My Dog’s Seasonal Allergies (Part 2)

by Keri K. on December 2, 2010

In Part 1, I described my Chinese Crested Mojito’s allergy to pollen and how we manage to control it. However, Mo just had a flare-up that caused us a worrisome weekend and yet another appointment at the vet’s.

I hoped that Mo’s summer allergies would begin to fade now that the temperature is consistently in the 30’s, but no luck yet. Friday night I realized I had told Mo to quit chewing on his foot three times in just an hour, so I scooped him up to take a look.

“That doesn’t look good,” my husband said. The underside of one Mo’s toes was swollen, bright red, and warm to the touch. When I gently pressed it, Mo pulled it away and gave me the flat-ears look. We couldn’t find anything like a sliver that might be causing it, so after a foot soak in some cool water I applied a little Neosporin and slipped on a Muttluk.  My husband advised, “I think you’d better call the vet on Monday.”

Mo, pouting

Mo, pouting

Unfortunately, he was right. By Saturday night, the toe was almost twice its normal size, and the redness had started to spread. There was also a similar, smaller spot on one of his front feet, and that one was oozing white and clear fluid when pressed. Much to Mo’s chagrin, I made him wear all four boots to keep him from licking – insult to injury! He’s perfectly happy to wear boots out in the snow or mud, but having to keep them on indoors makes him positively crabby. He doesn’t often try to pull them off, but he’s prone to loud exaggerated sighs and refusing to leave the couch.

On Monday, the vet did a scraping of Mo’s foot and diagnosed him with a secondary bacterial infection. Secondary infections can settle in more easily when skin is moist and irritated – like when a dog is often licking his paws because of itchy allergies. Mo was also tested for blastomycosis, a serious fungal disease found near water (like our pond) that affects animals and humans. Having had an aunt pass away from complications that included an undiagnosed blastomycosis infection, I was more than a little freaked out by hearing that was a possibility. Thank goodness, Mo came back negative for it.

Pet Pharmacy

Mo was prescribed three weeks of Clavamox, a combination antibiotic. I filled his prescription at our Drs. Foster and Smith pharmacy, which is located right here in our main building (and is cheaper than getting meds from the vet’s office). Clavamox can be made into a liquid form, but Mo is very good about taking pills, so we went with the tablet.

After a week, Mo’s feet looked normal again. I’m being careful to keep them clean, with occasional swipes of Septi-Soothe pads. I also shake the boots at him if he tries to chew his feet.

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Keri is a lead catalog designer for Drs. Foster and Smith and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UW-Stout. She shares a small home with her husband, two Chinese Crested dogs, two cats, two ferrets, several reptiles and amphibians, and 30-some gallons of freshwater planted aquariums. See more articles by Keri K.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marian G. December 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm

It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a cure for allergies for animals and humans. My dog and I suffer from allergies as well and I really would rather not take medicine for it if it only relieves it for an hour or two and knowing the medication is probably not good for your system anyway :-/

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