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Old 12-17-2012, 08:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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coat/skin issues

Hi, we have a few things going on. Not sure if anybody has dealt with something similar. Wheeler is 5 years old. Recently he started scratching a little more than usual. He is licking his paws as well. There couple of spots on his back that look like to bolding-pic. He had his vet check up couple of weeks ago and we started him on the fish oil twice a day ( it has been couple of weeks and it doesn't seem to help), changed his food just before that to Canidae chicken and rice. There is a sore spot on the top of his head as well. WE just adopted him about months and a half ago. He seems very happy with us, no other signs of separation anxiety, but maybe that is the reason? Could it be reaction to a new food? There a lot of new things in this guy's life right now. Hard to pinpoint the reason. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like an allergy either to the food or though more unheard of the fish oil.

He needs to see a vet for a proper diagnosis and some treatment for his hives and sores. What food/ flavor was he on before? Chicken can be a pretty popular allergy.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yes,I am going to try a different vet this time. I tried pointing couple of things that he had at the time of the visit- like that sore on the top of his head was there already, she didnt seem to concerned with it-" it is just a scratch" she said. I treated it with tea tree oil and it helped a little, same withe the paws.
As far as food- he was on a very low cost some sort of walmart brand that is what I was told. We had a half of bag for him from the previous owners in the begining. And his coat was very dry and dull. Visually his coat looks better, but the scratching and the bolding spot are worrying me.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention- we also have a cat that we are trying to get Wheeler friendly with. We have this exercise evry night when we hold and pet the cat and let him be around us. He gets very alert, even shaking sometimes around her.He is not agressive with her but very curious and anxious around her- we have to keep them separately. Could it bethe stress from that??
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd find a new vet too. I'd get the skin treated (itching and bumps usually end up causing a secondary staph infection along with the allergy). And I'd start researching higher quality limited ingredient fish(preferably a white fish over salmon) or other "foreign" protein based foods like rabbit, venison, duck or etc... As well as foods with less grains as that may be the problem not the meat protein. I'm not a fan of a prescription diet unless its a last resort as the ingredients tend to be mostly corn and soy.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It can take a while for a food change to "kick in." How long has it been since the switch? Give it a little more time, maybe. I do agree that chicken seems to be a common dog allergen. You might switch to a different protein source. Also watch for corn and wheat, another couple common allergens that are in many foods and treats.

Keep up with the fish oil, and also give a little vitamin C. I end up getting the human fish oil capsules that already have the C in them so I just plop two in his food and he eats them like treats.

Another thing that can be soothing to the skin is Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water 1:4 or 1:5. Wipe him down with it. This is a nice way to clean their coat and skin without a bath.

If after some more time with the new food and fish oil and he's still having issues, you might want to have a full thyroid panel done. Not sure it tends to come with itching usually, but coat and skin issues can indicate thyroid issues, which this breed does tend to have problems with.

Wintertime can give everyone dry skin, so that might be compounding the issue, too.

Good luck!
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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thank you very much, Sam and Erica. I will try that
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention- we also have a cat that we are trying to get Wheeler friendly with. We have this exercise evry night when we hold and pet the cat and let him be around us. He gets very alert, even shaking sometimes around her.He is not agressive with her but very curious and anxious around her- we have to keep them separately. Could it bethe stress from that??
It's pretty unlikely, stress skin issues usually present as lick granulomas, self induced hot spots and things of that nature. Lots of little bumps is a sign of irritation within the body and is like hives to a person. You itch and then get a secondary skin infection on top of the underlying allergy issue. When my cat reacts to cheap foods she gets a large red sticky lookih sore where her collar is from her body becomming irritated and her collar causing friction in that area. We treat the skin and make sure she doesn't eat whatever it was again AMD she does just fine
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sam, how do you get your doberman to be ok with the cat? Wheeler and Mouska( our older cat) are new to each other, so the introduction is not going that well. Cat is locked in the lower part of the house for safety reasons. He would chase her down, as a normal dog would do. We had a lab before who just died of old age and she was fine with the cat. The other dog we have - a cockapoo, chases the cat too, but she knows how to outsmart him and he stays out of her quarters. Not Wheeler though..lol
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sam, how do you get your doberman to be ok with the cat? Wheeler and Mouska( our older cat) are new to each other, so the introduction is not going that well. Cat is locked in the lower part of the house for safety reasons. He would chase her down, as a normal dog would do. We had a lab before who just died of old age and she was fine with the cat. The other dog we have - a cockapoo, chases the cat too, but she knows how to outsmart him and he stays out of her quarters. Not Wheeler though..lol
My cats still have their claws and in a supervised setting I quite frankly let the cat tell the dog how this house is run, and they frequently remind her too lol. My dad tends to panic but Mabel is just playing and if need be the cats can promptly defend themselves in a manner I know Mabel would quickly respect and never forget.

