I pride myself on being observant – nay, hyper vigilant when it comes to my dogs. If something is not ‘right’ or ‘normal,’ I’m generally pretty quick to pick up on the changed nuances, and make sure any health issues are addressed as swiftly as possible.
Kiyo, for example, has a history of urinary tract infections. If she urinated a few times more than was was normal for her on our morning walks, I’d be dialing the vet from my mobile phone to make an appointment for her as we headed home. It was always a sign that a UTI was starting.
Here’s a recent photo of Kiyo napping after a rough and tumble session of her favorite game: ‘let’s unmake the bed!’ I’ll be the first to admit she is spoiled and indulged (though she still has good manners!).
Back in February or March, Little Missy started to become grumpy around people she knows and loves. She’d greet her friends in her normal wiggly, happy, ebullient fashion, then, after a minute, she’d snap. “Enough! I’ve had enough!” Nothing vicious or violent, just a clear sign that she was done interacting.
Kiyo had stopped playing her mess-the-bed game, too, though I didn’t think of that. There was nothing else in her behavior that indicated that anything might be amiss. She was still seemingly bright and alert.
In late May and June, Kiyo was treated for yet another UTI. While we were at the vet, I had her checked for Lyme Disease, too.
She tested positive for both Lyme and Anaplasmosis. Because they were concurrent infections, I opted to put her on a course of antibiotics.
Within 36 hours, she was back to greeting her friends with enthusiasm. Within 2 days, she was hopping on the bed and making a mess of the blankets. That’s when I realized she hadn’t played the game for months.
I hope I’ve learned my lesson. If either of my dogs show gradual – incremental – changes of behavior, I hope I am cognizant that there may be something going on physically, and that they don’t feel well. I am certainly more aware of the possibility thanks to this relatively benign situation. We’re all lucky it wasn’t something more serious.