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Scratching doberman
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Scratching doberman

I have a 2.5 year old doberman and for the past year or so he has scratched/chewed his stomach and legs extremely badly to the point he has almost no hair on his stomach and his nipples have become enlarged from all the scratching.  We've gotten allergy tests that havent given any results.  The vet has only suggested putting him on prednisone, which  when we do give it to him makes him gain a lot of weight and sleep all day.  Has anyone else experienced this?  I am desperate to find a solution.
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82861_tn?1333457511
Trying to figure out dog allergies is one of the most difficult problems to deal with.  As you no doubt already know, it can get pretty expensive too with all the testing.  Did your vet look into any food allergies at all?  Sometimes just getting rid of all grains (even rice) can make all the difference in a dog with severe allergies.  

I really hope you and your vet can figure out something other than steroids.  Are you just trying a short burst at the moment to see if it helps, or is your vet looking at this as a long-term treatment?  I assume he did skin scrapings to rule out mange too?

One often over-looked area in dog allergies is shampoo.  Sometimes people use human shampoo on their dogs because it smells good, but the perfumes can cause allergic reactions.  That's one reason that the best dog shampoos have little, if any, odor at all.

I'm obviously grasping at straws here, so hopefully someone else with more allergy experience and advice than I can provide.  :-)
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172023_tn?1334675884
If he hasn't already, ask your vet to refer you to see a veterinary dermatologist or allergist.  They do exist, and they have lots of experience and focus on this area.  

Its always helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes, experienced ones, look at a suffering dog.  

I have 2 Dobes.  They are wonderful dogs.
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534672_tn?1215312913
I'm not sure where you live, but I know that when gwen was in georgia with my ex she usedto get bitten by red ants and would scratch/bite all the time.If you live around a body of water it could be some sort of biting insect that bites the dog when it's outside walking or doing it's business. I'm sure you'd notice if your dog was bitten, but you never know. You can't watch them all the time...

I agree with peekawho, see a vet dermatologist.

Good luck and I hope your puppy feels better!
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534672_tn?1215312913
It could also be the shampoo that you or your groomer is using. Sometimes the groomers will use whatever is cheapest instead of the good oatmeal shampoo for sensitive skin, and if you wash the dog at home you need to be careful about making sure that you get every drop of shampoo and conditioner out or else the dog can get itchy and develop a rash.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would suggest doing a food elimination diet which if you read my earlier posts to other allergy ?s you find all the info on how to go about it. Also ask your vet about atopica. It works great for some dogs but doesn't have the same harsh effects as a steroid. Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for all the responses everyone, unfortunately I have tried most of those things.  We've tried every diet change recommended, switched to a natural oatmeal shampoo, skin scraping and allergy tests which were very expensive.  We are going to take him to a dermatologist unfortunately the closest one is about an 8 hour drive away.  It's really sad to see him like this but the prednisone is just as bad.
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