I'd have wheeler out and the cat in a crate and just reward him for casual glances, sniffs, and overall appropriate behavior with the cat then do the same with the cat in your lap, whenever he gets to excited or w/e he gets a 2 min time out in a crate and repeat. If he's chasing her tell him no, get him silently and crate for a few min and repeat. They tend to figure these things out on there own most of the time but some cats or dogs can be more upset or dense about it so I try and speed the process up with less of a headache

Mabel actually really loves them and plays with them, I had to set boundaries though as the older one is a small cat as is and the new one is now the same size but initially was only 2 pounds. She knows if I say her name during a chase or when she's play mouth wrestling the cats she has to stop or lay down (she'll try and stand to play but she's far to big for that to be safe).
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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In reference to the cat, there are several things to consider. I wouldn't let Wheeler loose with the cat, keep him on a lease when the cat is loose for introduction and be ready to jerk him back if he reaches for her. You dont know if he has ever killed a cat or not. They can kill one in a heartbeat if they have experience doing it. Plus, some cats will not protect themselves, tho that is pretty rare, but I have owned one. If she doesn't defend herself against the cockapoo, I wouldn't think she would against Wheeler either.

Sam has the right idea about putting the cat in the crate or even loose in the room, with Wheeler leased, and rewarding Wheeler with treats when he looks away or ignores the cat. When he looks to the cat and back at you, TREAT that second. Your timing has to be good so he understands he is being rewarded for ignoring the cat.

The trembling is a sign of excitement and stress, but the trembling releases the energy since he can't chase the cat, so trembling is good in a way...remember lease.

I think at Wheeler's age I would go ahead and have him tested for hypothyroid. It is common in dobermans.

Hang on
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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In reference to the cat, there are several things to consider. I wouldn't let Wheeler loose with the cat, keep him on a lease when the cat is loose for introduction and be ready to jerk him back if he reaches for her. You dont know if he has ever killed a cat or not. They can kill one in a heartbeat if they have experience doing it. Plus, some cats will not protect themselves, tho that is pretty rare, but I have owned one. If she doesn't defend herself against the cockapoo, I wouldn't think she would against Wheeler either.

Sam has the right idea about putting the cat in the crate or even loose in the room, with Wheeler leased, and rewarding Wheeler with treats when he looks away or ignores the cat. When he looks to the cat and back at you, TREAT that second. Your timing has to be good so he understands he is being rewarded for ignoring the cat.

The trembling is a sign of excitement and stress, but the trembling releases the energy since he can't chase the cat, so trembling is good in a way...remember lease.

I think at Wheeler's age I would go ahead and have him tested for hypothyroid. It is common in dobermans.

Hang on
Sorry, took too long to edit and now have to make another post with the additional information.

You will need to have the full panel thyroid test done. You can have the vet draw the blood and send it to Dr Dodds. Here is the information toward the bottom of the page: HEMOPET.HTM
Your vet cannot to an inhouse test for thyroid that will tell you what you need to know, so don't let them tell you they can do it...they can't.

Then if his thyroid come out okay, you can really work on his allergies, it that it what he has. Hypothyroidism will cause hair loss, itching, excess shedding, thin coat, weight gain, possible aggression.

