Dog Health


Dog HealthSo you've got an adult dog, and a problem with the dog's health?

MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG has its own Health Manual, short & simple, and to the point. Although this Manual's Introductory Notes are considered required reading for every dog owner, from the frequent HELP! requests sent in (like that, yes) we know that most dog owners haven't even seen these life-saving Introductory Notes, because then the dog owners wouldn't be worried for their dog's health, and sometimes for their dog's life!

Therefore, again let's spell out THE TWO MOST ESSENTIAL POINTS here:

  1. Choose the right veterinarian, a holistically educated veterinarian, not an average ordinary allopathic veterinarian who primarily studied pharma-industry-sponsored courses! For a long list of reasons, a truly holistically educated veterinarian you will rather find in an animal hospital than in a vet practice. A truly holistically educated veterinarian will not prescribe lab medicaments in general, and antibiotics, steroids and NSAIDs, and vaccination "boosters" in particular, neither as "prophylaxis" nor to "treat" your dog! A truly holistically educated veterinarian will only ever prescribe a lab medicament if it is known to cure a particular disorder or disease identified in your dog. Because these genuine veterinarians look for the CAUSE of a health issue before even considering any "treatment". Accordingly, you won't need to come back to them with follow-up health issues.

  2. Only feed natural fresh human-grade homemade foods, NO commercial waste products from rendering plants! Only human-grade foods, because only these are subject to food standards that can be and are being enforced. While when you buy commercial pet food, you are relying on the manufacturer's marketing. And the money you spend, you actually pay them for their marketing! Because the "food" input cost of "premium brand dry kibble" is infinitesimal - like $0.09 per pound or $0.20 per kilo, while you pay an average $4.03 per pound or $8.88 per kilo on "premium brand dry kibble" at the presumably overall cheapest source! Now you know what you really pay for. Ask yourself: "Do I want to spend my money on the pet food industry's marketing?!?!?"

Only you know the answer.

And what if you weren't looking for overall helpful information like this, but for information on a specific health issue? Then remember that the 31 most common German Shepherd ailments are discussed here. And that the Manual's Introductory Notes are considered required reading for every dog owner. 😉

Or were you looking for a certain dog health remedy? Then you may find what you need in our dog health remedies table. Remember that what you need is not necessarily what you are looking for at the moment...


Note that every key point raised above you can find more comprehensively explained in other places on this website. The menu is your friend. Here, links have been omitted only to keep this decision tree straightforward.

Start anew?


PLEASE NOTE: Posting a fragment of your overall dog problem in the comments below is not going to help. Provide complete details if you really seek the right solution. Of course we have a page for that as well: Dog Problem Consultation.




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    Hi I own a GSD dog for last five years we are veg. and I have feeded my dog with supplements from shop and curd rice, suddenly now dog have got limping in left leg could some one tell me the rescue way for this


    My 117 pound male GSD seems to "slip" sometimes when he runs on the carpet. I was just running around the house with him and he slipped 2 times in a row and it doesn't seem normal to me. He doesn't seem like he's in pain, but I want to stay ahead of any problems he might have. Thank you.


      My German Shepard slips on the wood and when she stands to eat she can't so she needs to lay down and it's not age but I'm worried about her I'm just a kid and I'm sad


    Hi Tim,

    I have another question. Why is it now considered an executable offense to keep your GSD outside?



    Hi my GSD is 1 yr old , and he's Been shedding a lot of hair on both back sides of his body but he doesn't have bald spot to where you see his skin he just has shorter growing fur , he's up to date on shots. We brought him a girl. Fried GSD for couple weeks then she was gone so I don't know what happened since this happened after the fact she left & it's the first time the hair loss happens and the first time he has a friend over, he usually shares and lives with my baby 2 yr old chihuahua but they get along great , they were raised together and are inseparable,, I'm just worried it's my first time having s GSD. What should I do,? To help? O and he does not like can food so he only its treats , dry food,.... And 1 more question? What's the best food to feed GSD???? Thanks


      "he's up to date on shots" - that's your problem then. Better study our vaccination periodical again, ASAP!
      "What's the best food to feed GSD????" - I wonder, have you read here anything at all?


    I have a 7 year old german shepherd, for the last 3 years he has been battling severe skin allergies, the vet has given him antihistamene, anti fungal medicine, antibiotics, last we did an allergy blood test to see if we can pin point what the allergy is, nothing. The skin under his arms and legs is black and has lost hair there and the skin is very thick. His chest is now loosing hair and the black thick skin is staring to develop. He also has like a cheesy smell. Do you recommend anything for this condition? We have changed foods several times, no grain, now no grain one protein...according to the blood work he is not allergic to foods....would love to hear your recommendation. Thank you!!


      "would love to hear your recommendation": you have ruined your dog's immune system with all those lab meds recommended by your vet. 🙁
      IF at all, the only way to reverse that, and have hope for immune system repair, is to AVOID all that vet crap and food crap.
      ONLY feed what we advise for good reason, all the time, on countless pages, on site and in books. And ONLY see genuine holistic vets. Such vet will never prescribe "antihistamene, anti fungal medicine, antibiotics"!
      You can learn in my books WHY it is bad "advice" that you got - and what you PAID for.

      Subject to how ruined your dog's systems are, it may take 8 weeks to see improvement now - or never.

      Why can't people READ what we write BEFORE they do things all wrong?!


    Thanks for the information. I wish I would have known about your website before, I definitely will be doing a lot of reading in the next couple of days and make a definite change with the food and vet.


