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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Scratch, scratch...

If it tastes good, spit it out. I think we've all heard someone grumble about that after his human doctor sent him home with a list of low-sodium, low-fat, low-sugar dietary suggestions. Or how 'bout my father inlaw's favorite, "Why not just eat cardboard?" for anything high in fiber?

We've been battling Sissy's digestive system since she was a puppy. High fiber was the first plan, but she made that complicated by deciding the stand-by of canned pumpkin wouldn't pass her lips, not plain, not stirred into her high-fiber kibble. Bake it in a human casserole or muffin, or mix it with yogurt and freeze it, sure, but not straight from the can.

Sissy's adventures in fixing her food issues are now tracked - along with her own thoughts on life - on her blog, because frankly, I needed a place to record what we were doing. Honestly, without help from Sue and Nichole, reading labels and trying to keep up with Sissy's list of restricted foods, I think Sissy and I would be calling cold, diced, boiled potatoes a snack. Poor Gretchen suffers with Sissy, because the she's a tiny dog and eats so little, plus it makes life easier to have them both on the same diet.
That photo, taken a couple of weeks ago, actually helps me accept that Sis isn't too thin. Thin, to be sure, but not too thin. I do need to weigh her and see how close we are to having those last two pounds gone (aren't they ALWAYS the hardest?). It also shows you her long back and short legs, which make the vet so interested in keeping Sissy as lean as possible.
I hope none of you have to deal with the severe food allergies we battle, but I know of two other dog-blog friends who have similar problems. Keep in mind that a chronically soft stool, the frequent scooting and/or icky scent that warns of anal glands that are too full, regular scratching, especially IN or around the ear, could be a sign of a food allergy. Be very aware if there is a food that seems to make your dog sick. Anything with corn or chicken MEAL or by-products, along with highly acidic foods (some fruits) wants to come back up rather than work its way out for Sissy. (And no, that isn't the whole list of her allergens.)
Please know that not all vets have a lot of background with food allergies. We are blessed to have found one locally who specializes in them, who is plugged into a network of other vets who also work a lot with food allergies. We are both blessed and grateful to have the knowledge and support we have, especially through our dog-blog friends. Sissy will forever hold Sue in high esteem, because Sue was a very strong advocate for the need to find a treat that was not the two-ingredient prescription kibble we feed. It only took one short, sweet conversation with our vet for her to agree and to begin to help me figure out how to find treats for Sis.
Hopefully, we're nearing the end of this phase of Sis's journey towards digestive health. If all goes well, in a few weeks we'll begin trying to determine which red meat(s) upset her system, so that the other(s) can return to her diet and give her a bit more variety.
Are you aware of any foods that don't seem to agree with your pet?


  1. Pylon didn't show the usual signs of food allergies, but there were a couple foods that she would vomit up about ten minutes after eating them. Being a slow learner, I gave them to her several times before I accepted that it wasn't coincidence. Once we removed them from her diet, we never had the problem again.

  2. With Huck, liver treats caused gas......

  3. Miss M. used to have skin allergies and we moved her to a higher protein diet. We're lucky that our pooches will eat absolutely anything.

  4. She needs some Fruitables! :) Check out the review I just wrote...

  5. Tagpi can eat anything under the sun and would be fine.

    Hero, on the other hand, has a very sensitive stomach. We know for sure that he is intolerant of chicken and apples and it was because of his chicken intolerance that we got into giving him homemade meals and eventually raw food. Unfortunately, in the Azores it was impossible finding kibble without some form of chicken in it. Before we figured out that he had a food intolerance we all had to suffer with him getting up 4-5 times throughout the night for emergency potty breaks - always wet and runny.

  6. Hi Chan,

    Now that you mentioned it, the scooting, the scratching ... Snoopy has food allergies too! She scoots and scratches around her ears.

    It used to be alot worst. But now with some diet changes (i add more fibre in their foodies), she seems to be alot better.



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