Allergic Reaction in a Dog: How Can A Routine Walk Turn Into An Emergency: Juno’s Story

Did you know that dog allergic reactions can become life-threatening?

In fact, allergic reactions are one of the common causes of emergency vet visits. The cause is often not discovered—anything can be an antigen for your dog.

Allergic Reaction in a Dog: How Can A Routine Walk Turn Into An Emergency: Juno's Story

Juno’s story

You take your dog for a lovely evening walk and suddenly you notice some bumps around the muzzle. The bumps turn into goose eggs until your dog’s face swells up to twice its normal size right in front of your eyes.

What happened? A sting? A bug bite?

The symptoms

Your dog is overheating, panting and breathing heavily. The tongue is swelling. The race against the clock begins.

Who takes Benadryl out on their walks?

I admit I don’t either. But maybe now I will. I do have our vet’s and all emergency numbers programmed in my phone, though. And fortunately, our provider has pretty good coverage pretty much everywhere.

Juno’s parents did not have the numbers handy and the phone did not work where they were.

Race against the clock

Their only option was to make it back home.

Juno was frantically running around, scratching her face, rubbing her head and body on the ground and against everything and anything in sight. Her eyes were barely visible with all the swelling and her tongue was enormous.

At the veterinarian

Finally, they made it to the vet.

A dose of epinephrine started to get the swelling down.

Once Juno could be properly examined, there was no entry wound or puncture marks to be found. She must definitely got bitten or stung but the evidence of what it could have been was not there.

By next morning Juno’s face was still swollen but nowhere near as bad and her tongue went back to normal size.

Take home message

Needless to say that Juno’s parents now always have Benadryl tablets on hand for every walk or trip they take.

Everything ended well for Juno.

But her story comes to show that one should never venture anywhere unprepared. Some allergic reactions can be deadly.

Related articles:
Facial Swelling in Dogs: Why Is My Dog’s Face Swollen?

Original story:
When Your Dog Gets Stung, Or: When Your Labrador Turns Into A Shar-Pei And You Have No Idea What To Do

Categories: Adverse reactionsAllergiesConditionsEmergenciesSwellingSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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