    Took my GS with anal gland infection to another vet. Was hoping to avoid surgical removal of glands, but this fellow agreed that surgery was the best answer. He agreed that the infection was not bothering my dog, that he is healthy & has no other problems but the infected glands, but said it best that they be removed to keep the dog healthy, & to avoid an abscess. Dog is now on his 4th different series of antibiotics, will be checked in a month, glands expelled, then we'll go from there. I am still against surgery unless it would prevent worse complications, & not pleased with the constant use of strong antibiotics.
    Would appreciate any assistance from those who have had a GS with anal gland infection.


      Bonnie, this is what I don't understand: I took much time and wrote here extra for you about the idiocrasy of ordinary vets to prescribe BLANKET TREATMENTS with antibiotics, like your first vet did.

      Then you seemed to appreciate that and agree.

      Now, you post an update and you say "Took my GS with anal gland infection to another vet... Dog is now on his 4th different series of antibiotics"


      Like I said, I will never understand why so many people (it isn't just you, you know) seem to finally understand (here, the idiocrasy to use antibiotics), and yet not change their behavior as medical consumer! Routine/habit seems to have such a strong force on the present "facebook" generations, it is staggering. Improvement doesn't come from doing the same thing over and over again, Bonnie, but from CHANGE.

      At this point now, I sadly have little hope that the anal infection will improve: After FOUR bouts of antibiotics, and in such quick succession, the poor dog's immune system has been criminally harmed! Self-healing requires support, not destruction. The immune system has been systematically destructed!

      Worse: You will soon visit the vet with ever more "side effect" problems caused by those foolish antibiotics therapies. And you will pay for those too, again and again. Mark my word. 😥


    I know I sound very hypocritical re the antibiotics, 4th round. I took my dog to this highly recommended city vet, hoping for a ' change'. He did same as country vet, more antibiotics as no change in severity of the infection. I have debated re giving him the pills, but not sure what the right thing to do really is. Have tried Epson salt compresses, no change, bulked up his fibre intake, no change, --now what?


      "Am taking him to an holistic vet next week"
      "I took my dog to this highly recommended city vet" - is that the "holistic vet"?
      Probably not: "...hoping for a ' change'. He did same as country vet, more antibiotics"

      A true holistic vet as I defined it for example here will NOT prescribe antibiotics without having followed a very stringent process:

      • taking a culture
      • growing it for up to 14 days
      • IF pathogen identified, reviewing all natural remedies (incl. homeopathic remedies in the New World Veterinary Repertory)
      • IF NOT found a suitable natural remedy (highly unlikely!), reviewing the date a seemingly suitable antibiotic was last reported as successful
      • because a true holistic vet knows very well that most antibiotics are now known to be INeffective from the start!
      • and only IF at this stage he finds a suitable antibiotic (but not found a natural remedy earlier!??), he may prescribe it.

      Anyway, following your update, I change my earlier statement:
      "As we see, time and again, even two bouts of antibiotics didn't help. No surprise here."
      "As we see, time and again, even FOUR bouts of antibiotics didn't help. No surprise here!!!"

      "now what?" - that depends.
      1. "eats well (homemade food)" - what exactly? And only? No exceptions?
      2. (new vet..) "but said it best that they be removed to keep the dog healthy" - you DON'T "keep the dog healthy" by removing glands!
      3. (antibiotics..) When does the "4th round" end?
      4. I already asked earlier: "have you tried the suggested home treatment, and for how long, and what difference in symptoms did that make, both visually and behavior-wise? What does it look like now compared to what it looked like when that "vet" started his routine "treatment"? Any helpful observations?"


    Hi Tim,
    I love your advice . And I appreciate all the work you do on this site to inform people. But your replies and tone are very condescending. You have valuable information that these people are obviously uninformed about it. Yes, it is frustrating and I understand you love and care for your GSDs more than people. But I would hate to see you turn off the very people who need your help the most. I do hope they continue to apply the education that you are so passionate about here. But remember, the owners are in control, and they are who we speak to. If you loose that audience, you loose your purpose. If the questions and answers are frustrating, and I think you post them to show the ignorance of most GSD owners, then why post them at all? Those of us who are in tune with what you are saying do not post redundancy.


      Pardon me? Bonnie didn't think so, we've had a longer and very objective discussion, maybe you overlooked that?

      But anyway, how can you make unfounded claims like "...and I understand you love and care for your GSDs more than people"? - What??
      "and I think you post them to show the ignorance of most GSD owners"? - What??
      "Those of us who are in tune with what you are saying do not post redundancy"? - What?

      Can it be you had a bad moment, coming up with all that absurdity, AND writing it here?

      Why do you think you may say what you think, but I may not?
      Do you see, THAT is very condescending.
      I wouldn't even THINK to publish sth made up out of thin air about YOU. But you do, about ME.
      Strange. Do you see that now?


    My GSD sheds a lot... Is this normal for this time of the year? I give him vitamins and very good food From time to time I cook chicken. What should I do?
    Many & very special thanks!!!!


      In Greece it's still warm, but dogs really shed different amounts for various reasons, not just seasons. Food is one factor, yes. What means "very good food" to you?

      I know it means VERY different things to different people, lol.
      Anyway, you shouldn't need to do anything at all. Have you read our Shedding Periodical?


    I know you say that processed food is not always as they claimed to be, but I have a situation with my GSD, he is 7 years old and he has always been kind of susceptible to certain kind of foods, including human, we have taking him to various Vets. and no one is capable of determine the root cause of it. we have try giving him organic home made food but to no avail. Now Max stated to limp on both front legs, again I took him to another vet, this time to a dermatology and the only thing he recommends is to give him some type of processed food made of salmon, witch I suppose is not really salmon but some byproduct of. So what your recommendations be. I will appreciate very much since I an running out of options and I am afraid of the well being of my dog Max.


