A.J. is Sick Again

November 11, 2013

A.J. went back to the vet today. That makes five trips in the four and a half months since we adopted him. At least this time he doesn’t need antibiotics. Not yet anyway.

He went back to the groomer a week ago Friday. They said he did well, although I don’t think they trimmed his nails much. I made sure they didn’t overdo it with the trim like they did last time. I definitely don’t ever want them to shave his face again, I don’t get why they would do that. Tuesday he went to day camp, then he went back to day camp on Friday. Somewhere in there he caught kennel cough.

When I picked him up on Friday, he started coughing on the way home. He was coughing quite a bit that night and I was pretty sure he had kennel cough. He woke up a few times coughing during the night, with a big fit around 6:00 AM. I decided to rest him on Saturday, so we didn’t go out at all. He was pretty quiet all day, and I left him inside while Greg and I went for a bike ride, and he was fine. But then we decided to go out to dinner. We were only gone just over an hour. Before we left I looked around to make sure I’d moved everything out of his reach. I saw the book I’d been reading sitting on the coffee table, but we were heading out the door and I decided he’d leave it alone. Wrong.

We got home and there was my book on the floor, a good chunk of the spine chewed up. On the plus side, it’s still readable, which is really good because I’m pretty into the book. But I should have known better; I did notice it and think about it, but didn’t do anything about it. This one was my fault.

A.J. was up early coughing again Sunday morning. But by late morning he hadn’t coughed much more and he was pretty stir crazy, so I decided to take him around the loop in the next neighborhood. Not my greatest idea.

We started out okay. He walked next to me pretty nicely. Then I decided to let him run a little bit and do some sniffing if he’d look at me. He was getting a little too excited by the time we reached the halfway point. That’s when someone showed up with another dog. They started moving towards us, so we turned around to go back the way we came. As we were doing that, someone came walking up the street, and two people came walking down from the hill. It was too much; A.J. flipped out. He was barking and lunging and carrying on at all the walkers. I finally just grabbed him and trapped him between my legs and waited for everyone to leave. Then I just took his leash up short and got him home as quickly as I could. Our typical bad dog walk.

Monday morning he was up at 4:30 am coughing pretty badly. I got up with him and spent the rest of the morning on the couch. I called the vet soon after they opened and made an appointment. I’d read that kennel cough can last at least three weeks and be contagious the whole time. I was very worried we’d be kicked out of bad dog classes. If I couldn’t take him to class, to day camp, or even to the park much, life was going to be pretty miserable for all of us for quite a while. Especially the class, that class is my only hope right now.

We had to stay out in the car because of how contagious kennel cough is and the vet and vet tech came out to see us. Fortunately his temperature was normal and his lungs were clear, so it’s really just a little bit of a cold. The vet said he’ll probably be better in another week, and if he’s not coughing he’s not contagious. Today is Monday, so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to take A.J. to class on Sunday. In the meantime, the vet said I should exercise A.J. so he doesn’t go crazy, which is very good news. I’ll have to take him to the park every day since he can’t go to day camp, but at least he can get out. We went to the park this morning and had pretty good time. No one was there. I like empty parks. The vet also got to witness A.J.’s craziness when someone walked by with a dog. He was as surprised as everyone is when they see the monster come out.

So now we have cough suppressants that will hopefully let us all sleep tonight, and I’m back to being just a tiny bit hopeful that we can finish our class and have a dog that can go for walks by Christmas. We’ll see.