If Wheeler has allergies, most vets don't what to do other than steroids for itching, antibiotics for the staph that goes with allergies, and baths to wash off allergens...medicated baths for the staph and yeast that come with skin allergies. While those treatments do work while you are giving the antibiotics, as soon as you stop and the steroid shot wears off, it all comes back. It is a never ending cycle until you find the cause and remove it. Actually medicated baths are the best of the above lot and have to be continued till the outbreak is over...depending on the severity.

Wheeler can have food and/or enviromental allergies. If he wasn't itching before you changed foods, I would check the ingredients on the new food and see what ingredient is present in the new food that wasn't in the old. A new ingredient would most likely be the allergen.

My boy has allergies, both enviromental and food. Summers, he would be miserable without the things I do for him. I feed him a high quality grain free food, tho you don't have to go grain free as your boy may not be allergic to them or just one...do avoid corn, wheat, soy as they are common allergens. I feed grain free because the food I feed the most has no grain, but is 70% meat after processing(removing water). It also has tapioca as the carb, the thing that makes the food stick together, which is a very low allergen ingredient.

He also gets sardines, canned salmon or mackeral every day, especially in the summer can't miss a day. These fishes provide the needed EPA/DHA for skin/heart health. You can also give extra virgin coconut oil either seperately or in conjunction with the fish. Start out slow with the fish or you will get diahhrea. Try maybe one fish for a couple of days and then up to two in a 4 pack tin or three in a six pack tin-depends on the size of the sardine how many the pack in a tin. In the summer I might have to give half the tin in the morning and the other half at nite. When Parker is doing better he does well with only half in or before the morning meal. Be careful with the salmon and mackeral, too. They are only good in fridge for 3 days, so you might have to freeze the smaller amounts when first starting so the fish doesn't go bad.

Here are some very informative articles that will help you greatly in treating your boy IF he has allergies. These articles helped me more than my vet did.

Suppliment info: DogAware.com: Supplements for Dogs

How Often Should You Bathe Your Pet?

Does Your Pet Have Allergies? What You Need to Know and Do

Irritated Pet Paws | How to Relieve Your Pet?s Irritated Paws

Pay attention to these shampoos!
Dogged Blog: Suds over drugs: Daily bathing beats antibiotics for resistant skin infections in dogs

Super Hero Food For Dogs By Diane Jansey- Canine Nutritionist | All The Best Pet Care

The Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil


I think that is enough to get you started. If you gets worse or these don't work, thyroid tests okay, then get to a dermatoligist.


Dobermantalk thread about the sardine discovery with everyones experiences: Sardines, Good For Allergies
Best wishes!
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think the crate is a really good idea. I will try that. The cat can defend herself if she must. Max( the cockapoo) is not agressive at all, just a loud mouth.lol She knows that and ignores him. And when Wheeler chased her down, he was just barking at her(she was hising back) and later on while we are holding her he would start licking her and then sneaky would try to nibble( dont know if it makes sense) at her. We keep them in a separate quarters. We are working on it
Thank you very much for your input
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you very much, Linda! This is great.I will get on it. Never thought of giving him canned fish. Oh, he will love it
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think the crate is a really good idea. I will try that. The cat can defend herself if she must. Max( the cockapoo) is not agressive at all, just a loud mouth.lol She knows that and ignores him. And when Wheeler chased her down, he was just barking at her(she was hising back) and later on while we are holding her he would start licking her and then sneaky would try to nibble( dont know if it makes sense) at her. We keep them in a separate quarters. We are working on it
Thank you very much for your input
This is very much how mabel plays, it may or may not be the same with your boy.
Mabel gives chase, the loud mouth that she is she barks when she gets to them, and if the cats started it they play when she gets there, if not she gets a pissed off smack to the face and that's that.

Mabel licks, and mouths, and nibbles them, we have to watch the paw slapping though. We keep a close eye and make sure boundaries are set.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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He is about 5 years old? I would check for hypothyroid.

It may be the picture but his hair all over looks thin.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Leena5 View Post
Thank you very much, Linda! This is great.I will get on it. Never thought of giving him canned fish. Oh, he will love it
Remember to start slow or you will get a screaming diahhrea...
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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