      Fabian, why the dermatologist? Any skin problem with Max?
      I understood "started to limp on both front legs", no?
      That would mean a mobility problem, and if any specialty vet it should be a physical therapist, or if vision is impacted too, even a vestibular specialist. But a standard holistic vet would seem more adequate than a dermatologist.

      "he is 7 years old and he has always been kind of susceptible to certain kind of foods" suggests that the new limping is Unrelated.
      And "susceptible" in what way? Skin problems? You didn't say.

      How long did he get "organic home made food" anyway? Note that any diet change requires a couple of weeks or more to see results.

      The key would be to know WHAT all those prior vets prescribed. I have an educated guess, but you didn't say. That's why we have this comprehensive questionnaire here.


    I am dealing with fistulas with my GS dog. My previous one had them also. Going to a holistic vet using traditional and herbal remedies. Anyone have experience dealing with this horrible situation?


      Kathy did you not click through to fistulas?
      Solution is right there on that page.


    Hi, Brody is 3 years old we decided to change his food to Fromm. He gets fed twice a day 2 cups in the morning to cups at night we introduce the food doing a 1 1/2 cups old food And a 1/2 a cup of the new food started Sunday night he was fine until about 230 in the morning Monday and he is a diarrhea for a full day. I'm giving him plane rice and I have added Pedialyte to his water. Do you think it was the food that is giving him the diarrhea not sure because it was almost a full day after we started switching it. Otherwise he is normal as far as playing running, loving and giving lots of kisses. Thank you


      Hi Gayle, it's clear that you are new here, so when I reply you may be confused, hence DO make sure that you thoroughly read through what I link for you, and much much more you can find through our well-structured menu at the top too.

      1. STOP feeding Fromm or any other dry crap. Here's why.
      2. Dry food(lol!) CAUSES dehydration (obviously), thus you should stop the Pedialyte too. Doing 1. is enough.
      3. The GI tract does react up to a day or two later, yes. Nonetheless, obviously it could be a different cause too, say a parasite.

      If you love your dog so much that you let him kiss you :mrgreen: then by all means give him REAL FOOD. That alone will solve pretty much all health problems before they even occur, so to say. And it will save you hundreds thousands of dollars(!) over the course of your dog's life. Mark my words, we get here millions like your request for help. Very very few seem to take it in after one quick read/glance.


    My adult(almost 3 yr old) male neutered rescue shepherd while running hit a stick between his rear leg and his penis. Mind you he was neutered. As I was putting medicine on the surface wound I felt what seemed to me like a non descended testicle. I checked the other side and felt the same thing. As a young male occasionally his penis would become slightly rigid I assumed and this being the first time raising a male I just don't understand what those could be. Any ideas? I chk him for tics from his pads to his ears and had not noticed that before.
    I don't like the vets here who only want to hog tie him.


    Our new GSD, Max, started shaking his head last summer, so after a few days, I took him to our new vet (we recently moved to a new neighborhood). He treated Max for yeast, after doing a swab and gave me some ear stuff to use for a few weeks until i took him back for a re-check. Well, yeast was better, but another two more weeks and $60 for the check and wait for 90 minutes (with an appt) for him to say the same thing.

    Ok, fast forward to September and Max is still shaking his head (I mean every few hours or so, which all started in July). I then took him to our old vet (small, country town vet who did large and small animals. They didnt see any yeast, but sold me some ear wash to use for a few weeks. Took him back a month later for them to sedate Max and REALLY look in the ears. They saw a ruptured left ear drum (eaten by infection she said) but no current infection or yeast. She said ear drum would heal and come back if we needed to.

    Took him back in late January, (still shaking a few times a day) and they sedated him again and saw lots of wax in both ear canals, but no yeast or infection. They treated what they could and told me to use ear each (prescription) for a week and then as maintenance, once a month or so. Max is still shaking his head a few times a day and I am just worried that something else is wrong or possibly his ear drum has not healed (they couldn't see it for the wax).


    Mark, sounds like you went on an odyssee with the vets. Thanks to your detailed description, let's see if we can ultimately stop the head shaking for good.

    1. A ruptured ear drum does not heal without the cause being cured, no.
    2. The fact that they diagnosed the eardrum is perforated means the middle ear is now infected (too). They can't see that by "looking in the ear canal". The middle ear is much deeper, behind the eardrum, see here.
    3. "vet gave me some ear stuff to use for a few weeks" - I need to know what "stuff"?
    4. "sold me some ear wash to use for a few weeks" - what? And any change in symptoms or behavior?
    5. "told me to use ear each (prescription) for a week and then as maintenance, once a month or so." - what means "use ear each (prescription)"?

    In case it has now healed and you don't bother to reply, note this:
    Feeding him kibble is NOT going to help heal anything, kibble is nothing but garbage/toxins. If it wasn't the cause it certainly makes things worse now. So that's the first I would change. As for how, see our menu items please, top of any page.


    Ok, one item at a time. BTW, thanks a lot.

    Kibble?? I didn’t know what else to say, but i buy my dogs "Call of the wild” or whatever at Hollywood Feeds. Hey, I love my dogs and will do whatever it takes. Our kids are gone so we have time and money to do it right. That being said, his previous owners fed him Purina Pro blend, so I thought i was doing better than that.

    1) well, the vets told me that since they didn’t see any infection or yeast (when they did the deep dive into the inner ear) that it would heal after being ruptured by infection.

    2) the second deep dive was three weeks ago and they said they saw nothing but lots of ear wax. No infection. I dont know how deep they got, but according to your comment, I dont know if they got that deep or not.

    3) I got some prescription ear wash. I am at work, so will have to respond with the name later.

    4) no change since I stopped using it every day for a week or so after his last ear exam (3 weeks ago). They mentioned that the wash would break up the was and shaking his head would expel it.

