Cooper update (allergies)

It's been a while since I've been on… LOVE LOVE LOVE the new look!

We had Cooper retested for allergies this fall, and the results were surprising, but very useful. His original test, a few years ago, only showed him as being allergic to flea saliva and storage mites. We did allergy injections, and kept the house clean and controlled fleas to combat these issues. He still seemed to react to foods, so he's been on Hill's Z/D Ultra. His skin reactions still happened all the time, even though he was on antihistamine and cyclosporin (which was a miracle in getting his hair back!).

Well, this round of tests showed he's allergic to an odd list of foods (duck, potato, barley, peas, yeast, turkey, beef, rabbit) which explains why he can't have any commercial food. He's allergic to many weeds and grasses, which explains the seasonality to some of his reactions. And he's allergic to us! We got the results right before Christmas, and he stayed with my parents for three weeks while we visited my husband's family. When we got back, his coat was in the best shape I'd ever seen and we determined that it was either from not sleeping with people or not getting any toddler crumbs, despite our best efforts. We tested it and stopped letting him sleep with us. He now has a burrowing bed and hasn't had a bump, skin redness, or major hair loss since we came back from our holiday! Wish we'd had these more accurate results sooner!

Ruth

That's great news that his health and coat are turning around for the best. I cant imagine the worry you must feel about his many allergies, including you! Since he can't have any commercial food do you have to feed him raw/ or homemade meals? That's time consuming and tough..but I'm sure rewarding and a small price to pay for health. Sounds like a lot of challenges and hurdles but it sounds like your family is dou h everything right for Cooper, hope he has continues success with his health!

Very impressed with you guys to go the extra step and re-check the allergy situation. I feel sad that they said he was allergic to you. How did they actually test for this? Does it mean you can't touch him now?

First Basenji's

I'm intrigued by the food allergies he has, especially his sensitivities to duck and turkey, since those aren't very common proteins. I'm impressed by the challenges you must face finding him an appropriate diet! Poor guy! Luckily, chicken doesn't seem to be on that list. I would definitely look into a chicken-based raw diet if that was the list I was confronted with… yikes.

Since you say he is allergic to you, could it be the soap you use? Detergent? What is different from what your parents use then what you use?

He tested positive (from VARL labs test this time, we used Heska on his original test) to human dander, so there he is allergic to a protein found in human dander. I already vacuum regularly due to my husband's allergies, so his major exposure was from diving under the sheets on our bed. At my parents' house, he slept on his bed or on a couch. I was pretty good before about regularly washing blankets that are shared between him and us on the couch to rid them of our dander on a regular basis (we have a leather couch and let him up on it on blankets), but I do keep a closer eye on it now.

We still have him on a hydrolyzed protein diet (prescription Hill's Z/D Ultra). I would eventually like to get him on something else to get away from the preservatives in it, but my options locally are rather slim at the moment. I make my own recipe of chicken liver training treats for him (with oats, blueberries, and rosemary… he goes bonkers for them!). Because I have to cook all of the human meals already (husband has multiple severe allergies, too... Cooper adopted the right family!) and I have a 21 month old, homemade and/or raw isn't something I can dive into right now.

I think the simple change of sleeping quarters has made a huge difference, and I feel less stressed now knowing that if he snags crumbs in the kitchen, he's not always allergic to them! Here he is enjoying the new bed!

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Do these allergies occur in his relatives also?

Jennifer

Cooper is a rescue of unknown origin (found as a stray, in a shelter for their maximum time, then to an all-breed rescue group). His ears are somewhat offset at resting position and his tail was docked before he was found as a stray, but he otherwise looks and acts like a trindle basenji. We occasionally entertain the idea that he may be part rat terrier or something else of similar size and color, but he has to be at least 75% basenji.

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