We’re three for three: Three shelter dogs from the south. Three diagnoses of kennel cough and intestinal parasites. Perhaps it’s not fair to blame the dogs’ southern heritage; a study of U.S. shelters by the UC Davis Veterinary School found kennel cough and intestinal parasites are common in shelters in all 50 states. Still, we’re three for three.
Loki is our newest rescue. He strutted into our lives on Saturday. I intend for our family to foster him for a week; my daughters intend for us to keep him for a lifetime. In truth, he is as well-behaved as he is funny looking, and he’s only about six-months-old. At least that’s how old the vet guesstimated him to be.
By Monday, I was concerned that Loki might have kennel cough. At first, he seemed to hack only after eating, so Kevin and I attributed the coughing to the fact that he inhales his food more quickly than my vacuum could. But the hacking turned to honking and retching, so I took him to the vet. Now he and Galen are on Clavamox twice daily.
Galen is no stranger to kennel cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease that, despite her being only 20-months-old, she’s already had twice; she was infected at eight-weeks-old when we adopted her. According to Petmd a “very high percentage of dogs” will get kennel cough at least once during their lifetime. For Galen, I’m hoping two times doesn’t become three before she reaches her second birthday.
If dealing with the kennel cough wasn’t enough, the vet called Thursday to inform me that Loki’s stool tested positive for coccidia, giardia and whipworm, all common intestinal parasites. I rushed to the vet’s office to pick up more meds. My kitchen counter is beginning to resemble a pharmacy.
It’s pretty clear that Loki poses a minor health threat to Galen. But after an initial period of seeming disinterest, she’s really taking to the little guy. They fly around the backyard and roll on top of each other, mouths wide open nipping each other’s necks. I couldn’t keep them apart if I tried.
Perhaps the most significant event of the past several days occurred Wednesday, when we crated Loki for the night. As in nights past, Kevin ushered Loki into his crate, which sits in our family room, and then he and Galen retired to our second-floor bedroom. But this night, instead of a few seconds of whimpering followed by silence, Loki cried… loudly, and he didn’t let up. I shot Kevin a frantic look: I did not want two dogs in my bedroom!
Galen ran downstairs. I went from frantic to complete panic – I did not need her making things worse. Moments later, however, silence. We didn’t hear so much as a peep from Loki. And at about 11:30, when I like to presume Galen was confident Loki was sleeping, she came back upstairs and stumbled into her own bed.
Thursday night she slept downstairs with Loki.