    5) typing too fast. Use ear wash once a month after using it for a week after last exam (see number 4). Actually, i have used it about weekly since then. The irony is that he shakes his head after the wash goes in so I dont know whether his shakes are leftover wash, wax or something else.

    Tim, I have records at home from what each vet did. The first vet never got past his outer ear. The second vet has done two sedated ear washes/exams.

    He seems to shake more after he gets up form laying down. When he plays or at dog park, he doesn’t do it. He is very hyper and its hard for me to get him to sit still so I can really look all around his ears.

    thanks a lot Tim.


    The ear medicine he on now is called Klear Otic.


    The vet that first saw Max last July, tested for yeast (positive) and sent us home with (a) TriULTRA + Keto +B/D Otic Flush (4oz) and (b) EpiKlean. I do not remember how much I used of each, but I used them for 2 weeks until his re-check. Upon his re-check, I continued to use items for another 2 weeks, but I do not know, if at the same rate since he said the yeast was “better.”

    4) In October, I took Max to our old vet and they did not test for yeast, but observed and based on what the other vet did, sent us home with Ketomax ph8.5, to use twice a day for 7 days, and then once a day for 7 days. After two weeks, I took them up on their offer of sedating him to really look in ears. They did, and saw the ruptured ear drum in left ear, but no infection or yeast (at the time). I do not remember them telling me to do any routine flushing with the products I had.

    Between July and October, his head shakes were seldom (once a week or so, maybe), as October closed in, the shakes were everyday, a few times. Between October and February, again, head shakes were settled down to a few times a week, but increased in frequency toward January to a few times a day.

    5) Visit to vet on Feb. 2, was for more sedation to look at ear. They saw no infection, but excessive ear wax and assumed that I was using ear wash, the Ketomax ph8.5, but I do not remember them telling me that, so I did not use it. They sent us home on Feb. 2, with Klear Otic, to use twice a day for a week, then once a month for maintenance. As of now, he shakes his head a few times a day, mostly after getting up in morning.


    According the hits vet records from when we got him a year ago, (5.3) he is current on everything (rabies, parvo, distemper); his boosters were in January 2016 (3 year rabies). His first rabies shot was at 4 months old.

    He is not on a heart worm treatment at the current time. They did blood work when I took him in for the first ear problem and never told me what the results were, nor prescribe any meds.

    as far as stress related shaking, or psych or chronic, NO, I have not thought about it. The fact is, they have seen yeast and lots of ear wax, that means there is something in the ears. Would that not be enough??

    Ok, saw the link for the kibble. WOW. I didn’t know any of that, but not surprised. Ok, now, I see the steamer pics and the link to Amazon, but I didn’t see what I should feed them, just a few pics of bowls of food, so what do I feed them (did I miss another link??). Max loves broccoli, carrots, and brussle sprouts.

    thanks for the advice and expertise.


    So there we know more now.
    1) He DID receive antibiotics, Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic. It should never be given to treat "nausea, diarrhea, vomiting", why did they give him this, what infection did they diagnose at the time??

    This MAY already give the key hint, my Miguel received it as puppy for a deadly mycoplasma hemocanis infection and we checked at end of treatment that he was cured. What did the vet do at the end of your treatment?

    2) DHLPPV-CCV. The whole bonkers! Catastrophic! See here. Your vets are ordinary (average) allopathic vets! "at 3 months old" OMG! For reasons like yours (and so many more) we strongly advise against seeing (and paying) such "vets"! See here. Instead, seek out the best holistically educated vet you can find, it pays, as you see. More easily to find in your nearest animal hospital.

    "DHLPPV-CCV July/2014; DHLPPV-CCV in August/2014; Rabies and DHPPV at September/2014; boosters for Rabies, DHLP-P, and Bordetella, in January 2016." - Why all those repetitions?!?!?!? What precisely was their reason??

    3) "along with dewormer" - which dewormer? See here.

    The point is - I say it frankly as it is - with such foolish vet treatments, and at such a young age, no wonder the poor dog has an impaired immune system already! Study, not read, all the linked content, to get light bulbs glowing, Mark. Then happily leave your feedback under each.

    As for the current head shaking, I suggest this: Keep a record, whenever you can observe it,
    - when the dog is doing it
    - what happened immediately before that
    - where is it occuring
    - what behavior he shows afterwards
    - if you can identify any triggers that might cause it
    - if he seems stressed then
    - if he has balance problems (you mentioned "nausea treatment" ealier)

    That will give ultimate clues. Yourself, me, anyone.

    And APPLY all what you study there, it's worth it, else I wouldn't offer it. Also, the menu is your friend, you even find what you asked: "what meals?"... 😉


    I will keep a journal about his head shaking. I will look into the menu. My wife read your article and was astounded. I have a co-worker who’s wife is a vet and they use Science Diet for their dogs (they have no kids - just dogs).

    thank you also for the extra info in the links below. I will read and STUDY!!!!!

    thanks Tim.


    Mark, some 99% of vets have zero clue of dog food, it's not part of vet school other than what the pet food companies teach them. No wonder every ordinary vet SELLS pet food. It pays perks. When I was young physicians practiced, only; selling was against code. One cannot do good to dogs if you do both.

    "He was treated a week before his neutering" Those guys are criminals! You NEVER neuter a dog that isn't in TOP health!

    "DHLPPV-CCV." is not "a" vaccine, ALL of them! See this link why dangerous! useless! inadequate! harmful!
    "they were pre-determined boosters (scheduled ahead of time at his first visit)" - Criminals, like I said. See the links earlier. Do not ever allow (and pay for) a "booster"!



    Miguel too says Thank You for your site support, Mark!
    Stripe just notified us, and these rare events make our day. 🙂

    Are you keeping the discussed dog behavior records?



