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And This Is Why We Can't Do Fun Things

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by ignitethis, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. ignitethis

    ignitethis Good Dog

    The other day was a nice day, the last one for a week or two. As I had a day off, I decided to wander around the Ice Age Trail with my girl, Roxie. Roxie is a great hiking dog- she pulls consistently in her Stillwater ring harness, always keeping on (scent) track and alerting to wildlife, all while keeping me grounded (my head tends to be in the clouds on hikes, and by communicating through the leash via tension, she is my eyes and ears on the ground).

    After a few hours of walking and being pulled up hills, etc, we end up at a whole different segment of the trail and decide to turn around, home in our sights. Roxie keeps me steady going down the hills that she had pulled me up, and points out some really cool fast food fellers- even though I tell her she can't eat them. She agrees to some tasty Annamaet Manitok when we get home instead.

    Unfotunately, today I had to work. No hiking. When I got home... Roxie was COVERED in hives. They were huge. So, first thing I did was give Roxie some benedryl- she does get benedryl for her allergies already, but I figured I must have made a mistake and missed a dose. Then, I decided that I needed all of the allergens OUT of the house and OFF of my dog. After vaccuming, washing all bedding and clothing, I finally went upstairs to Roxie, who I had locked in the bathroom, and washed her.

    It didn't get better. Drove to the emergency vet, and they took her in the back to work with her. She started looking a lot better. They did a blood panel on her and let her come back out to the waiting room to be with me. After the panel was done, one of the vets came back... Roxie had gotten A LOT worse. We collectively assumed it was my pants- I had not thought about them at all, just threw them on after changing out of my scrubs to rush Roxie there. I had worn those pants hiking.

    The vet ended up taking Roxie back, after explaining her blood panel results to me (her red blood cell count was pretty high, which is normal in sighthounds [she is a Whippet X] but everything else normal). Basically, the vet told me that he was going to give Roxie a steroid injection, because it was THAT bad. He had not wanted to earlier. They also injected her with liquid benedryl.

    30 mins later, and Roxie finally appears through the doors looking SOOOO very much better. Still had some minor hives, but not planet sized hives. Her skin changed from a puffy, angry red to a normal white. While Roxie's lymph nodes are still swollen, she wasn't in pain any more.

    Moral of the story is, keep your allergy dogs in hamster balls where no allergens can harm them. Looks like we will be making an appt with the allergy specialist as soon as possible, because this is no way for us to live. I, too, have horrific allergies (actually started breaking out while I was in the waiting room!), but this year, it ends. I want to be able to live freely without allergies interfering with either of our lives... And as much as Roxie loves hiking and working for me, she deserves so much more.

    Granted, this is the first time in years that she's broken out in hives (and NEVER this badly!), but I am done. She had been managed perfectly fine on benedryl for a long time, but I think the environment at our new house is so completely different, her system can't handle it. Plus, all the stuff we run into on the trail just over does it. Also, this allergy season is supposed to be wretched.

    I hope you all have a good night, and hug your dogs close. For those allergy dogs out there... Best of luck. Seriously. And cookies and Roxie kisse to everyone that read the whole thing!
  2. DoggyKong

    DoggyKong Little Dog

    Aww, I totally feel for you guys! I have an allergen dog too, it's a pain in the butt. I'm glad she is feeling better!!!
  3. evilfriends

    evilfriends Little Dog

    Oh no, poor Roxie! I'm glad she's feeling better.
    My mutt has allergies too, he's already starting to break out in those lovely, tiny little hives he gets in the spring/summer. Luckily they don't bother him too much, but man they're a pain in the butt!
  4. _unoriginal

    _unoriginal Cow Dog

    Ugh that sucks. You can try local raw honey to help with seasonal outdoor allergies.
  5. nickel

    nickel Little Dog

    That sucks! Ice Age Trail...you must be in WI. That area is nice, but bothers myself and the pups. Too many weeds or something.
  6. phillysmom

    phillysmom Good Dog

    Poor Roxie, glad she's better. How frustrating for you.
  7. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    I think there are over the counter allergy drugs you can give-zyrtec, claritin, loratadine. There's also one that I've heard about that is specifically for dogs. It starts with an "A"...I want to say alopecia, but I know that's not it.

    I only give benadryl to my dog when she needs it-so I don't know what the dosages of the above mentioned drugs would be...but you should bring them up (either when you see your vet again, or the specialist).

    ETA: It's called Atopica.
  8. ignitethis

    ignitethis Good Dog

    Thanks to all who read and replied :)

    Roxie is currently on benedryl, and will remain so until further notice. We did talk a bit about steroids, but the vet and I have decided to continue managing the allergies with benedryl for now (as Roxie had been on pred, but was weened off because she developed a hyperplasia)... Just a little differently- now I will be giving benedryl (2 of 25mg) every 3-4 hours a day before hiking, the day off hiking, and then for two to three days after a hike.

    I was not able to get into contact with a specialist today, but shall be seeking one ASAP. I am doing everything I can for both my dog and myself to decrease the effect allergens have on us. For now, I will not be hiking for a while... And I will be paying a lot more attention to pollen forecasting.

    As for Roxie's progress- no hives this morning, although her neck is swollen about an inch still. Lymph nodes should get back where they need to be by tomorrow or the day after. Roxie's skin is still a bit pink yet, but no longer an angry red.

    Tummy is still slightly red, and one paw is irritated from her licking/scratching. Her ears are both still bruised and lightly swollen, but vastly improved. Bodily functions normal, and she has only gone through half of her 1.75 quart water bowl so far tonight (normal for her). Energy levels are normal, but she's got a little less go-go-go in her- that's from allergies taking their toll, plus benedryl making her a bit drosy.

    All in all, progress is promising! Hope you all have a good night :)
  9. Jazzy

    Jazzy GRCH Dog

    When you find a large enough hamster ball...let me know...I need to buy one of those suckers. :grin:

    I'm glad she's coming along and hope you guys can get it figured out and avoid any future major outbreaks!!!

    We know your pain, allergies SUCK.

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