5/30/2008

Ralph



Regular readers of this blog have seen me mention my, now, 10 week old beagle puppy named Ralph. He has been a joy to me and we go everywhere that dog and man can go together. He’s the first beagle I have owned in many, many years. He’s my little buddy.

I noticed after Sunday’s Frisbee tossing, Ralph was listless and seemed to be coughing. I thought he got overheated and took him in the house. He continued coughing and would not eat Sunday night or Monday. That is not like Ralph at all. He eats everything I put before him. Concerned, I called the vet and asked for an appointment Tuesday morning.

Ralph continued to cough and started to vomit Tuesday morning before the appointment. I called the Vet’s office and asked if I could bring Ralph in now because of his worsening condition. They said to bring him in because they had an opening. I was greatly concerned about him by now. He could barely raise his head up. I brought Ralph in; the Vet checked him and said he has “canine influenza.” I had never heard of such a thing. The Vet said it is a newly emerging strain of flu that first appeared in horses and has migrated to other animals. Most dogs will get the canine influenza and not exhibit any symptoms. But, because Ralph is so young, he is not able to fight it right now. So, he has been doped up on lots of drugs and has slept a lot for the past couple of days.

Ralph seems to be getting better. He actually ate most of his bowl of Pedigree chicken flavored dry dog food last night. He loves that stuff. Right now, he’s sleeping with his Snoopy dog doll next to him. I think my little buddy will be ok. But, it’s something else to worry about with your dog. Canine influenza is highly contagious. I have to keep Ralph away from other dogs and any other animal. I have no idea how he contacted this disease since he does not come in contact with any other dog I can think of at present. The Vet said this stuff is spreading around now. You might want to take your dog to the Vet if he starts displaying some of the symptoms you would normally associate with the flu (listless, no appetite, vomiting). Canine influenza could possibly be fatal to a dog less than six months old.


Just something you might want to remember in regard to your dog. As Ralph can attest, it’s not something you would want on your worst enemy (feline) and especially your “best friend.”







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