Shots, not the fun kind.

Melvin is allergic to most things. Trees (not all of them but I’m not a Dendrologist so I’m not even sure which tree is which), most grasses (extra challenging since he needs to go to the bathroom with his feet on the ground, outdoors), mold, certain pollens and some leaves. Since we don’t live in a bubble, he is exposed to all these things daily. Fall is much worse than Summer, Winter is much better than Spring. For his outdoor allergies he gets a monthly allergy shot, administered by me. When I get the kit out each month he immediately sits and waits for his shot (and subsequent treat). He graciously accepts this weapon against the madness. He’s been getting the shots for about two years now and it took about six months for them to show signs of helping. Our vet ordered up the testing, arranged for vials to be shipped and gave plenty of instruction before handing over the box of needles. The first shot I gave to him on my own took 37 minutes — 36 of them were spent staring at him, then the needle, then him, then the needle.

Due to his outdoor allergies I’ve come to realize that Melvin also tends to be allergic to many ‘green’ cleaners. He’s also allergic to dust mites (I vacuum daily and wash his bedding several times a week with baby detergent) and has a red/itchy reaction to many scented products (air fresheners, fabric freshener, carpet cleaner).

As complicated as the above sounds, nothing was as labor intensive as his food allergies. It took months to figure out he was allergic to protein. We tried every prescription food known to man. Every trial we did was daunting and each gave him the runs and itchies. For those of you who have never done a food trial, you have to limit the dog to the food you are testing and only that food. No treats, no anything that can compromise the test. Otherwise, if the dog has a reaction, you won’t know for certain what it was. In or around the sixth month we found ZD Ultra. The protien is pre-digested (of course my vision of how this is done includeds a different dog eating the food first then throwing it up but I’m pretty sure that is incorrect); Melvin’s stomach tolerates it well and his skin is unaffected by it’s consumption. Check, check!

Next up, one year and 100 boxes later, we find the one treat he can have!

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