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Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:46 pm
by MaisyPancakes
Hey guys, MP had a weird thing happen earlier today, and from the videos and photos, my rehab vet (we were going to see her anyway today) thinks that it's definitely an allergic reaction, and likely to gabapentin, which she took 90 min prior to this happening. She's been on gabapentin since 12/12. For my main question without reading all about it, please skip to the bottom paragraph!

This is what it looked like: ... sp=sharing

Here's how it happened: she was totally normal, went outside to potty, came back, and when I gave her a piece of banana as a treat (a normal thing), I saw she wobbled and sat down, which is also not *too* abnormal given her wonky gait. But, a few seconds later, she was having trouble with the banana—like they do when there's peanut butter stuck on the top of their mouth—lick, lick, lick, type thing. THAT was weird, and I was afraid she was going to have a seizure or choke on the damn thing, so I swept her mouth with my fingers and retrieved any stray pieces. She looked sad about that, so I let her lick the gooey smushed part, and that's when I noticed that her lower lids were huge and bulging away from her eye balls, and her eyes were almost rolling back into her head! It was like this in varying severity for about 30 min, although it got much better after about 15. During which, I took videos as well as I could, called and talked to a lovely tech, who told me to run over with the video (was taking forever to upload for them to see) so I can show them on my phone. We watched the video, and although my vet was in another appt and was full for the day, they talked over and saved me an appt for tomorrow, just in case. They said as long as she deteriorates further (at which point just run her over ASAP), she should be OK, and they said it's good that we're seeing the rehab vet in an hour.

The rehab vet checked her over and came up with the allergy diagnosis. She also noticed very faint hives (which I thought look like red rashes everywhere, but apparently not—they're just slightly raised dime-sized bumps all over, which I didn't have the eye to discern at all!), swollen jowels and slightly puffy joints. Treatment is Benadryl for 2 days, and come back if no better in 36 hrs. She took her first Benadryl (50 mg) around 4:30 (3 hrs ago) and has been sleeping since, so it's hard to see the eyes, but it's definitely still puffy. Not sure if she's much better than the "better" she was around 3pm, but not dramatically worse. I cleaned the shit out of my house and aired it all out just in case it was something inside. (So, y'all should come over while it's clean! ;) )

Kind of maybe related, is that something similar had happened *only* to her right eye, five weeks ago. This happened before her PM dose of gabapentin, and right before dinner time. The only "correlation, not causation" kind of similarity between the two incidents is that she had eaten cod in day/days prior. We do cod only occasionally, and I only know this because I keep a doggone Pancakes journal. :whistle: :rolleyes: In any case, that was just one eye, but it looked pretty much the same as it did today—came on just as quickly, but resolved more quickly, as well. I thought it might be a foreign object or irritation/plugged up duct, so did a warm compress and that seemed to have helped move it along. I do recall freaking out, though, because it was nighttime (ER!), and it looked crazy.

Anyway, if this is a reaction, then I'd like to help her flush it out. Is fluids and peeing just about what one can do? Any tips and good thoughts appreciated! :)

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:09 pm
by UpwardDog
Hmm I sure hope it's not the gabapentin if she needs that for pain management. I don't know of any ways to speed up recovery from an allergic reaction other than antihistamines (which you are doing) and steroids. It's sure handy that you keep a journal! That will come in handy trying to figure this out. Feel better when you wake up MP. I wish I could come visit you and your clean house.

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:26 am
by SherriA
I have no suggestions either. When I have an allergic reaction it seems to resolve in it's own variable time, and no one has suggested any way to speed that up.

I hope the Benadryl helps her! Poor MP

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:58 am
by Calypso
No suggestions, just good thoughts.

