Busy Saturday

Gabatronic had her annual check-up this morning. I had scheduled it for 8am, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Get it out of the way early ’cause it gives you the rest of the day. Except given that I needed to feed myself,  Gaby and King, make myself semi-presentable, and figure in time to maneuver King inside/outside/however I have to in order to get Gaby out of the house and in the car, it meant getting up at 630. Work week hours. Work week hours on weekends are just wrong.

But I digress.

Blood results won’t be in until Monday, but Gaby’s physical went well except for her teeth. They need a Level 1 cleaning, which wasn’t altogether unexpected since she balks when I try to brush her teeth and most chew treats are out because of her IBD. It isn’t all that bad–they use simple sedation for Level 1’s  instead of full-blown anesthesia. I’ll drop her off Wednesday morning, and pick her up around lunchtime. As maintenance, Vet and I discussed giving dental chews a try. They do contain beef, and yes, they may prove problematic given Gaby’s IBD. But her allergy blood test didn’t indicate an issue with any meats, and I do give her pea-size helpings of King’s various wet foods to break up the duck-and-sweet potato monotony and she hasn’t yet had a reaction. I think as long as the amounts are kept small, she may be okay. We’ll see.

One other minor issue cropped up. The insides of Gaby’s ears were a little red, which might indicate an allergy. She’s had an ear infection every summer since I got her, and while they may have been due to droopy ears and trapped moisture, allergies might be a contributing factor. If so, they’re nowhere near as bad as Mickey’s used to be–he chewed his feet bloody every summer–but Vet suggested 25mg benedryl 2x a day for the duration, along with regular ear cleaning.

Herself is running around the yard now, trying to goad King into chasing her. It’s warmish and humid today, though, and King would rather lie on the deck in the shade, thanks.

3 thoughts on “Busy Saturday”

  1. Just FYI — blood tests for food allergies are useless in pets. They’re okay for other types of allergies (pollens, molds, etc.), but completely useless for foods. It’s something that the veterinary dermatologists have been trying to hammer into general practioner’s brains for *years*.

    Unfortunately, the only way to test for a food allergy is a food trial. I would *love* it if there were something simpler since food allergies are on the rise in dogs and a food trial is a pain.

  2. The specialist vet who recommended the test told me that it was controversial. She said that sometimes, it proved helpful, other times not so much. It was possible that if there was one glaring item out there that hit Gaby like a brick, this might point to it. Food trials can take months to work through, and you have to hope that the dog doesn’t get into anything over the course of the thing that messes up the results.

    FWIW, my regular vet was skeptical.

    What’s been working with Gaby is a very simple, grain-free diet. I don’t think corn is her friend, but that’s a guess based on the foods I fed her on which she didn’t thrive. I mean, she did gain weight, but her coat didn’t improve until I made the switch to the duck w/ sweet potato. Within 2 weeks, her coat started to soften and become thicker. It was amazing.

    But yeah, it was pretty much stab-in-the-dark. Hunt for the simplest single protein + complex carb I could find, try it for 5 weeks, and if that didn’t work, try something else.

  3. Oh yeah, food trials are a pain. Generally if they are working you should start seeing results within the first month, though, like you did with Gaby. It’s just if you aren’t seeing results that you have to go the full three months before calling it quits. I’m really glad that you’ve had such good results with her, because dog allergies can be completely frustrating. Actually human allergies aren’t much better–I get hives at the drop of a hat and can’t eat a lot of my favorite fruits and nuts. 🙁

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