Payton gave us quite a scare this week. She woke up in the middle of the night on Tuesday with a bad cough. The cough progressively got worse throughout the day on Wednesday and she and I were up ALL night. If she wasn't coughing- she was throwing up. Of course, I googled "dog cough" and discovered that she either had cancer, heart worms (in the late stages), had fluid in her lungs, or possible kennel cough. When you add to the search that she was also vomiting- even more awful and life threatening options appeared.
I made her an appointment with the vet that morning as soon as they opened. Dad was at my house by 6 am- as I had been texting and worrying him all night as well. Together we took her to the vet and left her for observation (and they were squeezing her in for us, so the vet would see her in between appointments)
Turns out she has "Chronic Airway Disease" We have known for over a year now that Payton suffers from horrible allergies. Unfortunately, they are not seasonal. Whatever it is that causes her red itchy skin, runny nose and eyes - is present year round at our house. For over a year now, I have been taking her in once a month for shots. She gets an allergy shot every 30 days and about every 60 days she was getting a steroid shot as well. However, about 2 months ago we started her on a new allergy medicine that comes in pill form. Very expensive, but easier than shots and saves me the trip once a month to the vet. It is called Apoquel and it is AMAZING! Her red splotchy skin cleared within 24 hours and her itching became non-existent! Forget that is is $2 a pill and that she needs 2 a day! YIKES!
Well- anyway, the vet called me around 12 requesting that I allow her to take an x-ray of Payton's lungs. She said that although it sounded a lot like Kennel Cough- there was not really a time that we could pin point that Payton would have been around another infected dog. She wanted to view her lungs to check and see if she saw the typical marks of chronic allergies. I consented to the x-rays and she called me back with the news. She said that although the Apoquel is really good for the allergies of the skin, she feels like Payton really needs the *extra* steroid in her to take care of the congestion in her head, nose and throat. She feels like because it had been over 60 days without any steroid- this was causing the awful cough. She also felt like the airway may have become infected over that period of time and wanted to prescribe her some antibiotics and a cough med.
It has been 3 days since I took her in and she is doing much better. The cough still lingers a bit and often comes back when she gets excited or starts to bark a lot. I got her a bigger pill case and more hot dogs (our pill hiders) and we are on our way to well. For now- she is taking 8 pills a day- but in a few weeks she will be down to just 3 a day. Bless her heart. I love this dog!