Since we moved to Indiana in 2008, Emmett has struggled with seasonal allergies. (Apparently, dog allergies are exceedingly common here, as are people allergies, which I’m experiencing for the first time in my life!)
Emmett breaks out into a purple and black rash and scratches and licks like crazy. We use different lotions and anti-itch sprays, which usually help, but mostly it’s giving him lots of baths to keep the pollen off of his skin. If it gets really bad, a couple Benadryl do the trick. In summary: His allergies are a pain, but they are manageable.
What we’ve been facing with Cooper has been totally different. On and off since December, his symptoms have included: upset stomach, itchiness, fur loss, upset stomach, more fur loss, “puppy pimples,” and even more upset stomach. Plus, it started in December – one of the few allergen-free months of the year – so it never occurred to us that his issues were an allergy.
Lately, he’s been eating grass like it’s his job, and licking and scratching himself nonstop. Then on Saturday, Cooper pooped blood.
Luckily, our vet’s office has limited hours on Saturdays, so we were able to
beg for secure their last opening of the day.
Because our fabulous vet moved away (sniff, sniff), for all of our recent appointments, we’ve been bounced around from temp vets to new hires. We ended up with someone new on Saturday who did a pretty thorough exam, then she asked for a few minutes to read through his chart. She came back a few minutes later and said, basically, all of his issues are chronic.
The likely culprit?
A food allergy. Probably beef or chicken. (I guess because those are common dog allergies?)
Anyway, we’re on a 10-day regimen to clear up his stomach problems (bland diet, antibiotics because of the bleeding) and a dewormer in case it’s whipworms, which wouldn’t show up in his poop sample. They also did a blood test, but we haven’t gotten those results back yet.
After the stomach situation has resolved, we’re starting a hypoallergic trial. He’s going to be on a duck and potato diet for 8 to 10 weeks. We got this list of things he can’t have during the trial. In addition to all food other than duck or potato, the prohibited list includes:
- plastic water or food dishes
- rawhides, bones, bully sticks, etc.
- rubber/plastic toys
- tennis balls
- nyla bones
So that prevents us from using the Kong to coerce him into his crate (he STILL hates his crate), his favorite squeaky ball, his outside tennis balls, the bully sticks I use to keep him quiet while I’m on conference calls, etc.
Obviously, I will do anything for my pups. It breaks my heart that he’s probably felt terrible for the past six months, so of course we’re going to stick with this once it starts (next Tuesday – wish me luck). But I’m a little worried about how to keep a 9-month-old puppy busy, entertained, and occupied while I’m working without all those toys.
Any ideas or suggestions? Has anyone else been through this? I would LOVE any tips, suggestions, strategies,
sympathy, or advice.