Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Food Allergies

So it's kind of interesting.  My husband has been convinced that my cat has been in cahoots with our son since I was pregnant.  He claims the evidence of this is an ultrasound picture we have where our soon looks like he is doing "the Mr Burns excellent sign from the Simpsons".  The cat and our son have always had a peculiar relationship.  Partially because of the cat, Duchess, my emergency C-section occurred a little earlier, I told the doctor that my cat was behaving strangely, and being extra protective from the dog.  It is possible that by preventing me from going into labor prior to the C-section that she could have saved both of our lives... But I digress..

You may not be aware, but food allergies are present in animals, just like people.  Duchess, our 15 year old Tortie developed food allergies about 7 years ago.  In cats and dogs, food allergies thankfully don't lead to anaphylaxis.  It can cause some pretty serious skin problems and stomach issues though. Duchess is allergic to chicken and beef (but especially chicken).  If she gets a small piece, she starts losing her hair and scratch
ing obsessively.  Many treats that say "salmon or venison" or other proteins, on the label you will find in small letters later on in the label.  I guess she has sort of trained me to be vigilant.

Unfortunately, Duchess shares this health condition now with our two year old.  He happens to be allergic to peas.  Yes, peas.  Interestingly, peas are a legume (related to peanuts) and are becoming more of a common allergen.  Our pediatrician actually didn't believe us that he was allergic to peas.  After a trip to the emergency room, we found out he his highly allergic to cashews as well (he actually had difficulty breathing after eating a small "cashew cluster".  So thus we have embarked on being food allergy parents.  I'm kind of new to this world (if anyone has tips, please feel free to share), except for the label reading.  Thanks to Duchess, we are prepared for that...

I would like to say Trader Joe's is very helpful, according to the company any products that are produced by Trader Joe's is required to state whether it is made on shared equipment with treenuts (this is not legally required).  Unfortunately, peas are not listed as an allergen, but thankfully, peas aren't dusty and not that common...  And as someone recently pointed out to me... At least I will never have to ask him to stop sticking his peas up his nose : )

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