I was blessed to become the dog mother of a cream chow chow. I named Rhea and bought her cute pink bows! What I didn’t know,just like any other maternal figure, was that I was in for a surprise when I found out my baby has severe allergies. It started when she was only a few months old. The itching, sneezing, coughing, and constant hot spots were huge red flags. After she turned a year old it just continued to get worse and by a year and half we spent more time at the vet than we did at home. Finally, we got her allergy tested and started immunotherapy. My beautiful fluff ball was allergic to almost everything. No, I’m not exaggerating;even though, I wish I was just a bit! I do have a flare for being dramatic. Rhea is allergic to most trees, grass, grains (including wheat and corn), all eat except chicken, beef, and fish; mold, dust mites, cats, human dander, and everything in between. I have to vacuum frequently and monitor everything that she could even possibly remotely ingest. It was a lot of work to allergy proof the house and stay on top of her therapy schedule. We started out doing two shots every four days, after three months we are up to two shots once a week. Here are a few lessons I learned:
1) If you don’t know something, ask. If you don’t understand ask again. My vet knows the sound of my voice on the phone. Yes, I’m being serious.
2) It is easy to overcome your fear of needles when something you love unconditionally depends on it. Cowgirl up!
3) If you aren’t sure what is in it just assume that it is full of allergens and that it will cause a bad reaction. This includes soaps, home cleaning sprays, and anything edible.
4) Immunotherapy is not a cure all. I naively thought that if I spent XXX amount of money on all the immunotherapy stuff that she would be normal and free from the effects of her allergies. WRONG! It will lessen the severity though and allow her to live a more normal life.
5) I should have taken out that pet insurance that I threw in the trash.
After everything is said and done I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that they would have placed her On another home or dumped her at a shelter. I cannot imagine my life without Rhea in it. She is the most gentle, compassionate companion I could have ever imagined and more. She has trained herself to be my therapy dog. Rhea loves bunnies, kittens, chicks, ducklings, and all things small and cute. She is a ray of sunshine (pun intended) to my darkest days!
If you are experiencing the life with an allergy dog feel free to hit me up for advice or to share some advice!!