Causes and Treatments for German Shepherd Skin Problems
German Shepherds are a popular breed. And for good reason! They are characterized by not only their smarts, loyalty and courage, but also the thick fur coat that protects them. However, their coat makes them very susceptible to developing skin issues.
If you are a parent of a German Shepherd, stay informed by being knowledgeable about why they get skin allergies and what you can do for them.
Whether it’s paarsites like fleas, their food or other environmental irritants, there are steps you can take to help your shepherd live a more comfortable life – and isn’t that what it’s all about!?
Flea infestation is one of the main culprits for skin issues with German Shepherds. They are allergic to fleas, especially to their saliva. When bitten, they will constantly itch and their skin will be inflamed. You will most likely see red spots almost immediately.
When you suspect that fleas are the culprits of your dog’s skin problems, contact your veterinarian so they can prescribe treatment to reduce or completely eliminate the itching.
Flea control would greatly help. A few of the things you can do is give your dog a refreshing bath in either a pool or a bathtub. This way fleas are washed away. Do make sure you fully submerge the dog in the water. You can also use essential oils or rub citrus fruits in your German Shepherd’s coat. Controlling fleas not only prevent German Shepherd skin allergies but they can also avoid serious health problems such as tapeworms, anemia, dermatitis and bacterial infections.
Common symptoms you’ll see for flea allergies include frequent chewing, licking, scratching and rubbing; sores or raw skin; and a patchy fur.
Steps for properly eliminating fleas from your German Shepherd:
- Bathe your dog using a hypoallergenic shampoo.
- Use a loofa for scrubbing his body. Make sure you cover his eyes with a dry cloth. Scrub vigorously to make sure it penetrates through his skin.
- Scrub for up to 5 minutes and make sure you include the genital area, tail and belly. These are the places where fleas tend to gather.
- Rinse using a hose a dry him off with a towel.
Do you know that the number one cause of allergy in German Shepherds is the meat in dog food? It’s mainly caused by an animal protein such as chicken, pork and beef. When they develop this allergy, the skin is most likely the place where the inflammations would appear. CAFR or Cutaneous Adverse Food Reaction is also mostly responsible for German Shepherd skin issues. If remain untreated, it could progress to infections or secondary bacterial infections that may be accompanied by alopecia or crusting.
How to treat German Shepherd skin problems would involve changing your food’s diet.
Food with real ingredients containing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are a good choice. It shouldn’t have any artificial ingredients or additives to their food.
Skin allergies may not be completely avoided but your German Shepherd will not likely develop skin irritations related to food if he is consuming the right diet.
German Shepherds, as a dog breed, are really prone to skin allergies. Pollen-related allergies are one of the most common. The dog’s immune system thinks pollen is a threat so it fights back through an allergic reaction. This happens usually in the summer or in the fall.
Pollen allergies could lead to Atomic Dermatitis. This is usually a genetic condition caused by dust, trees or pollen. You will see this allergy manifesting around the German Shepherd’s mouth and eyes, armpits, stomach and ears. The dog may also experience ear infections when the allergy is not treated.
Skin Allergy Symptoms
Signs of allergies include biting on parts of the German Shepherd’s body, chewing or scratching. When you notice these, your dog may have an allergy. Symptoms also include flaky skin, hot spots, hair loss, dandruff, sores and dry skin.
You need to watch out for skin allergies affecting either the ears or the eyes. Smelly ears or teary eyes could lead to painful infections when not treated. It would be best to consult a veterinarian right away for the proper prescription.
Other Treatment Options
Most environment-related allergies are treated with over the counter treatments. Buying hypoallergenic or sulfate-free shampoo would be best for your German Shepherd. You can also choose a shampoo with either aloe vera or tree tea oil as the ingredients. These will provide a calming and soothing effect on their skin. Coconut oil can also soothe your dog’s dry and itchy skin. It’s a good option for moisturizing their skin.
Consult your veterinarian for antihistamine prescriptions for your dog. You may also visit a nutritionist so they could devise a good diet plan for your canine. Learn about our healthy protein food excellent for your German Shepherd.
Managing Skin Problems with German Shepherds
Fatty acids, zinc and antioxidants may reduce the symptoms. It’s a main reason we added them to our Skin & Coat Supplement. Avoid taking your German Shepherd to early morning or late afternoon walks if you’re dealing with a pollen allergy. You may also regularly vacuum or wash the dog in hot water to remove the allergens. Keep them away from either the laundry or the basement, or other areas in the house where it’s humid.
Keep an eye on them!
We love our pets like family and hate to see them uncomfortable. The reality is, German Shepherd’s are more susceptible to skin irritations and allergies than some other breeds. Fortunately, by keeping an eye on their activity, watching how they react to their diet, bathing them regularly, and giving them a supplement if you think they need extra support, you can go a long way toward helping them live a more comfortable life!