I'm interrupting this dormant dog-blog to write about my entry into the world of children's literature - there will still be the occasional mention of my erstwhile doggie companion who is still a pup in spirit, if not in size.

7 Jun 2012

Pip gets the 'ahem!' bug

   Pip and I have been lost on a beach somewhere – well, not literally but both busy in our various ways. After three interviews (for the same job), I now have a proper job - yay!! But, poor Pip has been in quarantine with kennel cough.
    He was diagnosed last Monday...
    Him-In-Doors took him out for a walk in the morning and came home saying Pip had been throwing up. I wasn’t overly concerned. Pip is a dog and dogs, I have very quickly learnt, do gross things on an alarmingly regular basis.
   Anyway, luckily I was having a ‘writing from home’ day and – very disturbingly – was interrupted as Pip threw up about six times in the course of an hour. Before he actually chucked, he’d cough as if he was choking on a giant hairball.
Was this the root of Pip's problem?

   Then he’d puke up a bit of phlegm – and proceed to help me clean it up by licking it up – yuk!
   This went on for a while and then I decided to ring the vet.
   ‘Have you laid any baits lately that he might’ve eaten?’ asked the receptionist.
   Yes, we’ve had mice lately and I knew that Him-In-Doors had put some poison around but I knew he’d been careful to put it out of Pip’s reach.
   The receptionist said I should ‘bring him straight in’ and, trying not to panic, I did.
   As we waited in the reception area for a vet, Pip kept up with his melodramatic coughing – not before puppy kissing an unsuspecting Golden Retriever. The receptionist came over and asked if we’d mind waiting outside...
   So, tails between our respective legs, we waited out in the car park. Then the vet – a young woman in her 20s came out – all brisk efficiency. Pip was still coughing, as Him-In-Doors put it, like Alf with the hiccups. (Check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npvBuDhbTf0)
   The vet almost instantly diagnosed Pip with kennel cough, which is a bit like whooping cough in dogs and is apparently ‘going around’ at the moment. She went back into the surgery and came back out with an injection for Pip.
   By this stage, I’d corralled him back into the car because kennel cough – as I now know – is highly contagious. The vet gave him his injection with surprising speed and ease and then said that if I removed my jacket and/or made sure I didn’t touch anything, I could come into reception to pay my bill and collect some cough medicine and antibiotics for Pip.
   Administering the cough medicine was a double-parent job - one to get him in a head lock, the other to stick a syringe down his throat with the cough medicine. And apparently it wasn’t a good flavour!
   The worst part has been keeping Pip quarantined for two weeks. The vet said we could walk him very early in the morning and late at night, when we would be least likely to run into other dog walkers. As the fortnight has worn on we’ve become less vigilant about the weird hours and just keep him on a leash and yell out to approaching dog walkers – ‘Keep back! Our dog has kennel cough!’    


  1. Poor Pip.
    A bit like a kid with headlice or chicken pox. Feeling a bit pariah like I imagine.

    Hope he feels better soon. x

  2. Thanks for your well wishes. I am pleased to report that Pip is almost back to his usual self and had a very vigorous play with his cousin Frankie yesterday.