The Daily Spike: How to tell when your dog is really sick


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Spike awoke with the worst cough one week in the past. At first, it gave the impression of he might need had one thing caught in his throat. It was a dry cough, and he’s taken to ripping out the stuffing from a few of his gentle toys so perhaps one thing had been tickling his throat.

Because the day went on, he sounded extra like a goose, with extra forceful coughs, and I knew one thing was unsuitable. After all Googled “my canine is coughing like a goose,” which prompt he might need kennel cough.

I took him to my veterinarian at One Love Animal Hospital.


Spike was additionally neutered earlier that week (sorry to interrupt the information like this), and the vet mentioned his cough might have merely been brought on by an irritation from the trach they put in his throat whereas he was underneath. One other risk was certainly kennel cough, which is a virus caught from different canines — and one can’t be handled with meds. Or, it might need been an an infection which will be handled with antibiotics, so the physician needed to first see if Spike obtained higher earlier than unnecessarily beginning meds.

Spike was already recovering when his cough began.

Spike was already recovering when his cough started.
(Jennifer Williams)

However there was additionally one other potential trigger. You understand how people aren’t speculated to eat something earlier than surgical procedure? Similar factor for pets. After all, I didn’t give him something to eat or drink earlier than the surgical procedure, however he did throw up some rooster after the vet gave him his pre-meds. We found out that Spike managed to sneak it from the road on the way in which into the vet. (Sneaky Spike.) A few of this will likely have gotten into his lungs and began the an infection.

And poor man — the primary time he ever has any individuals meals (other than peanut butter) and it might need brought about this lung an infection.


So we monitored him for a number of days and stored him from different canines in case he had a contagious an infection. He was wonderful all weekend. Nonetheless had that dry cough, however good power, an urge for food, and he seemed brilliant.

However by Wednesday I knew one thing was actually unsuitable. Spike wouldn’t rise up to go to our morning editorial assembly at work, which he loves for all of the stomach rubs. He was additionally feeling heat, so I instantly took him to the vet.

She took Spikes temperature: 105 levels. Something above 102.5 is taken into account a fever in canines. The vet might additionally hear the wheezing in his lungs.

She ran all types of assessments and decided he had pneumonia. We transferred him to a 24/7 animal hospital that has extra sources to deal with doggy pneumonia, and Spike ended up spending the evening. I knew he was in nice arms, but it surely was so laborious seeing him so sick. And leaving him was the worst. However as a result of he may very well be contagious, he wanted to be put in isolation, and all of that made me further unhappy.

The animal hospital referred to as the subsequent morning to report that Spike’s fever was gone, and that he was consuming and wagging his tail. All good indicators for a pet with pneumonia. He got here house later that day.

Along with antibiotics, canines with pneumonia additionally want a “nebulizer” and “coupage.” The previous is a tool that will get wonderful mist into his lungs to interrupt up secretions, however pet-owners can attempt an at-home different, which includes operating a scorching bathe, closing the door, and sitting along with your canine for 10- to 15-minute intervals. The latter, canine “coupage,” is the apply of cupping your arms and firmly patting his sides close to his lungs to assist loosen up the an infection — principally a agency doggy therapeutic massage. (Fortunately, Spike cherished it.)

Canine Companions for Independence, the group I am elevating Spike for, says that so many of those points are very regional, so verify along with your vet as quickly as you believe you studied one thing. There could also be a ton of, say, canine flu circumstances in New York Metropolis, however only a few occurrences in Georgia.


Anybody with a pet is aware of how irritating it’s that they only can’t simply TELL you what’s unsuitable. However the actuality is, there is no such thing as a one answer. On the finish of the day, you realize your pets and their every day routines higher than anybody else. Belief your instincts, and ask your vet numerous questions.

Discovering an excellent vet can be key. I actually admire my vet being cautious and laying out all of the choices earlier than instantly prescribing costly assessments.

Fortunately, Spike is unquestionably bettering. His cough is significantly better, and I do know he’ll be again to regular very quickly.

For extra data on Canine Companions for Independence, go to

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