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Thread: HELP - German Shepherd with Canine Dermatitis

  1. #1

    Unhappy HELP - German Shepherd with Canine Dermatitis

    I just signed up as our 9 year old male German Shepherd has dermatitis so bad that the vet told me this morning to have him put down
    He has always had the skin condition and has been on antibiotics for it, he has premium dog food and medicated shampoo. At the moment he is so bad that he has lost heaps of fur and he is oozing pus and bleeding in lots of spots so he is in lots of pain but my hubby loves him so much that he is convinced he will get better and won't put him down!
    Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with canine dermatitis and can offer any other ideas for treatment because nothing seems to be working now? I have heard that aloe vera can help with the sore spots and heat fom scratching and licking all day?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    1. try a different vet.
    2. could it be mange or an allergy? find a vet that will do allergy tests.
    3. have you got some toxic plant like wandering dew or cape weed where the dog walks, sleeps or lives?
    4. is the dog an outside dog? are there a lot of mozzies in your area - this year has been shocking for insects in the Eastern States because of the mild summer and lots of rain. So there might be mozzies, fleas, mites, mice etc causing problems if your dog is an outside dog. Have you replaced or cleaned his bedding? Have you changed his flea treatment?

    5. aloe vera is great - you buy the cactus from a plant nursery - or several - and you cut one of the leaves off, split it in halves, and wipe the goo directly on the wounds. It is really bitter, and most dogs won't lick it but it is slightly toxic so I would not use a lot of it where the dog can lick. You may need to get a bucket collar to prevent licking if you use lots of aloe vera. Some honey is supposed to be a good anti-septic too.

    washing often can aggravate skin conditions so I'd be wanting to avoid shampoo, but you could try a mint tea spray. Ie when you go to the plant nursery, pick up some mint as well, cut a handful and put into a cup and pour over hot water, let sit for 4 minutes then mix this into a litre sprayer and top up with cold water and squirt the dog, and bedding. If insects are a problem, lavendar in the bedding may also help but you will need to kill the bugs in the bedding first.

    You may want to investigate an all raw food diet or the BARF diet too. Even premium dog food contains stuff that upsets some dogs.

    And find a different vet - one that specialises in skin conditions and allergies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    only other thing I could suggest is to systematically cut out items from his diet and take a before & after photo and see if that can help identify what he may be allergic too.... I'd also do the same with the areas around the house (rope sections off one at a time).

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Antibiotics will only treat infection, not the actual dermatitis. Has your Vet ever prescribed steroids, antihistamines or supplements?

    He should be on a combination of drugs and supplements and there should be some exploration as to what it is that is causing it. I assume it is diagnosed as an atopic dermatitis?

    If it is atopic, then it is something in the environment setting it off (not diet) and it can also be genetically based. It can be something as common as dust that sets him off.

    I strongly suggest you obtain a referral to a canine skin specialist. They will assist you in getting the condition under control. I can't believe that a Vet would suggest euthanasia so easily..... I can't really judeg as I do not know the context or the facts of the whole case for that matter, but any Vet worth his pinch would not just prescribe antibiotics... he should be searching for answers and solutions.

    If the condition is that bad, why hasn't he suggested referral already? Or has he and you haven't picked up on it or taken the idea up?

    Time to get to a specialist. It is only dermatitis. It is not life threatening. It is treatable and the condition can be managed in most cases.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  5. #5


    I had a similar issue with my GS. I experimented with her food and found that Australian made Natural Balance has cleared it up and her coat is now great!!

    I have no association with the company that makes it - I'm just a happy customer.

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