March 20, 2005
The God of Cream Cheese
You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, "My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!" ~ Dave Barry
My puppy dog (and, constant companion) was not well. Sure, his vet appointment to update his shots, et al,l was only two weeks away, but after a sleepless night of listening to him barely breathing, I opted for the next-day emergency appointment. (Under the best of circumstances I am a nag to friends and family about being better safe than sorry -- for a creature relying entirely on my care, I'm a basket case).
When I spoke with vet reps on the phone I got that lukewarm response you always get when you try to explain symptoms over the phone to medical personnel. He had a bad cough, fits of reverse sneezing, and had to gasp for breath every time he moved or attempted to eat or drink. It turns out these were symptoms for everything from kennel cough to heart worms.
Being a little dog, my nibblet doesn't ask for much. I mean, sure, he is spoiled beyond comprehension, but that's his due. By and large, so long as he can snack with me and get his belly rubbed 15 hours a day, he's happy. Sure there is the occasional tendency to hump squeak toys when I'm on with clients, or bark at those silly passersby who don't understand the sidewalk is still considered his territory. But he's not a demanding, fidgety hard-to-please sort.
Infectious Tracheobronchitis in dogs is commonly referred to as "kennel cough" and it is a highly contagious disease of the upper respiratory tract that affects mostly the trachea and bronchi. It's viral and is either caught by contact with another dog who has it, or via some kind of bacteria. In my pup's case, I'm pretty sure patient zero was my housekeeper's dog. Since this was such a serious case of it, my pup couldn't even leave the vet's office via the waiting room, but instead was ushered out the back door. It was one of the worst cases the vet had ever seen, and while it is a somewhat common thing, it's dangerous to leave untreated.
Now, I was relieved that it was just a case of kennel cough (however bad) and so when I was given Clavamox (amoxicillin trihydrate / clavulanate potassium)and some other cough meds to administer, I didn't think anything of it. But, it turns out that spoiled dogs don't so much like the taste of medication. Go figure.
Enter cream cheese.
After wrestling for 20 minutes trying to force-feed a pill the size of a ladybug into my dog's mouth, I gave up and pressed the damn thing into a finger full of cream cheese. He sucked it down like it was the best thing in the world.
Now all I need is a doggie treadmill to help him work off those extra calories.
Isn't is amazing how important the furry guys can be in the quality of our lives? Dogs are definately some of my favorite people. Mine is a 70# golden retriever that has an invariably positive outlook on life, sheds untold amounts of hair in the spring and would welcome any burglar into the house. Wouldn't trade him for the world.