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Posted on Jun 1, 2011 in Dear Diary, Pup Posts | 36 comments

Poor, Poor Daxter

Yesterday started out as a normal enough day. I worked, then I braved the ludicrously hot weather to take my little pup Daxter to the vet for his yearly checkup and vaccination boosters.


Seriously. Ridiculous. Anyway!

Everything was hunky dory at his 4:30 appointment as he braved getting multiple shots, blood drawn for his heartworm test, and the ever-pleasant taking of his temperature (you know what that means.) He was on his best behavior, and didn’t even shriek when they cut his nails!

Fast forward to 10:15 PM, when all of the sudden he runs into my room, starts pawing at his face, trying to dig to China in his doggy bed, and flops around my bedroom floor. Granted, I have a strange little pupster, but this was odd behavior even for him. So I pick him up, look into his face and…


His entire face was swollen up like a balloon. You probably can’t tell very well in this picture, but the rims around his eyes were puffed up to the point that he looked drunk. And Asian. Which normally, you’d think I would be all about, but in this particular instance I was just a little concerned. He was also really hot (to the touch!) and kept panting.

EDIT: Here’s a picture that Ben took where you can really see how pink and swollen his eye is:

Day 149 - Pink Eye

What a trooper. πŸ™

I quickly went and asked for my roommate‘s opinion about whether his face seemed swollen (it did), then called my simultaneously-least-favorite-and-most-favorite place in the whole world: The Hope Center for Advanced Veterinary Medicine.


This emergency-only, 24/7 veterinary hospital in Vienna, VA is seriously amazing. They saved Daxter’s life when he had a freak choking accident at only 14 weeks old, they diagnosed Harry’s symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy (a rare condition where his nailbeds were literally rejecting his nails, and they were falling out) after my regular vet had no idea what was happening. In short, they are just, flat-out awesome.


They told me on the phone that it sounded like he was having a reaction to his vaccinations, and that I should bring him in to have him looked at. I wasted absolutely no time in doing exactly that. And 15 minutes later they had taken my brave little soul into the back to give him (more) shots of steroids and antihistamines to counteract the reaction.


After a little more waiting, the doctor came in to explain everything to me, get a little more background, and said that he would be fine to go home tonight but I should monitor him for worsening of his reaction. I also got a tiny bottle with a single Benadryl in it to give him this morning with his breakfast.


He did look much, much better this morning (after waking up pretty much every hour throughout the night to check on him too, hahaha) and I can now officially breathe a sigh of relief. Never fun to be in that situation though! If you are a pet owner and in Northern Virginia, make sure you know where this place is (for your reference, it’s in Vienna off of Main St. if you turn left where the Chipotle, Noodles & Co., etc are.)

And my other piece of advice for pet owners is also to GET PET INSURANCE. I use Embrace Pet Insurance and they’re awesome (and I’m not just saying that because some of their amazing customer service team reads my blog, hehehe.) Seriously, yesterday would have been almost a $600 day for me with everything that happened, but with pet insurance I know I’ll be getting a lot of it back. Plus, Harry & Daxter’s pictures are scattered all throughout the site!

Anyway, that’s my “exciting” adventure from yesterday for you. All’s well that ends well, I guess! Obviously you guys see a lot of my dogs here on the blog, as well as how much I love them (to say the least!), so now I want to hear about you! Do you have a pet? What kind? Are you a dog person? Cat person? If you don’t have a pet, but want one, what’s keeping you from doing it?


  1. Poor poor Daxie- i’m glad he’s feeling better! These are the kinds of things (along with that freak choking thing and Harry’s issue) that make me wary about getting a puppy (or having a kid for that matter!)

    • There’s only so much you can ever do to protect your kid — whether it’s your furbaby or actual baby! Accidents happen. And that’s why we have insurance and awesome emergency clinics like the Hope Center!