    You're very welcome for the support; after the help and information you gave me, contributing a little money, was the least I could do.

    Yes, I have been keeping track of Max's headshaking. I noted, as I suspected before, when he gets up from laying down for an extended period of time, and when he gets excited, as in shortly after we come in from work or from outside or anytime that he runs to us and is happy, a bit of headshaking occurrs. He does not do it when he sleeping or laying down, he does not do it when he's busy walking or occupied with task that take up his attention.

    I'm going to continue with my once a month ear wash, per the directions from the vet, and my intention is, to take him back in May, and have them look in his ears again, to see if the wax has abated since our visit in early February.

    After your lesson on feeding the dog properly, I have been googling all over the place for dog diets, that exclude dry dog food. I run upon several articles and websites, about feeding dogs raw meat. What I've read is fascinating, and it makes sense, however I didn't see any mention of that in your blogs on the subject. That being said, since last weekend, I've been spending time in the morning and in the evenings, preparing our dogs, a more human type meal, with meat and vegetables, along with oatmeal and blueberries in the morning.

    Thank you again for your individual attention last weekend, and I'm still Peru's in the website to look at stuff I have yet to read. I've learned a lot in the last week. I have a coworker, who is a big dog lover, and have been passing this information on to her. She has a young lab, and she has learned a lot this last week.


    "about feeding dogs raw meat. What I've read is fascinating, and it makes sense"

    It actually doesn't make sense at all, Mark. Feel free to click through here if you don't have the Dog Expert Interviews with Reviews. Plus, it's highly dangerous, for both of you. There's no need to prepare sth special, just share natural food leftovers.


    Well, we don't eat breakfast, so I prepare them stuff separate. In addition, we don't always eat balanced meals or sometimes eat at all, depending on our schedule or what we had for lunch at work. I would never feed them taco meat or anything processed, not to mention, one of our dogs ain't too keen on the veggies.

    Ok. I finally saw the link in the comments where you expand on the raw meat diet. Very good. I am just trying to process all this info and do the right thing.

    Tim, pur 13 year old chihuahua, is having more trouble with the new diet than Max is. She has had diarrhea for the last two days and I am not sure which food is causing it. I am sure your web site has some info on this, but I have not figured out yet where to look.



    What new diet is it?

    Don't make abrupt diet changes anyway, always replace a quarter more after a few days.

    Everything but Periodicals is accessible via the menu, but let me know the diet.

    "I would never feed them taco meat or anything processed, not to mention, one of our dogs ain't too keen on the veggies"
    - You ARE feeding them "anything processed", you are feeding them the most extremely processed industrial kibble, kibble = crap.

    "my intention is, to take him back in May, and have them look in his ears again, to see if the wax has abated since our visit in early February."
    - Only now I realize, this sounds a bit like you are not cleaning their ears regularly at all? GSD ears are professional dirt collectors, we have to clean them frequently and SAFELY, see again here.


    Oatmeal in morning, but had eggs today. Meat, with vegies for dinner, starting last Tuesday. Kibble been out all day to munch on and let them nibble.
    Vegetables include carrots, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and a few potatoes. Still experimenting and getting in mode of cooking for them.



    You clearly did not read Dog Meals, Meal Times, and Feeding Routine, or you weren't curious to try it out? No food is "out all day to munch on".
    If you then say "but you said kibble is no food anyway", I will correct myself and say "No food and no crap is out all day to munch on", lol.

    Why do you feed oatmeal? And what kind of "oatmeal" exactly do you serve?

    Finally, did you make the diet change slowly or abrupt? I suspect, too abrupt?
    Always introduce new foods slowly, ie small amounts mixed under.

    As for the head shaking: In your record-keeping, can you include observations of dizziness, confusion, lack of awareness, or lack of body control, after any head shaking?


    Yes abrupt, no doubt. Too abrupt. I will go back and re-read the feeding articles.

    Regular, non instant oatmeal. Cooked in boing water 5 minutes. When we eat, they always lick the bowl, so I googled it and it said ok for dogs. They enjoy it and I put blueberries on it.

    Yes, on the headshaking after affects.

    No, I did not read it, I haven’t seen the article until your link below. I sometimes read your emails on my smartphone and the links are not always apparent, not to mention looking at the Dog Food topic under Care on your web site, I don’t see the topic of “Dog Meals, Meal Times,….”; it may have been on another email or inside one of the other articles, but I haven’t read it, but am now as I am home from work today.

    In addition, you sent me a link to the raw food question by sending me to a comment a person asked about raw food; I may never have seen that being that your site is full of info and lots of comments and questions that I have not gotten to yet. Let me repeat, your site is FULL of info, and i am still reading and learning, not to mention, searching the web for other info too.

    That being said, for the last few years, I have filled the dogs bowls two times: in the morning and the evening and they eat when they eat (may be wrong, based on your comment below). Our chihuahua doesn’t eat that much, so it is hard to keep track, (and I have yet to figure out a way to keep separate bowls for her and him) but they don’t have weight problems, and when the food is gone, its gone, until the next feeding. I have noticed something about Max: he will not eat when we are gone; the food from the morning is still there when we get home. That being said, with the new diet, there is no food leftover. They have been eating all I give them, and leaving the kibble out was a way of supplementing them into the new diet by giving them part human food and part kibble, even though it was in a separate bowl (also may be wrong).

    Either way, my wife and I are very serious about changing their diets and stopping the dry dog food. I have passed on your links and comments to a co-worker of mine who loves dogs, but not sure if she is ‘all in’ yet. My wife and I both work, and our dogs have always stayed at home alone with each other. Since our kids have grown, they are our kids now and we pamper and spoil them, but I do want to feed them better food and I want Max’s ears (if they are indeed a problem) to get better. We had him a year yesterday, and he is our ‘son.’

