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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2yr old Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. For over a year now, I've been dealing with intermittent flaking and horrible odor. The vet did several tests and determined that it was a yeast and bacterial infection in her skin secondary to an allergy. Antibiotics and antifungals were prescribed along with Rx shampoo for bathing 2x/week. The allergy was supposedly caused by her food and I was given a very specific list of "acceptable" foods that were OK for her to eat. I changed her food over to one of the "acceptable" foods and had no resolution. I tried a second food on the list and still no resolution.
In the past, antibiotics and antifungals would clear up (or at least slow down) the smell and flaking but it would return shortly after the medication regimen ended. She's now been on antifungals and antibiotics again for ~3 weeks and the problem has only gotten worse. It's so bad that an odor can be noticed about 12 hours after a VERY thorough bath. Any ideas or suggestions? This is simply exhausting...
 

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It's no panacea, but I've found Nature's Miracle Ultra Deodorizing Spray really, really helps cut doggie odor on my pup. He doesn't smell perfume-y, or like you mixed dog smell with some other smell - he just smells less like a dog with a clean smell. It might just be something that would make your nose more comfortable while you figure out the right combo of things to help your dog heal!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Food:
She was on Nutro Natural Choice when this problem began over a year ago. Then she was on Royal Canin Hypoallergenic PV (an Rx dog food from the Vet). After 3-4 bags of that and no resolution, I switched her to Natural Balance Lamb Meal and Brown Rice formula. She was on that for at least 5 months, again with no resolution. Recently switched to Brothers Complete Hypoallergenic formula. When I was out searching for another food on the "acceptable" list of foods, I stumbled upon a boutique pet store. The owner of the store sold me on this brand by explaining the ease of digestion of each of the highly regulated ingredients. She's only been on this new food for a week and its not on the "acceptable" list (likely due to the fact that its a small manufacturer).
 

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The food you currently have her on seems really decent - hard to pin point what could be causing the issues. Maybe it's not food related at all? If you're still convinced it's food, have you considered going raw?

Maybe a second opinion from a different vet?
 

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I noticed that all the foods you have mentioned have grain in them, I think? You might want to try a grain free diet. I have a dog who can't even tolerate potatoes in the grain free diets! Maddie is presently doing better on Innova Prime Salmon and Herring. Another good food (potato inclusive) is Acana grain free; also Taste of the Wild is good. Natural Balance also makes grain free LID diets. Many people have luck with either their Fish and Sweet Potato or their Potato and Duck varieties.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not a vet so I'm just going by what the vet has told me. She has seen 2 vets for this issue and both suggested food allergy. The second vet did a TON of tests and through the results of those tests, the "acceptable" dog food list was generated. I was also given a list of "acceptable" raw foods as well but was trying to avoid going raw merely for the inconvenience of it. If the dry food list is not helping, I'm not convinced that the raw food list would be any better...but if this new food doesn't show any better results, I may be forced to try raw foods...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I noticed that all the foods you have mentioned have grain in them, I think? You might want to try a grain free diet. I have a dog who can't even tolerate potatoes in the grain free diets! Maddie is presently doing better on Innova Prime Salmon and Herring. Another good food (potato inclusive) is Acana grain free; also Taste of the Wild is good. Natural Balance also makes grain free LID diets. Many people have luck with either their Fish and Sweet Potato or their Potato and Duck varieties.
The most recent dog food (Brothers Complete) is a grain and white potato free dog food...I was specifically looking for a grain-free dog food when I was searching for something new. I had read several cases where the grain-free food made a big difference
 

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I'm not convinced that the raw food list would be any better...but if this new food doesn't show any better results, I may be forced to try raw foods...
I know a lot of people who had food issues with their dogs and after switching to raw, those issues cleared right up. One has to keep in mind that kibble is processed and that changes the protein altogether. A dog who is allergic to chicken in kibble is very rarely allergic to raw chicken. Raw can be intimidating at first, but once you get into the swing of things, it's really simple :)
 

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The most recent dog food (Brothers Complete) is a grain and white potato free dog food...I was specifically looking for a grain-free dog food when I was searching for something new. I had read several cases where the grain-free food made a big difference
Sorry, I'm not familiar with this food. I agree, you may have to try the RAW route.
 

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I can sympathize....I live in the smelly dog world also. I've tried Nutrience for large breed, Blue Buffalo sweet potato and salmon and am currently on Kirkland Veal with no improvement. Have recently heard tea tree shampoo may help. Trying that now so we shall see how it goes. Also had someone tell me to check for carbohydrate percentages in the foods....anyone have any idea where to get this info??
 

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Yes, I think you should try grain free foods and use a protein that you haven't used before. I switched my pup to taste of the wild high prairie. Oatmeal or tea tree oil shampoos should help with flaking. Omega 3 treats for skin and coat should also help, but if he's allergic to salmon, make sure it doesn't contain any. I use Pet naturals skin & coat treats which does not contain any protein.

My pups itching stopped completely after a month of using all these things i just mentioned but then his smelliness wasnt as severe as your dog's. If these options don't work, raw is your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the input. Just by coincidence, her "smelliness" and flaking has significantly decreased over the past 48 hrs. Not sure if the antibiotic/antifungal regimen has finally taken effect or if its the new food...
I'll post some follow-ups over the next week or so
 

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Thanks for all the input. Just by coincidence, her "smelliness" and flaking has significantly decreased over the past 48 hrs. Not sure if the antibiotic/antifungal regimen has finally taken effect or if its the new food...
I'll post some follow-ups over the next week or so
I'd be really interested in hearing the updates - please do keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No thyroid test was run.

Atopy: Sounds like a feasible option but the patterns of symptoms don't really match up well. Usually atopy starts on the paws, face, ears, etc... These are the areas where she is fine. Her back, from around the mid-neck area, all the way to the base of her tail is where the flaking occurs. No problems on the head, chest, belly, or legs.

And the lessening of her symptoms was a false alarm - she's just as bad now as ever...
 

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Try Eqyss Microtek shampoo (usually sold for horses). You can get it at Tractor Supply Co or online. Can't hurt, might help. It de-stinked my mom's dog. And her fur grew back.
 

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Did you vet run a thyroid test? Not common in your breed but not unheard of. Oily coat is one of the first signs. http://www.dcpah.msu.edu/sections/endocrinology/WEBCD.ENDO.REF.001.pdf
I would suggest getting a thyroid test run as well. About two years ago, Heather, my beagle/lab mix, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. One of the first symptoms was dull, oily fur with lot of dandruff like flakes. Eventually she developed folliculitis, which caused small open sores on her body. We tried several different things, but after finding out about the thyroid issue, we put her on medication and everything cleared up quickly.
 
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