Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Almost there

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while might remember posts from earlier in the year about the allergy debacle Sensi has been going through.
(Read my blogs: Merry Christmas and a crappy New Year as well as What do food allergies look like? to catch up)
He is allergic to foods — exactly what kinds are still a mystery — and we’ve been running through prescription diets for months now trying to get him on something that doesn’t make him react.
Taking the risk of jinxing myself, I’ll say that I think he’s finally healthy.
The worst of the allergic reactions — infections and intense scratching and licking — have been resolved for quite a while now. But, those smaller, telltale signs of something bad going on inside him still hung around.
What are the smaller signs to be wary of? Regular, yellowish colored eye discharge, or as I like to call it, lotsa eye boogers. And acne — yes, acne. It was bad right around his mouth, pimples rearing their ugly heads on my dog’s sensitive lips and muzzle. So gross.
The acne around the mouth is a good indicator, though, that whatever is bothering the dog is something that he is either ingesting or mouthing heavily.
It seemed like these last couple of symptoms just weren’t going away. We switched to a different kind of prescription food ($95 for a 32 lb. bag, whew!) and the symptoms persisted for a couple weeks.
But finally, they’ve all gone away. Eye booger levels are back down to normal and the acne has left my dog’s mouth.
This Saturday, I plan to start phase 2 of resolving the allergy debacle — food trials. I will use food trials to determine what Sensi is allergic to by process of elimination.
For one week, Sensi will get something added to his breakfast dinner, like cooked chicken, lamb flavored baby food, corn and other things. The second week, he goes back to strictly prescription kibble while we watch for symptoms of a reaction.
If he’s all clear, we start over the next week with a different food product.
What is most important about food trials is keeping the dog away from other items — this means no dropped tater tots, no frozen green bean treats, no sharing water dishes or toys with other dogs. Of course, we’ve already been doing this for four months now, so we’ve got plenty practice at keeping him on a tight leash.
Wish us luck as we embark on the second leg of a long journey toward ensuring our dog stays healthy!

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