Jochen started coughing on Monday 6th February. The next day I took him to the vet who diagnosed kennel cough. Cough medicine 3 x a day was prescribed.
He is a very good patient and giving him medicine is easy although he does not like the cough mixture.
He usually does not snore but for the first few nights he sounded like a chain saw.
As he was coughing, making strange, throaty noises with only the slightest exercise, we went on very short walks only, and only where there are no dogs. Although sick, he became bored very quickly and ‘begged’ me to DO SOMETHING with him. After a few days of not coughing but being very short of breath, I did hide his Kong for him to find, one of his favourite games. That put a smile on his face for a short while.
This morning he coughed again so back to the vet we went. Yep, he still has kennel cough and will most likely still be coughing for up to another two weeks and as he is still infectious, the vet took us out of the surgery the back way and not through the reception area!
Jochen is a very happy dog that he no longer gets the cough mixture! He is still hoarse and runs out of breath quite quickly. Yet he needs exercise and something to do. He drops the Kong somewhere in the room and looks at it and then at me with such a sad face, as if life as he knows it is coming to an end. In other words, he is bored.
I gave him two walks in a 'safe' (safe for other dogs re infection, that is) area today, the morning one relatively short and the evening.
Took Jochen to our disaster search training ground fairly early in the morning to get the coolest time. As we are not yet training, is ok to go there as no other dog can be infected.
I worked with two Kong, dropping one whilst he was playing with the other. I had placed it out for him a few times to fetch and then simply walked. It was a pleasure for him to be off-lead and to be able to run free. There are very few areas where it is possible to do that.
After a while, I placed him in a down position and walked away, taking quite a circuitous route, to hide his Kong. This is a game he loves as it gives him mental work plus exercise. As he is still not quite well I made it easy – too easy as he found it almost straight away. Although he was puffing, he was not making any ‘sore throat’ noises so I hid the Kong again, but this time made it more difficult. Even though it was starting to warm up by now, he kept on searching with his usual single-minded concentration until he found it, bringing it straight back to me as he always does.
I then took him close to the area where I had dropped the first Kong and sent him to find. As we had approached this area from a completely different direction, there were no tracks to follow. It took him only about 3 minutes to find the Kong.
We then went to the agility section of our training ground and I asked him to negotiate the horizontal ladder, the see-saw, the long plank walk, and the short plank on the two barrels. Given that he is still not quite well, I thought that was enough for him. He looked blissfully happy. Life is looking up - he is getting work!
In the evening I gave him a short walk.