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Anaphylaxis in Dogs - Know the Symptoms

Discussion in 'General Health' started by k9kreationz, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. k9kreationz

    k9kreationz Forums Celebrity

    Oct 24, 2008
    Portland, OR
    TL;DR is at the very bottom.

    I wanted to share this story with you because it's not something I was looking for and I think it's imperative for you to know.

    About 3 weeks ago, I was visiting my BF's parents house in another state. They have about 5 acres at the end of a cul-de-sac so the dogs were absolutely loving it because they could run around off-leash. One day, they were outside hanging with the BF, and then he came inside with the dogs and next thing we know Koji is having diarrhea. We figured he ate something he shouldn't have. And with his history, I tend to wait things out (he eats everything; he thinks he's a goat). BF said he ate a mushroom but most aren't poisonous, but I was out of state so we were trying to get a hold of his folks vet.

    Next thing we know, Koji is acting weird and out of it. He looked like he wasn't feeling well at all. But, unfortunately, I've seen him like that before. If he has bad diarrhea, it's like he gets exhausted. This just looked a bit worse. BF sat on the grass with him as we tried to find a local vet; I still hadn't thought it was too serious. We got a hold of a local vet; he stated mushrooms around there aren't poisonous, but he wasn't near home so if we're concerned we should go to a ER vet. Well, while we're trying to figure that out, Koji had a seizure.

    Obviously we were freaking out and bf was hauling through the backroads and we made a 45 min drive in about 30 mins, whoops. The vet tech took him in and after a few mins we were told it was anaphylactic shock. The ER vet came in after maybe 10 mins and told us that anaphylactic shock doesn't always include hives or labored breathing (I was so confused so I was having him explain things to me). His was basically all internal, affecting the liver (which I was told is normal for dogs) and that Koji was bleeding internally. We weren't even addressing the seizure and all that stuff.

    They told us he was in shock and now that I think about it, his symptoms did look more like shock than anaphylaxis (well, the typical symptoms that I think of). I'm going to skip all the emotional stuff; I'm sure you can imagine what we were going through. 2.5 days and 3 plasma transfusions later, his blood finally started to clot which meant the internal bleeding was finally under control. Now to see if he was going to recover neurologically. Up until then, he wasn't really responsive. The most we got was seeing some life in his eyes the evening before we were to transfer him (that ER vet closed for the day and we transferred to a 24/7 ER vet with a neurologist). His vet records said he was comatose; so glad they didn't tell us that.

    The original ER vet said we couldn't tell what was going on neurologically w/o an MRI as it could be he was bleeding in the brain, his brain was swollen, so only time would tell. At the second vet, we decided to have an MRI done and found out he had a major stroke. Ah, so the seizure wasn't a seizure, it was a stroke (that made more sense). After another 24 hours, we finally saw life in Koji's eyes again. OMG, what a relief. Then we found out he was eating...heartily. OMG, yay!!! He loves his food so that was sooo awesome to hear. Then we found out he was pottying standing up (with help standing). He still couldn't support himself, get up from lying down, nor walk.

    After 3.5 days at the second vet, we finally walked out of there, Koji in hand. Still not walking, but standing up and trying to walk. He was scarfing up his food so I knew he was fine personality wise. LOL. In fact, after another 18 hours or so, he got up on his own to get a french fry from BF. The day he stops eating is the day something is very very wrong. AFter that, about every 12 hours for the next week or so, his recovery was amazing. He's back to himself, he's able to walk, but is still wobbly. His legs aren't strong so we have to do rehab. But he's alive. He's back to being his PITA self and he can have a good quality of life even if he stays this weak/wobbly.

    This was the scariest thing in my life. I don't regret spending the money on him (thank gawd for CareCredit), but OMG, he needs to get a job. LOL. We have absolutely NO IDEA what he's allergic to and we may never know. If something was that severe, I'm not willing to allergy test him. We also don't know if it was something local to where we were or not. Again, I'm just not willing to take that chance. We also have no clue if he'll be prone to more strokes or what. All we can do is hope for the best and that he remain healthy from here on out.

