Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No dogs allowed

So it seems that my little man has developed a contact allergy to dogs. It shouldn't surprise me though. Fred has horrible allergies all the time, most of which is due to cats and dogs. This is one reason why we never got another cat. I'm not sure why it never crossed my mind that Mason could possibly be allergic to either animal, maybe it is that my parents and sister both have cats and he is over there all the time and never had a reaction. Or been at friends houses with cats and dogs and never had a reaction....until now.
We had been invited to a Super Bowl part at a friends house and were delighted to get the chance to see friends we hadn't seen in a while. The Beadle's had just been on a 10 week trip to Texas, and thought they would never come back. The Gattoni's had just had their third child three weeks ago and we were dying to meet her. The Smith's we hadn't seen since New Year's Eve and any chance for me to be around other adults I jump at immediately. Upon arriving we were greeting by a swarm of kids and Chiquita, the Beadle's Boston Terrier. Mason has enjoyed playing with her in the past so I knew much fun was about to be consumed. Honestly we didn't pay much attention to the game. We were all occupied with laughing at the kids playing and catching up on lives we had missed. Toward the end of the night, Mason started chasing Chiquita around the room and of course they both were loving it. Mason had been itching his nose earlier and rubbing his eye but I hadn't really thought anything of it. Then Chiquita and Mason started this licking game, which in part was a bit gross. Dogs love to lick faces and Mason was giggling like crazy. It was cracking me up. I love to hear him giggle, it makes a bad day perfect again. Then we noticed Mason really starting to rub his eye and his face was looking really red. I thought maybe he was just tired, it was after all like 9pm and way past his bedtime. After arriving home Fred went upstairs to change Mason into the his pajamas and overnight diaper. Of course he had to go potty, and apparently since I am the only one who has the capability of helping with this, I went upstairs to assist. Mason started to complain that his eye hurt and as I looked closely I noticed that not only was his face getting really red and puffy so was his eye. So much so that it was practically swollen shut. I got really worried and screamed at Fred. We decided to give him some Benadryl and keep an eye on his respirations throughout the night. He did o.k. all night but once morning arrived his eye was still red and puffy and now red bumps were all over the left side of his face. I made an appointment to see the doctor. I was sure this was an allergic reaction but wasn't sure of how to treat it exactly. Once at the office, I was questioned about the red bumps on his face and I recalled our trip to Oregon and it started to make sense.

On our trip to Oregon, the last few days Mason had developed a red bumpy rash on his stomach and neck. We weren't quite sure what it was, so just put lotion on it and eventually within a few days of arriving home it was gone. Mason had been complaining that it hurt and was itchy. We had the suspicion that it was some sort of reaction to either detergent or my mother in laws dog, Maggie. But since it went away fairly quickly and didn't seem to bother Mason too much we just let it go. Now I was certain it was a reaction to Maggie. When I explained this to the doctor he came to the same conclusion. Mason has developed a contact allergy to either dog hair or dander. Add in his history of eczema and you've got a bad situation. The solution, to give him 1 tsp. of Benadryl every four hours until it clears up (if it gets worse call him immediately). Avoid contact with dogs or if we know we will be going somewhere with dogs to pretreat Mason with either Benadryl or Claritin. Eventually Mason should get tested, but he is still too young now. I left feeling so sorry for my poor little boy and realizing he probably had no idea what had happened or that he would have to stay away from his much beloved doggy friends.

It is quite sad really because he just loves animals, since he was a baby actually. 7 months old to be exact. I still remember the first time we found out he even had an interest. We were in Spokane, Washington for the Wedding of Fred's Uncle. At the particular moment I am remembering we were at Fred's Cousins, Kelly and Kelley's house taking a tour. They have a small dog (can't remember the breed) and Mason was not quite able to crawl that well yet. We let Mason play around on the ground for a bit and when he saw the dog it was all over. He had mastered crawling in an instant. We were so amazed at how fast he crawled after that little pup and still to this day we revel in the moment with utter astonishment. The love for dogs, cats and I think all animals in general, started in that moment and has grown considerably ever since.

The Benadryl seems to be working, though I just noticed him scratching the back of his leg and now there are red bumps all over it, and I've been wondering how I will be able to keep my highly active 2 year old from playing with, chasing and hugging dogs. In all honesty how do you really keep a toddler from doing what he wants to do? I feel that I have my work cut out for me and am running dangerously close to E. Some words of encouragement and inspiration are needed right about now. Time to delve into my endless supply of parenting books and magazines.
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