Ida’s first allergy chock happened the day after we got her home, at her puppy check-up at the veterinary when she was given her inoculation.
In minutes her face got so swollen her head looked like a ball. First she scratched her face so hard it seemed like she was willing to rip out her eyes and the tip of her nose if only it would make the itching stop. Then she started to throw herself on to the walls, before the vets managed to ease the reaction with cortison. It was an incredibly disturbing experience. And also not a very encouraging one for us who already had one very allergic Akita.
She continued during puppyhood to react with swollen lips, running eyes, itching, diarrea on pretty much most food. She also reacted to most kinds of grass and tree pollen and dust and mite. We did try every sort of food available over the years, even special medical food for 500euro for 15 kg – to no avail. Barley and lamb continued to be her best option according to allergy tests all through her life. But with it the allergy was at least held at bay and she grew slowly and well into a tall and strong bitch. Her coat turned out to become just as functional as my American Akita Hulda’s. With exactly required length of overcoat and a double wool that protected her in every situation. As Hulda’s coat Ida’s needed no maintenance; a natural varnish of fat kept it always neat and clean. I never brushed or bathed her. If she got dirty, and this was a happy and active dog, all fell off her as soon as it dried.
At the age of two Ida had recieved Cacib in three countries and several championships, passed a mental description with pleasant result, declined an amount of obedience-classes – she considered them incredibly silly and very unnecessary – and started to become interested in tracking. I was starting to plan for a litter at the time she would turn three years old.
In summer 2001 we had an explosion of ticks everywhere. Despite a variety of protections I still had to remove about 30 ticks a walk of three dogs. Not surprisingly Sebastian and Ida tested positive on Erlichios in the autumn. They were both treated for it. Ida seemed to recover well.