I took Buster to the vet on Thursday because he had a scratch/scab on his eye that wouldn’t go away. Also, he was due for his annual vaccines so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone. The last time we had been at the vet (2 weeks ago! Why doesn’t my vet have a Rewards Card?) they looked at his nose (it has been ulcerated since he adopted us) and mentioned that if he ever had any type of cuts that wouldn’t heal that he may have an autoimmune disorder. His eye wasn’t healing and he was tearing up on that one side so I wanted to get him looked at.
The vet did a thorough exam and said that most likely Buster has Canine Discoid Lupus
that is exacerbated by sun exposure. They also suggested a biopsy to confirm that it wasn’t a more serious systemic autoimmune disorder as he is predisposed being that he is probably a poorly bred Border Collie mix exhibiting some recessive traits (like the all white coat.) He is due for a dental cleaning at the end of October, so we are going to have the biopsy done then. In the meantime, I am just going to think good thoughts and hope that it is just this a skin thing that we can manage by keeping him out of the sun. The vet was very clear that the more serious autoimmune disorder can be manageable but it is not curable.
After all of that, Buster needed to get his 3 vaccines. It was a lot to take in for the day but I was happy to at least have a plan in place, and we left with some eye medicine and some antibiotics and headed home. About 30 minutes after getting home Buster started having a severe reaction to something. I honestly can’t even describe it, but it was SUPER traumatic for both of us, and I have never been so grateful that our vet is 5 minutes down the road. We got back in the car and headed back over and the doctors instantly took him in the back room. He was swollen, clearly in pain, and growling and I felt super helpless just sitting out in the waiting room.
After they got him stable the vets wanted to take the afternoon to keep an eye on him. I had to leave him there all by himself and you guys I seriously do not know how people with sick children even function. It felt awful leaving my little furry baby behind. The vets thought it must have been a reaction to his new vaccine (he had already had 2 of them last year) and they wanted to let him get some rest and make sure he didn’t need some additional anti histamine shots before they sent him home again.
I picked him up again around 5 — he was still pretty puffy — and I took him home to relax. Garrett came home and we had a mostly quiet evening just making sure everything with the pup was fine and at about 9:00 he started scratching at his eye again. He had a dose of his eye medicine earlier when we were in the office and it was about time to give him one again so I did. And then 30 minutes later he started having ANOTHER allergic reaction. This one was not as severe, but had all the same symptoms as earlier so we had to hightail it to an emergency vet hospital for some treatment. We were there until about midnight and when we got home our poor little pooch just passed right out and went to sleep.
All the doctors who saw him think it was definitely a reaction to the vaccine, and that the eye medicine probably just stimulated his already overloaded system (Awesome dog parenting, Holly!) but I seriously NEVER want to give him that eye medicine again. Frankly I never want to vaccinate him again either, but at least now that we know how sensitive he is the vets can just do one vaccine at a time and we can Benadryl him up beforehand. I’m sure I’ll be biting my nails the whole time. Let’s not even talk about it.
The whole thing was just scary and awful and MAN I LOVE THE SHIT OUT OF THAT DOG. He is feeling better, though not quite 100% with all the Benadryl he’s been on. I hate that I have to leave him tomorrow, but I know he and Garrett will have a good week hanging out together just the two of them. So much of my heart belongs to these two. If you have some extra good thoughts lying around, be sure to send some Buster’s way, would ya?