Duh-chess, our German Shedder, has had a rough time lately. She's been with us for six years, and for much of that time, she's had a chronic snot issue. Multiple trips to the vet clear it for a day or two, but it rapidly returns. On occasions where we've boarded her at the kennel, the snot clears until she returns home. Because of that, I've chalked it up to an allergy of some sort. (I admit that I have no medical basis for this assumption other than when it comes and goes and how she behaves.)
Duh-chess also tends to eat things that don't agree with her, as discussed in this post. Over the last few months, we figured she was getting into something but couldn't find the source. She'd spend half the night with her tail dropped, her belly tense, and panting in our faces. Whatever it was, it always cleared by morning. Yes, I could have taken her to the vet anyway, but somehow spending seventy bucks to explain a no-longer-existing symptom for the doc to not clearly diagnose didn't seem fiscally sound.
Last week she spend two days in turmoil, so I took her to the vet on Friday. She hadn't touched her breakfast until late into the evening on Wednesday, and Thursday's breakfast was still in the bowl on Friday morning. Added to her symptoms was a phlegmy cough that I didn't like. She's had the cough before, too, but it always cleared by morning. I figured it was related to the chronic snot. (Her shots are current, so things like distemper or kennel cough didn't seem likely.)
What really prompted the vet visit was a general weakness in her hind legs. In 2007, she'd tested positive for Lyme disease, and I feared a flare-up. Shepherds are prone to hip and lower-back nerve problems anyway, and I didn't want Lyme bringing on an early demise to our goofy companion.
Long story short, we spent $234 for a chest x-ray, a rather thorough physical exam, a Lyme test (negative!), a shot of antibiotics, and a ten-day supply of same. It seems Duh-chess has a rather deep respiratory infection. The doc showed where some fluid had gathered deep in her lungs.
Now I feel like a shitheel for blaming the poor dog's miseries on kitty-litter snacks.
The good news is that she ate some wet food on Sunday. It took me that long to conclude she might be ignoring the dry food because her throat was sore and irritated from coughing. I know I wouldn't reach for the hard sourdough pretzels if I had a sore throat. Poor pup.
She's still a little shaky on her legs, but she was barking at the school buses this morning. I'm hoping she'll be back to her goofy self soon.