Sunday, May 24, 2015

Oh No, Jedi's Coughing!

Last Sunday night we noticed that Jedi was coughing. And since we had been at a dog show 10 days previously, I was little concerned. As I mentioned last month, there are a lot of potential cooties circling around a dog show. I spent all night Monday trying to analyze Jedi's cough. It wasn't a honking cough like kennel cough. And it wasn't a wet cough like pneumonia. It almost sounded like he had a tickle in his throat. I debated taking him to the vet. It was obviously irritating him and I was afraid I might be wrong -- what if was something serious? Even more pressing, we're headed to Atlanta in a couple of weeks for another dog show, and he needs to be healthy for that.

So I took Jedi to the vet on Tuesday, hoping I was overreacting. Dr. Hanson (my super-awesome GSD loving vet) asked a few questions about Jedi's appetite and demeanor. Neither had changed; he's still a bouncing chow-hound. The vet listened to Jedi's lungs and heart. Both sounded strong and healthy. His temperature was good and his throat was clear. And the vet said that Jedi was a perfect weight. (He's a lean 85 pounds, though everybody thinks he's bigger.) I think the word "gorgeous" was thrown in there a couple of times, but I may be a bit biased. So what's wrong with Jedi? The vet's best guess is post nasal drip. The pollen count is through the roof right now and apparently it's affecting dogs as well as people. We left with some allergy meds (think doggie Claritin).
 
Jedi also got a Bordetella booster. Since Jedi is on the show circuit and exposed to a multitude of unfamiliar dogs, we want to be extra cautious. The vet also warned about Canine Influenza. He said that it's dangerous and spreading. Dr. Hanson hasn't heard of any cases in our area yet, but he has heard that it's in Atlanta. Yikes. Dr. Hanson said not to panic, but I should watch Jedi for:
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge, especially if it's thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

And things I can do to keep him safe include:
  • Wash my hands frequently
  • Avoid touching other dogs
  • Keep Jedi away from other dogs as much as possible
  • Keep his crate covered and wash the sheet when we get home
  • Don't allow Jedi to use public water bowls
  • Keep Jedi from licking/sniffing the ground and things that aren't his

Two days after our vet visit, this report from CNN was posted to my Facebook wall. And it even mentioned canine influenza in Atlanta. I'm a bit concerned, but I'm also glad that Dr. Hanson knows his stuff! We're not cancelling our plans to head to Atlanta, but we are going to be cautious. Wish us luck. -- K