it's all about me; rescue dog

Itchy, scratchy furbabe: tips to help identify and control allergies in pets

While out walking Ms. Lois the Rescue yesterday, she chowed down on a pile of horse sh*t. Yes, horse poop. How does this happen you ask? When you live near the home of the best little fair in Canada where a horse show has taken place over the weekend and you turn to say hello to a stranger passing by and take your eyes off the beast for 2.8 seconds it happens.

There she was in all her glory devouring horse sh*t. For many this may not be a big deal other than the stinky breath. For Ms. Lois who suffers from severe food allergies it’s a recipe for torment. We know she’s having a reaction when she starts to shake her head uncontrollably, scratches her ears that deep down scratch, gets super red eyes and gnaws at her paws. She also rubs on, along, and over anything that will provide even the slightest relief from the itchiness.

dog food allergies; rescue dog

Needless to say it was a race home for Benadryl (consult with your vet to ensure this is OK for your pup). Along the way we ran into another pooch and their fur-rent. As Lois rolled on her back, sun shining on her lady bits, we got to chatting. This owner wasn’t aware that dogs could suffer from allergies. It got me thinking about how many other fur-rents might be in the same boat so thought I would share some info.

Common signs of allergies in pets

One of the things with bringing home a rescue is you don’t always know their medical history. When we first met Lois she had an ear infection. No big deal; our #suckhole had them all of the time. Generally after a few days of drops it would go away. With Lois though the head shaking, scratching her ears, red eyes and gnawing at her paws never stopped.

We discussed her habits with our vet and learned these are common allergy symptoms. I felt awful. She was crawling out of her skin itchy. Lolo is now on a special protein modified, hypoallergenic diet and is allowed nothing else. Jealous? I know you are.

Even though you feel like your pooch is the only one in agony, Lois’ symptoms weren’t unique. A month or so after Lo was diagnosed there was a campaign to raise awareness on pet allergies. I felt like Lo was the poster pooch for it. While it’s focus is on seasonal allergies, these were the symptoms of Ms. Lois’ food reactions.

dog food allergies; rescue dog

How to help control your pet’s allergies

Food – the very first thing our vet recommended was switching up her food. Lois needed to detox and cleanse her system of whatever was irritating it. Different foods are available depending on whether your furbabe has seasonal or food allergies. I’m not going to deny it – specialty food is expensive so if you have the time & energy, consider making your own.
Clean paws – don’t ask me the medical side of this but yeast can grow between the paws and in ears from allergies. Our vet prescribed a steroid drop to help clear it. As other things can get between a pooch’s toes while out walking, we keep hypoallergenic antibacterial baby wipes at the door. When we come inside we do a quick swap of her paws to get things like pollen and dust off her feet. We also apply a topical conditioner when she needs extra relief.
Benadryl – this is a staple in our house now as she hate the bubble wrap we had her in. When the reaction is really bad like it was yesterday, we wrestle with Lois to squirt antihistamine down her throat. Please consult with your vet to ensure this is OK for your furbabe and to get the correct dosage. I don’t want to me blamed for sending your furry friend into a stupor.
Moral of the story? Don’t let your dog eat horse sh*t.

2 Responses

  1. We have been lucky, we haven’t had food allergies in pets, however we had a dog get stung by a bee a couple weeks ago, and the vet recommended Reactine (which worked). Wishing you the best with the food allergies (my Hailey would have eaten the poop too!)

    1. This is our first experience with allergies in general (neither hubs nor I have them). It’s heart breaking to watch her scratch. For the most part her food allergies are under control but seasonal allergy season is hitting us now 🙁


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