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Tuesdays With Toby: Dog Allergies

I thought the antihistamines would kick in and kill the edema. But by that evening, the white portion of his eye was swollen beyond his iris.

I knew dogs could have allergies, but I didn’t know how caustic their reactions could be.

A couple years ago—the day “snowmageddon” hit, to be exact—I had a vet appointment for Toby because he had runny, red, mucus-filled eyes. It was gross. I cleaned his eyes out with warm salt water every hour or so and kept him hydrated (Why is that always what the doctor tells you to do when you’re sick?).

Needless to say, we had to cancel his vet appointment and by the time the walls of white melted enough for us to drive, his eyes had cleared up.

Last week, Toby started doing something weird. It sounded like a choke/snort and it would take him over like a fit. He was breathing so I knew he wasn’t actually choking.

Friends told me it was a “reverse sneeze” and that I could stop the fits by pinching his nose and scratching his neck. Or by plugging his nose and opening his mouth. Or by shouting his name and giving him a treat (OK, that’s what his dog dad’s mom told me, so that may have been just so I’d give Toby some sugar).

Anyhow, the pinch/scratch thing worked. But he kept reverse sneezing, even waking himself (and the rest of us) multiple times during the night.

So, off to we went to see .

Turns out, Toby’s healthy as a horse but likely the victim of doggie allergies.

“Here you go, Mom,” Dr. Freed told me as he handed me some antihistamines for Toby. “If this doesn’t work come back and see us again.”

The next day, Toby’s left eye started to get super red and watery. As the day went on, the eye got worse, swelling and even getting goopy with mucus.

I thought the antihistamines would kick in and kill the edema. But by that evening, the white portion of his eye was swollen beyond his iris. It was gross. Toby wasn’t happy about it either, pawing at his face.

I made another appointment with Dr. Freed.

However, later that night, while on one of our nightly walks, Toby and I ran into his friend Dasha and her mom. Apparently Dasha, a 13-year-old black Labrador retriever, has really bad allergies. She’s now gluten (and allergy) free and eats special Wellness dog food that her mom gets for her at .

Dasha’s mom suggested I wipe Toby’s coat down with a warm cloth and asked me if I’d made any recent changes to his food.

Dun, dun, dun!

Right before the symptoms started, I’d put Toby back on Beneful Healthy Weight kibble (which he’d had before) to help him shed some pounds. But, I read on dog-allergies.blogspot.com that many of Toby’s symptoms were the same as those caused by food allergies.

So today Toby had eggs and bacon for breakfast, and he’s having chicken breast tonight for dinner. I'm going to switch him back to regular "big boy" Beneful in a day or so.

His eye actually does look better already. I’m hoping it won’t be long before he’s back to his old regular sneezing self.

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