How could i have been so stupid? I think i CAN guess what it was that set off my allergy/histamine system so badly! It could easily have been the same thing that made my dog so sick.
Not that i know EXACTLY what it was, but it was definitely bacterial because it responded to antibiotics. It was something that he picked up on the farm, and which i suspected might have been associated with the water-well, because that had just been repaired when we arrived in VA. All the way home, Spenser chewed on himself, and it took me a long time to get his coat back in order (using his brush), because he was too stressed to bathe. I continue to brush of course, and have to remove hair from it every time. That brush must be teeming with "buggies."
Also "of course" i wash my hands after brushing him, but not just after casually touching the brush.
There are many kinds of infective agents and they can do all kinds of different things to us -- not all of which are logical and intuitive. If i may use our dear Sidereal as an example, some of the fatigue she has suffered may have originated in a years-ago infection....
One hint that i was already a little fragile while on vacation lies in the fact that the chigger bites i suffered made huge bumps instead of the tiny ones i usually get. My fault -- i SHOULD have hunted down a can of repellant before J and i walked the length of our son's property, and me having put on shorts that morning! I'm lucky i didn't pick up ticks, too.
If i were not on a very-low-sugar diet, might i have gotten as sick as Spense was? (It's not like he actually eats sugar, and he is on a grain-free diet, but the sweet-potato filler in his kibble is bound to give him blood-sugar spikes larger than my usual.) He never was able to tell me exactly where it "hurt" but he obviously felt like shit and needed extra rest ... just like i did. His poor little eyes got all inflamed and goopy, and his white fur is still stained from it to the point he still looks a little like the walking dead with their dark circles....
So my malaise may have been the direct descendant of his, and i didn't need antibiotics because my natural biota were able to deal with the problem. I just had to be extra-careful of my diet and environmental contacts, as he was when he refused to eat and spent most of his time in a quiet corner. He feels much better now, you can tell because he now enjoys a healthy appetite and a propensity to growl at J about toy-possession.