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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my doberman is just under 2 years old. For the past year or so, he's been scratching alot. He doesn't have any fleas and the area he's kept doesn't have grass to/plants to irritate his skin.

I notice that he has quite abit of dry flakes and scratches even right after a bath. He has small patches around his body and you can see slight balding patches. He's on dry food (since birth) and have tried changing his diet from chicken to lamb to catfish.

Anyone facing the same problem? Would appreciate any feedback. thx
 

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what brand of food is he on? have you taken him to the vet for a skin scrape?
 
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I agree with fainfenix about having a scrape or multiple scraps done first.

Your dog could be allergic to a food protein or any other food ingredient such as flax, rice, corn, wheat, soy, etc. Things in his environment like pollen, dust, laundry detergent, those little mites in your bed, fabric softener, carpet freshener and the list goes on.

What food do you have him on? It's best to avoid foods with corn, wheat and soy as those are common allergies along with chicken and beef.

Low thyroid mimics allergy symptoms, too. If the scrapes don't show anything, I would have his blood drawn and sent to Hemopet or MSU for a full thyroid panel before starting food switches and other things unless you are feeding corn, wheat or soy or glutens of them. I would get off any of those immediately. Your vet cannot do the proper thyroid test in-house so don't let him talk you into their cheaper test as it's not extensive enough.
 

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Vet visit is imperative. Don't bathe him for a week before you take him and don't spray any products on his coat so that skin scrapings will be accurate. Be sure to get thyroid testing done when you are at the vet and have it sent out to a good lab such as Michigan State or Hemopet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i did do a scrape with a vet and he said something a bacteria of sorts. It seemed to be more a process of elimination than know for sure from what i could see. The first time i saw the vet for the same thing, he said that it was allergy to chicken (as i've been giving him chicken dry food). i switched to lamb and then catfish dry food (blackwood brand) and didn't help at all. The vet gave him a bout of antibiotics but again, still no success.

I live in a tropical country so pollen doesn't come into play and since he's not allowed in the house, he's not exposed to dust mites/carpets/etc

based on this forum, i'd probably talk to the vet about thyroid tests. strangely though, the vet never mentioned that to me before. he's quite convinced it's some sort of bacteria!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree with fainfenix about having a scrape or multiple scraps done first.

Your dog could be allergic to a food protein or any other food ingredient such as flax, rice, corn, wheat, soy, etc. Things in his environment like pollen, dust, laundry detergent, those little mites in your bed, fabric softener, carpet freshener and the list goes on.

What food do you have him on? It's best to avoid foods with corn, wheat and soy as those are common allergies along with chicken and beef.

Low thyroid mimics allergy symptoms, too. If the scrapes don't show anything, I would have his blood drawn and sent to Hemopet or MSU for a full thyroid panel before starting food switches and other things unless you are feeding corn, wheat or soy or glutens of them. I would get off any of those immediately. Your vet cannot do the proper thyroid test in-house so don't let him talk you into their cheaper test as it's not extensive enough.
i did do a scrape with a vet and he said something a bacteria of sorts. It seemed to be more a process of elimination than know for sure from what i could see. The first time i saw the vet for the same thing, he said that it was allergy to chicken (as i've been giving him chicken dry food). i switched to lamb and then catfish dry food (blackwood brand) and didn't help at all. The vet gave him a bout of antibiotics but again, still no success.

I live in a tropical country so pollen doesn't come into play and since he's not allowed in the house, he's not exposed to dust mites/carpets/etc

based on this forum, i'd probably talk to the vet about thyroid tests. strangely though, the vet never mentioned that to me before. he's quite convinced it's some sort of bacteria!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Vet visit is imperative. Don't bathe him for a week before you take him and don't spray any products on his coat so that skin scrapings will be accurate. Be sure to get thyroid testing done when you are at the vet and have it sent out to a good lab such as Michigan State or Hemopet.
hahhaa.. i wish i could send it to the lab in Michigan but i'm all the way in Malaysia! you'd probably have heard alot about Malaysia recently with the loss of the Malaysia Airlines MH370!

Have you done scrapings for your dog before? Did it help him/her?
 

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have you talked to his breeder?

what food did the breeder feed?

do you have any photos that show the 'balding' areas?

hugz to your itchy boy.

edit to add.. how often do you bath him and what 'shampoo' do you use, do you rinse off with lots of water.

I rarely if ever bath my dogs, and rarely if ever have an itchy dog.
 

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I have to agree with VZ-Doberman. A Vet Dermatologist is your best bet. They can do accurate scraping and or blood test. This was the case with my Roxy. She is now on allergy shots once a week and it has made a huge difference in her skin condition.
 

