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Old 01-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi everyone I am new to the forum, this is my first post. I have a 2 year old boxer with a long history of completed health problems. She had severe generalized Demodectic Mange as a puppy. We noticed her itching when we brought her home, the vet said it could be a number of things and just monitor her for now. We contacted our breeder who came to our house, assessed our baby and started her on a Raw Chicken Diet. The breeder told us we had nothing to worry about, that our boxer's mother had the same thing right after the pups were born and that the Raw Diet cleared it right up. We were cautioned by our breeder at this time to be cautious about the vet as they tend to want to push drugs and harsh chemicals. We started the diet as written out by the breeder, and after several weeks of struggling with constipation, vomiting,changes and additions to the diet and continued itching the breeder told us that she was in a learning phase with this diet. Needless to say we went back to the vet, her condition worsened severely due to the delay in seeking legitimate medical advice. She was eventually diagnosed with mange, prognosis "guarded". It was explained to us that she could have a genetic immune malfunction that prevents her body from recognizing and fighting the mange. She required two sets of treatment on Ivermectin, several months and multiple skin scrapings later she was clear of the mange, but was still itching and scratching herself day and night creating open sores all over her body. Our puppy still less than a year old and had baffled our vet. They contacted Guelph University for advice and we were told that it may be allergies but it would be extremely rare to have allergies (an over active immune response) and mange (an under active immune response). Our treatment options were limited, the vet didn't want to use prednisone as it would suppress the immune system further, so we were left with trying a hypoallergenic diet and antihistamines. We had tried every antihistamine, several food changes including kangaroo, special baths, nutritional supplements, lotions, drops and ointments, nothing was working. We started to notice our lives were being impacted by the constant stress of watching such a young puppy suffer so much and feeling so helpless. Every few months she required antibiotics for staph infections from all the scratching and open sores, she constantly had yeast infections in her ears, feet and belly (which turned black), her nipples became distorted and and scared from all the scratching, the fur that had grown back after the mange, was thinning again, we were at our wits end both emotionally and financially. Our breeder had contacted us and left a message wanting to know how the puppy was doing, when we finally did speak to her, she said she understood and was giving us some space. She informed us that she had never had mange in any of her dogs and that allergies and skin conditions are just inherent to the boxer breed, both conditions were exclusions on our purchase agreement. Our vet has recently retired and our new vet strongly suspects that our puppy had a decreased immune response when she was very young, which caused the mange, as well as underlying severe allergic reactions. The source of the allergy is still still unknown, we have been treating her the past few months with prednisone. Since the prednisone was started she has been almost itch free, her ears have cleared up and her belly has returned to its original colour. Unfortunately she again developed small itchy bumps all over including her feet, she was diagnosed with a staph infection started back on t antibiotics and the prednisone was increased. Saturday was her second birthday, she was able to meet up with some of her litter mates who share her condition for a birthday celebration. She seems to be improving on the treatment but I have no idea if this will be a reoccurring cycle. I know our story is bleak, but I thought it necessary to explain the history in order to fully understand the dynamics of her situation. Is anyone else dealing with this kind of problem? any suggestions or information would be a huge help. We used be part of a group set up by our breeder, where all the owners could post and share concerns and share what has worked and what hasn't, It was a great source of support. Unfortunately the breeder had several of the owners removed as our stories were " bleak" and upsetting some of the other owners. I joined this forum today in hopes to regain support from others with similar issues and if possible share some of the knowledge I have obtained to help other suffering pups.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum from NJ

What are you feeding her? (what's her name, BTW)

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Old 01-28-2013, 07:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Lynne we feed our little girl Arcana pacific right now. We have spent countless hours researching and trailing different foods, with no change in condition. The fish based protein has been something we have revisited. She seems to be improving now while on the prednisone and the antibiotics, our vet doesn't want us to change anything until we see how she does on her current treatment. I am told that how she responds to the prednisone can help diagnose weather her allergies are environmental or food related. Do you have similar issues with your boxers?
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome from Texas.

Poor baby and poor ya'll.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My boxers do not have any severe allergies, no.
Maggie's ears itch a bit, but nothing severe.

Of course she is doing better on the prednisone- it's an anti-inflammatory and it will help relieve her symptoms no matter the cause, but it is not a cure.

I see that you had tried a raw chicken diet, but I'm sure a lot of things have happened since then. Many dogs with allergies do great on a raw diet. When was the last time you fed raw? We have a great thread about the proper way to transition to raw if you're up to giving it a try that is.

Beginners Guide to Raw Feeding

Katie's dog suffered with horrible allergies and vet visit after vet visit didn't help, but raw did. Here's a thread:
RAW - Our 1st feeding! (pictures)

And an update:
Lexi - 6 week update!

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My boxer doesn't have severe allergies but my Maltese does. The one who is suppose to be prissy with long flowing white hair is bald from her ribs back and the yeast infections have been a horrible cycle. Although I fought my vet for over a year I finally gave in and started feeding her prescription diet and have switched my boxer and lab to science diet, and actually everyone is doing better than they ever have. And the problem wasn't I was feeding poor quality food, I tried every type of blue buffalo, taste of the wild, you name it i tried it. At one point I was even cooking their meals every day. I think these things are very hit or miss and you just really have to find a vet you are comfortable with.


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Old 01-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi & Welcome from TX. I am so sorry that you are having to go through all this with your pup. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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so sorry your baby has allergies... but boxers can be prone to allergies with out a doubt... and for mine a raw diet worked amazing.. they can have environmental allergies as well as food allergies,,,, my one girl had itchy skin but never had mange and the raw diet changed her quality of life,,, she is so much happier now,,,, if pred is working that is great but not a long time cure.. some dogs need to have allergy meds every day.. and allergies are not something anyone can predict... it just happens...
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey there nice looking boxers. Ours is boxer number three for us, my last two were rescues. This is my first puppy, you know what they say boxers are like chips, you can't have just one!
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yep love boxers,, will never have another breed.... i think lol... i have three too
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