Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Trip to the Vet: Scabs, Puss, and the Itchy Scratchies

Many of you are well aware of our most recent trip to the vet from our Facebook update on Monday.  We called the vet on Monday morning because Athena had an allergy flare up that got a bit out of hand and we figured that we'd better get it looked at.

Athena shaking as she awaits her turn to see the vet

On occasion, Athena will break out in little red bumps on her belly if she eats something that she's not suppose to (we are thinkin' she's allergic to white potatoes, possibly chicken, grass, and who knows what else).  Every time that Athena gets the little red bumps, they just go away on their own after about a week.  Well, a month ago Athena got the usual little red bumps after eating one too many chicken treats at the Doggie Dash.  However, we noticed that the bumps weren't going away and some were getting bigger.  Most recently we noticed that Athena had little scabs all over her body (mostly around her tail, backs of her legs, and her tummy, but a few popped up on her chest and even a gigantic one on her head).  I thought she could have fleas, but we didn't find any and still thought it strange that her belly bumps weren't clearing up.

The event that caused the bumps...

Now, you're probably thinking that we're horrible dog parents for letting the situation get that far (we're talking about three weeks of bumps and then scabs).  Well, we already had a vet visit scheduled for the end of June to get vaccines, so we thought that we might be able to wait it out seeing as Athena really didn't seem bothered by the belly bumps or the scabs.  Things got worse over the weekend, however, and Athena developed new belly bumps with puss.  We knew that we needed to get it looked at right away.

After three of us pulled a shaky Athena out from under the chair, the vet was finally able to examine Athena's skin and determined that her recent allergy break out probably just got a bacterial infection.  It's a good thing that we went in though, because since some bumps developed puss, we definitely needed antibiotics to treat the infection.

Benadryl is EXPENSIVE when Athena has to take 4 tablets a day!
 I got the mega-sized bottle making each pill only $.05.

Now Athena is on an antibiotic for two weeks and will be taking 50mg of Benadryl every eight hours for the rest of the summer (or as needed for her year-round itchy scratchies).  The Benadryl is making her drowsy, but overall she's in good spirit.

Things are starting to heal up after 2 days of antibiotics

Does your dog get the itchy scratchy allergies?  What do you do to keep them at bay?

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32 comments:

  1. POOR ATHENA!! We are SUPER lucky that our dogs don't have allergies that reflect on their skin - Tess's eyes tend to get itchy, red, and watery; and Ed has food sensitivities that react with his...well, tummy. So glad you're getting things under control!

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  2. This is exactly what happens to our girl! We use Douxo wipes to clean the area and then over time her body in those areas where the wipes are used, build up immunity to whatever causes the breakout (in her case grass and chicken) and then she won't get them for the rest of the summer (since we can't take away grass like we can chicken, it only happens in the summer). We swear by the wipes and got them from our vet. Way better than having to give her any medication.

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    1. Thanks, Brittany! I'm surprised our vet didn't recommend those wipes. I'll give them a call and see if we can get some =)

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  3. Vinnie has environmental and food allergies; he gets one 10-mg. tablet of Zyrtec per day to keep the rashes at bay, although during peak grass pollen season he'll get the occasional break-out that we treat with medicated baths/topical medication. Any chance you can switch to Zyrtec or similar for Athena's daily maintenance? That seems like a lot of Benadryl to be giving indefinitely, poor girl :(

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  4. Ouch. Looks very similar to Koira's allergy rashes. I use hypo-allergenic baby wipes to wipe off her belly, back, and legs after she spends time in the grass and it helps prevent it a lot. Koira has a history of getting staph infections from the hives that break out as well, so I really try to prevent them as much as possible. I have noticed that since avoiding all metal on her and switching to raw, she gets the outbreaks of hives less often than she did before. I don't think she had any actual food allergies, but I do think the overall boost in her immune system from eating a great diet, and from avoiding her main allergen, nickel, has made a difference. This time of year is always one of hives for her though, so I tend to give her benadryl every night before bed to help with the itchies.

    Hopefully Athena's rash clears up this time and doesn't come back too much.

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  5. One of our girls gets belly bumps in the summer. They seem to happen when she's out laying in the grass a lot. We use the DERmagic Skin Rescue shampoo bar when we bathe her, and the lotion when we notice flare ups and it seems to work really well.