    On a silly note, my poor baby looks like a toddler shaved him. He was having really bad diarrhea, so they shaved the whole top part of his tail and the upper half of his pants (the bottom looks like they cut it). They shaved the bottom side of his tail from tip to tip. Each leg is shaved for the IV. He has a shaved spot on his chest/neck to get to that artery. He's got the poodle look on one leg (the others you can't tell as much). And his entire tummy. Poor thing. Hopefully it grows back fast. He's butt and tummy is going to be COLD!!! LOL.

    Anyway, this is my warning for you. Had I known what to look for, or even see, I probably would have reacted much faster. Like I said, it doesn't help that he eats everything like a goat. I almost lost my Koji and I'm grateful I didn't.

    Here's an article on anaphylaxis in dogs and what to look for. As you can see, it can be very different than humans. https://wagwalking.com/condition/anaphylaxis


    Be aware that anaphylaxis symptoms aren't always what we expect to see in humans; for example hives/swelling and labored breathing. It can be as simple as diarrhea, being out of it, internal bleeding which can lead to death. Koji almost died due to this. Had I known that anaphylaxis affects dogs livers, which can lead to internal bleeding, and all the symptoms that aren't similar to humans, I might have taken his sudden onset of symptoms way more seriously. Right above this is a link to an article talking about anaphylaxis symptoms in dogs. Read it. Be informed.
  2. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Poor Koji! And poor you! Sounds terrifying! I am glad he is well on his way to recovery, but what a scare!

    Thanks for sharing, cause I would never have suspected anaphylaxis either.
  3. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

    Mar 29, 2008
    near Mobile, AL
    wow- what a scary story.
    thanks for sharing it so we will all know to suspect something serious..............
  4. Shelby's mom

    Shelby's mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 4, 2012
    Oh my, I can’t imagine what you’re went through. I am glad he is recovering well.
  5. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    Holy cow! Poor Koji and poor you. That's tough too going through this stuff as a senior. At least with dogs they live in the moment and don't worry if they walk a little funny. It's almost like the weekend rule of dog emergencies - only yours happened away from home with no vet in sight. Lucky you know him well enough to know when to get him to a vet.

    Some years ago Tully got a huge swollen face and looked like a chipmunk in a matter of minutes. It was super scary. Saving grace was she'd already had an antihistamine for her hayfever and we got to the vet super quick. Vet thought it may have been an ant.
  6. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    My heart was in my throat the whole time reading your post feeling every frantic emotional up and down.

    Thank goodness it was a positive outcome. I just can’t imagine the emotional roller coaster your must have been on.

    Thanks for sharing this information and I certainly hope no one else has to experience this trama!

    So glad to know Koji is fine now! What a scare!!!
  7. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg Mb
    What a frightening experience you guys went through! So glad it had a good outcome and that Koji is on the mend! Very scary! Thanks for sharing so others know to watch for the signs!
  8. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    Thanks for sharing this with the Forum, Cheryl. Many of us followed it as you went through it on Facebook and held our breath with you. It's not something I had ever heard of previously so it's important that we all know what to look for. SO glad Koji is getting back to normal!! Hugs to you! :hugs
  9. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

    Oct 31, 2009
    Southern California
    Holy crap Cheryl! My head spins thinking about what you went through. So awful not knowing what triggered it. I'm relieved to hear he has gotten so much better. After Asta had her first stroke (we thought it was vestibular disease at first) she was about 95 percent - just not able to jump up on the bed anymore, but generally OK. I hope Koji is fine also.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to pass on this information - we've all learned so much through this Forum and it's wonderful how folks share the good stories and the bad. Big hugs to you and Koji!!
  10. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    So glad Koji has recovered so much in such a short period. Hope you and he never has to go through this again.

    The more I follow this forum, the more I'm starting to notice a stroke trend. My girl has has two mini strokes. Are strokes that common in shelties?

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