It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this site on Beignet (I’m a lot better at updating the associated Facebook page). Anyways I always laugh when I picture my face when our vet, Dr. Brad Everson, said diabetes would be a secondary concern when compared to all her other diagnoses. I couldn’t imagine anything would be more life altering for us than the diabetes diagnosis. Dr. Brad has been right over and over again. Diabetes for us is nothing to manage. It literally is everything else…
Our biggest struggle the last 6-9 months has been severe eye swelling. Our amazing vet ophthalmologist, Dr. John Warren at Veterinary Eye Institute, scheduled Bennie a double specialist visit with both himself and Dr. Dennis Crow of DermVets. Dr. Crow skin tested Beignet and found she’s allergic to everything. She started personalized oral immunotherapy back in February within days of that appointment. Dr. Crow started her immediately on the maintenance vial to speed things up since her options for other medications are limited by her diabetes diagnosis. Don’t know about y’all, but one of my pet peeves is hearing that my sweet girl is ineligible for anything because she’s diabetic.
Well here we are almost 3 months into immunotherapy. Bennie’s right eye is so awful looking. There are days I haven’t even been able to see her eye itself due to the swelling. 4 weeks ago, we made the hard decision to risk putting her on Atopica (cyclosporine). There was quite a risk of terrible side effects with this medication but Dr. Crow felt it was her only other option since she’s diabetic. Dr. Brad said we were at the point that we had to take the risk. 5 days in she did starting throwing up and have to go to the ER vet for a Cerenia shot but has been fine since. 3 weeks in and the swelling is 50% improved. During this time we also put our cat, Boudin, on the new Purina LiveClear cat food to reduce his dander (after 3 weeks of eating this food it decreases cat dander by 80%). And Dr. Warren had us stop ALL topical eye medications to ensure she was not also have hypersensitivity reactions from her many eye meds. He knew this would cause her dry eye to get bad but said we needed to know. This past week I first added her Tacrolimus Eye Drops back and she had immediate swelling. When things returned to the 50% improved state we added Cyclosporine Eye Drops. Things were going okay until she woke up with terrible looking eyes this morning with external bleeding🤢. She spent the day with Dr. Brad. Dr. Warren personally called and feels today’s issues are related to her also having a sensitivity to Cyclosporine eye drops. So basically we can assume we will never get back to having good dry eye control again 😢. And let me just say, I can’t even count the times Dr. Warren has personally called me during all of our struggles – 1 week I spoke with him twice. He is that caring of an eye vet and although we haven’t required surgery, we know his surgical skills are amazing – if you are within driving distance of the greater Dallas area – he’s the one you want to use for sure!!!
So all in all, I’m just hoping and praying that something works for us. My own eye doctor gave me a concoction to try on her eyes. Dr. Warren gave us the green light to give it a try next week. So hoping that it has a miraculous benefit. As a physician that understands allergies, this process has been so incredibly defeating. I’ve doubted myself over and over again. I just cannot understand how a dog this incredibly sweet with such a amazing spirit can possibly continue to get one worse thing after another. I continually worry about what the next expense is going to be as her current expenses keep me stressed as is. I guess if I try and have 1 positive thought about all of this, at least her hypersensitivity reactions just knocked off a few pricey prescriptions from her list… No more compounded eye meds shipped in from New Jersey…
All in all, we are still making it. Beignet is definitely not at all a fan of social distancing. She cannot stand curbside pickup at Southern Hills Animal Hospital. This morning I thought she was going to lose her mind because I couldn’t take her inside the building and she had to wait an entire 5 minutes for a vet tech to come out and get her. She cried and moaned nonstop. And literally leaped our the car window into the tech’s arms. My girl sure loves going to the vet and seeing Dr. Brad and crew. We hope everyone else is doing well. Our goal was to start doing some video blogs on diabetic dog care and those may still come so stay tuned…. For now, we just need to survive severe allergies!
~Devoted Doxie Mom