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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

my 10 years old German shepherd Lando (We are from Germany, too. So please pardon any grammar mistakes of mine) has some disease, and neither me, my family nor at least two vets know what he has.
Let me immediately explain the case:
He keeps biting his pelvis and pulling out hair. Also he has become really ticklish. Apparantly neither flees, his blanket, nor the food are the reason. We have changed his blanket twice, give him different food, he has been wearing a cone for about three weeks, and a vet has given him cortisone (the latter should still act but has never had any visible effect). Also he has been wearing a flee neckband all the time and neither vet noticed any eggs or larvas. Nothing has really changed since we started doing all these things. Today he even started biting his tail (with the cone). This is when I decided to register in a forum.
Besides this problem he has are a hip dysplasia. Also the vets noticed some swelling close to his anus (not his anal gland, way too far on the outside). The second vet conjectured an intestinal loop, but Lando does not have any problems while pooping. So it is rather unlikely (still possible, but wouldn't explain the problem with him biting himself).
Except for a few problems while running he shows almost no symptomes from the hip dysplasia. Actually he is really energetic for his age.

The symptomes started with a sheep pelt for him as a blanket about two months ago. We have immediately dumped the blanket. He has still some skin irritations on his pelvis, but the blood crusts have all long vanished. But he has some weird stiches (https://www.imagebanana.com/view/wjd79joj/WhatsAppImage20160918at17.42.57.jpg). The latter let me think it might be flees, although he has his neckband, and neither vet found anything alluding to flees. The neckband is almost half a year old, but according to its description it should hold longer.


I would be really really glad to get any help from you. I think all of you know how helpless one feels when the ones pet is sick and one doesn't know why...

Best regards


Edit: I attached a link to the image of the pelvis. I had forgotten this before.
 

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Is he on any pain relief for his hip problem? Could be it hurts and the irritation from the blanket is the focus for his chewing on his back side. Dogs don't show pain if they can help it, he could be hurting. My dogs could jump more comfortably and lay down faster when they were on pain relief but easily jumped and lay down even when apparently hurting.

Really sounds like fleas though. I'd replace the flea collar even if it is supposed to be good. Things happen and it could be worn out. Did you or the vet put a damp white paper towel on the floor and give him a good rear end scratching? I will be positive no flea has landed on my dog but when they itch like this and I do the white paper towel test there is always a single tiny dark dot that dissolves reddish on the towel. Flea poop! With an allergic dog it can take a single flea bite to cause a reaction that lasts for weeks.

Further investigation of the mystery lump is in order. Perhaps X rays or ultrasound. Perhaps a fine needle aspiration. Something.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Kathyy,

Thank you very much for your help!

He has been given some pain relief by the vet, but it should have worn out by now. While it lasted, it didn't seem to have any effect besides Lando being more agile. He kept biting himself.
We will definitely replace the collar. But yesterday, when I noticed Lando biting himself, I wanted to immediately ask someone.

Actually, I have never before heard about the white towel trick, although it appears really perspicuous to me. Thank you very much!

Concerning the lump: The vet stated that piercing it with a needle could be a very bad idea, because if it was an intestinal loop, we would injure his intestines. We will definitely do something, but we will ask another vet first. Actually, it doesn't even seem to be connected to Lando biting himself or his ticklishness. When he bites himself, he doesn't even get close to that point. Only for the sake of completeness of information I wanted to have mentioned it.
 

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Have you spoken with your vet about allergies? Even if he had none before, it is possible for dogs to suddenly develop allergies, just like people. It could be anything from simple environmental allergies to food allergies, which can be controlled with management or medication.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Lillith,

We have not explicitly spoken about that, no. But we definitely will. At very least I don't think he is allergic to his food or his blanket. We have changed both twice. Nevertheless we will ask this at our next visit at the vet, too. Thank you!
 

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My first dog had flea allergy that was easily handled with flea drops on her shoulders for years and years. Once she entered geriatric age she would bite and lick hot spots into her flanks and I decided to go with the lowest dose of steroid plus antihistamine that could control the extreme itching. She also no longer tolerated fat or even fish oil and was chronically dehydrated as she didn't drink ANY water so her skin was extremely dry which could not have helped. Once I gave in and used the steroid she stopped licking and biting. I fed her soupy cooked food and she also got subcutaneous fluids for hydration as she had kidney disease. So check his skin as well during your flea check rear end scratching, if there are flakes or excessive shedding it could be he needs more fat/oil/fish oil or even to drink more water. Possibly using a coat conditioner after baths would help, never seemed to help my dog though. A heavy duty after shampoo conditioner sure helps my itchy scalp though.

Of course it's up to the vet on how to determine what that lump is! What about Xrays? Lumps and bumps on old dogs happen but it's best to know what that lump is. If it's a painful lump and nothing can be done and he's suffering? If it's a painful lump and it can easily be removed? Old dogs are the best but difficult and often expensive decisions have to be made as they age.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I doubt any deficiancies as he eats and drinks normally. Nevertheless I will have a close look. In any case it is a possibility, and it might explain the symptomes. Thank you once again!
Concerning the allergies, we have already decided to visit the vet as soon as we find time.

The lump has absolutely no symptomes. Neither does it seem to pain nor itch in any way. We only know it is there because the first vet noticed it. About X-Ray: I will ask my father to pay for that. I myself unfortunately haven't got much money.

Finally let me note that (it seems like) Lando does not have ANY complaints except him biting himself and the hip problem coming from his dysplasia. The latter has not been getting any worse for about six years. In fact it appears like it even got better... Hence I suspect an allergy or fleas, too. I will inform you if I find anything while scratching him.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Better late than never, I wanted to tell the solution. Three vets have observed everything. The bump seems to be no problem, and the itch came from an allergy to his food (Pedigree).
Thank you all very very much! :)
 

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Thanks for the update. So strange that this allergy popped up after years like that. Maybe like my Sassy, he dealt okay with that allergy for a while then it was just too much for him.
 
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