Maybe it was stress…maybe it was diet…maybe it was the weather?
I had no idea. All I knew was that my beautiful Wheaton terrier (Sweat Pea) couldn’t stop scratching her eyes and her face. Over and over again, her paws made their way to her face, where massive red welts began developing under each eye.
I brought Sweat Pea to the vet. They gave her a clear plastic cone to go around her head to prevent her from scratching, along with an antibiotic to help clear up any infections on her face.
I figured it would be a few days and we’d be able to take off the cone.
Every time we took her cone off, Sweat Pea would start scratching again. Meanwhile, the antibiotic was giving her stomach a rough time. The vet suggested a diet of boiled chicken and white rice to help her cope with medication.
Within days, her welts had become even worse. It was clear the chicken wasn’t helping. And, I’m not surprised.
Pet Food Allergies
The chicken, it seems, was causing a whole other set of issues for Sweat Pea.
We decided to omit chicken. I soon learned, food choices–including chicken–are responsible for 10% of pet allergies. The most common allergens are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, fish…and, of course, chicken.
Pet Elimination Diet
We decided to put Sweat Pea on an elimination diet. This meant eliminating the food she eats and giving her food products that do not contain allergies. We chose Hill’s Prescription Diet for Skin and Food Sensitivities — this enabled us to ensure we had NO allergens in her food.
From there, we began adding foods back in. From beef-based food to fish, we slowly started increasing the foods that she eats. Interestingly, there were no problems, until we got to chicken.
Sure enough, the chicken was the culprit! Within hours of eating the chicken-based food, we got our answer. The itching was back.
Dogs Can Develop Allergies Later In Life
She never had this problem as a puppy, but it turns out dogs can develop allergens later in life.
In Sweat Pea’s case, she’s always been a great eater, and we’d never seen any problems until just recently. It’s often this way with dogs. Though some have allergies from the time they’re puppies, others can develop the allergies late. The important thing as a pet owner is to recognize the allergy and be proactive through the elimination diet.
These days, Sweat Pea is doing just great. So much so that she even tolerates me dressing her up with all the dog accessories I love.
She’s a great dog and, it was painful so watching her suffer. I’m so glad we were able to get to the bottom of it. Does your dog have allergies? How have you been coping? Scroll down to share your story with me here below.