An Early Morning Wake-Up Call

For whatever reason, I woke up at 2:30 last night to go to the bathroom and thought I saw a shape at the bottom of the stairs. Lucy sleeps on the couch at night – and never moves – so I flipped the hall light on to see what was at the bottom of the stairs. It was Lucy.

Since this was not the norm, I went downstairs to check on her and immediately noticed something was off, even though I couldn’t immediately tell what. Then I looked at her legs and thought I saw some small hives. And then it clicked – her face was slightly puffy, which was what was “off” when I first came downstairs.

I took her outside and she immediately had some…intestinal distress. And once we got back inside I could see that she did have hives on her legs, although they were way smaller than the infamous bee sting incident. I gave her a dose of benadryl and then since it was 3 a.m. and I had to get up at 5 a.m., Marty spent a few hours on the couch with her then I relieved him when I got up at 5 a.m. to work out.

By the time I came back downstairs at 5 a.m. her hives seemed about the same, if not slightly better, but her right eye was definitely still puffy. So, late this morning I called the vet to ask if they felt I should bring her in and they said yes (shocking, more money I was about to shell out!).

You can't really tell, but her right eye was still swollen

You can’t really tell, but her right eye was still swollen

So off to the vet we went. Again.

Puffy but cute in her pink harness

Puffy but cute in her pink harness

The diagnosis? Essentially she is a “highly allergic” dog. Most likely something bit her last night and caused the hives, which were and are treatable with benadryl. But, the vet also noticed her red, puffy paws, which led to her diagnosis of a “highly allergic” dog.

So, get this – Lucy is now on: a probiotic (for one week), benadryl (until tomorrow morning), Zyrtec and one other liquid allergy medicine that goes into her food. Yes, that’s four medications for a simple case of the hives that were just about gone by the time we saw the vet.

However, I know the vet is right. Lucy’s foot problem is clearly due to an allergy of some kind; the hives were just a random occurrence but the paws are not random – they’re constant! I was glad to get a vet who not only wanted to treat the immediate problem (hives) but also Lucy’s chronic problem (irritated paws). Do I want Lucy to be on allergy meds forever? Of course not. But as the vet pointed out, plenty of adults are on allergy meds either part of the year or even full-time in the case of allergies to dust, dog, cats, etc.

So for now we’ll be on the two allergy meds for 14 days before trying to wean her off one of them. After that, we’ll see if she does need them year-round or if it’s going to be a seasonal thing.

It’s never dull around here!

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