Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Allergic Reaction?

Savage is happy and healthy again, after a scary hornet-sting episode a couple days ago. After giving it a lot of thought and retracing our activities I think I've established exactly what happened.
Saturday around noon I was outside talking on the phone when I spotted a hornet just resting on Savvy's leg, so I brushed it off without thinking much more about it. Saturday night I worked at the bar and Randy and Savvy came over to visit for a couple hours. That night my puppy threw up in the backseat of the truck, but I didn't discover it until next morning. Early morning Sunday I woke up to the sounds of Savage puking on the carpet, twice, and when I let him outside he browsed on grass and went to the bathroom. Later on I noticed him swiping at his muzzle with his paws a few times. His cheeks were a little swollen and when I checked inside his big lips, I found what I thought was a cut or pimple where his lip meets his gums. Again, not very concerned, thinking it was a puncture from a stick he chewed on. Other than being a little lazy, his behavior seemed pretty normal.
Randy and I took him with us when we drove over to our cabin on McFarland Lake to pick up some stuff, and at the cabin he was running around, happy like he always is when we're there. On the drive home, however, he became sick in the truck again, and we had to let him out to throw up. Almost immediately when he got back in the vehicle I noticed his fur looked very messy, which I found was caused by small bumps on his skin; legs, haunches, shoulders, neck, and face. Randy assured me that it was probably an allergic reaction to something. I worried the whole way home.
Sunday night I stayed up late with Savvy, watching over my boy. His bumps slowly disappeared, but he trembled a little as he fell asleep. Around 3:00am he woke me up so I'd let him outside, where he threw up another time. When he came in he was shivering and I wrapped him in a blanket and stayed with him until I was sufficiently reassured that he was safe. Throughout the whole episode his respiration didn't seem to change much, if at all.
After talking to my cousin (vet tech, dog owner) on the phone, and checking out Savage, we determined that he must be reacting to the hornet sting, which of course, the "cut" inside his lip turned out to be after further examination. In fact, I also found a sting under his chin, and because the hair on the rest of his body is longer he might have gotten more.
So, Savvy will go to his vet next Tuesday (the earliest appointment) for a check-up, and hopefully more advice and information about his allergic reaction. I'm hoping that there is some kind of doggie "bee-sting kit" that we can carry with us, with epinephrine or adrenaline to prevent anaphylactic shock in case of an emergency. Also, this reminds me that I really should have a thermometer on hand so I can take puppy's temperature. This is quite early for hornets to be nesting up here, and we have a long summer ahead of us.
Note: The pictures interspersed in this post are some taken during May, but that I haven't got to publish yet. Due to our evacuation from our home due to a forest fire in the area, I haven't had internet access until a few days ago. Thankfully, our home, lodge, and cabins are safe, though some of our friends and neighbors weren't so lucky. The "Ham Lake Fire" seems to be dying down, but fire crews remain, mopping up hotspots and maintaining sprinkler systems. Savvy, Randy, and I are safe at home and hoping for more rain.


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