Kipawa has big hives :(
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  • Over the last two days, Kipawa and I had some nice walks along the dikes in our areas. He loves zooming through the tall grass that has gone to seed….

    On Friday, I noticed him shaking himself after our walk. I checked him over but did not see anything. When we got back from our walk yesterday, within a half hour or so he developed numerous hives on his back (nothing on his belly). I checked over the inside of his little coat (felt lined) and found some broken off pieces of dried grasses and seeds. So I think that while he had his coat on, these irritants just kept on poking him. I picked out all the nasty bits and will wash the coat (we use 'green' variety laundry soap - no irritants).

    To cover all bases, I am doing a rice/chicken diet for him for a few days, though there has been no introduction of any new foods/liquids. I don't think it is food oriented as the hives are only on his back and top of his legs (where the coat covers him). I have given him some Benadryl and am cooling him down with a damp cold towel every hour, but it is doing nothing. Normally in the morning he has a big snooze after he eats. This morning he is zooming all over the place. :( He is just too irritated to be still. I've read some previous posts and Therese, Kipawa's breeder, has said that her dogs get the itchies at times when she knows they are coming into contact with some of the trees/grasses that we have in this area.

    I was able to get a vet appointment for 1:30 p.m. today. Will keep you posted. I hate cortisone but wonder if it will be necessary. These hives are getting bigger by the hour.

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  • Long term steroids are not a good idea, but occasional use when needed should not cause any harm. Hives are miserable!

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  • Anne, we just got back from the vet. He concurs that it's environmental (the grasses he has been running through), but said that we still cannot rule out food allergy, so Kipawa will be on rice and boiled chicken until all of this has really cleared up. He did need a cortisone shot and we now also have some Pheniram, which is pretty much chlorpheniramine maleate (for people). Good to know if I ever need more. I can just head over to the drug store. Kipawa has just started to rest. I think the cortisone is already helping out. Once this is cleared up I'm going to start using fish oil to keep his skin in good shape. My husband needs to have the heat turned up quite high in the winter, and I believe it is making Kipawa's skin dry.

    It's so hard to see them suffer (our dogs, not our husbands). :) :) :)

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    Personally I use homeopaathic Urtica for any such reaction. Mine are always getting stung running in nettles and they geta dose of Urtica when they get in and so have no problems.

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  • @Kipawa:

    It's so hard to see them suffer (our dogs, not our husbands). :) :) :)

    LOL Fran… I love this statement and how true...

    Glad that Kipawa is able to start to rest....

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  • Hope Kipawa is feeling better. I have tried to write something now three times and my boy keeps sticking his head on the keyboard and erasing everything! Winter has finally hit us here. -20 C so the B's don't stay outside long enough to find any allergens outside. They are all curled up in front of the wood stove!

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    Fran. I just saw your post. Oh, poor puppy! Is he better now????

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  • @krunzer:

    Hope Kipawa is feeling better. I have tried to write something now three times and my boy keeps sticking his head on the keyboard and erasing everything!

    Sounds like our boys are doing the same thing. :) Kipawa sits beside me and then all of a sudden flips his head onto the keyboard - often locking the keyboard. I suspect he does not like that I give my laptop attention. :)

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  • How is Kipawa doing today? Much improved I hope :)

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  • @Patty:

    Personally I use homeopaathic Urtica for any such reaction. Mine are always getting stung running in nettles and they geta dose of Urtica when they get in and so have no problems.

    Is this like using vacines? Urtica is the scientific name for stinging nettles - so are you trying to build up immunities?

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  • Urtica has been used for centuries, no actual scientific research showing it works, but it can cause reactions and it can in fact cause menstrual cycle irregularities in humans. Generally safe. I would post links but got chastised before. But yes, the idea is to help build immunity by providing small doses. Keep in mind that there is research that continued small exposures often, in fact, create an allergic reaction to many substances. As with many actual medicines, home made cures, homeopathy etc– often we take stuff to feel like we are doing SOMETHING when in fact it would clear up on it's own anyway. (And yes, I do the same thing. :) )

    I have to disagree about the dog/husband. The husbands are often WORSE because not only do you SEE them suffer, they go on and on and on. If only they were as stoic as our dogs! :)

    Hope Kipawa is better. I am confused about

    but said that we still cannot rule out food allergy, so Kipawa will be on rice and boiled chicken

    though because chicken protein is a major allergen. Of course if he wasn't getting chicken in any form before it might make sense, but chicken fat or parts are in many treats and foods.

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  • @wizard:

    Is this like using vacines? Urtica is the scientific name for stinging nettles - so are you trying to build up immunities?

    hi Wizard. No, this is not like building up immunities, much like humans do when they receive a series of allergy shots. The shot he received was a cortisone shot. Cortisone should always be used sparingly. With what was happening to Kipawa, we had no choice to have a shot to get the hives under control. I tried Benadryl for almost 2 days and it was not working. The hives just kept on getting worse.

    When you suggested Urtica, I did look it up, because if we can get by with a holistic type of product I much prefer it. Do you use it to build up immunities? The reason I ask is because for what was going on with Kipawa I could only think of the Urtica as possibly making his condition worse.

