A 2-year-old English mastiff who rescued a family's 9-month-old daughter is now fighting against an allergic reaction to a Lyme disease vaccine.
The dog, Duke, became a family hero after he woke up his owner, Lucia Piscoglio, to alert her that her infant, Ava Jane, was suffocating in her crib. According to Piscoglio, Duke and Ava became fast friends following Ava’s birth; Duke rarely left the infant's side.
“I looked into the monitor and saw Ava's face deep into the bumper pad,” Piscoglio wrote on Facebook. "As Duke and I ran to her side I didn't feel her inhale or exhale."
Thanks to Piscoglio’s quick thinking, however, Ava was soon breathing normally. Duke reportedly gave Ava a lick on the head in relief.
Unfortunately, Duke had a massive allergic reaction to a Lyme disease vaccine just days later and was checked into Saint Francis Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey.
“He became so ill we rushed him back to the vet, he was swollen all over, not eating, not drinking, not going to the bathroom or even moving,” Piscoglio wrote. “After two nights in the hospital with tons of tests being run he began to turn around slowly.”
Currently, Duke is at home with his family on a steroid pill, antibiotic, Benadryl and Pepcid. He is also on a strict diet. According to doctors, Duke suffered one of the worst allergic reactions in the history of a Lyme vaccine.
Piscoglio wrote that while she isn’t again vaccination, she recommends that people ask questions before receiving them.
The family received monetary help from a GoFundMe account dedicated to Duke. To date, 54 people have donated about $1,500 for the dog.