Tis the season, and I’m not necessarily talking about Halloween and the upcoming holiday rush. It’s the season of colds, flu’s, bacteria and viruses. Much like kids, our furry family members can feel a bit “meh” as well, and they won’t necessarily rush up to you and complain that they don’t feel well and need to stay home from school.
One of the greatest things about having pets is their unwavering ability to constantly want to impress you. They absolutely do not want to let you down and you can see it in their eyes. They know a lot more than we give them credit for, and they’ll move mountains (or molehills!) to make us happy. That being said, and along with the fact that they cannot actually speak in a way we can understand fully, knowing the signs of puppy colds and kennel cough is paramount in making it through this time of year with a healthy pup. Just like kids and adults, dogs catch the bug too!
So what should I be looking for? If you asked me a week ago, I couldn’t honestly tell you. But when our baby girl (pictured in the header) started showing signs of not feeling well (and not a random tummy ache from too much sweet potato!), we took it seriously. Especially since kennel cough has been running around her favorite puppy establishments. That’s the first step!
- Is anyone else under the weather?
- What type of symptoms does your puppy have?
- Uncontrollable coughing fits?
- Spit-up (not vomit)
- Rampant sneezing?
- Runny nose?
- Restlessness when trying to get comfortable?
- How long has this been happening?
If you notice a combination of the above, as far as symptoms, you’ll want to consult your vet. Anti-biotics and a cough suppressant will probably be prescribed. And like with kids, you’ll want to make sure you administer all of the medicine, and not to stop when their symptoms subside! Better to be safe! Not only that, but if might be a good idea to keep your lil one away from other pups, especially if they contracted it from a “Patient-Zero”. So trips to the puppy park, puppy daycare, etc. may need to hold-off for a week or two. If they do go to a puppy day-care, be sure to inform the owner and handlers, to let them know!
I cannot directly speak to the medication aspect, but I can speak towards the feeling of helplessness in this situation. Seeing a pet in obvious discomfort is a hard image to shake, and something that pops in my head when I least expect it. The look in their eyes during a coughing fit is heartbreaking, and only moreso when they snap out of it and rush over for hugs and kisses. You want to take their pain away, and make everything ok. And you’re trying your hardest to make that happen. While it may not be the most serious illness in the puppy kingdom, it does weaken the immune system, and can lead to bigger issues.
So for the next couple of months, be on the lookout for some of the signs and symptoms above. Pups are great for letting you know when they are happy and healthy, but won’t necessarily tell you when they are not.