About four months later, Reuben started chewing his feet
and developed bilateral ear problems. This was the moment
that I started thinking about a more generalised problem:
Unfortunately, to diagnose an allergy there does not exist
a simple test that gives us a straight forward answer. The
only way of diagnosing atopy (similar to hay fever in people)
is by comparing a good history with the clinical signs and
thereafter eliminating all the differentials that can cause
the same clinical signs e.g. bacterial, fungal and yeast
infections, parasitic infestations and other allergies such
as food allergy.
When discussing the history with the owners, I found out
that Reubens problems started when a couple of pet
chickens were bought in. Of course Reuben loved his new
mates so it would be a shame if they had to be strictly
separated from each other.
Reuben went through a whole list of tests at the end of
which he has been diagnosed with atopy. He just started
a therapy with blocking injections, which is on long term
a cost effective treatment with no side effects. If Reuben
reacts well on the therapy, he hopefully can keep on playing
a role in Chicken run without being concerned
about his allergy.
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