The Bad Side of Food Allergies

This week has been a comedy of food errors.

One day last week, or maybe even week before, Silas hit our twice a week threshold with throwing up, which is when I know I have to change his diet. I cut out the pork.

Nothing changed. He’s still throwing up, and he’s been pork free long enough that any symptoms from that should have abated.

This leaves us a few suspects. Far and away the worst case scenario is that he could be allergic to his turkey. Food issues do change over time, and there’s a chance that using turkey as his primary food for nine months has made him sensitive to it. There’s also a possibility that he’s become allergic to his venison tripe. You know, that stuff that I spent $200 stockpiling, because he could eat it and it was being discontinued. This is a strong chance, because the tripe was “grandfathered in” rather than really carefully tested. The third contender is dairy.

On the other hand, if could have nothing to do with food at all. The vomiting has possibly been triggered by his freakish love of eating acorns. Acorns contain some seriously stomach irritating chemicals, and the ones here are an inch long or more.

So, we have four very clear possibilities. Easy enough to cross check, right? We’re old pros at this elimination diet thing, right?


Yesterday went like this, and has been pretty typical: Silas woke up and ate his ground turkey. I carefully doled out the last few dehydrated 100% turkey treats to get him through scary landscaping day. I go to the fridge to feed him his dinner, and it is still frozen. I put it down to defrost 24 hours in advance, but that wasn’t enough. In despair I gave him the half can of venison tripe that’s about to go bad in the fridge. Then my husband lets him sneak a few pieces of cheese while we’re making dinner.

So, he ate every one of the possible allergens. And, sure enough, he threw up this morning.

I usually tell people that the food allergies are mostly an intellectual problem. Once you get your head around the fact that you have to control everything your dog eats, they really aren’t that hard to live with. Until they are.

I’m hoping that next week is better. Primal has put out a freeze-dried version of the food Silas ate when we first did his elimination diet, so I bought a bag of that for defrosting emergencies. That should automatically get us down to just the two possible triggers. Plus we figured out the acorn thing–I honestly had no idea that they were bad for dogs, so I never bothered to make him spit them out. Fortunately the acorns are only in the front yard and at the park, both places where he’s closely supervised.

The sunny side of this is that he really probably can eat pork. Taking it away doesn’t appear to have affected his symptoms at all.


11 thoughts on “The Bad Side of Food Allergies

  1. I can’t tell you how I admire your patience and persistence in dealing with Silas’ food allergies. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to think you have it solved and then find out it’s not. For this and many reasons I’ve left you a little something over on my blog today.


  2. Good point that managing this process requires intellectual discipline.

    I’ve been lucky never to deal with allergies (knock wood). But I remember failing to defrost or make homemade meals and finding myself scrambling to feed a hungry dog. There have been many days where dogs have eaten better than humans. 🙂


  3. Oh wow, you must be banging your head against the wall. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out… At least he can still eat pork. That’s something right? I feel so grateful that allergies have never been part of my life and hopefully I will continue to be so lucky.

    I didn’t know that about acorns either so I am glad you wrote about that. I don’t think my dog has ever eaten one but I’ll have to be on the lookout just in case. I wouldn’t put it past her to try.


    1. Silas thinks the acorns are *delicious.* The ASPCA says something like “Most dogs won’t eat enough to hurt themselves.” But, he was also supposed to be deterred by that Bitter Yuck spray when he was a puppy. LOL.


  4. My raw food expert says acorns have a lot of mold in them as well, I try not to let my guys get at them but sometimes it just happens. She also said if the food is too cold they will throw up. Delilah has never thrown up any of her meals, she is a garbage gut, but Sampson will occasionally. I try super hard to make sure his food isn’t cold at all, sometimes even running hot water on my hands and then through his food.

    I’m certain with you will discover what exactly the source of the problem is, I just know how much of a pain in the butt it is. 😦


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