Late Summer Allergies

We’ve been on a rough ride here, allergy-wise.

First it was lamb. Typical food allergy stuff. I stopped the lamb, and things got only a little better. Then I realized Silas was throwing up because he was chewing a chicken-flavored nylabone. I took away the nylabone (which wasn’t even the “chicken” flavor, it was the original, and who knew that he was eating enough of it to matter?), but he was still breaking out in new bumps.

I tend to call these hives, but they probably aren’t, really. We’ve seen hives. They look like this:


I am thankful almost every day that he’s never had another reaction that bad.

These bumps are a lot more minor, mostly visible as a disturbance of his hair. You can see one here, right behind his front leg:


Or, to be more clear:
hives with circle

Here’s a terrible shot of one on his belly, where you can see what they actually look like:

On average they will form up, stay for a few days, and go away. The problem is that sometimes they form where Silas can reach to scratch them. This is the same bump under his front leg, a place he can easily claw with his back feet, two days later:

The blessing in all of this is that Silas doesn’t appear to be allergic to ragweed. We’re in the very beginnings of fall pollen season right now, and my city keeps precise data. Amaranth (pigweed/tumbleweed/lambs’ quarters) is in the air right now, as is the very first smidgeon of ragweed. Last year, at the very beginning of ragweed season, I noticed the hives, doubled his dose of fish oil, and felt very proud of myself for keeping anything more serious at bay. Ragweed is epic here. Epic.

Year two data suggests that he’s not actually allergic to the ragweed at all, but rather to other thing that’s pollenating right now. Amaranth has a much shorter season and never reaches the extreme volume that ragweed does. I’m not sure there would be medication enough in the world if Silas were actually showing a reaction to ragweed this early in the season, since it will get several hundred times worse.

So that’s a good thing. But in the meantime, he’s still breaking out with new places every day, despite a few attempts to medicate him. I’m going to have to pull out the Temaril, it looks like, if I don’t want him to scratch himself into a skin infection.