A Dog, A Bee, and Anaphylactic Shock

Me 'n Sushi

Besides our two kids, I am also a mommy to a little poodle mix named Sushi.  We got him from the local animal shelter a few years ago.  I learned last week that dogs can be deathly allergic to bees.  Here’s the story:

It was a nice, warm morning.  After I got our kids off to school, I decided that, instead of going to the gym, I would go on a walk with Sushi.  My thighs and arms were still sore from a class I took at the gym the previous day after a prolonged absence while nursing my injured shoulder.  It was good to get back to working out, but my aching muscles reminded me with every step that I just might have overdone it.  I thought walking outdoors would actually loosen things up, so I decided on a long-ish loop of about two miles and set off to enjoy the gorgeous Southern California fall day.

At about the one-mile mark, Sushi stepped on a patch of grass and suddenly hopped up with a yelp.  He then tried to lick his left front paw, as if to get a thorn or debris out, so I reached down to help.  I didn’t feel anything, he eventually gave up and, after a few stutter steps, proceeded with his walk.  Onward.

After about another quarter of a mile, he suddenly sat down and began to retch.  Out came his breakfast.  I was engrossed in some podcast in my ear buds and didn’t think much of it except that maybe something didn’t quite agree with his tummy.

“Are you okay, Sushi?” I asked, as if he would answer me.  I let him have a few moments to recover.

But when he threw up again a few steps later then sat down right on top of his vomit, I began to think that something was wrong.  I turned off the podcast and pulled my ear buds out.  He then put his chin down on the ground.

When Sushi’s eyelids began to droop, I finally began to sense panic.  I quickly reached down to our 19-pounder.  Good thing he was light.

When I picked up our white poodle-maltese mix, he folded over my arms and hung like a rag doll.  This is not right! And I began to run.  A very long three-quarters of a mile back home.

My left shoulder still hurt from my injury, as did my over-exerted biceps.  My thighs ached, and I probably was moving like a cowboy.  Now, really?  But no matter — I had to get this dog to the vet!  He hung limply in my arms as I hurried a couple of more blocks.  I felt his life slipping out of him, and I tried to slap his cheeks to see if he would wake up.  His eyes were opened but looked vacant.

“Stay with me, Sushi,” I cried, as I neared the final stretch.

That’s when I noticed that he was starting to come to.  He became less limp, and he began to look around.  By the time we got home, he was weak but awake.  I put him down gingerly in my car and drove over to the vet.

They immediately gave him an antihistamine injection, and the doctor explained that he had suffered from anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction to an insect bite, most likely a bee.  That’s when I recalled him stepping on something shortly before the collapse.

“That was probably a bee!” I said, and the vet agreed.

“He’s lucky,” she said.  “Most dogs don’t come back on their own.”

After being observed the rest of the day, Sushi came home with a week’s worth of meds to keep him from any further allergic reactions.  He’s totally okay now, and I’m now one level wiser as a dog owner.  I guess I’ll always keep some Benadryl handy.

My whole family appreciates Sushi a little more after what we’ve been through.  We didn’t realize how important he was until we almost lost him.  We’re just glad that he’s still with us!

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Have you ever experienced pet drama like mine?  Tell me about it!