To start, I'd like to thank all the regular posters on this forum. Even though this is my first post, I've been reading for years and have gotten a ton of wonderful advice. I'm posting now because I haven't been able to find any other bulldog owners who have had the a similar experience to our recent one.
Rebel is a 9 1/2 year old male. Over the years, his main issue has been allergies. He's been tested and we know he does not have food allergies, but is highly allergic to basically everything outside. Through lots of trial and error working with our vet and help from sites like this, his allergy issues have been very well controlled. About a year ago, he had a severe reaction to something where he went from normal to covered in hives, eyes swollen shut, and wheezing in just a few minutes. I loaded him up with steroids, Benadryl, and Zantac, and we took off for the ER. By the time we got there, he was fine. At that time, I asked for and received an epi pen from my vet for him. Although the vet thought it would never happen again and explained that dogs aren't like people and rarely have a typical respiratory collapse with anaphylaxis.
That brings us to New Year's Eve. Rebel was fine. He vomited (not totally abnormal for him to do occasionally), but didn't seem himself like he usually does. We closely watched him and he vomited a second time-and we thought maybe he had a stomach bug. But then he tried to stand up and he collapsed and I also noticed his gums were white. We headed to the ER, about 20 minutes away. By the time we got there, his pulse was weak and thready. The vet's diagnosis was anaphylactic shock. We were lucky and Rebel was fine. My vet concurred that he thought it was anaphylaxis as well. This was a more typical dog presentation. He then sheepishly asked if I still had the epi pen.
Sorry for the never ending post, but my main concern is we don't know what caused any of this. And all the what ifs? What if we hadn't been home? Or had been asleep? Now that I know this was related to an allergy, I will have the epi pen next time. But is still terrifies me to think it could happen when we are gone. I'm pretty sure we won't be able to train his sister (a basset hound) to administer his epi pen. Anyone ever have a dog with life threatening allergies?