hacking coughs and other doggie ills

It is difficult to take a dog seriously when he doesn’t appear to be ill, yet he makes a sound often enough to worry a dog-parent. Starting around 3 AM a couple nights ago, hollow, rasping coughs woke my wife and me. I spent the rest of the early morning reliving parenting “in sickness, and in health” vows. While all our two-legged kids take care of themselves as adults, we still can worry about them. Our canine “kids” depend on us to care for them their entire lives; though it has not been often in my experience, they can develop things that cause us worry. When Dexter makes a noise that sounds like it starts from his paws, through his belly and lungs and out his mouth, it is unnerving my wife and me.

While my wife and I are not getting as much rest, the medication Dexter was prescribed has helped him sleep through the night. After the vet checked him over on Friday, we got both an antibiotic and a cough suppressant for him. The vet and I discussed whether this might be a case of “kennel cough”, he would have picked it up more than a week ago at the “doggie daycare”. Yet Comet has not developed anything so I worried that he might have something worse. And secondly, Dexter’s energy and appetite have not lessened which make me suspect he got something from the neighborhood dog-walks. So one hacks, and the other, Comet, slurps his paws and licks the floor. The vet gave him a refill for the Apoquel that we put him on a few months ago for allergies. It seems to be helping.

Or it might not be some illness that Dexter picked up. It might be linked to the landscaping work that has been going on at our home for the last couple of weeks. Two days ago, more dust, in the form of decomposed granite was being shoveled and pummeled by equipment. Even through closed windows and doors, dust in El Cajon is as common as mildew indoors on the East Coast. After a little rain fell yesterday, there is less dust in the air around our home. I’m not coughing as much. Dexter is not coughing as much. And Comet is not licking the floor but dozing instead by my writing desk. As a dog-parent, seeing our aging furry pals healthy is good medicine for us too.

Hey, I’m sick. Shouldn’t I be comfortable?

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