Kennel Cough and a Cold Vet

IMG_4237 Gianna had a good start with us for the first couple days, but before we had a chance to get her into the vet she gave us a reason. It all started with some hacking. Then it turned into a lot of sneezing. Then some reverse sneezing, and finally the amount of green mucus I’ve only seen created by a preschool during flu season.

The humane society warned us about kennel cough when we adopted her, but we were also reassured that they had provided her a vaccine when she came to the shelter. What they didn’t tell us was that it’d take a week for the vaccine to kick in and it’d be too late to stop anything she’d pick up at the shelter. Kind of ass backwards, but there’s not much to do for prevention unless previous owners had her vaccinated and within the year, which wasn’t likely, and as we learned wasn’t true.

To help battle the symptoms, we tried offering her Robutussin by the vet’s recommendation but she wouldn’t take it. I don’t love the flavor either. Until we got into the vet, we slowed down her activities to get her to rest more. To help battle Gianna’s phlegm assault on our house, we covered all the furniture and floors with blankets. It either looked like we were moving or just got done painting. I cannot express how much phlegm she tossed around from sneezing and the hair she shed that stuck to it. Aside from the blankets, resistance was futile. We just had to deal with it. There was no point in cleaning where she’d just sneeze again. I wore the same shirt and jeans combination for three days straight knowing that if I put on new clothes she’d just germ them out.

In the early stages of her sickness, we took her to a local vet. We had planned for a general screening and meet and greet, but we obviously had concerns as she was coming down with the kennel cough. The vet was generally nice, though I thought it was interesting that she only recommended dog food from providers who had reps that visited her office and provided education. This of course rules out any indie food providers that hip places like Mud Bay recommend. I could write a whole new post just about the contradictory recommendations I’ve heard about dog food.

After the pleasantries, the vet started her examination and we hit a bad patch early. We knew Gianna was sensitive about her teeth. The couple of times we tried to brush her teeth, she growled. We mentioned it to the vet in advance and when the vet tried to look at her teeth, Gianna growled, jumped back and then flipped on her back – a combination of defiance and submission.

Well, the vet didn’t like that much and had her muzzled and held by an assistant for her examination of the posterior. Gianna growled the entire time. It was painful to watch her discomfort and just unpleasant hearing our sweet dog growl. After the examination was over, the muzzle came off, and the dog went over to the vet for some affection, maybe an unspoken apology.

From there, the vet had serious concerns about Gianna’s behavior issues. She went on about how confused the dog was and how she needed the attention of behavioral specialists. The first impressions weren’t ungrounded based upon the visit, but the vet’s tone irked me. “If you decide to keep her…” often lead her statements, and it seemed she questioned our commitments as dog owners as much as she did Gianna’s apparently deep-seeded source of growling.

I (in my head) called bullshit about the behavior analysis. As Scott so eloquently said, “I bet if you stuck a finger in that vet’s mouth and ass, she’d more than growl.”

The dog had traveled across the state, been adopted by new owners in a new home, met dozens of people and picked up kennel cough. Despite that, she had already been off-leash for hours in public places, met a variety of dogs at the dog park and socialized with more people than a GOP presidential candidate and without incident. So then when she growls because a stranger pokes and prods her there’s a problem? I believe this dog did not grow up with a vet, but I don’t think that means she’s a harm to the public. I think that means she’s going to be a pain in the ass taking to the vet. I can only imagine the hissing and screaming that will occur when we take Fabrizio in as he hasn’t been to the vet either.  Despite that, he still hasn’t hurt a mouse.

I was so pissed and irritated by the vet visit that I’ve been growling about it for the past week since it happened, as you can tell.

What came positively out of the visit was learning that Gianna was physically healthy and a little overweight (I told her she had too much fur), nothing to worry about, and we got the medication we needed to help Gianna fight the kennel cough.

That’s the good news. Now we have blankets to remove and floors to wash.