    How exactly do you use it? And when you do, what is the process it takes on your basenji?

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    Urtica has been used for centuries, no actual scientific research showing it works, but it can cause reactions and it can in fact cause menstrual cycle irregularities in humans. Generally safe. I would post links but got chastised before. But yes, the idea is to help build immunity by providing small doses. Keep in mind that there is research that continued small exposures often, in fact, create an allergic reaction to many substances. As with many actual medicines, home made cures, homeopathy etc– often we take stuff to feel like we are doing SOMETHING when in fact it would clear up on it's own anyway. (And yes, I do the same thing. :) )

    I have to disagree about the dog/husband. The husbands are often WORSE because not only do you SEE them suffer, they go on and on and on. If only they were as stoic as our dogs! :)

    Hope Kipawa is better. I am confused about though because chicken protein is a major allergen. Of course if he wasn't getting chicken in any form before it might make sense, but chicken fat or parts are in many treats and foods.

    Hi Debra, I agree that when we or our dogs are not well, it can be easy to take something (actual drug or homeopathic agent) to try and fix things. But I should have taken a pic of what was going on with Kipawa. I HAD to get fast relief for him. After getting the prednisone shot, I stopped by my sister's place on the way home. Both of us noticed in the outside light that the hives were starting to show up on his face. So perhaps the allergen was moving from being one affecting the main site, to one starting to move through his whole system. My husband goes into anaphlaxic shock from bee/wasp stings. Years ago it only affected the area where he was stung. After he was stung a couple of more times, it became life threatening. He now has to carry an Epipen. Would be curious to know if anyone uses those on dogs. Speaking of husbands, mine is actually quite quiet when ill. He must have been a dog in a previous life because a cuddle and a few rubs on the head and he tells me he feels better. :)

    Today or tomorrow I plan on going to the dikes and gathering up some of what I am pretty sure are the culprit grasses. Of course I won't bring Kipawa to the dikes. I'll bring the grasses into my regular vet and talk to her about them. When I go to see her, I will bring in Kipawa as well. I just want to make sure that the treatment the vet we went to yesterday (hard to find someone open on Sunday) is along the lines of what she would recommend.

    Hmmmm…. just thought of something! Kipawa did eat some relatively fresh horse poop Saturday. I saw some other dogs eating it as well. It hadn't yet decomposed down to being hay-like again. Still, I think this was not the problem, unless the standard pattern of hive generation starts on the back and sides of the basenji. What do you think? I pinpointed the situation down to some prickly things stuck in the felt of the coat he had on, but could it have been something (the poop) ingested?

    As for chicken, we have fed organic chicken, both boiled and baked, to Kipawa before (though not all that often), with no problems. We buy it for us, but he does get a little mixed with his Taste of The Wild Bison kibble. The chicken he gets has no spice/butter/oil/seasoning on it. We only buy breasts that are de-boned and have absolutely no skin on them. He does get Zuke's 3 calorie chicken treats and has since we got him. I don't think the amount we give him has changed. I'm going to re-read the ingredients really carefully.

    When it comes to Kipawa, I am open to all possibilities and ways to keep him healthy. No egos involved when it comes to my animals. If I am doing something wrong, I want to know about it. I thank you for your comments because they keep me thinking.

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  • @Kipawa:

    Anne, we just got back from the vet. He concurs that it's environmental (the grasses he has been running through), but said that we still cannot rule out food allergy, so Kipawa will be on rice and boiled chicken until all of this has really cleared up. He did need a cortisone shot and we now also have some Pheniram, which is pretty much chlorpheniramine maleate (for people). Good to know if I ever need more. I can just head over to the drug store. Kipawa has just started to rest. I think the cortisone is already helping out. Once this is cleared up I'm going to start using fish oil to keep his skin in good shape. My husband needs to have the heat turned up quite high in the winter, and I believe it is making Kipawa's skin dry.

    It's so hard to see them suffer (our dogs, not our husbands). :) :) :)

    I am so happy to say that Kipawa is basically close to 100% today. :) Since he had the shot yesterday he has not scratched himself once, I think due to the prednisone shot and the fact that he was exhausted. :( I don't like running to vets and getting cortisone, but boy did my little man need it. The hives were progressing to his face, and the ones already existing on his back and sides were really getting big (between the size of a dime/quarter - around an inch in diameter). For the next 3 days he is on an allergy pill, similar to what you can buy for humans at the drugstore (Pheniram). Right now he is right by my side sleeping - his regular spot when I am using my laptop.

    I'm off to the dike today or tomorrow without Kipawa to pick up some of what I think are the culprit grasses. I'll bring them in to my regular vet, who is awesome. The vet we used yesterday was 'okay' but kept on asking me if Kipawa ate well. He asked 3 times! Kipawa is almost 26 lbs at 14 months. That's a darn good sized basenji. I got the feeling he was not familiar with the breed and what it should look like (being able to barely see the ribs and being able to feel them when your hands pass down the sides of their bodies).

