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    My baby girl!!

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    (See all of Delilah's photos here)
    Yesterday, Sarah and I decided we wanted Wendy's for dinner. I know... fast food. We rarely ever eat fast food. Sarah's an excellent cook, and LOVES preparing food. Yesterday, though, we were both having a hankering (I hesitate to say "craving" because I will forever associate that word with pregnancy now) for one of their burgers. I brought Delilah with me. She loves going for rides in the car and can't wait to stick her head out of the window.

    While we were at a red light and her head was out the window, the light hit the back of her head just right, and I saw 3 small bumps on the top of her head, between her ears.

    "Poor girl", I thought. "Stupid mosquitoes".

    We had our supper, played some cribbage and went to bed.

    Now, let me back up for just a moment to explain something. Delilah and Logan each have their own beds in the bedroom with us. Logan always sleeps on the floor or in his bed. Same with Delilah. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, we typically all wake up "as a family". We'll call the dogs on the bed to lie with us for a bit before we all head downstairs. That's about the only time Logan's on the bed. For some reason, he doesn't particularly enjoy being on the bed while we're on it. BUT, whenever Sarah and I leave the house, Logan sleeps on our bed. It's weird, I know.

    Delilah LOVES being on the bed with us. As a matter of fact, whenever one of us (Sarah or I) get out of bed, Delilah hops on the bed to take the empty spot. EVERY SINGLE DAY. She's gotten in a little bit of trouble for it, because she takes Sarah's spot while she's feeding Tyler. Not really a big deal, but Delilah hates getting off the bed once she's on, and you have to drag her off of it. It's humorous, except at 4 in the morning.

    Last night, Delilah was whining for the entire night to get on the bed with us. It was insanely annoying. We told her to shut up and go to bed, which she did. But this happened a few times last night.

    This morning, I get up and get the dogs downstairs to go outside for their "business" when Delilah stepped outside and the morning light hit her, I saw that she was absolutely COVERED in bumps. I stood there, staring at her and blinking stupidly. What the hell happened to my baby girl overnight? I just honestly thought my mind had gone all goofy and was playing with me. Delilah turned to face me and I saw that one of her eyes was swollen almost completely shut. When Sarah came downstairs, I told her what I saw, and called Delilah in the room so she could see.

    I am insanely attached to Delilah. Even though she's our dog, she is MY dog. So, I was already kinda freaking out over this whole thing. When Sarah saw her, she gasped, and it scared the crap out of me. She said it looked like hives. I didn't know what to do, and Sarah had to actually tell me to call the vet. I left a message because they weren't open yet. I then immediately hopped on google and started reading about hives and what to do. During all this, Sarah told me that Delilah's been chewing on her feet for a few days too.

    The general consensus online was that it was an allergy, and I kinda had that feeling already. I gave her 2 benedryl (per what I read online) and waited for the vet to call back.

    Delilah's had issues with foot-chewing before, and had an ear infection recently (for a free dog, she's been rather expensive for us). We switched her to a dog food that's completely corn free (apparently, many dogs are allergic to corn, and MOST dog foods have corn in it). It kinda helped. She didn't chew as much, and her ears were doing better. I did get a new bag of dog food a few weeks back, but it was also corn free.

    The doc usually doesn't work Mondays, but told me to meet him at his office anyway (thank you so very much!!! I love our vet). He said it looked very much like an allergy and asked all sorts of questions. In the end, he said that food was likely the culprit, but it's hard to tell. So, he got us set up with a "prescription" dog food. It's called "Z/D Ultra". It's 100% allergen free, so if she clears up on this food, we've got a jumping off point. If not, who knows. He also gave her a steroid shot (sorry, Delilah) with a little bit of benedryl in it to get rid of the hives.

    I got her home, and she slept the ENTIRE day. She didn't pick her head up when we entered or left the room. She didn't look at us while we were eating (which is completely out of character). It broke my heart.

    It looks like the shot did the trick on the hives and itching though. The bumps are about 99% gone, and she hasn't itched at all.

    Here's the story on the dog food. If it works... you keep her on it for 12 weeks, to allow her body to get rid of all its built up allergens. Then, you start introducing ingredients, one at a time, for 2 weeks at a time. It's called an "elimination diet". So, after 12 weeks, we boil chicken and add it to her food for 2 weeks. If that's good, we add corn for 2 weeks, then oatmeal, then grain, then lamb. So on and so forth. If she has a reaction, that's the food you stay away from. We don't necessarily need to introduce all that stuff to her, just enough until we can find a dog food that will work for her. Z/D has BHA as an ingredient, so I don't want this to be a long-term food for her. That, and a 27 pound bag costs $85. Ouch.

    Here are pics of her from today:

    These pics are later in the day, when she's just sleeping:

    Get well soon, baby D.

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