i just got home from work and discovered my 5 year old female boxer has something very strange going on with her. her ears are swollen like balloons and her abdomen is read and raw. she continuously comes up to me and looks for help but i don't know what to do for her. she went to the vet two days ago for having a rash on her body. the vet said it appeared as though she may have had an allergic reaction to something. they gave her a steroid shot and benadryl capsules. she is miserable and it makes me so sad to see her this way. i googled this info of course, and all i found was allergies, infection, or hemotomas. can anyone help me?
This might sound like a stupid question, but has she been out in the sun for any length of time? Sunburn can cause terrible swelling, and it could have hit her abdomen. If that's not a possibility, did the vet do a skin scaping to see if it was an infection? Is the benadryl and cortisone making a difference? What does she eat, and have you given her anything different, or could someone else have given her a treat that she would'nt normally have?
Sometimes dogs can have an even more severe reaction to the cortizone shot and antibiotics than they did to the original allergy. I know a bulldogger who's going through this right now... her female had to go to a different vet and be put on IV fluids, etc. I would either go to a different vet or contact your vet immediately... sounds like your dog is having a bad reaction and the longer she goes untreated, the deadlier it becomes....
I found this post through a search. My 8 yr old dog Zoe is having the same problem. It is only one ear and it isn't swollen to bad but I just noticed it tonight. Until now she's been to two different vets in the past 2 1/2 wks and they both guessed allergies with no actual allergy tests. She's been healthy as a horse until suddenly two months ago. Several things have come to my attention but I'm not sure they all coincide. I do know that her ears have been bothering her for about 3 wks. now because she rubbed her head on the ground a few times (not norm.), has scratched them & has been shaking her head. Her ears do flare up and get dark pink off and on and they feel warm but she doesn't show any signs of pain. Also, licking her paws & genital region as well as biting at the base of her tail. Also, her tummy appears to flare up to a dark pink at times and the skin seemed like it became saggy overnight. I did switch her food but that was approx. a week after these symptoms started. That's why I changed-I figured it may help. I was planning a change anyway and decided to do it sooner than I thought. I have fed her a commercial brand her entire life and she seems to have been fine on it but I wanted to switch to a higher quality natural food for the sake of her health & for the fact that she's getting older. The first vet visit was to her reg. vet whom I now know will no longer be her regular vet. The vet did a general blood test and a poor excuse for an exam and chalked it up to allergies. She wanted to give Benedryl but I told her I'd rather try a more holistic approach first with a supplement. I don't see why I would pump my dog full of drugs that may worsen the situation. The next vet was this past Friday and he was great! His exam was more thorough than the other vet ever did. He didn't think there was anything wrong with her ears and said they were really clean. I did tell him that I had been cleaning them to alleviate her problems. He also thought it was allergies and suggested I try an antihistamine. Again, I won't give her meds without knowing for sure what the problem is. With no allergy testing I won't chance it. He did say her anal glands were quite full and then expressed them. She's never had that done before. She seemed to be doing awesome Friday night and most of the day Saturday. Then in the evening it seems the symptoms all returned (flare-ups in the evening have been typical with this). I was petting her to comfort her and that is when I realized her one ear feels thicker than the other one (swollen). It's not majorly swollen but I notice a definite difference. Does anyone have any ideas on this? I'd be so appreciative and I'm sure Zoe would too. Thanks!
You've done some research on it. You probably already found the answer. Allergies are becoming increasingly commonplace and can make a dog absolutely miserable. A haematoma will not cause the dog's belly to become irritated. With all the processing done to commercial dog food and so many brands using ingredients from foreign countries the allergy you hear of most often is a food allergy. A couple of our dogs show pretty bad allergy symptoms if they get a pig ear treat but they have no problems eating ham or pork so I think the problem is in the processing. Common signs are red, itching skin especially the ears and belly with the ears sometimes getting so bad they swell. It can be difficult to narrow down what is causing it. Try switching your dog to a food with a single meat ingredient, preferably not beef and see if there is a difference in a week. Our dogs eat a commercial brand chicken/rice formula and have no problems with it. Others say chicken is one of the main culprits with the allergy problem but all of our dogs eat it and do well. Lamb/rice is usually recommended as a good dog food for "allergy dogs" but mine will not eat it. Avoid foods with high corn or other grain content but rice and oatmeal are good.
Thanks. After that post I looked at her ears again and realized they were both swollen. I agree, it has to be allergies. Apparently she developed them out of no where because as I had said, I hadn't changed any of her food or treats I normally buy when this began. It was a week or so after it began that I switched food and I did purchase two new kinds of treats which are also supplements. This morning when we got up I checked right away and she's back to normal. Today I'm going to start a trial and error elimination to figure out what's causing it. I figure the easiest way to start is just to eliminate any extra treats and give only her food and water. Did you have blood tests run on your dogs to find out what it is exactly they're allergic to?
Unless it is severe enough to require veterinary intervention you want to go by trial and error. That is because if the vet medicates the dog so she shows no symptoms you cannot tell what is causing the problem. It is better to find the cause than to medicate your dog for life.
It's not severe yet at all as far as I can see but after doing some reading I am totally overwhelmed. I have no idea where to start. Several factors come into play as well. Time, money (right now anyway) and limited resources. As far as premium pet foods go there aren't any stores in this town that sell much. The ones that do sell premium are brands aren't really as premium as they are made out to be. The vets she's seen aren't much help either. They just want to hand out meds. I'm kind of at a loss and stressed out because she's my baby. :(
By the way, I completely agree with you about not medicating. That seems to be all that ever happens not only in animals but in people too. It's easier to cover up the problem then to actually find out the cause and go from there. That's part of the issue I'm facing with the vets in this area. Arghhh! :P