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Exactly which Blackwood formulas did you feed? Chicken + corn, chicken + rice, chicken + potato? Are all these foods you fed Blackwood or what?

The way I used to search for allergies was to keep the bags and compare ingredients to see which were the common denominator with Parker's outbreaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
have you talked to his breeder?

what food did the breeder feed?

do you have any photos that show the 'balding' areas?

hugz to your itchy boy.

edit to add.. how often do you bath him and what 'shampoo' do you use, do you rinse off with lots of water.

I rarely if ever bath my dogs, and rarely if ever have an itchy dog.
i used to feed him the same food as the breeder and he was scratching since then. I'll take some pics of his balding areas and post soon.

I bathe him once a week and yes, i use alot of water to rinse it off. i thought we had to bathe the dog once a week if not, they'll start to itch? i live in a tropical country where humidity can get up to 100% so i was advised to give him a bath at least once a week. furthermore if i don't, he starts to smell!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have to agree with VZ-Doberman. A Vet Dermatologist is your best bet. They can do accurate scraping and or blood test. This was the case with my Roxy. She is now on allergy shots once a week and it has made a huge difference in her skin condition.
did you manage to find out what Roxy was allergic to? Most of the vets here are general practitioners and we don't have specialised Dermatologist :(
 

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weekly baths?? holy Hannah! that's WAY too much. no wonder he's itchy!
 

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It sounds like your dog could well be getting skin infections from food allergies. I'd carefully eliminate individual ingredients from his diet progressively and see how he does. I know people want to get a brand name to switch to and be done with it but it's important to know what ingredients your dog can and can't eat. Cutting the ingredient list from the bags and noting the results is a great help in this comparison. Otherwise you can bounce through dozens of unnecessary food trials.

You might also consider a raw diet if that's within your budget and availability in your location.

Once a week is too frequent for dog bathing IMO. If the dog smells that bad I'd also look at the rest of his environment and if there is anything that he frequently encounters that could be causing or contributing to the skin problem. Any slow running or standing water he gets into a lot? Is the itching the same regardless of what shampoo you use? Do you dilute the shampoo enough? We use vinegar as the fabric softener when we wash all our dog stuff to eliminate any soap residue as well.

I'd also get another skin scraping. You don't always catch skin issues in one scraping. Mites can move around and not be seen, the scrape might not have been deep enough, etc.

Good luck. These issues are frustrating!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It sounds like your dog could well be getting skin infections from food allergies. I'd carefully eliminate individual ingredients from his diet progressively and see how he does. I know people want to get a brand name to switch to and be done with it but it's important to know what ingredients your dog can and can't eat. Cutting the ingredient list from the bags and noting the results is a great help in this comparison. Otherwise you can bounce through dozens of unnecessary food trials.

You might also consider a raw diet if that's within your budget and availability in your location.

Once a week is too frequent for dog bathing IMO. If the dog smells that bad I'd also look at the rest of his environment and if there is anything that he frequently encounters that could be causing or contributing to the skin problem. Any slow running or standing water he gets into a lot? Is the itching the same regardless of what shampoo you use? Do you dilute the shampoo enough? We use vinegar as the fabric softener when we wash all our dog stuff to eliminate any soap residue as well.

I'd also get another skin scraping. You don't always catch skin issues in one scraping. Mites can move around and not be seen, the scrape might not have been deep enough, etc.

Good luck. These issues are frustrating!
Thx alot. is it possible for the shampoo to be the source of the itch? He scratches right after a bath and does it with the same intensity even a week after the bath so i'm not sure if it's the bath.

As for the food, can you buy raw meat and feed it to him like that or will we need to have it boiled/cooked? i'd rather dry food coz it's hassle free. what kind of diet do you have your dobe on?
 

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Thx alot. is it possible for the shampoo to be the source of the itch? He scratches right after a bath and does it with the same intensity even a week after the bath so i'm not sure if it's the bath.

As for the food, can you buy raw meat and feed it to him like that or will we need to have it boiled/cooked? i'd rather dry food coz it's hassle free. what kind of diet do you have your dobe on?
Some of the best information you will find in one place.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Pet?

Allergy information and diet

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


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


Raw diets are great, BUT they have to be balanced or you will run into nutritional problems. There is raw food information in the DogAware link below in my signature along with much more information.
 

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Ya, that's what the breeder had suggested. where i live, humidity get up to 100% at times and can get into the mid 90's F on a hot day.
i have the same problem here in the summer. i still wouldn't bathe my dog that often. i'd have a kiddie pool for her when she's outside but we have air conditioning for a reason...she does not stay outside all day long.

i would reconsider your "outside only" plan. this breed is not meant for that.
 
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