Hi all. I'm new to this forum.
I rescued a dog several years ago. He's probably about 4 to 5 years old now. When I first got him, he was perfectly fine(minus being super stinky & covered in fleas). Just approximately a year ago he started having this horrid skin condition. He scratches himself open until he bleeds. His skin will become super flaky(to the point you can see it everywhere on my floors!) He is super stinky too. On the under side of his neck he will develop a yellowish stinky gunk that seeps through his skin. It smells so bad I've had to buy him numerous new collars because I cant wash the stink out. I have bought him 2 nice dog beds that were pretty thick and I had to throw them out because he literally seeped right through it(soaking the dog bed) and ruining the hardwood floor underneath. He scratches so much he is losing his fur and really looks like he has mange.
I've taken him to the vets countless times. I even have his own file in the filing cabinet full of receipts, records, etc. I've spent atleast $1,000 on vet bills trying to figure out what this is. I paid $400+ for allergy testing and all it told me was he was borderline allergic to corn and that he had a severe allergy to mites. So then they did numerous skin scrapings on him and couldn't find any mites. I tried one vet who put him on loads of ABT, apoquel, and steroids. When I told them I couldn't afford the $100 a month for meds, they told me that their next step would be $200 treatment. So needless to say I tried a homeopathic vet. He gave my dog an injection and some natural pills and a cream. I was only able to use the homeopathic vet twice because I had to drive 1.5 hours to get to him and I can't do that monthly. Then the 3rd vet, He was actually very nice and understanding(i had talked to him about how I am not able to afford these crazy treatments anymore). He let me keep him on the med apoquel and wants Diesel(my dog) back in this august for blood testing.
I am really really frustrated with this. He is an awesome dog but this disease he has, whatever it is, is so horrible that I am to the point of giving him away or having him put to sleep. I grew up with always having my animals in my room and even sleeping on my bed but I have to lock my dog in the furthest room from my bed because he will literally keep me awake at night because he scratches so much, not to mention the horrid smell. He can't even be a dog anymore, I use to be able to go out and play fetch with him, but now he won't even chase the ball because he'd rather sit and scratch everywhere.
I have tried the fancy, no filler $70 dog food with really no luck. I've tried freezing it to prevent any mites. I've tried the expensive shampoo you get at the vets. I've tried giving him bathes regularly, but he is back to being stinky the next time(most of the time, the bath doesn't even really help). I have tried benadryl and zyrtec. The apoquel seemed to be working but now doesn't seem to be working as well.
Recently I had 2 friends recommend skin so soft on his coat. I've been putting that on about every other day. (too soon to tell if its working)
Does anyone have any input on what this could be or what I should try? I really cannot afford anymore crazy vet treatments but I really want my dog back to normal. (the thought of giving him away or putting him to sleep is putting tears in my eyes)
Please no negative comments.