I’m at a point where I’m ready to talk about my struggles with Cubbie and all his allergies.
Cubbie has always had some allergies, but during the past two years, his allergic reactions have gotten worse and worse.
This year has been extremely frustrating for me, and I’m sure painful for Cubbie. He spent many nights scratching, which obviously kept him awake but also kept me awake.
Cubbie has always gone through periods where he’d have a little rash by his leg or on his belly. We started giving him generic Claritin and Bendaryl. Sometimes it seemed to work, but within the last month the rashes kept growing and showing up on more parts of his body.
One morning I woke up to find a horrible red rash near Cubbie’s backside. He’s had rashes before but nothing quite this bad. I called the vet and scheduled an emergency visit. The poor little guy got several shots and got several medications to help with his allergic reaction and an infection in his ear caused by his allergies.
At this visit, I explained to the vet that something needed to be done. First, I could tell Cubbie was uncomfortable and I wanted that to stop. Second, I couldn’t afford to keep having these emergency visits for his allergies. The vet gave me a couple of options.
I felt my first and best step was to find out once and for all exactly what Cubbie is allergic to. So, we got a bunch of blood drawn and sent it off to a lab. It wasn’t cheap, but I figured the test would probably save me money in the long run from repeated vet visits.
Last week, I got the test results back. The voicemail on my phone said, “We got Cubbie’s results back. I’d like you to come in and we can go over everything.” Just great. I was actually hoping maybe it wasn’t as bad as my gut was always telling me, but the results confirm my suspicions that Cubbie is one allergy-prone dog.
There are many things Cubbie is border-line allergic to, but then there are numerous things he’s more severely allergic to.
The top of his list: cotton. That’s right. My dog is allergic to “the fabric of our lives.” Of all the things I thought he could be allergic to, cotton never crossed my mind.
Some of his other big allergies: chicken and turkey. I thought all dogs could eat meat?! Not my dog. Since many dog foods contain chicken as an ingredient, the next step will be switching him to a special allergen-free food. But our first step is trying to control his allergies.
Another interesting part of his results, he’s badly allergic to the infections he gets that are caused by his initial allergic reaction. So, he’s essentially allergic to his allergies.
Because of side effects, I opted out of certain medication options for Cubbie. We’re now trying a new medication that often causes vomitting, so I have to keep it frozen so it releases more slowly into his body and is less likely to upset his stomach. He’s on day three of the medicine, and so far he hasn’t thrown up. (Fingers crossed). I have to give it to him everyday at first, and then hopefully we can cut the dosage back to once or twice a week.
I also want to do my part to help him avoid his worst allergies as much as possible. It will be pretty difficult to keep him from ever being exposed to cotton (especially since many of my clothes are cotton), but I want to do what I can.
Cubbie spends a lot of his time in the bedroom. He sleeps there for at least eight hours every night with me and most of the bedding is cotton. Thankfully, I have an extremely supportive Mom who came down this week and went shopping with me.
We ended up buying news sheets, a new comforter and a new blanket. Most bedding is advertised “100 % cotton,” so it took a lot of label reading to find non-cotton products.
After a stressful week, it was nice to walk out of the story feeling very happy and accomplished. New sheets, and I was still able to find my favorite color of purple!
As soon as I washed the new bedding and got it on the bed, Cubbie gave it a try. I think he approves.
And the best part, when one of my friends visited the other night, Cubbie was extra playful. He said, “I think he feels better.” Those words just brightened my day, and I agree, I think after months of feeling awful, Cubbie is getting back to feeling “normal.” Let’s hope it just continues to get better from here.
Posted under Cubbie stories
This post was written by dwagner on July 11, 2012