Does your dog have food allergies?
In the past couple of weeks, my wife and I have spent hundreds of dollars in an attempt to fight infections in my 12-year-old Yorkie’s swollen ears. We’ve tried ear drops, antibiotics, steroids, and now we’re considering surgery.
At the last visit, the veterinarian suggested that the chronic ear infections could be the result of untreated dog food allergies. My wife and mother-in-law are allergic to gluten, so we’re no strangers to this. I failed to ask the vet about the most common food allergies, so I looked it up when I got home. After a little research, I learned that dogs are frequently allergic to many of the ingredients found in dog food, including wheat, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, beef, lamb, chicken, rabbit, pork, fish, and other proteins.
The vet suggested that we switch to a hypoallergenic, all-natural dog food. Of course, a bag costs a little less than a house, but I wanted my dog to feel better, so I bought it. I went with a venison and potato flavor, which I thought sounded fine. My dog, a stubborn terrier, begged to differ. At first, she avoided her food dish, but eventually, she relented. Now, she’s much more comfortable with her diet. Admittedly, this is in large part due to the marshmallows I mix into her bowl, but it could also be because she’s starting to feel better. She doesn’t scratch nearly as much as she used to, and the inflammation in her ears has reduced considerably over the last few weeks. Hopefully, ear drops and organic food is all that’s needed.
What are the signs and symptoms of dog food allergies?
Although my dog was recently diagnosed with food allergies, she’s had medical issues for years now. We used to think she had seasonal allergies and we were able to keep her relatively comfortable with the use of antihistamines. In recent months, this hasn’t been enough and her ears have become even more inflamed. The vet explained that ear swelling is a common sign of food allergies, as are hives, itching, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, nausea, and gas. If your pet exhibits these behaviors, act quickly to diagnose the problem. Before you head to the vet, make a list of the dog food, treats, and snacks that the dog likes to eat. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet for his/her opinion. They can run tests, suggest dog food brands, and will work with you to develop safe, healthy meals for your pet.
Contact Henderson Animal Hospital
Henderson Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They’re located at 1434 Henderson Highway and they can be reached by phone at (204) 339-9295. The office is open Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 6:30 pm, Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm, but it’s closed on Sundays.