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Ok so this is a long story but I’ll try to summarize. We have a red dobie pup and at around 1 year she started showing signs of flaking, small bumps on her back, thinning hair on her sides and ears, and some itching (but not much). We’re now 4 months into trying to fix this for her.

We did treat her for Demodex but that wasn’t it.

Then we had her on Vanectyl-P and she seemed to start clearing up right away and we noticed her hair growing back. But as that is a steroid medicine, she couldn’t stay in it. So she’s been on Apoquel (and a hydrolized protein prescription diet) since December 4th and there’s been no improvement at all. She still has flakes, some lumps (though less), and patchy hair all over. She’s also lost hair on her throat which is new.

She’s been off of ANY chicken product for at least three months, as the very first vet visit suggested it was likely a chicken allergy. But I’m starting to doubt that it’s a chicken allergy.

Side note, my husband’s allergies are flaring up a lot more lately, and he’s convinced there is a connection.

Has anyone out there dealt with this? Any luck sorting it out? I attempted natural cures (coconut oil etc.) initially but gave that up when we decided to take her to the vet. We also have duoxo pyo spray from vet visit #1 that we use when it’s really bad.

We haven’t had her tested for environmental allergies yet. We have a referral to a specialist in our area, but the only one within a four hour radius is a few months wait.

Fortunately our girl isn’t itching or uncomfortable. She is her normal happy self. We just want her to look like it :)
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Just as a general statement—true food allergies are much less common in dogs than allergies to various things in the environment like molds, mites or pollens.

She's young for it, but has she had a full thyroid panel run? That can sometimes be at the root of skin problems.
 

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Ok that’s interesting. We’ll have to wait a bit for some testing but it would be nice to know for sure just what the allergy is. Just hopefully it’s not our cats!

I mentioned thyroid to our vet and she dismissed it because of Nova’s age. But we may have to revisit that...
 

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She probably isn't itching because the apoquel is working for that. That is what it does for dogs.

Sugar became very itchy around a year old. Poor guy scratched and licked and chew his feet constantly. I had already eliminated chicken on my own.

My vet suggested to eliminate all fowl and advised that he did not want to send us for allergy testing because he did finds it very unreliable and costly. He also had said that this year was very bad for allergies for humans and animals. I do not usually have allergies but I have suffered with them this year.

Sugar improved somewhat not eating any fowl (he is raw fed) but was still itchy. I started him on apoquel in September and he has been doing well on it ever since.

Good luck. Her hair does look thin. Sugar never had that.
 

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Just adding a weird thing that happened to me. Found out i was allergic to Tide pods used for our laundry. It was a progressive reaction. Anyway this was a few years ago and the doctor found out it was that as there was a spike of cases. First thing he asked was “fo you use tide by any chance?”

Anyway, I’m just throwing it out there as allergies can come from anything. For you it seemed like a food thing but it could be something around your husband and Nova that happens to affect them both.


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Has your vet done skin scrapings? Staph infections are fairly common in Dobermans, especially young Dobermans. It can take a fairly long course of antibiotics to clear it up.
 

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Has your vet done skin scrapings? Staph infections are fairly common in Dobermans, especially young Dobermans. It can take a fairly long course of antibiotics to clear it up.
Thanks for that. My vet just actually emailed me back and suggested we test her skin again. She did a stripping once and found yeast, which we thought we treated, but she said perhaps it has come back. Guess we will have to bring her in to find out!
 

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Our Loki has had some things like that, and I've used vinegar and water rinse, Hibiclens antifungal and antibacterial soap, and some topical neosporin type ointment. I believe the bumps he had was bacterial, staph. I also use coconut oil or Trader Joes "coconut shea butter hair serum". I didn't want to get on the drug merry go round and I keep vigilant with these home treatments, Loki's skin is looking good (for a fawn). Do you give her salmon oil?

Good luck!
 

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I'd want to rule out any possibility that this is related to a thyroid issue. It's so common in Dobes. But if you do that I'd really recommend a FULL thyroid panel and I'd want it sent to MSU--they are still the gold standard for full tests. I've had one Dobe who turned out to have one of the genetic forms of thyroiditis. He was about 15 months old when he started to have some thinning hair--all over--even though he was young we wanted to rule out thyroid before we started to run through possibilities relating to allergies.

We got it one--he did indeed have a genetic form of hypothyroidism--putting him on thyroid meds stopped the hair loss immediately and entirely and more hair promptly grew back.

