So, most of you are familiar with my sweet Penny girl. She turned 2 in June :) This is my favorite "baby" photo of her [I can't help but repost it every once in a while, okay?!?!]
Seriously - is that not one of the cutest puppy photos that was ever taken? In the history of puppy pics? I know, I'm biased :)
Anyway, most of you have been with me for a while, and might remember her slew of health problems in that first year. Kennel cough --> pnemonia --> mange --> urinary tract infection --> allergies, then miraculously all cleared up in November or so. It's been quite a while since we have had any health problems with her, but this status took a turn for the worse right when I started school.
Poor puppy did not take me going back to school very well. I think she was quite comfortable with the routine we had developed around here - which was, I worked 3 nights a week and was home with her most of the rest of the time :) Now, I am gone for at least 10 hour days 5 days each week. Let's just say it turns out she doesn't adjust well to significant routine changes. Within days of me starting, she started to get sick --- a testimony to the fact that stress reduces the capabilities of your immune system!
First, her separation anxiety problems shot through the roof! I mean, she ATE our backyard gate. Like beaver style. Like I came home and the bottom of the gate was missing, and only shards of wood remained.
Then, before I had a chance to fix the gate, she escaped out of it. Luckily our townhome maintenance guy has my phone number and called me at school to notify me that my "brown dog is running around." You might think I'm an idiot for not fixing the gate, but honestly, it waslike 8 inches of space, and I did not think she'd be able to get out! She's foxier [and more determined to find me] than I ever know, it turns out! So, I raced home to find her, heart pumping out of my chest because I was SO scared she was going to run away in her desperation to find me or get hit by a car or something. When I got home and flung open the door to the backyard, there she was. *sigh* At least she returns home when she escapes, eh? So then I got really mad at her because I was so worried and then I felt like an asshole because she only did it because I threw this huge schedule change in her face and she freaked out because she loves me. I felt especially bad when she looked at me like this all night:
Puppies do say "sorry, mom" when they know they've been naughty.
So then she started sneezing. And having goopy eyes. And coughing, or "reverse-sneezing" according to the vet. Excuse me but what the hell is a reverse sneeze?!?! So we got her some meds. No help. Then we started giving her some Benadryl. Ta-da, no goopy eyes! Then she started eating the pads of her feet. To the point where they were all bloody :( Poor thing. So then we made her these protective booties til we could take her to the vet again:
Then she got put on steriods and antibiotics. Ta-da! All better! Then, as we started tapering off the steroids, her hair has started falling out. And with the hair falling out came flaky skin, scabs, and darkening of the skin in the center of the circles where she was losing hair. CRAP. I have been really stressed out about this, but I'm praying it's still allergies. She's now on a prescription dog food [$70/bag --- NOT CHEAP], antibiotics, fish oil for her coat, benadryl, and a coat creme and spray. She is medically high-maintenance to say the least. Thank goodness Gryffin is just chillin. She had a skin scrape - no mites. Had a fungal/ringworm test, and we're still awaiting those results. But I'm sure Gryff or Tyler or I would have ringworm by now if that's what it is.
Taking her to the vet again this morning to show the docs the progress of her skin issues. And I don't mean positive progress. I mean, it has spread SO far. She's lost so much hair. Then she licks the wounds because the skin is irritated. So I have had to put her in t-shirts to help discourage the licking. While she likes this MUCH better than the cone of shame, she still is annoyed with me. But she does look pretty cute in t-shirts.
And that is the summer saga of Penny. Unfortunately, it's not even close to being over I don't think. [okay and how dumb am I? I watched Marley & Me last night! I was BAWLING my eyes out...]
Has anyone had pets with severe allergies? Either environmental or food related? If so, please tell me how it got resolved!!!
Prayers for my sweet puppy would also be REALLY appreciated!!!! Thank you :)
Cheers [and off to the vet!]