Friday, August 26, 2016

Allergy Friendly Dog Treats

In honor of National Dog Day, I'm going to share a couple of "recipes" (more like directions) for dog treats I make for this guy

He has been known to have digestive issues from liking his snacks a little too much. So, this first recipe is for those who want to have their treats and eat them too.

Pumpkin Dog Treats

1 can pumpkin

Really, that is it. I put one can of pumpkin in the mixer. I add flour (for us, a blend of whatever GF I have on hand) until the mixture is able to be rolled.

Roll out thinly, cut into squares (or whatever shape) and bake for 20 min at 375. Flip and bake for another 20 min.

These can be stored at room temperature.

Liver treats

This one is for people who buy their meat in large quantities and so end up with offal. Or, those who don't mind handling offal for their dogs.


Beef Liver

Yup, that is it.

Cut the liver into small pieces (this is much easier if it is still partially frozen). I have a dehydrate setting on my oven but if you don't, you can set your oven to 200. Put on parchment paper on cookie sheets. I dehydrated it for a total of 2 hours, flipping at the 1 hour mark. That was not long enough and they are still sticky. I would recommend flipping every hour and dehydrating for at least  4 hours. I will update when I try this.

Especially because they are not completely dry, I am storing this in the refrigerator.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Is this it?

We traveled to New York last month for James's 20 month follow up with Dr. Li. I really have no new blood work results to report, because, on paper, his testing is perfect. His improvements, even from last July, when he had already made a huge number of gains, are incredible. With that in mind, my first query to Dr. Li was:

"Is this it?"

James's quality of life has improved so significantly since beginning treatment, combined with the difficulty of tapering his Allegra down further, made me think that perhaps we had reached the end point of his treatment - and I was ok with that.

Dr. Li felt he still could go farther.

Her first recommendation was to have him have a food challenge, still on Allegra, and at most half the normal dose for a food challenge, eating that amount regularly. One of the benefits of seeing Dr. Li each day was that I could relay this to James's local allergist and have a response while still in daily contact with Dr. Li. Many times I have wished I could get them both in the same room to hash things out - this was the next best thing.

James's local allergist did not outright say no, but definitely expressed concerns. His first concern was that if James was still taking Allegra, minor symptoms might be suppressed and any reaction might be more serious before noticed. To combat this, the allergist said we would have to admit James to the hospital for the challenge and have an IV put in.

The allergist's second concern was with EoE. I know this is a controversial subject. I am reporting his concerns, not adding commentary because I think the research is still out. He felt that OIT had an increased risk of EoE and not doing a full challenge was too similar to OIT. Challenging when we weren't sure that James's immune system was fully healed could put him at a higher risk.

So, ultimately, the ball was in my court. James's allergist was willing, but ... Dr. Li recommended it.

I asked Dr. Li if it was even possible for James to develop EoE; his blood work shows 0% eosinophils in his blood. She said that yes, he could. Eosinophils can be in tissue and not blood.

I will be honest, EoE terrifies me. James has had digestive problems in the past (and to some extent, continuing) and I don't want to tip the scales. It seems the ultimate jumping out of the frying pan into
the fire.

And so, we decided to wait.

Inadvertently, we seem to have started James's Allegra taper again. Last Tues, the pills got stuck in his throat and he threw them up. This Tues, he forgot to take them. Unless I hear otherwise, I'm going to drop his Tuesday dose since he's gone two weeks without it with seemingly little effects. October will be a year since we began the taper. My goal now is to be done by next October!