    This is what they call “life changing moment”. I am trying to educate myself, but it will take time.

    Thank you.


      I will wait for your record-keeping results, but I feel confident already that his (violent?) head shaking is a nervous system disorder, for now triggered by discomfort/pain in the ears (the perforated ear drum, infection, excessive ear wax).

      Meaning, when his ears are fine (you don't need the vet checks for that anymore, you can get the top ear care remedy yourself and much cheaper, but make sure you get without hydrocortisone!, and do regular ear care), the nervous system disorder may show through other symptoms: A disorder isn't cured when we've suppressed a symptom (here, ear wax/infection).

      Excitement (obviously) is a trigger as well: You mentioned Max does the head shaking also when you come home from work.

      Now, we here at, don't make do with mere symptoms, we focus on the cause so as to achieve cure not palliation.

      Still lacking your record-keeping results, for now I'd guess the key cause is Separation Anxiety. We people cannot imagine the dog could be that anxious, I know, but when you've read the linked Periodical you know GSDs are (sadly the ueber funny youtube video that was linked has been taken down). The Periodical also gives some pointers what we can do about it, check it out.

      Thanks Mark. You've been so generous, I gladly added you to our "hall of fame" at the end of every page. Take a look. 🙂


        Thanks for the extra info on the ears, Tim. Both vets "thought" that if he had allergies (to food, most likely) that he would show symmetric infections, but to date, one ear has been worse (wax or infection), and to my knowledge, no infection since the summer. However, when I saw your posts on the dog food diet, I decided to go ahead and change our two dogs to human food and get rid of the kibble. Its been more work (only a week in), but I interface with them more and has disciplined me to be more conscience of what they eat (just as you would your human children). That is a good thing, and I am thankful that I was able to find your site, if for no other reason, than to learn about proper feeding.

        I did notice Max shaking his head more frequently this past Friday (I was home with them), so I went ahead and used the Klear Otic since the 'once a month date' was approaching. Of course, he shakes his head for awhile afterward (he does not like it all), and has had 2 or 3 spurts of head shakes (a few times in several minutes) over this past weekend.

        I just noticed above, reading your replies, that I did not see all the email content for atleast, the one written on 23:19, March 6, 2017 ( I got the first 3 sentences, but that was it). No, up until he went to the vet in July, I was not aware of routine ear care and had not been doing so, in the 3 months that we had him prior. I have no idea if his previous owners did that or not. I will read the linked articles on monthly/routine cleaning.

        Thanks again and also for the "hall of fame" mention.


    Tried the "meal time" routine yesterday for lunch and dinner, and again this morning. Max is not exactly sure what is going on, but I got him to sit/lay down before I "released" him for his food. Princess (the chihuahua) is sitting there trying to figure out what part tell is going on. I feed her first so I doing have dogs going after the wrong bowls, and at 13, I am not login to try to "discipline" her into the sitting and waiting thing. She already knows who the Alpha is.

    thanks again


    OK, Tim, I think I have enough info to comment on the circumstances to when Max shakes his head. I feel I can safely say that 90% of the time (I am an engineer, so its legal for me to use definite percentages), he shakes his head after getting up from laying down, when he is anxious or excited (when we come home or in the morning, when we get vertical and get ready to go walk him). He rarely shakes his head while walking, or when is laying down, in the middle of playing in the house with his toys. As said before, when I first noticed the habitual shaking the vet did see infection/yeast, and he has not gone more than a week or so since without shaking his head. The last few weeks, it is several times a day (see above circumstances). I hate the fact that it still may be his ear, since we have been trying to keep them clean per the vets (and yours) instructions. Now, he does not lose his balance or seem disoriented or dizzy, nor lack of body control. It seems as natural as panting, actually. I just wish we could get it to stop because I feel there is something bothering him since he was at our house 4 months before he started it; it has now been 8 months.


      You haven't yet replied if it's violent head shaking? Look, there are many ways a dog shakes his head, and the way he does it gives clues (in addition to in what situation he does it, which you had explained).

      Please see my earlier conclusion here, which I still feel is relevant.

      Obviously we need to make sure that any infection and/or allergy is cured, and that - if possible - any defect has healed (his perforated eardrum). I understood you that the vet confirmed this. Now if Max still shakes his head like before, obviously the vet's ear diagnosis was NOT the cause (Max will not have made the head-shaking a habit still, I doubt that). Meaning, there is an underlying nervous system disorder. That's nothing critical, unless it gets worse/widens.

      As per your consultation DIET info: "Kibble (dry industrial), Fish, Meat, and Water; No Veg, no Fruit". I maintain that the diet may certainly be the cause: All industrial kibble contains cell toxins, and cell toxins do cause nervous system disorders (and further disorders). In addition, dogs DO NEED veg and fruit for health.

      This conclusion also matches your info under HEALTH: "No signs of pain", AND: "hyper, fun, excited".

      From the section TREATMENTS we know Max wrongly received 6,000 mg tetracycline antibiotics at age 1yr, namely "for nausea, diarrhea, vomiting". PLUS we know poor Max has received no less than 33(!) vaccines in his short life. Each and every one of these 33 shocked his immune system. As we know from the TOP immunologists in the world, this vaccination marathon certainly has caused multiple disorders.

      You must by all means prevent that the dog is further subjected to needless and yet harmful vaccination "boosters". Again, pl study Dog Vaccinations and Puppy Vaccinations.

      From SYMPTOMS we know: "Between July and October, his head shakes were seldom (once a week or so, maybe)", and now during the winter "it is several times a day". - I uphold my earlier advice that "sth in your environment MAY trigger an itch or other irritation, such that he tries to shake it off". Likely INSIDE the house, because "Between July and October" is summer and the dog likely is more outside, and so is not affected as much.

