Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Sounds of Spring

Jingle jingle jingle…

…Snarf farf farf farf farf

Slurp slurp slurp…

…Thwap thwap thwap thwap

Chomp chomp chomp chomp…


Griffen has allergies. Bad ones. A few years ago we noticed that he was scratching himself constantly. Then we noticed his skin was getting raw where he was scratching, and then the raw spots began to bleed. After a few unsuccessful vet appointments we managed to get hooked up with a pet dermatologist.

Just to be clear, I don’t have a dermatologist. But my dog does. But it could be worse; at least my dog doesn’t have an astrologist, or a therapist. But I always feel like a dork when I tell people that my dog has a dermatologist.

After experimenting with different foods and doses of Benedryl and ketokonizole (the combination of these two drugs actually makes Griffen hallucinate. A dog tripping is possibly one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen—and scary all at the same time.) Eventually the dermo shaved his side and injected Griffen with 50 some odd allergens. It turns out he was allergic to roughly 49 of the 50 some odd allergens. On a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the most severe, Griffen rated in almost all 3’s and 4’s in his reaction to all these injected allergens.

He’s allergic to tobacco, weeds, pollen, grass, and even cats. Cats! My dog is allergic to cats! (But at least this was the motivation Griffen needed to finally quit smoking.) Griffen’s dermatologist has since developed custom injectable antigens. She’s had to develop two formulas because he is allergic to so many things she couldn’t fit all the antigens to each allergen in one bottle.

Todd injects Griffen every week with one of the formulas, and it’s been working so far. But in the spring, when the leaves and flowers are blooming and the grass is growing Griffen starts to scratch. And scratch. And scratch. Luckily the antigens have prevented him from scratching until he goes bald and bleeds.

But every spring, like clockwork, the tags on his collar jingles in rhythm with the excess scratching. He buries his snout into his fur and nibbles at some unseen irritant, with a snarf farf farf farf sound. He slurps endlessly at the yeast build up on his lips, which is a side effect of the allergic reaction. His back claws thwap in rapid succession against his snout, and he chomps at another unseen irritant on his legs. Then he flops on his side and groans in response to the Benedryl making its way through his system.

Right now he’s dozing and it is debatable as to whether the drowsy effect of the Benedryl is making him sleepy of it it’s just that he’s the world’s laziest dog that sleeps for 23 hours a day. He’s wearing one of those lampshade collars around his head to keep him from scratching, and he bumps into everything with it as if to say “If you don’t use your thumbs and get this damn thing off of me I will destroy your house and bash the living shit out of your shins with it. Boom! HA HA sucka!” But with the irritation growing on his snout, in the form of raw red sores, we both know that the lampshade is really for his own good.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Poor dog, AND poor you guys. Yoicks.

May 15, 2008 at 8:28 AM  

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