Race day recap + Food allergies in dogs
Race day Recap!
The days leading up to the race Sunday were less than what I would call ideal. My ER shift Thursday night was long and Friday was not much better. Got home late and exhausted, forgot I needed to do laundry, and needed to pack. I went to work Saturday morning and did somehow manage to get all my patients and charts squared away before flying out.
I got to meet this precious little girl and catch up with her momma.
Then the race!!
The weather Sunday morning was ideal for running. Especially for Houston, Texas in December. You never know what you’ll get with weather in the south. There could be ice on the ground or it may still be 80 degrees and sunny. The starting temperature was about 65 and overcast. It was great. The course took us around lake Houston but covered the same loop twice, which is always hard psychologically. Also, the second loop took everyone away from the cheering bystanders and out into the middle of nowhere with no cars, houses, or people. That’s less than ideal when you’re at mile 10.
I felt good for this entire run which surprised me because my training length was sub par. Mile 9 was a little rough for some reason, but I think it was more to do with the scenery, or lack there of, around that point. I started off at a 7:50min/mile but couldn’t decide if I could hold that the entire time or if I’d run out of fuel in the tank. I maintained around an 8min/mile and just decided I would stay at that pace and pick it up toward the end. Overall it was a great race full of some awesome women. My overall time was 1:46, 4th in my age group and 15th overall.
On to the next one!
My friend had a topic request and it’s one I intended to touch on at some point, so her it is.
Food allergies and anal glands!! Fun stuff right? It’s not, it’s actually super frustrating, smelly, and uncomfortable for all people involved. It’s also very easy to control if done correctly.
What dogs are affected?
There are some breeds that are more predisposed than others, but in general it has more to do with skin color and hair coat. “Blue, fawn, grey, purple, whatever color you prefer to call it, is the most commonly affected. Lighter pigmented dogs (pink skin) also seem to be more prone to food allergies.
What are the signs?
Itching mostly. Where they itch is the key to diagnosing these dogs. “Ears and Rears” is how we remember it in school, but it holds true for most dogs. Chronic ear infections and itching at the base of the tail/ anal gland problems are signs of food allergies.
Should I go grain free?
Please understand that I’m not making fun of people for thinking this is true. It’s a common misconception that I believe stems from people having gluten intolerance. Most dogs are allergic to the protein source in their food. Most commonly, chicken, beef, dairy, and eggs. There are some dogs who seem to respond well to grain free diets for one reason or another, but food allergies are caused by a reaction to the protein molecule.
What do I feed my itchy dog?
The recommendation is to feed a novel protein. That means a protein source your dog has never been exposed to, ever. So if you’ve been giving Fido special treats that contain lamb, you can’t use lamb as your protein choice. Most pets do well with a fish product. Many food companies sell specialty proteins like venison, kangaroo, or even rabbit. Their diet needs to be as strict as a person with a peanut allergy. No contaminated treats, no table food, no stealing kibble from a housemates bowl. This will counteract everything with one little bite. Diet trials can take 8 weeks to show improvement, so be patient.
Is there a test for food allergies?
Yes, your vet can pull blood and send it to a lab to be tested for sensitivity against the most common food sources. It’s difficult to know exactly how these tests correlate to your dogs reaction. Some dogs test high positive for rabbit, but don’t actually respond to rabbit when ingested. It’s a nice starting point if you’re looking for a certain diet over the counter, but a food trial is the best option.
This website by tufts does a great job of explaining into more detail what food allergies are and how to control them in your pet.
If you think your dog is suffering from food allergies, or your pet scoots his rump against the carpet regularly, talk to your vet. There may be a simple fix that relieves the pain and discomfort associated with food allergies.