A lot has changed over the last few months. I haven’t written much for a while as I was mourning the loss of my sweet old dog Belle. But that’s a story for another time.
One of the changes in my life is the addition of a new full-grown dog. She’s part yellow lab, part mystery dog and she’s 50 lbs of pure energy and lots of licking. This is Luna. As I tend to do, I have given her a middle name. So I call her Luna Bean.
Luna and Charlie get along like gangbusters even if Luna is the jealous type. If you’re petting Charlie, expect some pushing and shoving to get him out of the way for….you guessed it, Luna! Charlie really loves the company though and pouts when he’s by himself.
In the 100+ heat indices of the last week, both dogs are spending almost all of their time indoors in the air conditioning. However, this weekend some friends and I hosted a garage sale at my house and we were in and out so much I didn’t want to risk the dogs escaping (did I mention that Luna is an escape artist who loves to run free to greet all of the new people in the town?).
So I put them both outdoors in the morning for about four hours. When I brought them inside, I noticed that Luna’s cheek was swollen. Knowing that she likes to try and chomp on any passing stinging insects, I immediately assumed it was a bee sting.
I calculated her correct dosage of Benadryl (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) and gave her half of that dosage to start. Belle had very bad reactions to Diphenhydramine in the past, so I wanted to start out slowly with Luna to make sure she could tolerate it well.
Luna showed no signs of distress, no problems with breathing, no problems eating or drinking, and she wasn’t lethargic, so I decided against an emergency vet visit and we would wait until Monday to go to the vet if there was no improvement. To test it out and make sure – I got out her favorite toy and she wanted to play tug of war. This is always a good sign that she’s doing alright.
On Sunday morning, the swelling was a little greater than the day before (I took iPhone photos to compare and contrast each day), so I upped the dosage of Benadryl to just about 5 mg under the lowest dosage for her weight. She had one dose in the morning and one at night.
On Monday morning, there was still no change, so it was off to the vet. Our wonderful Vet agreed that even at that low dosage, if it was due to a bee sting or allergic reaction, there should have been some reduction in swelling.
His diagnosis is the beginnings of a potential tooth abscess. Although the x-rays didn’t show any abscess, we are starting antibiotics for 7 days to see if it reduces the swelling. If, on the 5th day, there is a reduction, we will go for a second round of antibiotics and then it will be time to remove the tooth.
I’m really glad that I had so much practice giving dogs pills. It makes it a lot easier now. Luna is pretty easy going but I still had to shove the pill down her throat to get her to take it. It went very smoothly and hopefully we’re on our way to a healthier dog – even if it means removal of the tooth in the very near future.
It just goes to show that you can’t assume the cause of an injury on your dog. What appeared to logically make sense (the bee sting) was not the case at all. If we had waiting much longer on getting her to the vet, she could have been in real trouble. Gum and teeth issues in dogs are nothing to take lightly.