After determining that your pet may be actually suffering from a food allergy you Dr. Limpach or your vet may have put you on an "Elimination Diet". This new diet involves dedication from you and your pet. Your pet will be put on a diet that consists of a simple carbohydrate (commonly potatoes) and a simple protein (mainly fish). These ingredients are chosen because most animals have not had an allergic reaction with these chosen carbohydrates and these simple proteins. Lets recap what Dr. Limpach or your vet told you about the "Elimination Diet."
What is causing this reaction in my pet?
Like yourself you may have many allergies ranging from medicines, pollens, dust, pet dander, and even food. When you are exposed to these things a reaction happens. This same reaction happens in your pet also many pets . As in people, many animals suffer from more than one allergy. In most animals a small amount of an allergen will not cause outwardly symptoms. This is because the body has been able to fend off from a large reaction from happening. The more allergens in your pets body the bigger the immune response.
When is the best time to start this diet?
Commonly animals will be put on this food in order to lower the allergens in your pets body. The best time to test this diet out is in winter. This is due to the fact that most plants are dead and there will be no outside allergens to bother your pet.
What are the rules of this diet?
This diet will need to be strictly followed for at least the first three months. In this time your pet will receive NOTHING but the food designated by your vet. You will need to monitor your pets status daily and write down how your pet's symptoms are doing.
What if my pet accidentally eats outside food while on this diet?
Accidents happen, take the food away from your pet and then continue back onto the "Elimination Diet." Just make sure you watch your pet closely for the next few days. Document what your pet ate with as much detail as possible (brand, main ingredients etc.). If your pet has a reaction then you know one thing that your pet is allergic to!
Throughout, the next few months you will have scheduled "rechecks" with your vet. During this time you will need to bring your daily documentation with you to discuss with your vet. After at least three months and with the permission of the vet you may start "challenging" your pets diet.
This food challenge involves adding ONE new ingredient to your pet's diet. We recommend doing this in one week intervals.
- Week one: Add ONE new ingredient. Say you want to see if your pet is allergic to chicken then during this entire week your pet will eat NOTHING but the chicken during this week. Continue to document your pets symptoms.
- Week two: Return to the designated "Elimination Diet" DO NOT ADD ANYTHING NEW DURING THIS "RECOVERY" WEEK! Continue to monitor and document symptoms of your pet. At the end of this week if your pet's itching or allergy related symptoms have increased then your pet is allergic to this ingredient. If no reaction was found then this is to be put on a safe list. At the end of this week and the start of week 3 you can add your next test ingredient.
Soon you will develop a "safe" list. This will involve all the foods that your pet can eat and not have an allergic reaction to. These ARE foods that you can add to your pets daily diet if you so choose to.