The Story Of Edie & Her Sensitive Tummy
Some of you may be aware that the only type of chicken (or any poultry for that matter) Edie can have a little nibble on is that of a plush kind. At the end of the summer, we finally found out why Edie always had a bad tummy as well as a number of other issues she struggled with. And it’s been a tough change to handle but now we’re finally on top of it so I thought it was about time I sat and wrote this post just incase there is anyone else struggling with a poorly puppy as it was incredibly stressful and upsetting. As always though, this is just our experience and if you have a poorly pup please do make an appointment to see your vet.
HOW WE NOTICED
From the day we adopted Edie she had an upset tummy, sometimes it was ok and then sometimes it was so severe it was quite frankly terrifying and we just couldn’t work out what was going on. She was eating good food and had puppy friendly treats etc but no matter what we did nothing seemed to work with her. The thought of her being allergic to what we were feeding her hadn’t even entered my head, there are so many thoughts that go through your head when your dogs ill and allergies aren’t always number one. It wasn’t until we were offered Butternut Box to try that it became clear it was the flavour as when she ate beef or lamb her tummy was fine but then when it was turkey or chicken then she instantly became ill. This isn't to bad mouth Butternut Box either, the brand works really well for Josie but it's just not suitable for Edie. And if we hadn't tried their food then we might not have ever understood what was wrong with her. Her bad tummy and subsequently vomit was the most obvious sign for us but there was also the fact her fur wasn’t growing well at all, it was patchy and her skin was almost scaly where it wasn’t growing. As she is a blue whippet I know they are prone to alopecia so my first thought was that but I never expected it to flare up when she was less than 6 months old. After a particularly bad patch where she had incredibly severe diarrhoea and vomiting I needed to know what was going on off to the vets we went.
what the vet said
After an awfully long explanation of Edie and the history of her eating habits the vet was on the same page as me that it seemed to be an allergy to poultry and said to remove it from her diet completely immediately. As she had been so poorly we also needed some probiotics, antibiotics and low fat mince and rice for 5 days whilst her tummy got bad to normal. Thankfully, it was really easy for us to detect the allergy and ever since we’ve removed chicken and turkey from her diet she's never had severe liquid diarrhoea again (insert raised hands emojis here). And her fur grew back completely within a few weeks, I never knew an allergy could be so severe but I’m so glad we did connect the dots. The most common signs of a dog being allergic to chicken is;
Pawing at face
Poor growth (puppy and adolescent)
Shaking of the head
Skin infections Skin rashes
Chronic ear infections
Chronically inflamed feet
what we feed her
Probably the hardest thing that we’ve found about Edie having an allergy is that because it’s so severe we have to be incredibly careful not only with what we feed her but what we have in the house in general. We ended up having another trip to the vets after I hadn’t noticed that Josie’s biscuits contained poultry fat and she stole a couple so now I’m very diligent with reading ingredients lists properly. We’ve tried a few things with her food and there are two ways we feed the dogs;
This is my preferred way of feeding the dogs, neither of them is as shiny or have better bowel movements as they do when they’re on a raw diet. I know it can be a little controversial diet but it works well for us and I find it to be cheaper than a high-quality kibble diet and by feeding them this way I know exactly what they’re eating. With raw, I find there is generally a lot more flavours too which is brilliant when you’re limited with an allergy of two of the biggest ingredients when it comes to dry food. Whenever I mention that we feed the girls raw it often comes with the question of ‘that’s a lot of effort isn’t it?’ and for us, I don’t find it to be hard at all. The meat comes prepared and packaged (I can’t say I love the amount of plastic involved with raw), and all I have to do is let it defrost and serve it up with whatever extras I’ve got for it that day and it’s as simple as that.
Lately, we’ve gone back to kibble as Josie seemed to go off her food completely when Edie came into season and kibble is put easier to pour back into the bag if she’s not feeling it that day unlike raw and I can't stand food waste. Like I said I prefer to feed raw but I’m not against a high-quality kibble diet which is what the girls are having right now. They’re still healthy and shiny (thanks coconut oil) but there is always a noticeable difference with their bowels, there’s a lot more of it and it often doesn’t smell all that pleasant. We’ve only managed to find a couple of brands that really work for Edie (thankfully Josie is a little hardier) and that's Wainright's grain free and Collards, both are on the more affordable end of a decent kibble diet. The more expensive options like Acarna and Taste of the Wild (both of which Josie loves and is great with) didn’t work well for Edie as they contain egg which she can be sensitive too.