      Typically, environmental intoxication inside the house comes from 1) floor cleaning detergents (hence we always only steam-cleaned the floors with NO chemicals added whatsoever), 2) carpet adhesives, and 3) wood stains. So please consider all of these possibilities as well.

      I do not share your worry that "sth in the ears" is causing the head-shaking, because you answered me "he does not lose his balance or seem disoriented or dizzy, nor lack of body control". He would, then.

      You did say that you are both at work all day, hence why I suggested that IF IT'S NOT a nervous system disorder from intoxication (1. kibble, 2. vaccines, 3. environmental) then it's a nervous system disorder from Separation Anxiety.

      I am sorry but based on all your present case information I do not reach a different conclusion.


        Ok, as far as "Violent head shakes," I would say no. That is subjective to me, but still, they don't appear to be violent (I regret that I left out that info).
        As i indicated a few weeks ago, I have taken my dogs off the dry dog food and am now feeding them a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, yogurt, meat and some grains (using the table you have on your food page). They haven't ingested kibble in about 3 weeks. As far as him being injected with a bunch of antibiotics and vaccines; obviously there is nothing we can do about that now, except prevent him from further garbage in his body.
        He may indeed be suffering from some irritant in the house. We vacuum and occasionally use baking soda based carpet deodorizers; we can stop that, to see if that helps. We have no stained wood. Being, we have no fence yet, he gets walked 3-4 times a day, no matter the weather, so I cant say that he gets out more in the summer, short of a bi-weekly trip to the dog park for a few hours.
        You said above, "when his ears are fine," well, thats what I am trying to determine. I know he had yeast and I know his left eardrum ruptured, and I know that six weeks ago, the vet could not verify if his eardrum had healed, because so much ear wax obstructed their view of his ear. I want a sanity check to whether his eardrum has indeed healed and if his wax buildup is excessive (especially now that I am cleaning routinely). I have no idea how often or whether his previous owners cleaned his ears (I have not seen any prescription ear washes on the paperwork, so maybe it just got bad, when he came to our house, or was already bad).
        Either way, I am concerned that his non-violent shaking may cause some damage. Right now, I just feel sorry for him, whatever the cause.
        My wife is at home with him this week (she is a teacher on Spring vacation) and is about to be home with him all summer. Being that his shaking started during last summer, when she was home, I would think that his separation anxiety would be less at times like that.

        Mark from Alabama


        Aha, there's quite a lot new info now. Eg from earlier responses I knew that "Between July and October, his head shakes were seldom", which to me meant summer. Now you're saying the head shaking only started in the summer. Plus, if your wife often has been home (I misunderstood that as well) then obviously Separation Anxiety cannot be the cause (unless Max were fixated on you).

        I am still convinced it is a nervous system disorder. It's great to hear you'll stop having him on carpets that have been cleaned recently (baking soda will just be one of many more inert ingredients). I wrote elsewhere that "deodorizers" are SO unhealthy they should be legally forbidden, and although I referred to "air refreshers" those for carpets are not much better (just that less chemicals become airborne). In fact, thinking about it, they likely are just as bad or worse: dogs that walk/roll around on the carpet and then lick their feet/groom their coat, even ingest the nasty chemicals!

        Aha, the eardrum still needs to be checked again, okay. Give it two more weeks, then you have four weeks of significantly reduced intoxication, and since yeast had healed up as well the eardrum may then have healed up.

        Mark, all the above aside, with purebred dogs like GSDs that get heavily inbred (Chihuahuas much less so), there are "naturally" more health issues than with mixes. I am not saying that Max' head shaking is neglible, I am saying that from all you shared his health appears to be much better than that of many other GSDs.

        Miguel for example will "cycle" with his right hind leg (in particular that one) everytime when I brush his coat on the right side of the belly. It too is a nervous system disorder, and we know the cause (the hospital head vet and I): it is a common side effect of when she treated him with Doxycycline to cure his deadly Mycoplasma hemocanis infection when a puppy. In fact, the Doxycycline treatment temporarily caused much worse behavior that she diagnosed as seizures (Epilepsy). Gladly, that was only temporarily, until a few weeks after the end of treatment (all documented in the New Puppy Diary).

        If you are sure that "his shaking started during last summer" [ie 2016], then obviously the head shaking symptom is not caused by Doxycycline: "In May 2015, he was treated for nausea, diarrhea, vomiting. Given 20 tablets of Doxycycline-300mg".

        Nervous system disorder aside, there are a few other possibilities but they are so unlikely I won't even occupy your mind with those.


    I apologize for the misunderstanding, but my narrative has been since I filled out the form on your web site, that after four months in our house, as a re-homed dog, Max started shaking his head in late July and after a week, I took him to our vet where they discovered yeast in both ears, heavier in right. I called his previous owners to inquired about a history of ear problems and he said that there were not any.

    After all this time thinking about allergens and irritants, I never thought about carpet deodorizers. My wife agreed that its not a big deal; I just hope we can find the problem (if there is one aside from a nervous disorder). Not to mention, its been 3 weeks off the kibble and we are having fun at meal time.

    Now, to the separation anxiety, yes, my wife was home with Max all last summer and that was when the head shaking occurred. I still give it credence because, I don't know if he gets upset at me leaving, maybe even the fact that he is in a new home after spending his first 2 years with his "birth" family. I have no idea what is going on in his head, so who knows and all options are opened.

    I read in numerous places that the eardrum will heal in about 6 weeks (been 20 weeks since they discovered it ruptured); I would certainly hope that it has. One would think, that if it hasn't, he would be terribly uncomfortable.

