The minute I got up yesterday, it was already a Monday in every sense of the word. I was running late. My younger daughter was sick… again… for the 4th time in three months. My youngest did not want to get up off the couch and head out into the 29-degree weather to go to school. Neither did I. But we finally got out the door, and after I dropped him off at school, I ran some errands. On the way home, I got a text from my oldest daughter who was just leaving to make her 9 am class. It said, “What’s wrong with Django’s face?”
I hadn’t noticed anything wrong with Django’s face before I left, but I couldn’t really remember looking at it either. I let her and Hayley out as usual at 6am, then filled up their breakfast bowls when they came in and went about getting ready.
I walked home a little faster than usual, and when I saw Django, I was mildly horrified. Her lips, eyes and bridge of her nose were swollen and red. Her poor skin was a montage of hard, red bumps the size of dimes and they were itchy. She looked terrible, and I began freaking out on the inside. The vet wouldn’t be open for hours and I knew she needed some antihistamine in her, so I turn on the computer and went straight to the vet sites I trusted. I learned Benadryl was the drug of choice for an allergic reaction and found out how much I could safely give her. I also found out this is a relatively common occurrence.
The scary part was that although we are not far from our vet’s office, the staff wasn’t in yet. What if she had trouble breathing? What if she collapsed? I painted every doomsday picture in my mind while petting Django and trying to relieve her discomfort with cool cloths. Django’s lips were so puffed up, she couldn’t chew the way she normally would. When I tucked two halves of a Benadryl pill into a piece of cheese, one half fell out and Hayley (always close by when food is out) lapped up the bright pink pill in one lick. Luckily, since it was only half, it wouldn’t adversely affect Hayley but just give her a good snooze.
Django laid on the couch next to me while I mentally went over all possibilities for what could have caused this and continued to research online. I learned that if she had trouble breathing or started to vomit, I should take her to an emergency vet immediately. She slept on and off, and after a couple of hours, her face started to look slightly better. I followed up with another dose in the afternoon and by nightfall, she looked normal but was still a little itchy. I could still feel the bumps underneath. This morning she looks like nothing ever happened. My guess is either a spider bite or some kind of insect bite must have occurred when I let her out into the yard. She didn’t eat anything strange, just the same food she eats every other day.
One thing this little experience has taught me is the importance of knowing where your nearest emergency vet is. I admit I had no idea, and that added to my worry. Since my vet has long hours and I never really had a pet emergency, I never before had a situation where I had to consider it.
This is Django last night, with only slight redness lingering but basically looking like herself again. Poor thing…hope she knows she is in for some spoiling over the next few days!
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