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:31 pm
by MaisyPancakes
Thanks, everyone! Heather! You should come over *right* now—the "clean" window is closing down fast! ;)

She is much better on Benadryl, though still kinda puffy—some in the eyes, and also in her back cheeks; her head looks blockier like pitties, almost. I was taking her off of all the supplements for now, but totally spaced it and gave her digestive enzymes with all her meals. :S That's the only non-nutrient-balancing supplement she's gotten, though. Naked meals for a few days. I do hope that my compulsive journaling will prove to be of some use, sometime!

I know she's older, but she once got 17+ wasp stings (she pooped on a nest!!) and it all subsided nearly *immediately* after I gave her super-expired Benadryl (all they had at the place we were), so I'm kind of sad that she's not completely unpuffi-fied yet with brand new pills. :/ She was better enough that I didn't need to see my regular vet for the slot she saved for me today, however. :)

Thanks again for your thoughts!

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:42 pm
by LisaT_II
I"m sure you've googled the heck out of this, but it sounds like a side effect, not sure if it's an actual allergy: ... center.htm

Something like Antronex (standard process) is supposed to help the liver process allergens. Increasing glutathione might help with processing toxins - could try some n-acetyl-cysteine, but start with a small amount.

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:01 pm
by UpwardDog
pooped on a wasps nest!!!!

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:10 am
by emmas_mom
Hoping she's better by now. You probably know this, but don't be tempted to stop the gabapentin cold turkey - the withdrawal symptoms are horrible, at least for people. I once forgot to take mine for three or four doses in a row (I take it four times a day for fibromyalgia) and woke up feeling like I was being eaten alive by fleas or bedbugs or fire ants. There were no marks on my skin, but when I called the doctor it turns out this is a common side effect of suddenly stopping gabapentin!

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:33 am
by MaisyPancakes
Thanks, everyone!! In terms of the allergic stuff (swollen eyes, etc.), that is all gone now! It did take two full days, but she was clear-eyed on the third morning. :)

My vet called me shortly after my last post and reassured me she thinks she'll be OK, and that it's not uncommon for a bad reaction to persist for days and sometimes linger on for weeks. It's still mystery what may have caused it, and my regular vet really doesn't want to believe it was gabapentin because it was supposed to be a much better drug option for MP. Because it was so acute and just out of nowhere, she was leaning more towards something environmental or something she may have been exposed to outside. In any case, I'm not sure if there's a safe way to test, but she half-joked about giving her a little during one of our appointments where we can supervise her properly.

In any case, we are slowly adding back the other supplements, in case it was something like that. We're starting with SAM-e and milk thistle, since both vets agree that it is pretty low risk and is healing/protective in many ways.

Thanks for the link, Lisa! They list similar symptoms under both side-effects and allergy (I think they're considering allergy a side-effect), but either way, a reaction (to something), no less! She had been on it since mid December, FWIW.

I knew about the tapering thing, Jean, but in case it was allergy, vets said to stop immediately. Argh! They told me that her dose was small enough that she shouldn't experience too bad a withdrawal. Hope so!

I never noticed measurable improvement on gabapentin, per se (although we were still working up the dosage), but having been off it since Monday AM, it does seem like she is extra gimpy. Although, she is off of everything else (supplements), too. (I did not think of this until I typed this out!! I do want to believe all the herbs do stuff but maybe only half believed it, deep inside. HA!)

I'm *really* hoping that it was not banana. If it were banana, it would be *almost* as bad as if she couldn't take medicine she needs.

Thank you, MP's internet aunties! <3

Re: Allergic reaction: Any way to hasten the purge?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:46 am
by MaisyPancakes
Yes, Heather!! She totally pooped on a wasp nest! It was the saddest. All I saw was that she was pooping, and then moments later, she was wiggling around trying to get away. I never got stung at all, despite standing right next to her. We ran inside and I counted a shitload (!) of stings. :( The only Benadryl in the house I was in was from another era (like different packaging!), but I gave her some anyway (were out in the exurbs; stores were far) until I got new ones. This is before I start carrying around an MP first aid kit, obviously!!! :rolleyes: