Yesterday afternoon Caleb (my German Shepherd cross) came down with kennel cough. He was bounding down the hallway to bark at something at the front door when he was stopped by a violent honking cough. My first thought was ‘oh my god, he has congestive heart failure’ because even though I used to be a vet nurse my anxiety can override all logic. I am ashamed to say it took a Google search of ‘dog coughing when running’ to realise it was kennel cough. I really should have realised that the full medical Caleb had on Saturday would have ruled out congestive heart failure.
It was perfect timing for kennel cough as it has an incubation period of about a week and it was just over a week ago that the dogs stayed at the kennels. Even though the dogs are fully vaccinated for all major canine diseases, including kennel cough, they can still get it. That is because kennel cough is the canine version of the human flu and even if you get your yearly flu shot you can still get sick although the symptoms are less severe and you aren’t as sick for as long.
Like all males with the flu, Caleb became instantly sooky. The poor boy has swollen lymph nodes and a really violent cough which scared the living daylights out of him. He starts coughing and he goes and hides under the coffee table, which is kind of ridiculous looking considering he is a large dog. Meanwhile, every time Caleb coughs Rory runs to find him to make sure he is okay.
Last night was a fairly rough night for all involved, Caleb slept until about 3am when another coughing fit woke him up and then he wanted to climb into bed with us. A queen sized bed just isn’t big enough for two humans, a beagle and a german shepherd cross. But we let him in and he snuggled next to me and every hour he woke us up coughing and wanting snuggles. So, not much sleep there.
When I left for work this morning he really wasn’t looking good, so I rang up the vet clinic where I used to work and they are going to send out some canine cough medicine and perhaps some antibiotics as well. I was worried about how Caleb was going to be doing when I got home. At best I thought he would be down and really not feeling well and at worst, well let’s just say I hoped to find him alive (told you I was an extreme worry wort). Turns out, Caleb is doing 100% better than he was doing this morning. His lymph nodes on either side of his muzzle are really swollen still, but his cough has lessened. He is a bit quieter tonight than normal and didn’t get up to greet Lela which is unlike him, but he probably overdid it when I got home. He really bounded around and got all excited. Hopefully he will continue to get better quickly as I really don’t like it when my “kids” are sick.