Friday, November 21, 2014

The Million Dollar Dog

Let me explain what you are seeing here.  This is a dog laying in a bed wearing a t-shirt and boxer shorts.  Here is the story of why our dog had to wear a t-shirt and boxer shorts.  Spoiler alert: he liked wearing clothes and he's allergic to everything (he's even allergic to the clothes that he's wearing).

At some point in our first year of owning Kirby we started noticing that he was chewing on his tail.  We tried to stop it, but we came home one day to find that he had chewed off a huge patch of hair on his tail.  Then we started noticing these sores all up and down his belly.  The first diagnosis was that he was bored or suffering from separation anxiety and that the chewing and excessive licking would stop eventually.

From that point on, the chewing and licking increased and the sores kept returning.  The pattern would start with us noticing an increase in licking and chewing, usually Kirby would run off to another part of the house so we wouldn't stop him.  Then he would get these dry patches or hot spots all over his skin.  Then those patches would start turning red and then black.  The sores would spread rapidly over his belly, groin, legs, thighs, and chest.  It was awful.  He was on medication all of the time.  He started learning that if he made a swallowing motion we would think he had swallowed his medication, and then he'd go spit it out in a corner somewhere.  We tried Neosporin on the sores, but he just ate most of it off of himself.  We sprayed him with hydrocortisone lotion and he hated it.  We tried fish oil pills and would hide it in his food.  If we hid the capsule he would simply eat around it, if we put the oil on the food he might not eat it.  Our last resort was to have Kirby wear clothes while he was in the house.  He actually loved it.

Finally this summer we were told that they were seeing a pattern to his itching and licking.  They thought it could be allergies and recommended we take him into a doggie dermatologist for an allergy test.  

We had his appointment set for this Tuesday.  Both Mike and I were anxious to find out what was wrong with the dog.  If it were allergies, then there was a treatment for him that is effective in 70% of dogs.  We had been warned that it could be expensive, but it would help him out in the long run.  

The doggie dermatologist gave Kirby a light sedation and then shaved a patch of his fur off and proceeded to prick him with about 70 different allergens.  After 30 minutes we had our results…Kirby is highly allergic to everything.  Okay, not everything but almost everything.  The vet said she had only ever seen a couple of dogs be as highly allergic as Kirby.  Here is the list of things Kirby is allergic to: dust (he's living in the wrong house for that), cotton (so his clothes were actually hurting him when we thought it was helping), all weeds, all grass (so all of that grass eating and rolling was killing him), and all trees (he also likes to eat leaves).  Basically it's hard for him to be indoors and outdoors.  As if he wasn't high maintenance enough!

We left the vet with this fun assortment of items:
This consists of two different sets of allergy shot serum, ear flush, ear drops, prednisone, multiple different types of needles, and a biohazard container for the needles.  All for a dog.  Oh, and remember how they told us it was going to be expensive?  Because Kirby is allergic to everything they had to double the allergy serum and so it will be double the expensiveness.  Oh Kirby.  Since Brigid has been born he has reminded us that he will always be more work than a baby.  But we love him anyways.

And after his big day, he got special cuddles from his favorite gal pal.  
As you can see, these two are working on their relationship.  Kirby looks thrilled, right?

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