Finnigan is a year and 5 months and while he has had his share of problems and cause to go to the vet, he had never up to this point had anything that could be deemed an emergency... until last night. Finnigan is fine, not good as new yet but should be soon.
So last night I was watching tv and Finn was sleeping at my feet as usual until my husband and I walked out on the balcony leaving Finn inside for only about five minutes. He was moved to lay by the back door and as we were walking back in, I saw through the window that Finn ran from the back door to his bed a couple feet away. When we walked in he was laying down with his ears back looking very guilty, but also a little odd. As my husband and I stood there wondering why he looked funny his face puffed up and turned red. I instantly called our vet's office knowing that they gave a number to an emergency vet (it was after 9:30pm) then I called the emergency clinic. They said we should bring him in as it may continue to progress. We didn't have any Benadryl (which is now on my list of things to keep stocked) so all we could do was get him to the clinic as quickly as possible. The clinic was only 6 or 7 minutes away and when we got there his nose, lips, eyes and neck were swollen. His eyes were tearing and his nose felt warm. He looked like a Sharpei. The vet gave him 2 injections at 10pm (Benadryl and Cortisone) and we waited until 11 to see how he did. They said the swelling was going down so they brought him out to sit with us. When he came out the swelling had only gone down a hair. Finn was on my lap for a couple minutes before he suddenly threw up twice. There sat his dinner from 7:30pm. Then he whined so my husband took him outside and he instantly had diarrhea. The vet came out and said it could be part of the allergic reaction though she'd never seen one throw up after getting the shots. She said he looked otherwise healthy and his gums didn't indicate dehydration but if we wanted her to, she could check his blood and put him on IV fluids if he was dehydrated. At this point we had already spent over $200 so we opted not to. She didn't seem to think it was necessary and just told us if he continued to vomit or have diarrhea he'd have to come back. She did however say to withhold food and water for at least the next 12 hours as it could cause vomiting. I understand that but if we are concerned that he may become dehydrated, why are we withholding water? Without knowing whether or not water will cause it to happen again this seemed ridiculous. We took our puffy puppy home with instructions to watch for increased swelling, hives, unusual behavior or the aforementioned vomiting and diarrhea. She also said to continue to give him 50mg of Benadryl every 12 hours for the next 48 hours so we had to pick up some Benadryl from the gas station.
I staid up with Finn because I wasn't comfortable not keeping an eye on him so soon and while he was still so puffy. The vet had said this was a moderate reaction and it may take up to 48 hours to go away. Since it was already 11:30pm, I called and left a message for my work letting them know I would not be there in the morning, assuming I would get no sleep and I would need to be home at 10 this morning to administer his Benadryl. Having just spent $200 and not having any vacation time to use, this was a tough decision to make, but when my boy is in need, I am there.
I gave Finnigan a couple laps of water (don't tell the vet) and we laid on the couch. He slept and I gave hip a little water every hour or so because he really wanted water and kept licking his lips. Finally around 3:30am I fell asleep too then woke 30 minutes later. He was still breathing and nothing unusual was happening so though he was still very puffy (maybe 30% better), we went to bed.
I took him out this morning and he peed but nothing else. I gave him water and half a dog biscuit. He's still puffy (50% less) and his gums seem a little pale and tacky to me. I gave his water bowl back to him and he's doing fine with that. I also gave him his 50mg of Benadryl, and now we wait some more.
The most bothersome part about all this is that I don't know what happened to him. In those few minutes we were outside, what went wrong? We have nothing on the floor aside from shoes and socks so I can't imagine that we dropped something he could have eaten. He was licking his paws just before we went outside so I thought maybe he had walked in something earlier and licking it caused a reaction but that seems unlikely and if it were chemical ingestion I think he would have thrown up sooner and don't know that he would have swelled up so much. The most likely cause seems like an insect, especially because of the rate at which he turned into the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. We are on the 2nd floor and never see bugs in our apartment. In the 2 years we've lived here I think we've had 2 cockroaches and a few tiny spiders, but even those were in the summer. We looked around and didn't find a bug but I guess it's possible that a bug came in and he ate it but not before being bitten or stung. Whatever caused it, I just hope it's not still here. What if that were to happen when no one was home? What would have happened if we didn't take him to the vet? I've been leaving him out of his crate half the day while we're at work and we leave him out when we're out running errands but this has me worried.
So that's our excitement. No sleep, too much money and the most pathetic looking puppy dog. Even so, he was adorable an everyone at the vets office fussed over him and one tech sat on the floor so he could climb in her lap while they waited to see if the shots were going to take effect. I took a picture when we got home and this morning but when he was at his puffiest I wasn't thinking about pictures so I'm sorry I can't share that with you.