He is doing much better today, and today we have a fancy name for his crazy allergic reaction: urticarial vasculitis.
|"Rhymes with treat!"|
The hives themselves are pretty much gone. Dozer looks totally normal when he's standing around.
|Clearly feeling fine today.|
I said, "Those are some leftover hives, but you really should look at his stomach." We got Big D to lie down and stretch out, and I spread his rear legs for the full effect.
|Day 3. Now looking rather like poison ivy or ringworm.|
For the first time ever, I heard a vet say "Jesus Christ!" Followed by a lot of "Oh wow... Wow... Wow... This is so red... wow...."
I said, "This is day three. It looks different every day. I have photos of the last two days on my flash drive."
"I... wow... Oh my gosh..." It went on like this for a while as she and her assistant stared at the train wreck that was my dog.
After she had gotten past the shock and awe, the vet asked if she could take Dozer in the back and show him to the interns. She also took my flash drive and copied the photos, evidently wanting to use them in her lectures.
Which was all fine and good, but I really wanted to know what the heck my dog was suffering from.
|Other than goofy-adorable syndrome, of course.|
Basically, urticaria is a serious case of hives, and vasculitis is when the blood vessels get inflamed and leak blood and fluid into the skin. In other words: Dozer's hives were so massive that they caused extensive bruising. Vasculitis also explains why the redness expands and turns interesting shades of purple, green, and brown over a period of days--the same way a bruise does.
Why and what to do about it are the harder questions to answer. The derm vet said that it could have been caused by a bug bite, a drug (like the cephalexin), or food allergy. Since D is on the rabbit-based food only, we don't think it's food. It could be a reaction to cephalexin, so we've decided to stop giving that.
But the most likely culprit is a bug sting, of any kind, from tiny fire ant to big red wasp. A bug sting would explain all of the previous hive outbreaks that Dozer has had, because he has always developed the hives after going outside for a potty break.
No matter what caused it, the vet has recommended that we try giving Dozer a daily antihistamine. That should put a damper on his daily allergies, and also stop these hives before they have the chance to go nuclear.
Most dogs would get Benadryl, but we are going to try hydroxyzine. You would not like Dozer on Benadryl. Nobody likes Dozer on Benadryl.