ineffective yet harmful even IF the dog has a bacterial skin infection - which your vet hasn't bothered to diagnose: She ALSO prescribed prednisone, a corticosteroid to suppress or palliate an inflammation - which PREVENTS healing!

        So, is it an infection or an allergy? If an infection, what pathogen? A bacterium, a fungus, a virus,...?
        If an allergy, what is the allergen?

        Sounds like your vet didn't bother to do any work at all?
        Sounds like your vet only wanted your money. And so she thought "I'll just prescribe my standard drugs" - and sadly, she got away with that.


        Good morning Tim,
        I am in the process in obtaining all the necessary items to switch over to homemade food. I do have a Question, How much of the dinovite ? it looks like 20cc on your page, Is that right !
        Max-A-Million has some hip disp. had xrays, but only that was said was surgery. Max has been on Deramaxx 25mg. x 1/d and synovial 1 chew x 2/d. I am changing from synovial to Liquid Health k9 5000.

        Is this homemade food ok for a collie/boxer mix ? she is11 yrs old and named "Pennies from Heaven.

        Both dogs were shelter rescue. I have so much Love for them I will do ANYTHING in my power to help them live long and happy lives.

        I am switching to the way you indicate on the hot spot(s) issue. Max-A-Million hot spots are on his back near to tail and hips. Should be getting everything this week.

        I will be signing up and want to apart of this MYGERMANSHEPARD.ORG.

        God Bless


        No Larry you seem to confuse us with some other site, I have never even heard of "dinovite".
        REAL food starts in the menu under, well, CARE > DOG FOOD.

        Max is way too old for surgery to cure HD. Must be done at 7m the latest, our hospital's head vet explained in My New Puppy Diary.

        Deramaxx is an NSAID and harms all body systems. Max shouldn't be on that, NO dog should, NO person should.

        Synovial is a joint and cartilage fluid, not a medicine (to my knowledge none is called that). I wouldn't put him on Liquid Health.

        "Is this homemade food ok for a collie/boxer mix?" - Homemade food, or say natural REAL food, is the only food ok for any dog, yes.

        I like your naming of dogs. ;-)
        "Max-A-Million hot spots are on his back near to tail and hips" - I doubt it's an infection at all. Likely an allergy.
        Caused by the prednisone, amoxicillin, and industrial dog crap "food".


        Tim, I don't want to give with my cc or debit. I can pay from my bank (chase) if thats works, you let me know how i can help this great website.


        "you let me know how i can help this great website" - Posting your feedback under what you've read, that'll be fine, thanks.


    Fantastic Site. Very much enjoyed reading.


    We made our Sherman shepherd a dog house with treated wood. We started noticing dry spots on his fur and a lot of scratching around the paws. We took him to the vet and they sent him a hypoallergenic shampoo, a limited diet and a nutritional supplement with omega 3 & 6 and vitamins to add to the food. He has not gotten better and now I found a scab on his skin. I believe that the wood has mites and that is the reason for the skin issues. He has walking dandruff, patches down his back and losing hair in the paws. I treated him with povidone iodine diluted in water throughout his skin. How should I proceed? Any advice?


    My one year german shepherd is struggling from skin infection and there is little bit bleeding also and now three holes as been spotted we have been using petben shampoo and will pour tick tox daily still no change has been founded


    There's nothing after the title "Treating Skin Infections"?? I'm interested in how to treat my GSD that currently has a deep dermal infection. Please Help!


      Sorry, that's caused by your mobile, I know of the issue, mobiles don't show the sharely box that reveals further content after you share this like we share it with you.
      For now, the solution is you visit from a proper computer (mobiles still can't do much at all really!).
      Until enough visitors like you become supporting site member, or donate, or whatever, so that we have funds to pay for a coder/developer...!

      ...this, it seems, will not be before .... year 2167?? :cry:


        Actually I'm on a desktop PC using Firefox. I'll try my laptop which has chrome. Thanks!


        Uups, interesting, thank you!! We really urgently need to be able to pay a programmer...
        Sadly, won't happen :-(

        Edit: JC, thinking about it, I just take out the whole thing (sharely), that will help you best.
        Could you reply here whether you now see complete pages?


        No worries.

        Sent from Betty's iPhone

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