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Old 09-02-2010, 12:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Allergic Reaction: Swollen Eyes & Hives

**I apologize now for this being so long, but I wanted to share our experience with all of you incase this type of thing should ever happen to your own Boxer. We honestly had no clue what to do in this type of situation. Hopefully this helps.**

Last night around 6:30pm my husband took Serenity outside to go potty. She was on her way inside when suddenly something spooked her and she high-tailed it towards the house so fast she even tripped while climbing up the stairs. The second Lee opened the screen door she bolted into the house and you could tell something wasn’t right with her.

Within about 5 minutes we noticed that her face was swelling. Her eyes were a little red and puffy and she was starting to break out in hives. Immediately I gave her one 25mg tablet of Benadryl. This wasn’t the first time this has happened with her and the Benadryl has always worked. Not this time… within minutes her eyes continued to swell until they were almost completely swelled shut and the number of hives increased that appeared throughout her entire body ranged from about the size of a dime to a nickel if not bigger. It was almost as if she had patches of hives spread out in all different areas on her body.

I called the emergency after hours hotline for our vet to see if there was anything else we could do for our baby girl. She informed me that I could give her another 25mg tablet of Benadryl, since Ren weighs in around 50 pounds, and that within the next 2 hours the swelling & hives should go down and she should go back to her normal self and if she did not then I was to call her back because she would need to be brought in to be seen. She asked if she was having any respiratory problems, which she was not and informed me that we would need to contact her and bring her in immediately if she developed any. I hung up the phone and immediately gave her another 25mg Benadryl tablet and sat on the floor with her and held a cold washcloth over the top of her eyes to try and help comfort her.

We kept a close eye on her over the next 2 hours. The poor thing could not get comfortable. We felt so helpless. She kept trying to scratch her face/body by either rubbing up against us or dragging herself all sprawled out along the carpet and would constantly paw at her face. You could tell by the expression on her face that she felt absolutely miserable. She would just whimper and whine and reposition every 60 seconds.

About an hour and a half went by and she seemed like she was getting better. The swelling in her eyes had gone down and her eyes were actually opened, not just two tiny slits that she could see out of and the hives along her body didn’t seem to stick up as high as what they were. Then suddenly, BAM! Her eyes were almost completely swelled shut again and the hives appeared, covering her entire body.

At 8:45pm I called her vet again and she recommended that we bring her in. Doc looked her over and said that she was having an allergic reaction to either some type of bug bite or sting. She treated her with two injections: Epinephrine 1:1000 and Dex Na Phos inject 4mg/ml -- “Benadryl and Steroids” as she called it. She told us to call her in the morning and give her an update on Ren because if she wasn’t 100% back to normal she would have to be brought in again and treated with a second dose of injections. She also informed us that she is going to do some checking and will be writing us out a prescription for an Epipen that way we will always have a dose on hand since with every allergic reaction the next one is always going to be worse than the one before.

This morning you could tell that some of the hives went away and the swelling had gone down but swelling around her eyes and hives were still very noticeable throughout her body. I took her back into see the vet and she was given two more injections: Dex Na Phos inject 4mg/ml and Diphenhydramine inject 50mg/ml. She said to call her later to give her another update on how she was doing.

Ren slept most of the day. She was still a little puffy around the eyes and the hives had simmered down to where I couldn’t tell if they were actually hives or just mosquito bites. I called and talked to a vet tech and she was going to inform our vet of her status.

Within a half an hour we noticed Rens eyes and face became extremely swelled again, and her hives broke out again all across her body. I called the vet back and she said it was safe to give her 2 more tablets of Benadryl and just to keep an eye on her throughout the night and to call her with any questions or concerns. She also informed us that after giving her this dose of Benadryl that we would not be able to give her anymore medication nor would she be able to inject any into her system because the steroids and still working and nothing would be able to be done until tomorrow morning.

So… this is where we are at now... just waiting to see what happens. After I gave her the 2 tablets we noticed a big difference in her, which is a good thing because she can not have anymore doses of Benadryl tonight and the vet said she can not give her anymore injections until tomorrow morning. I'm just grateful the swelling has gone back down (for now) and the hives have started to disappear, although they have not completely gone away.

Here are some pictures of when we first noticed her eyes were swollen and she had developed hives… It was hard to get her to stay still in the light because they would blend into her coloring, so the pics don't do justice, but you get the idea. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to take any pictures of her after the swelling/hives had gotten worse.

I will keep you all updated on how she’s doing. Right now Ren is curled up on the couch sleeping soundly. Hopefully she will wake up in the morning and nothing will be wrong with her. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Awww she looks so miserable I hope that she gets some sleep tonight and continues to improve. It seems as if your vet is on top of things, which is awesome She looks like a beautiful girl and I would love to see a picture of her "normal self".
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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OMG that poor baby! You must have been scared out of your minds! Thank goodness you have a good veterinarian. I hope everything turns out alright. (((hugs)))
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh, poor little Ren....I sure hope all will be well with her now. I have experienced this before with Laney. 3 trips to the vet's office in a day and a half. They finally kept her overnite to watch her and treat her without charge too....thank goodness, I was about broke. Get well Ren. You're a sweet little girl...
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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OMG...that is extreme
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow that is so scary! Poor girl! I hope she gets much better today.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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OMG! Poor Serenity and poor you guys. What a scary experience. I hope she continued to improve overnight and doing well this morning.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Aww how sad I truly hope she wakes up in much better shape! Please keep us updated!
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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How is she doing today?
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh poor ren! She's gorgeous, though! (Minus the hives and puffy eyes)
Something similar happened to bowser last month. He went out to his usual potty spot in our backard and when he came back in, he had a couple bumps that looked like mosquiro bites. In a couple minutes, a lot of hives covered him too and while his eyes seemed ok, he did have some on his throat. The vet gave him a shot of benadryl and sent him home with oral benadryl (50mg twice daily for a few days).

After the shot, the hives disappeared completely but reappeared mildly at night, I gave benadryl, he was ine. The next morning, he had more hives and his morning dose of benadryl didn't seem to help. I called the vet and they said I could add anoother dose of benadryl midday, which I did. His itching seemed to get better but the hives never completely disapppeared, he broke out worse by the time he was due for the next dose and he had was a little restless at night, not really bad, but not normal for him.

In the morning (this is day 3) he was worse completely covered in huge hives and again on his face. It was before the vet opened and wanted to wait a couple hours till the vet was actually there.. I tried giving benadryl but he took it then threw up so I didn't know how much he had taken in. I tried ti give him another benadryl capsule but he wouldn't swallow it so I got him in the shower and gave him a bath to hopefull help with the itching. By the time the vet was opened and said to bring him in I think the little benadryl he had helped and he seemed more comfortable and the hives went a little down. I really think the bath helped him too. The vet had originally said it was a bug bite but I always wondered if he touched/brushed against something that caused a reaction?? Specially because the bath helped. Off to the vet we go and he stayed there till the late afternoon, where they gave him one more dose of benadryl orally. He was sent home with clear skin and a 5 day course of prednisone and benadryl after that. Prednisone was really hard on us, but seemed to work better than the benadryl did.

He has been hive free for about 3 weeks now and I hope it doesn't happen again, although thanks to this forum I've learned that allergies seem to be a common thing in boxers

I hope that your baby doesn't have three days of hives, ever, but I know in bowsers case prednisone helped, maybe it will help ren if nothing else helps? And maybe a bath with a soothing shampoo will ame her more comfy?? Sending get well real soon wishes to ren
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