Lily is much more comfortable since our vet visit to see about her allergies. She’s been on a duck and potato diet for about two weeks now. She’s also been on an antibiotic, an anti fungal (Nemo’s leftover drugs we didn’t use), and an antihistamine to help with her fungal, bacterial, and yeast infections in her feet, and an antibiotic applied in her ears.
About a week after we started treatment, we noticed she was running around, more willing to engage in play with Tango and Nemo. She even got in the middle of a few tug games between those two! She’s definitely feeling better! No more chewing her feet, digging at her ears, or laying around listlessly – it’s good to see her back up to her chipper self.
We still need to have her tested by the dermatologist to see what exactly she’s allergic to. They can only check for inhaled and topical allergies, not food allergies, so we’re doing our own little experiments here at home for the food allergies.
First, she was put on a special diet – duck and potato. Why duck? Why potato? Usually, duck is a novel protein source. According to the vets, the dog can’t be allergic to something it hasn’t had before. So duck should be safe. And the potato is a source of carbohydrates that doesn’t contain corn or grains — two common allergens. She’s got to be on this — and only this — for about two months to make sure all the other bad stuff is out of her system.
Do you know how hard it is to give a dog only duck and potato?! Her daily meals aren’t hard, the duck and potato comes in a dry kibble, as well as a wet food. It’s the snacks in between that are tough! We usually let the dogs clean off our plates after dinner – can’t do that anymore. I used to give each dog a rawhide each day – nope, can’t do that either. I used to stuff Kongs with peanut butter and their kibble – that’s off limits now, too.
I’m getting creative, though – I bought six cans of wet duck and potato food and have been using that to administer her pills and to stuff her Kongs. I also bought a ten-pound bag of potatoes and just boiled up a couple of pounds. I then mashed them with a fork, so they’re still very lumpy, and I’m now starting to mix that in the Kongs, too. Much cheaper than the canned food, that’s for sure! And I think I’m going to try to soak her kibble in warm water until it turns mushy, then mix the mushy kibble with the potato and stuff her Kongs with that.
It all sounded like way too much work, but now that I’m actually doing it, it’s not that bad. It does require some planning, though. I can no longer stuff Kongs at the last minute as I’m going out the door – I need to be sure I have a "safe" food ready for Lily’s Kongs. But seeing her running around with the other dogs and lovin’ life sure does make all that work worth while!