  2. I’m glad Daxter is feeling better, I hate it when my pets dont feel well. To answer your question I have two cats Pippin and Merri (LOTR fans). We also have a four yr old English pointer named Loki (rose in Hawaiian) and a 14 week old Labmaraner name Nani (beautiful in Hawaiian)both girls. Having dogs has certainly made life interesting.

    • A Labmaraner? Is that a Lab + Weimeraner mix? How interesting!

    • Oh, and as for naming your pets after literary characters… haaaave you met my other dog, Harry? Guess who HE’S named after, hehehe…

    • Haha, I love your cats’ names! I have two named Velma and Roxie after the ladies of ‘Chicago.’

  3. Seconding the call to get pet insurance. I wish I had had it 2.5 years ago when my healthy, active 3-year-old cat was diagnosed with diabetes! It cost me SO much money (and he continues to be expensive!) and while it was absolutely worth it, having pet insurance would have lessened the blow a lot. Of course, a diabetic cat who is now 6 and doing fine and will probably be on insulin for another decade is probably uninsurable! Sigh. I’m so glad your baby is OK – I’ve had many nights at the 24 hour animal hospital too.

    • So sorry to hear about your cat’s issues not being covered. I only wish that I had gotten pet insurance like, a month earlier! Cause that’s when Daxter had his accident which resulted in a 3-day stay in the emergency room, and cost $4,000! Sigh. I mean, it’s not like I wouldn’t have paid it, I would pay anything for my little guys, but still. It hurt, haha.

  4. Aww, he is SO cute! I hate cats. πŸ˜› I would love a dog, but I just feel like my schedule is too crazy to have one right now. I’ll just enjoy pictures of Daxter in the meantime…

    • Haha, I’m happy to oblige. Too bad I can’t take him to Boulder with me!

  5. Poor Daxter!!! πŸ™

    I don’t have pets — Jason is allergic to anything with fur so I’m out of luck.

    • I knooooow, poor you. You could always look into getting a Chinese Crested… you know, the hairless dogs? πŸ˜‰

  6. I’m always freaking out at little things with our “pup”, Miley. She’s only a little over a year, but whenever we go to the vet for shots and they tell us there may be some swelling, I always fear the worst! Good thing Daxter has a good Mommy like you to take care of him and watch over him!!!

    • I am such a paranoid pet-mom. I can only imagine what I’ll be like when I have actual, human kids! Hahahaha

  7. Oh no, poor Daxter!!! I’m glad you had somewhere you could take him and he’s doing much better!!!!
    No pets for us, just 3 kids, but maybe when we move later this month we’ll get a puppy πŸ˜‰

    • I imagine that 3 kids is already quite a handful to deal with, but I do hear that getting a dog is a really good way to teach kids responsibility and whatnot at least? πŸ™‚

  8. So glad that Daxter is okay! We have two dogs: Jaxsin & Atreyu. They are our LOVES. I mean, seriously sweet puppies! (Okay, they’re 2 years old, but they’ll always be my puppies!) I remember that my Jaxy got really sick when he was a puppy from his vaccinations & I freaked out and raced him to Green Bay to the vet. Very scary!

    Again, glad your buddy is safe & sound!

    Sarah @ Thinfluenced

    • Oh man, my dogs are gonna be puppies until FOREVER. I mean, Harry’s 7 (!!) and I still call him my little pupperoo, haha.

  9. I have a pup, McKinley who five. He’s an Australian Shepherd & he’s currently laying next to me with a sock on his paw because he cut it mountain biking with me this morning…bummer!

    Glad Daxter’s okay!

    • Poor McKinley, too! Hope his foot feels better soon πŸ™

  10. Oh poor little guy! I’m glad you have an emergency vet clinic available!
    I have a Siamese(ish- she came from a cat shelter, so her lineage is a little questionable) cat named Isabelle…and we had the same thing happen last January when I took her to get her vaccinations…only the allergic reaction happened about 30 minutes after the initial shots, and the side effects were vomiting/diarrhea all over the house. Thankfully my vet was still open (it was a Saturday morning), and so I hustled her butt back to the vet and they gave her antihistamines. So scary!!!!

