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About a week and a half ago we rescued a german shepherd named Bruno. He's a wonderful dog, I cant even explain how good he is. The first day we got him we were informed we needed to give him a bath immediatly, so we did. He didnt like it, and tried to escape the whole time. Now, even before we got Bruno he scratched himself alot. He is still doing that, and has dander that you can see on his coat. The dander used to be alot worse, and has gotten better, but the scratchin hasnt. For a little while we tried the fish oil capsules, but not for long. We took him to the vet, and she told us we needed to give him a bath with one of the shampoos with oatmeal in them. She also told us to put benadryl in his food for 5 days. We did the benadryl, and we just tried to give him another bath. To make a long story short there is almost no way we can get him in. We tried to pick him up, he fought so hard not to go in. And once he got away he growled and barked. Its a really long story, but what do you all think? Its obviously winter time, so we cant use the hose outside. Do you think we should try the fish oil again? We only did it for a few days the last time we tried. We will be taking him to the vet again soon.
 

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Keep him on fish oil.

If a vet has seen him, and there are no major problems, you can try what I did on a dog that was developing a hot spot. I tried tea tree oil, benadryl, and a variety of other things. I ended up spraying the spot with Lotramin (Jock itch spray...the powder spray kind). Stopped itching immediately, and healed in 2 days.

To give him a bath- Spend about 10 min at a time about 3 times a day, working a little at a time. If he's good on a leash, put him on one, and work on come. Give him treats when he takes a step towards you. Work on it til he reliably "comes". Then start teaching him to go where you want. (IE point to a spot and treat him when he makes a move towards it...I'd do a couch, a rug, etc)
Then work on going into the bathroom. Gradually work on getting him to go into the shower. You need to give him a treat for at the first sign of movement towards the desired spot. Think of the game you might have played as a kid where someone would tell you, "you're getting warmer, warmer...hot" . He needs immediate feedback for even starting in the correct direction, and continued feedback (treats) as he continues that direction.
It may take a week or so til he'll go in a shower or tub, but it is worth not fighting.
Use a handheld sprayer for the bath. Before you try to get him in there, run the water to get it warm. Start by spaying his knees. Feet are too tickleish to start with and encourages wanting to get away.
 

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This is just from my experience, and may be way off base, but heres how I view bathing my dogs.

My doberman got only one bath a year and that was on the forth of July, so I can remenber that date. Now thats provided he did not get into something smelly. Other wise I would wipe him down with a chamois cloth.
I feel washing your dog too often actually creates skin problems, so that is the reason I think the way I do. JMO

One last thought if you decide not to wash your dog once a week then it would be worth it taking the dog to a profesional groomer and explain the situation. Let them do it, and maybe it would be a good idea for now to let the dog alone for a while until he feels not threaten by baths. When I was a kid I hated taking baths:)
 

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Here's a tactic that I've used: spread peanut butter on the shower wall. Let him walk in and lick it with the water off. He'll probably be very hesitant at first. Don't coax or prod him...let him go in on his own at his own comfort level. Do that a couple of times. Then turn the shower on to a trickle..just enough to get the feet wet. Work your way up to as fine a mist as possible...still with peanut butter. Last step....do the bath when he's really hungry and focusing on the peanut butter more than the water. Keep the 1st bath really short.
You need to spread this out over several days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the advice on how to get him in the tub we will try these methods. We will also start the fish oil capsules again this afternoon. I like the idea of the lotramin. But is there actually a spray bottle lotramin? Also how often did you put it on the areas your dog was scratching?
 

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Lotramin comes in a can...get the Spray powder.

I put in on about twice a day for 2 days, and she quit scratching immediately.
Now this was for a "hot spot", not over the whole body.
 
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