It’s not just allergies

We have long battled itchiness with Sammie. However, we have been told from the time we first took her to the vet after her adoption (7 years ago as of Monday, if you can believe it!!) that she had a food allergy, most likely to chicken. In the years since, we have tried to switch her protein sources, but she reacted best (with fewer ear flare ups) to a limited ingredient diet with a fish protein source.

A couple years ago, however, it became more and more difficult to keep the flare ups under control, and they seemed to occur more often. First, it started with extreme itchiness, so we got her a shot to reduce the urge to scratch. That seemed to bring relief for several months, but then her ears got gunky. We tried several different flush solutions, all of which would help for only a short time. Then, this year, she started getting sores around her chin, eyes, and groin. We were given medicated wipes to use, but they again didn’t last. Each time we were told it’s probably allergies – a combination of dietary and environmental allergies – and we just needed to be really careful what we exposed her to. We tried special dog food, we tried allergy medications (Benadryl and some of the other formulations), but nothing seemed to work.

In the last several weeks, I took her to the vet again, but we saw a different dogtor than we had previously. Given Sammie’s history, she thought Sammie might have an autoimmune disorder. She took pictures of the sores and sent them to the head veterinary dermatologist at Cornell University for a consult. As a result, we did a cytology of some of her sores to ensure there was no bacterial infection. If there was, we needed to clear it up before we did a biopsy to confirm the vet’s potential diagnosis. Fortunately, there was no infection, so Sammie had a biopsy last week. And on Tuesday, we learned the results:

Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

Flare ups of this kind of lupus can be triggered by UV light, so we need to keep her sun exposure to a minimum: outside during the day only to potty. She just started Prednisone yesterday to help relieve the symptoms, and in a month we will begin dialing in the dosage.

Do any of you have experience with lupus for your animals? The vet recommended a couple articles for me to read, but I always think it’s valuable to learn from others who have been through something similar.

World, Meet Selina

Lina for short

Lina was found by one of my husband’s friends. I’m not sure how long he was taking care of her, but one day my hubby said, “I was going to surprise you in about a week, but my friend found a kitten…”

We picked her up on Saturday and brought her home. She had something going on with her tail, but it was so matted I couldn’t see exactly what. Her coat was a little shiny, her ears seemed clean, her eyes were clear, and she was SO SWEET. I immediately fell in love.

I got her a vet appointment on Monday, and as soon as those ladies saw her, they also fell in love. You see, she’s polydactyl on ALL FOUR PAWS. 22 toes, if you can believe it. So while they fawned over her, they checked out her tail. The tip of it was basically scalped. So after much to-do, they got it bandaged and proceeded with the rest of the exam. She was pronounced otherwise healthy at 2.7 pounds and sent home with flea and deworming treatments.

She’s been hanging out in our bathroom ever since so the rest of the crew can get used to her smells and sounds, while also staying away so we don’t get a flea infestation or spread the worms to everyone else. Lina has been an angel, though, using the litter box without any trouble. Today, she and Emma even booped noses!

She’s also incredibly snuggly and playful, and I can’t wait until she can be out and about so I can snuggle her more regularly. We have a follow-up vet visit next Friday to see how her tail is healing (we have to change the bandage every other day, which is more difficult than it would appear). Please send good vibes that it heals without trouble and doesn’t need to be amputated!

Bird in the Basement

I forgot to tell you all! Last weekend, I came home and cuddled in with my kiddo for a nap. When J woke up, I realized I hadn’t seen Mr. Tubs yet, which was very odd. So I enlisted the rest of the house to help me look for him. Shortly thereafter, my hubby tells me he found him in the basement and he seemed fine. So I didn’t think much of it. A little while later, I go down to clean the litter box and soon see why Tubby won’t come upstairs: he’s hunting a bird!

I couldn’t hardly believe it! I tell my husband and start trying to think how to get it out of my house. Any time I got close, it flew away, so catching it was out of the question.

I then decided to try and “herd” it the direction I wanted it to go, and SUCCESS! It flew upstairs where I promptly lost it. After searching the main floor, I find it in our addition, which is where our back door is located. So after a bit more herding, it finally flew out the door.

I still have no idea how the bird got in my basement or how long it was there. I’m just grateful my stuff isn’t covered in bird poop!