On Health and Habits
Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.
— John Muir
Witty’s Health Update
What a week. What began as a minor hiccup in our puppy’s health has turned into a mild case of pneumonia. His bout with kennel cough turned into pneumonia (fairly common amongst puppies, especially rescues), but luckily we caught it in time and he’s now on 2 sets of antibiotics. For those of you wondering if your pooch has pneumonia, his signs were:
- Increased raspy cough
- Mucusy discharge from his little nose
- Sleeping more than usual
- Sleeping with his neck stretched out (apparently to expand his lungs) * seen in most of these pics
Of course there are many other symptoms, but these were specific to him. His energy levels (when not sleeping) were normal and his appetite was fine as well. His stool was solid and it didn’t appear to be debilitating for him in any way, but we wanted to make sure and took him to the vet again on Thursday (Feb. 16th). He didn’t have a fever or a tremendous amount of fluid in his lungs, but enough to claim a mild case of pneumonia. Now (Feb. 22nd) he is much better, but still has it in him as yesterday’s x-rays showed.
In addition to the antibiotics, the vet recommended we continue to keep him in the bathroom when we shower so that the moisture opens up his lungs. Directly after the shower, we must lightly pat his sides (ribcage area) to help break up the mucus. We have to continue to monitor his eating, bathroom visits and overall health and hopefully within a week, he should be pretty well cured. We certainly hope so, because it breaks our hearts to see him like this.
After the first night, we moved Witty’s crate into our bedroom. He seemed to be relaxed by the proximity to us, but after sleeping for an hour or two, he’d rise like clockwork every hour and a half with the urge to go. Whether he’d actually go or not is another story, but for the most part, he would. With each successful journey onto the balcony, we’d give him a treat. By day 4, he put the two together and began sitting by the door when he had to go. And then came the rain…
The cold wet weather threw lil’ Witty off. As we said, he had kennel cough (which developed into pneumonia) which didn’t allow him to be in the cold wet weather. Add that to the fact that he doesn’t want to go out in this weather and we had a bit of a problem – he got comfortable ditching the outdoors for the indoors. Since then though, he is back to his routine and our floors are the better for it.
Toward the end of the week, we weened him off the crate a bit and placed him in his bed directly next to ours. It seemed that the more time he spent sleeping in his bed as opposed to the crate, the more time he actually spent sleeping. He does still cry once in a while though and we sometimes give in and let him sleep in our bed although we are not going to be doing that on a regular basis.
What He’s Learned
Witty playing fetch at 11 weeks old.
Witty has learned quite a bit in his first week with us. So have we. He’s playing fetch and sitting on command. At 11 weeks old, that seems impressive to us, but we must point out that it’s probably more of a reaction to the tiny treat he gets afterwards than anything else. He’s growing more and more inquisitive every day as he explores different corners of the apartment. He nips and falls on his face as often as he trots like a show dog, but all in all, his personality is warm and stoic.
He went on his first long road trip to Vermont this past weekend and was great. He sleeps in the car and gets up to let you know it’s time to pull over. He stayed by the fire in the cabin and got along well with our friends. While we are coddling him with his illness, we are keen to make sure he is used to travel, activity and people.