My name is Tyler and I have a two year old German Shepherd named Gunner.
Since I first got him we have been battling skin, itching, and hot spot issues.
Our first time to the vet I was told just to keep an eye on it since he was such a young pup. Bath him with the soap the vet recommended and keep an eye on things. I cant remember for sure but I am thinking once a week was his schedule. Fast forward to the spring of '15. Gunner started to itch constantly. Saying his name or trying to give him a treat would not stop him from itching unless I or my fiance went over to him and pet him to distract him.
And here starts the vet trips.
This trip we changed his food, gave it 8 weeks to see if something would change. Nothing did.
Second trip , the vet put Gunner on some Keflex 500mg/cap antibiotics and Prednisone 20mg/ tablet . Gunner would scratch until he cried or had started to bleed. Right away the Prednisone helped and his sensation to wanting to keep scratching slowed. We stayed on the Prednisone for two weeks. First week two tablets every day. The second week one tablet everyday. After two weeks we stopped the Predisone and kept on with the Keflex for 12 total weeks. We also thru in an Omega-3 vitamin during this time.
After this 12 week run, gunner had around 4 days of no scratching skin looked good. Then it all started again. I may have forgot to mention, we live in rural country of Iowa, lots of grass, trees, and pollen. (great allergy location lol ) . Like I said it all started up again. Another trip to the vet and this time no medications but switching his food again. I am now feeding him Royal Canin Vet Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult Hypoallergenic. I started feeding this to him 5 weeks ago.
Just yesterday I noticed he had been itching and biting at his paw. Numerous times during the day. I cleaned it, wiped it off, and washed it. An hour later he was back at it. His paw was inflamed, red, puffy, and irritated. I had a few left over Prednisone tablets left over from the earlier trial and gave him one. It was a night and day difference. But I have fears of leaving or having him on a steroid for numerous days/weeks/years. I have read things and heard good and bad to both.
I have been to two different vets. Both telling similar explanations. I asked about allergy testing. They mentioned while it would be the next thing to try/do, they believe he is a very allergic dog possibly to grass, pollen, dust, you name it, he would have it. Beings even in the winter hes acting up, but that could be the dust in the house vents. We have not had him full panel allergy tested yet because of not being able to control his current situation now.
I am frustrated for gunner because of the discomfort level he is at unless he is given a Prednisone which I have not done since yesterday as an instant relief. I am wondering if anyone has been thru these symptoms, medications, and or if they have had any different experiences or solutions to this problem.
I am lost on what to do next. Its hard to keep going back to the vet when it does not get any better and do not see any results.
I have read stating some have had their dogs put on over the counter allergy medication (benadryl, claritin, others) or Atopica and a low does of Prednisone for their life. Gunner is only two so I am concerned on if it were to come to that what the possible risks would be for long term steroid usage. I just want him to be comfortable and enjoy being a pup!
Thank you for reading. Sorry for such a long message. Thank you all, Tyler