    Mark from North Alabama


      Yeah I read that too, and I shake my head everytime, based on all that I've learned.

      Somewhere I made a list of the nonsense getting proliferated on the net (tomatoes deadly, garlic toxic, chocolate deadly,....), and I concluded: Copying from other copiers is so much easier than doing own research and writing about new insights.

      The internet has made this so much worse.


        Tim, Max is my first purebred German Shepherd. We had a German Shepherd/Malamute for almost 15 years, and to my knowledge, we hardly ever cleaned his ears, he never had an ear infection or ear trouble, and I don't remember him ever shaking his head except when he got his body wet. That being said, yesterday, I got some ear solution (the prescription KlearOctic) on a cotton ball, and wiped out the inside of Max's ears, as far down as I could comfortably reach without him causing him an anxiety attack. It was hard to get a good look inside, but I cleaned out what I can see easily. This morning, he been shaking his head quite a bit, and actually trying to scratch his right here with his back foot. I was able to get him aside with the ear flap folded back and looking with the flashlight, and saw two little circular patches of black gunk. They were a little smaller than a dime in diameter. I asked my wife to kind of hold him down while I folded his ear back and got a Q-tip, and very carefully, raked out the junk. I'm assuming it's dark ear wax, based on its consistency and the look. They actually stuck to the Q-tip, which was coated with the ear solution. I don't know if this is normal, I don't know if this is wax from his inner ear that spins out when he shakes his head, as the vet said would happen, or this is dirt that's accumulated to the bottom of his outer ear, but as I've said before, this seems to be abnormal, but I don't know.


    Hi my name is Sam and my GS is named Titian. He is a black and silver 2-1/2 years old large breed. I feed him a chicken leg quarter with Iams kibbles. I don't have a problem getting him to eat the leg quarter but sometimes he does not want eat the kibbles. I put about 5 ounces of unsalted chicken stock on the kibbles to get him to eat them. I wonder if the chicken stock might be upsetting his stomach because he eats grass everyday now. He didn't start this until I put the stock on his kibbles. He doesn't act like he sick.


      I can't blame your dog for not wanting to eat "lams kibbles".
      Would you eat them?

      Don't be shocked by this question, study this.

      Thereafter ask yourself, Sam WHY do you feed "lams kibbles"?

      Note that whatever your answer, we have already refuted your answer here: See the MENU > CARE > DOG FOOD

      Titian almost certainly IS sick, you just don't notice the symptoms because often symptoms can be subtle. Dogs eat grass when they feel unwell in their GI tract.


    Hi there , gReetings from India.
    I have a 48 days old GSD. Today morning, he suddenly started puking in green.
    The only thing I did unusual was , I was providing few Chunks of Royal cannin mixed with chunks of Pedigree (both starter pack).
    and in the night and early morning, I dint gave the chunks of Royal cannin.

    Please suggest.


    Good morning,
    I have not received the Health Manual could you please telll me what I need to do to obtain it.


      You need not do anything Tanya, the download link comes per email right after subscribing to the Periodical. If you didn't see it pl check your "spam" folder?
      Please be aware that I am currently compiling a completely new Health Manual (I am working on it for a year already), and each chapter that is ready I have already replaced online, under >HEALTH >OUR DOG HEALTH MANUAL. You may find that helpful as well.


    I believe My 9yr female German Shepa5d has CDRM, how do I locate a Physical Therapist in Fairfield CA to work with her


    Hi Tim,
    We have a giant gentleman, Max, a 115 lb. German Shepherd who just turned 8 and was recently tested through the University of Minnesota for DM and results came back that he is affected. My husband and I actually learned of this condition through your website and by reading through your online discussions with others and this is what prompted us to have him tested. Thank you for this forum which allows GS owners a way to learn and be informed. He has never been on any medications (other than flea/tick/heartworm) pills. His vet is suggesting physical therapy and Dasuquin (joint health supplement). His symptoms started a few months ago. We do walk him daily. We also have a black lab and they run together daily. My husband and I would like to know what you'd recommend for Max at this early stage in his diagnosis. Thank you very much!


      Sorry to hear of that positive diagnosis Sue. 8ys is a common point to notice it.
      Please go here to read what I suggest to do: Degenerative Myelopathy.
      I almost had ready a revised/updated article but you will have seen here what stops me getting things published. I need others to help me to help them, and sadly, from thousands of free subscribers no one even bothers to post IDEAS! 😥

      With this reminder, maybe you will help helping you?


    Very nicely designed, easy to follow all articles and its contents, great job


    Hi folks,

    I have a 4 year old GSD who's been very healthy and happy until a few weeks ago. After a regular day of playing in the sand, I noticed a little limp on his left hind leg later that night. I didn't think it was anything serious since it went away after a few steps. The next night I notice he is limping again but he was not showing any sign of pain or discomfort.
    I decided to not let him run/jump for a few days and I took him to the vet the next Monday. The vet couldn't find anything and just sent us home with some anti-inflammatory medication and told me to rest him for 5 days.
    It has now been 4-5 weeks and I have tried 2 other vets but the problem persists.
    He's only limping when he first gets up and only lasts for the first few steps. He is still full of energy and will jump/run around if I let him.

    Has anyone experienced the same and do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you!


    My GSd had the same symptoms. Her paw became more and more sensitive. Eventually she became very sick. By the time I got her to a vet and did so many tests, and they continued to be baffled, she got so sick I had to put her down. The tests came back to late. It ended up being a fungal bacteria that attacked her kidneys and spread to other organs and her bones. It probably started in her paw. The vets couldn't figure it out. It was a horrible, frustration experience. Tell your vet you want a test for fungal infections. And don;t let them give her antibiotics because it will only weaken her immune system

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