We had a scare last night with Paisley.  Although we don't know for sure what happened, our best guess is that she got bit by something (spider? ant? scorpion?) last night when I had her out for the last time, though she didn't yelp or show any signs of being bitten at the time.  A little later I put her to bed in her crate (at which point she appeared completely normal), then went to bed myself.  I was already drifting off to sleep when Barry came in holding Paisley and saying that something was wrong.  He had been watching sports on TV and was just about to hit the hay himself when he heard her banging around in her crate.  Turns out she was rubbing her face all over inside trying to scratch her incredibly itchy face, which by this time had swollen up like a balloon.  In addition to a swollen, red face, she had itchy, raised hives on other areas on her body, and a red rash on her chest.  

There is an well-regarded veterinarian here on Ambergris Caye who accepts emergency/after hours calls, so I made sure I had her number handy, but by this time it was 11pm, and I didn't want to have to call her unless absolutely necessary, especially since we had no way of getting Paisley to her (since we don't have a golf cart, and taxis can't cross the bridge after 9pm) and would have to ask her to make a house call.

I immediately went online (what did we ever do before google??) and researched the symptoms, and since Paisley was still breathing okay (indicating her throat was hopefully not swelling, which is when this kind of thing gets really dangerous), we quickly got a Benedryl into her, wrapped in cheese.  She didn't mind that one bit.  We think that Benedryl may have saved our Lhasa Apso Columbus's life when he got into a yellow jacket's nest and received numerous stings when we were camping on property we used to own in the North Carolina mountains years ago -- far from any vet, cell phone signal, and also on a weekend.  Fortunately, the Benedryl also helped Paisley significantly, and quickly.  Within thirty minutes, I could see the swelling going down.  

I sat with her on the sofa for another hour, watching her get calmer and calmer (at first she was frantically itching, drinking a lot of water, shaking her head, etc.), watching the swelling lessen, and when she was finally falling asleep, I put her in her crate.  By this time it was 12:30 am, and with my adrenaline flowing from the episode, I couldn't fall asleep until at least 1 am, then got up a couple of times in the night to check on her.

Today she is much better.  I gave her another Benedryl at 7 am, but even before that all the hives and redness were gone and most of the swelling.  She's still got a "wattle" under her chin (a turkey neck, in keeping with the holiday weekend) where we can feel some swelling, and there's what looks like a small puncture wound on the lower side of her mouth, which is apparently where she got bit or stung.  She's eating normally, playing like crazy, and seems to feel just like herself again, so we are out of the woods now, thankfully.  As the day has gone on, the wattle is shrinking as well, so I suspect it will be mostly, if not all, gone by tomorrow.  Note to self:  ALWAYS keep Benedryl on hand.  
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Last night - swollen cheeks, around eyes, and swollen hives on head and elsewhere on her body
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Feeling miserable and itchy last night
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This morning -- you can see how different her cheeks and eyes look -- only the wattle remains!
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Mid-day -- the wattle is shrinking gradually. It is even smaller tonight.
11/26/2011 08:50:50 am

WOW, I wonder what stung Paisley. I am so glad she is doing better. I don't know how we ever made it before the internet.

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BeBelize Emily
11/26/2011 09:09:19 am

Yeah, it was scary, Debra. And especially since this happened when she was on leash, but since it was dark out (there were exterior lights, but nothing like daylight) I couldn't even see what it might have been. At first we thought it might have been something in her crate, but Barry checked thoroughly, and there was nothing there, so it had to have been outside. I just checked again and the "wattle" is almost completely gone. The playtime late this afternoon on the beach must have helped the fluid in it drain.

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paula segrest
11/26/2011 11:00:00 am

Thank goodness for Benadryl! SO thankful Paisley is OK ... poor baby! Looks so pitiful in the photos. :(

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Bill milstead
11/26/2011 12:09:52 pm

Glad ur baby is ok. I am bringing a doggy first aid kit

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Sabrina
11/26/2011 12:23:16 pm

Scary. Glad she is doing better.

~~_/)~~
Sabrina

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Linda
11/27/2011 01:41:06 am

Bless her little heart! She WAS swollen last night!

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BeBelize Emily
11/27/2011 01:42:58 am

Thanks everyone! Paisley is back to 100% today and wattle-free. Lookin' good! Very happy and relieved!

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