Friday, July 31, 2009


Last night I cuddled with Theo. I picked him up and held him in my lap, and he put his head down on my leg and rested quietly while I gently pet him. This may sound like a completely normal interaction for a person and his/her dog, but I don't have just any dog. I have Theo. Mr. 2 foot rule. He doesn't do laps. He doesn't do petting. He certainly doesn't reward you with cuddles when you have the audacity to lift his tushy off the ground. So what, you may ask, was the matter with him? Oh, I may have forgotten to mention that his head was swollen up like the Pillsbury dough boy at the time. Yeah, that might have had something to do with it.

You may recall this same exact thing happened almost this exact time last year. It was not a doggy daycare day, so when I got home I took him out to go potty and play some fetch. He was fine during this period. After about 5 minutes we went back inside to play some more fetch. He was fine during this period. After about 30 minutes Husband came home with dinner. Theo was very interested in the food, as per usual. I fed him his dinner, and Husband and I ate ours (Rubio's, yum!). It was about this time I noticed Theo's face looking ever slightly so puffy, and his behavior being ever so slightly different. Over the next 15 minutes or so he puffed up like a balloon. He went from being happy to miserable. Queue the lap time with mommy. He was in dire need of some comfort, poor thing.

I don't know what the heck happened to him. He ate the same food he always eats, we went only so far as the backyard for 5 minutes. He didn't seem to have any bee strings or obvious punctures or pains. I checked his feet, his muzzle, his legs. It was obviously a reaction of some kind, so I broke out the children's Benedryl. Remembering my mistake last time of not giving him enough, I gave him 3 teaspoons this time. After about 10 minutes the swelling went down considerably, but he was still pretty swollen, so after another 20 minutes I gave him 2 teaspoons more. That did it. His face went back to being ever slightly so puffy. Husband also decided that he felt a little hot, so we gave him some crushed ice, which he couldn't seem to get enough of. I think that may have helped with the swelling a bit too. His energy came back with a vengeance. He was playing fetch non-stop, so we figured it was safe to walk him. He did great. No issues. We put him to bed, and hoped he'd be okay in the morning.

This morning I woke up and checked on Theo. He looked fine. I couldn't tell if there was still that small amount of swelling because he was still in his crate, but there was no obvious swelling. I went for my run (Theo doesn't like to come running with me anymore. He prefers to run at night, apparently, but that's another post), I came home and let him out of his crate. He still looked fine. Maybe the tiniest hint of swelling, but I think I was mostly just being paranoid. I played a little fetch with him, then went on to do more exercising. While I was exercising, I noticed Theo being very restless. He went from laying next to the sofa, to on top of the sofa, to the foot of the sofa in the other room, the the top of that sofa, etc. Usually he just runs upstairs and hangs out on his bed until he hears me preparing his breakfast. So obviously, something was still wrong with him. Then the swelling began again. This time it was his eye and cheek that swelled. I tell you, it would have been hilarious if he didn't look so dang miserable.

He was still very willing to eat, but he had no interest in crushed ice this time. I gave him the last of the children's Benedryl, which was only 2 teaspoons. It helped, but he was still pretty swollen while Husband and I were getting dressed for work and discussing what to do. I asked Husband to take him to the vet, even though last time they charged us $300, for what was basically just a shot of concentrated Benedryl. Theo was obviously uncomfortable, so I figured I would just pay for the drugs.

$130 later (woohoo! Half the cost this time around!) Theo got his shot and we got some anti-inflamatory pills, including enough to last us until when this happens again next year. Hopefully when I pick him up at doggy daycare today he'll be his normal skinny-faced self. Poor thing.

What keeps happening? We have no clue, and neither does the vet. I noticed when his face swelled this morning that it started on his muzzle, and it looked like a bump or two formed before the rest of his face swelled. I would guess it's a bug bite of some kind that his system just really doesn't like. I'm going to wash his bedding tonight, in case there's a spider hiding in there or something. *shudder!*

I'm trying to look on the bright side of things. At least I got to cuddle my dog last night!

And no, I didn't take any pictures. I would have...I was just too busy being an over-worrying puppy mama. By the time I thought to take any the swelling was mostly gone. Maybe next time.


a corgi said...

poor Theo and poor you!! do you havea backyard with grass or plants? does anyone come and maintain it and spray chemicals on it? or is chemicals sprayed on any other areas Theo might be in? Last year we noticed Koda's eyes were really watery; I thought allergy. It cleared after a few days only to come back a few months later. When I started to piece things together, I realized the gardener at our rental house had put fertilizer down and shortly after that Koda's eyes got watery. We are in a different rental house now and doing our own gardening and I told hubby nothing gets sprayed in the backyard unless it is chemically safe for pets.

Koda likes early morning walks and late night walks in this hot weather

I bet it was nice to cuddle with Theo, though, but I know you were/are worried about the little guy

geesh, its been a tough week on corgis between Theo and Gibson


Kelly said...

Aww poor Theo! Maybe there is some plant that blooms this time of year that he is allergic to? That is the only thing I can think of :( Poor guy, I remember the photos from last year.

JuLo said...

Betty, we have some planters. The backyard is 90% concrete, a few plants and tress, and the rest is woodchips. The gardener hadn't come within the last week and a half, and he doesn't spray stuff anyway. So yeah, I don't think it was environmental. I'm thinking probably some kind of bug. Since different parts of his face puffed up, maybe it was a venom of some kind? No idea. :(

You're right! Poor Gibson. He had it way worse than Theo, that's for sure.

Kelly, maybe it's something that blooms, but both this time and the last it was for less than 24 hours. I don't know what would bother him for such a short period of time if it's environmental.

Aj said...

Poor Theo, can it be due to an allergic reaction to mosquitoes or ants maybe? I think the fact that it happened twice now in the summer, narrows it down to the insects.

I found an article about facial swelling, maybe it'll help?

Philip said...

Poor Theo! Check for spiders and ants, they are the most frequent visitors in homes, and the most likely ones to bite. My guess would be that he has a spider hiding in his crate. It might be really small, so just to be sure, take the crate outside and spray it in and out from a hose, high pressure if you can, and clean the area where the crate stands and his bedding. Hopefully it won't come back again, it's no fun to be a puffy-face :)

Ivy@PaperElixir said...

Oh, poor thing! I hope he's better now! Good thing you guys are prepared for it. Like others said, it's probably something in the environment during summer time, weed, grass, insects, etc... Hope it won't happen again!