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  6. Poor thing! Melvin is uber allergic to most things. Obviously the best approach is to avoid the allergens that you can until you get a treatment plan in place. Since you can't avoid them all, we always do some preventative steps for the environmental ones, daily: vacuum, baby wipe them down when they come in, even if they are only out for a few min. As for the meds, you'll learn flare up months versus less allergy months so hopefully some months you can cut back or cut them out. Allergy testing was really helpful for us. Good luck!

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  8. My Girlfriend had the exact same symptoms last summer and we did the same thing.....antibiotics and Benadryl ....we gave 50mg twice a day all summer.... dropped to 25mg twice a day in the fall and gave it once a day throughout the winter. We have recently increased dosage again because I have noticed feet chewing, scratching and a couple of bumps.......going to attack it early to prevent another terrible outbreak. What she had is exactly as you described right down to the scabby areas. I also changed her diet.......she eats raw now and only treats that are one ingredient like sweet potatoes, chicken, beef......no grain, soy or corn/peas. So far so good. I also started giving her 1000mg of fish oil and 1 TBLSP of coconut oil everyday. She has a very shiny, healthy coat now......good luck with your girl....I am sure she will feel better soon.

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  9. Ugh! I'm so glad you posted this. Ray is experiencing the same issues in the same places. I've been giving him benadryl and doing the wiping which helps. He's been on a more limited ingredient diet but I don't believe it is food related.
    Hope Thean feels better soon.

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  10. Yep, Diggory gets very similar breakouts throughout the allergy season. They fluctuate depending on the changes in weather, which in Pennsylvania right now, the weather is all over the place. He and I both get a Claritin in the morning. I didn't like that the Benadryl knocked him out so much, so Claritin was the next step per recommendation from the vet. Though Diggs has been having more scabs than normal these past few weeks (though none to the point of pus building like poor Athena!), so I am going to ask the vet about upping him to Zyrtec to see if that helps. Switching him from Benadryl to Claritin months ago made a big difference, but I'm wondering if his system has just built up a tolerance now. Allergies stink!

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  11. Poor Theaner! Polly used to get bumpies like that and I always felt so terrible for her! I'm glad to hear Thean is on the mend though!

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  12. My pittie girl just started getting these bumps and she will NOT eat the Benadryl like you have pictured! I put peanut butter on a piece of bread and put the pills in there and fold it over and she will flick them out. We tried chicken and she will find it and spit out the pills. Do you have any suggestions? She will eat other pills with no problem, so I'm thinking it might be bitter or something.

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  13. Oh poor sweet girl, those itchy bumps look just awful, I'm glad the meds are kicking in and I hope she's feeling better soon!

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  14. Poor Athena :( Hope she's feeling better!

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  15. Ouch. My previous dog was on duck and sweet potato food and had allergy shots for grass and trees. Medicated shampoo and somewhat frequent baths seemed to help - I guess it got the pollen off of her skin.

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  16. Aw poor Athena... Shiner definitely gets the itchy scratchies unfortunately. I've done all kinds of things to try and help her out. I love medicated baths the most I think.

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  17. Oh poor Athena, itchies are the worst! Norman occasionally gets a rash I think from certain grasses but it doesn't seem to bother him and it goes away quickly. I, on the other hand, get a lot of poison oak in the summer and it sucks! Cold ice packs and benadryl are the only things that helps.

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  18. Poor Athena, I know just how she feels! I have the allergies too and they are no fun at all. Mostly my feet and ears are what get itchy. Mom gives me an anti-histamine called hydroxyzine when the allergies misbehave and that helps a lot. Plus she uses a special shampoo to keep my skins calmer.

    Hopefully Athena will get used to the benadryls and not feel so sleepy! And I hope her itchy tummy bumps get better fast too :)

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  19. Oh, poor Athena. That just looks miserable. Cooper is allergic to just about everything, from chicken and beef to regular seasonal/pollen to dust and mold. He gets the red bumps. His fur falls out. His eyes goop over. He's on a VERY restricted diet, which helps. For the rest, we had him on Benadryl, but it made him loopy. Our vet switched him to Zyrtec, which is just as effective but without the drowsy side effect.

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