Sunday, 17 August 2008

Poorly Bingley

Jane’s holiday began with Bingley giving her a black eye but it’s ended with us both having to nurse him through a nasty case of kennel cough!

We’re not certain where he picked this up, although it seems likely that it was during his last visit to the vet where he met a very exuberant German Shepherd – the only dog he’s been in contact with recently. Certainly the coughing began a couple of days after that visit, but it was only an intermittent bit of throat clearing and it didn’t ring any alarm bells. If I’d realised that he might have kennel cough and if I’d had any inkling of just how unpleasant it is I’d have returned to the vet immediately. But although I’d heard of the condition I was under the impression that it was simply a nasty cough that happened to be infectious. Nobody told me about the massive amounts of mucus or the projectile vomiting!

The cough remained intermittent all week, but on Friday morning it very quickly intensified and he started coughing up white pools of phlegm. By mid morning I was on the phone to the vet and by lunchtime we were back in the surgery. Though I couldn’t believe that he might have kennel cough, the symptoms were clear enough for the vet to ask us to wait outside once we’d arrived at the practice so that she could make sure that the waiting room was clear before bringing him in – this is an incredibly infectious illness.

A brief examination confirmed things and when he started coughing up onto the floor of the consulting room there was no doubt left.

The remedy is fairly simple and a course of strong antibiotics should take care of things. Frustratingly though, because he’s already on medication she couldn’t prescribe any pain killers and poor Bing’s sore throat was going to get even more painful.

By the time we returned home he was coughing non-stop. Although he ate his evening meal ok, and despite the fact that he was clearly exhausted, he couldn’t settle down to sleep. The vet had already warned us that we weren’t likely to get much rest for a couple of nights and she was right: I took the first shift and was up with him all Friday night by which time the vomiting had started (due more, I think, to the exertion of constant coughing than an upset tummy).

However, by around 4am he’d begun to settle down a bit and when Jane appeared at 5.30 she was greeted by a happy (albeit exhausted) looking pup and (I might add) a relieved Rob!

The coughing continued throughout Saturday but with nothing like the intensity of Friday. Giving him bowls of warm water and honey have helped to sooth his throat, but being Bingley he’s very discerning: cheap honey is rejected with disdain and only Tesco’s Finest will do!

Jane stayed with him on Saturday night, but both slept soundly.

Today his energy has begun to return and he’s been trying everything to get us to play with him. We would, but every time he jumps around or picks up the pace he starts to cough, so despite the fact that he’s clearly getting bored he’s going to have to stay quiet for a while longer.

As for me, I’ve once again been exhausted by Bing; and as for Jane – she needs another holiday!

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