    • Oof. Yeah, I guess I was lucky that his reaction wasn’t so bad that it was immediate like that. Good thing your vet was still open — do you have access to an emergency animal hospital or anything near where you live?

  11. No doggies for me but growing up I always had a “dream dog” – a black lab named mocha. No, I never wanted a chocolate lab πŸ™‚

    I have a 4 year old boy and once he’s old enough to help take care of a dog then we’ll think of getting one for him. He’s a big fan of daschunds right now because of the one on the Curious George cartoons.

    Glad to hear your little one is better!!!

    • I think that your little boy may say he likes doxies better now, but I can just imagine him playing with Mocha… πŸ™‚ Labs are great for young kids! Doxies are cute but so temperamental, haha. Grouchy little weiner dogs. πŸ˜›

  12. Poor Daxter! Glad to hear he’s doing better though. That hospital does seem AWESOME!

    (Thanks for the Embrace shout out)


    • Oh girrrrrl, you know I gotta represent for ya! πŸ˜‰

  13. I have a 4 year old German Shepherd, Ollie (Oliver)….who is basically my life. since i’ve moved from a house to an apartment its quite a commitment to have a dog, take him out 4 times a day. I was just looking at that pet insurance site and am seriously considering it because we just had to put Ollie’s dad down a little while ago because he got cancer, and I noticed that they cover all of that.
    ALSO, my dog never has had allergic reactions, but when he was a puppy he ate a dead mouse off the floor that had been poisoned, so I FREAKED out and we had to take him to a 24 hour clinic, so not fun!

    • Oh my gosh. I would have TOTALLY freaked if that happened! Harry found a dead bird in the backyard once and I wanted to get him tested for all kinds of stuff, hahahaha.

  14. I’m glad your puppy is feeling better! You’ve seen photos of my Westie! I’m a cat and dog person! But we’ve only had like 2 cats that we’ve let live inside, all the others are outdoor cats!

    My poor puppy, Rascal is hobbling around. He got something stuck in his paw we think and he won’t let my mom look at it! =[ I hope we figure out what’s wrong soon cuz he looks so pitiful hobbling around!

  15. I’m glad Daxter is ok! I have two dogs and believe me when I say they are my world. I say it all the time β€œSome people have children, I have dogs”. I agree that pet insurance is extremely important, because dogs like children have medical emergencies that since they cannot communicate to you end up costing you A LOT. Without insurance I would have paid $1,600 out of pocket when my dog became severely dehydrated last year, instead I only paid $600. Was the vet able to tell you which vaccination caused the allergic reaction?

    • Unfortunately because he got like, ALL of his boosters at once, they can’t officially say which one it is, but the doctor says that his suspicion is that it was the rabies shot. He also said that for next time spacing out the injections might help, so hopefully Daxter won’t have to deal with getting every single one at the same time and if he has another reaction (though hopefully he won’t!) we will be able to isolate it better.

  16. OMG that is horrible, I’m happy you knew about that place beforehand and had somewhere to take him! My Lincoln (he is a poodle chihuahua) gets so lethargic wghen he gets his shots, its kinda nice lol. Happy to hear Daxter is doing better, thats one of the worst feelings in the world–not being able to know whats bothering them or help them.

  17. So glad he’s okay. Allergy reactions are horrible! I’m so happy you have access to a clinic like that. Our vet has someone on call so we only have to take them to the puppy ER if they need to stay overnight. We’ve used the service enough and it has been worth it.

  18. My family has a dog and a cat. We just became a “dog family” this year. And are trying to get use to the barking, hyper behavior, and playing catch haha. Being “cat people” for 10 years, we arent use to this haha

    Im glad to hear your pup is doing better!

  19. Yep – sounds just like my night last name. I’m glad we both had happy outcomes πŸ™‚


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