As a dog lover and owner, I have experienced all the phases of my pets’ lives. Yet, some of my own experiences happened while I was in different phases.
My childhood dog, Sandy, lived to be thirteen. My memories with her spanned from the age of four to seventeen. Yet, I was a kid. I was not the primary caregiver. She was my friend and confidant, but I was not the decision-maker about her healthcare needs. All of that changed when I became the primary owner and caregiver.
My husband and I have had the unfortunate experience of having pets die relatively young. Our first dog, Buddy, was diagnosed with hepatitis at age eight. Our second dog, Buster, was put down for biting and a seizure disorder at age four. The most tragic was Rosie. She was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease at nine months. Knowing she would never have a quality existence and that we couldn’t afford her treatment, we had to put her down.
That’s when we acquired Zoe.
Doc was adopted three years later and endured pain from Lyme Disease the entire time we owned him. Bone cancer was a definitive diagnosis. But, even though he was eleven, I didn’t feel we had enough time with him.
Now we face the excruciating reality that Zoe’s life span will be shortened by systematic lupus. To date, she is nine.
I am already seeing her signs of aging, grief, and pain. Yet, I’m still trying to come to terms with how to best care for my aging, hurting friend. Here is a link that helped me. Maybe it will help others, too.
Like people, dogs can also have allergies. Zoe is one of these cases.
We discovered she has seasonal allergies that appear as ear infections in September. But, she also has a food allergy to chicken. The tell-tale signs of exposure are increased itchiness, darkened skin, and hair loss.
At our vet’s recommendation, we switched Zoe’s food. I tried a lamb-and-rice blend first and thought all was well. But, she was still itchy and blotchy. Reading further down the list of ingredients, I discovered that chicken broth was used as a flavoring agent. So, we had to change foods again!
I have finally settled on a salmon-and-pea blend she loves. I can’t remember the last time she had an ear infection. They make a cat food, too, in case she ever gets into Yeti’s food. I wish there was a puppy version. But, we will have to settle for a lamb-and-rice food with a seafood flavoring for Shadow until he is a little older. By the way, his skin and ears look fabulous since we put him on a non-chicken-based diet.
I’m not a vet, but I highly recommend changing your pets’ diets if allergy symptoms occur. It may cost more in food bills, but it will save on vet costs and make your pet healthier and happier.