Histamined Dog

My 17-year-old has the unfortunate ability to sleep through alarm clocks.  I don’t mean one.  I’m talking his laptop alarm, his alarm clock, his cell phone alarm and his brother’s cell phone alarm.  The boy could sleep through a nuclear blast.

Normally, he is scheduled to start work in the 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. range.  This week, he was scheduled in the 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. range.  What does this mean?  This means his night owl mother must get up at O-dark-thirty and wake him up, so he doesn’t get fired.  Then wake him up again when he falls asleep eating breakfast, in the bathroom and while getting dressed.  I have seriously never seen a person who can fall asleep while getting a uniform on, but he can.

Today, he went to get dressed for work, and I decided to take the dogs out.  When they came back inside, I noticed the Boxer had snow edging his flues.  In other words, he ate something.  It was 1 degree outside.  He is trained to stay in the “bathroom area”.  He rarely leaves it.  It was dark out, so I had no idea what he’d gotten in to.  Well, I had an idea, but it was just too gross to contemplate that early in the morning.

I was so tired I went back to bed after my son left.   I slept much later than I wanted to.  Jumping out of bed, I ran around trying to catch up on the day.  I needed to get to the grocery store, Wal-Mart, and a car dealer. Passing the room where the Boxer normally sleeps, something odd caught my eye causing me to come to an abrupt stop.   After staring at him for a few seconds, I called out, “Omgosh Dude, what is wrong with your face?!”

This poor dog’s face was completely swollen.  He couldn’t open his eyes more than halfway.   Flues, which should have been all saggy and floppy, resembled the cheeks of a chipmunk hauling food to store.    He looked like someone stuck a helium tank hose in his mouth.  This poor guy looked completely pathetic.  My daughter came up and yelled, “Oh my gosh, poor puppy!”

My 17-year-old has stress-induced angioedema.  His body releases way too much Histamine under stress.  I have to carry an epi-pen for it.    The first thing I thought when I saw the Boxer’s face was wow, that looks just like DS3’s reactions.  

I whipped around, grabbed my phone and called the vet.  One Benadryl later, his face swelling was going down, but he began to break out in welts and hives.  I have never seen a dog have an allergic reaction like this.  The vet’s office told me it was common for Boxers.   I said, “This is not my first Boxer, and I have never had this happen before.”   I was told to keep a watch on him, but if he continued to get worse bring him in.

I couldn’t leave to do anything.  It was way too cold to leave him in the car, and his airway needed to be watched.  I had the only available car.  Two hours later, swelling began around his neck folds.  We went to the vet.  She gave him two shots and within 10 minutes the hives began disappearing.  I was amazed at how fast it worked.   I also learned that Boxers have a naturally high histamine count, so when they react to something they really react to something.

Returning home, we searched all over the yard trying to figure out what he got into, but it was way too cold to stay out there (-12 with wind chill).   Plus, everything was frozen.  Whatever he got into would’ve been visible.  We couldn’t find anything to explain it, unless he ate some of what Mika left behind and reacted to her medication.  That is just not what I want to think about.

He still has some swelling on one section of his neck, but the rest of him is back to normal.  And no, I never did get my errands done.   Thankfully, I have a stock to turn to when necessary. Yay for the unpredictability of life.

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