As several people have already pointed out, food allergies are relatively rare. Environmental allergies are common--I've had several dogs who had pollen allergies and one of them got benedril (actually the the generic equivalent) from about March to fall when the fall rains started to clean the air. Another one had something that was around in May and June--we guessed probably a flower of some sort and same thing we could keep him comfortable just using generic benedril.

And there are a whole array of skin things that aren't always apparent what is causing the problem, things like folliculitis.

Somertimes if your regular vet hasn't had a lot of success in nailing down the problem your best bet is to go to a vet dermatologist/allergist--they see problems like this all the time and can often pin down the cause and a cure or at least a treatment that will work.

Good luck--skin problems are always a pain--so many possibilites and sometimes you just have to wade your way through them to figure out the treatment.

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Our Loki has had some things like that, and I've used vinegar and water rinse, Hibiclens antifungal and antibacterial soap, and some topical neosporin type ointment. I believe the bumps he had was bacterial, staph. I also use coconut oil or Trader Joes "coconut shea butter hair serum". I didn't want to get on the drug merry go round and I keep vigilant with these home treatments, Loki's skin is looking good (for a fawn). Do you give her salmon oil?

Good luck!
Thanks! I’m regretting getting on this merry-go-round already. I might consider going back to treatments like what you suggested once her pills run out in a month, if they still aren’t working.
We were giving her Fish oil every day, but we stopped once the vet suggested we stay away from all animal proteins.
 

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I agree with others that I'd do a full thyroid panel (Michigan State Univ is the gold standard for thyroid testing), and also look at the possibility of a Staph infection. For Staph in Dobermans, a 30 day RX of antibiotics is what is needed. 10 days or two weeks will NOT get rid of it. My vet finally agreed with me on this.
 

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I agree with others that I'd do a full thyroid panel (Michigan State Univ is the gold standard for thyroid testing), and also look at the possibility of a Staph infection. For Staph in Dobermans, a 30 day RX of antibiotics is what is needed. 10 days or two weeks will NOT get rid of it. My vet finally agreed with me on this.
Perfect, thank you. I plan on booking her in with the vet this week or next. The vet said she’ll check her for yeast again and I’m going to request we do a full thyroid panel and perhaps treat for staph again, for a longer duration.
 

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I'd want to rule out any possibility that this is related to a thyroid issue. It's so common in Dobes. But if you do that I'd really recommend a FULL thyroid panel and I'd want it sent to MSU--they are still the gold standard for full tests. I've had one Dobe who turned out to have one of the genetic forms of thyroiditis. He was about 15 months old when he started to have some thinning hair--all over--even though he was young we wanted to rule out thyroid before we started to run through possibilities relating to allergies.

We got it one--he did indeed have a genetic form of hypothyroidism--putting him on thyroid meds stopped the hair loss immediately and entirely and more hair promptly grew back.

As several people have already pointed out, food allergies are relatively rare. Environmental allergies are common--I've had several dogs who had pollen allergies and one of them got benedril (actually the the generic equivalent) from about March to fall when the fall rains started to clean the air. Another one had something that was around in May and June--we guessed probably a flower of some sort and same thing we could keep him comfortable just using generic benedril.

And there are a whole array of skin things that aren't always apparent what is causing the problem, things like folliculitis.

Somertimes if your regular vet hasn't had a lot of success in nailing down the problem your best bet is to go to a vet dermatologist/allergist--they see problems like this all the time and can often pin down the cause and a cure or at least a treatment that will work.

Good luck--skin problems are always a pain--so many possibilites and sometimes you just have to wade your way through them to figure out the treatment.

dobebug
This happened to my boy too. Hypothyroidism. Hair got softer immediately and way less dandruff. I didnt mention this thinking her husband and Nova maybe had a reaction but could be thyroid too. Only tests will tell


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Has your vet done skin scrapings? Staph infections are fairly common in Dobermans, especially young Dobermans. It can take a fairly long course of antibiotics to clear it up.
That was my first guess before I read any other comments.
 

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I agree with others that I'd do a full thyroid panel (Michigan State Univ is the gold standard for thyroid testing), and also look at the possibility of a Staph infection. For Staph in Dobermans, a 30 day RX of antibiotics is what is needed. 10 days or two weeks will NOT get rid of it. My vet finally agreed with me on this.
My first guess too.
 
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