    I will be getting some 'fish oil' today. Is that Omega 3-6-9? Or just Omega 3? Or Salmon Oil? Or ….? The air is a very warm and dry in our home.

    Thanks for all of your wonderful suggestions and comments. This forum is a godsend for everyone who owns a basenji!

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  • Oh no Fran, meant in general, not Kipawa. When stuff is getting worse, why let the dog suffer? I'd have been at the vet too!

    I was actually thinking me and allergies, lol. They tell you decongestants and cold meds really don't help– just use saline to flush and wait it out. But I don't care.

    On the horse poo, who knows? But considering the over body rash, I'd still bet on topical reaction to something. Food allergies often present with ears and feet itching and not so much body rashes.

    As for right wrong.. wow, wish I knew. We guess, we do what seems to work. I am, as I am sure noted, big into checking research. Due to my own health and the potential dangers of many herbs and things, I have gotten worse not better over the years at wanting people to research before using things. Herbs can still kill you just the same as that Rx. But call me cynical-- if something works, you can prove it scientifically. And if you can make a profit, you would prove it if you could. So while I have tried things that had zero proof other than people who believed in it, I make darn sure it isn't dangerous first. If it won't hurt you, it won't hurt to try it out even if no research supports it. But if it can have bad side effects, I don't get the risk.

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  • @Kipawa:

    My husband goes into anaphlaxic shock from bee/wasp stings. Years ago it only affected the area where he was stung. After he was stung a couple of more times, it became life threatening. He now has to carry an Epipen. Would be curious to know if anyone uses those on dogs.

    When Brando went into anaphylaxis this summer (from what I assume was a bee sting), I spoke with my vet about using an Epipen on dogs. She said she has prescribed them for dogs - but for large dogs (labs, shepherds, that size dog). She said she would much rather give me injectable benadryl because epinephrine is a scary drug to potentially overdose (since it is based on a dog's weight and a basenji is so small). With benadryl, the only thing that will happen is the dog will sleep. She said she could prescribe a child's dose epi pen, but that I would have to be very careful that I was accurate with the weight of the dog. I opted for the injectable benadryl. So now if anyone takes Brando out of the house, they must at least carry pill form benadryl.

    As a side note…after the vet finished explaining about the epipen vs benadryl, she then went on to explain how to do a home tracheotomy to get air in once the the throat has closed and the dog is unable to swallow or get air because of anaphylaxis, but that is a whole other story...:eek: Hope to God I never have to do that!

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    I was actually thinking me and allergies, lol. They tell you decongestants and cold meds really don't help– just use saline to flush and wait it out. But I don't care.

    On the horse poo, who knows? But considering the over body rash, I'd still bet on topical reaction to something. Food allergies often present with ears and feet itching and not so much body rashes.

    I am, as I am sure noted, big into checking research. Due to my own health and the potential dangers of many herbs and things, I have gotten worse not better over the years at wanting people to research before using things. Herbs can still kill you just the same as that Rx.

    SO agree with the comments regarding herbs and all of the homeopathic stuff. Lots of people take St. John's Wort for depression. They then take other meds and don't realize the SJW is going to react with the other meds. Serious things have happened with seratonin overdoses due to SJW. You have to be careful with it, like any other Dr. prescribed med.

    As for those saline nose cleansers/washes - forget it. I've seen those little teapot nose/sinus washers used, and there is no way I am going to do this. I actually hate anything going up my nose. I was very popular in the 80s… had many friends taking me to cocaine parties as I wouldn't compete for the powder.... just kidding! :)

    I had to have a small scope put down my nose last week. I have gone through major surgeries better than I did that!

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    Wizard, yes, that's sort of how Homeopathy works - treating like with like. I know a lot of people poo poo it and talk about placebo effect but animals know none of this. I successfully treat many things with homeopathy together with conventional medicines where applicable.

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    Re Herbals -they can be dangerous if used wrongly. I'm not a fan myself although quite a few conventional medicines are herbal too (digitalis?). Homeopathic is quite different and not at all harmful and can be taken to alleviate side effects of conventional medicine. Animals don't require scientific proof. I use homeopathic products on my sheep as well as my dogs and very occasionally take something myself. If something works I feel no need to question the why especially where my beloved animals are involved.

    To each his own any way. As I said whatever works must be good.

    I'm so pleased that Kipawa is now recovered.

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  • Fran, without saline rinses, my daughter had CONSTANT sinus infections. They really do help and you get used to it.

    How are the rash areas today Fran?

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    How are the rash areas today Fran?

    Debra, thanks so much for asking. Kipawa is a bit more tired over the last two days, but he's back to 100% regarding the hives and welts. Of course something could still be going on inside his body, so I am updating our vet daily. We had sunny but cold weather today here. I contemplated taking him for a walk along the dike, without him wearing his coat, but I think his skin/immune system needs a good week or so of a break. Instead, we had a super long 2 hour leashed walk tonight - just got back in at 8:30 p.m. No contact with any bushes that could bring up those irritations again. We'll both sleep very well tonight.

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