Hi, Not-Feeling-Like-Such-A-Good-Boy-Brody here. This past week, I was very sick. I wanted to share my story so pets and humans can learn from my experience.
It all started one day when I came in from playing outside. My mouth began to hurt and itch. I kept rubbing my paw against my muzzle, but it only got worse. Soon my mouth and throat were red and sore. I’m not supposed to make a mess on the carpet, but I couldn’t help it, and I threw up. That’s when Mom came running into the room. I was scared she would yell and call me Brody-No, but instead, her eyes widened, and she scooped me up in a blanket. She grabbed her keys and her coat, and we got in the car. I hid in the soft blanket that smelled like home for the whole ride.
When the car stopped, we were at Seven Fields Veterinary Hospital (one of my favorite places). Typically, being the doctor’s pride-and-joy, I get to hang out in the office with the other staff-dogs, getting pets and playing with toys. This time, I was ushered back to the treatment area. No one knew what was wrong with me, so they had to run tests. They needed to determine what was hurting me and fast so they could fix it.
The first step was bloodwork. I heard them say they would run the bloodwork in-house, and I thought that was great because we would be going home, but that wasn’t the case. My results were normal. This was good, though, Mom said. A lot of the bad illnesses she worried about would have shown up in my blood.
The second test was x-rays. The technicians and my mom put big heavy coats on in a small room with a huge camera. I didn’t feel camera-ready, but Mom and the other humans put me in weird poses anyway. The table was cold, and the camera was loud, but Mom kept calling me Good-Boy-Brody to make me happy. It did help.
When my photos were up, all the humans studied them carefully. I peeked at them too, but they looked nothing like me. Mom said the x-rays were normal. I threw up again on the table. I didn't feel normal.
I was set up in a silver box with lots of comfy blankets, and a clear tube going into my leg which was secured with a blue and white paw print bandage. I thought that was a nice touch. At least I still got special treatment. Mom talked to many people on the phone, but still no one could figure out why I felt so horrible.
After a mostly sleepless night, I was so sick, I could not even lift my head or wag my tail. Mom took me to a different BIG hospital so she could ask other doctors what they thought. While we were there Mom was looking on her phone and must have read something important. I raised my head up when I heard her say, “that must be it.” I remember waiting for her to tell me what “it” was, but she rushed me back to Seven Fields Veterinary Hospital. I must have fallen asleep somehow. Everything went dark.
When I woke up, my mouth and throat were still sore, but they felt a little better. Mom came over and smiled at me. She was happy, so I got happy too and gave my tail a small wag. “We figured it out,” she said, stroking me behind the ears. “You ate stinging nettle! Crazy dog. We had to remove all the quills from your mouth, but you’re going to be okay.”
Then I remembered. I did eat a weird plant. It smelled like a treat but didn’t taste like one. I chewed it, swallowed some, then spat it out. What a horrible trick!
For all the humans reading this, know that sometimes when your pet is sick, it might not be clear right away what is wrong with them. Vets have to do tests to find clues so that they can solve the sickness like a puzzle. My Mom, the other vets, and the technicians that helped me were so smart!
For all the pets out there, it can seem like going to the vet when you’re sick is a bad joke, but the humans are only trying to fix you and make you feel better. They're kind like that, so don't be too scared!
And lastly, make sure to STAY AWAY FROM STINGING NETTLE!
Gus, my brother, hates Halloween. He barks and barks at the small humans like they’re real monsters and gets scared. Silly Gus! I suppose for some animals, this can be a stressful time, so I’ve collaborated with my dog brothers, Gus and Oscar, and my cat sister, Peanut, to come up with tips on how to keep pets safe this Halloween!
Candy can make animals sick.
I love treats. Love them! Mom hands out treats for the small monsters to take in their baskets and bags. They seem very happy, like how I feel when I get a treat. Once, I tried to get into the human treat bowl and Mom loudly called me Brody-No (in front of everyone). She said that those treats are poisonous to me! The chocolate can really hurt me but also the wrappers can get stuck in my belly. Sounds like a trick and not a treat. This bowl should be kept somewhere safe and away from pets. If it were easy to reach, I don’t know if I could help myself!
Keep skittish animals confined and away from the door.
For most pets, it’s a good idea to keep them away from the door while handing out treats, and best to keep the pets home on Halloween instead of walking around in the neighborhood. A lot of pets get scared of all the disguises and bark, bite, or run away. I’m a T.D.S.D. (Therapy Dog Show Dog), so I’m an exception. I love being the exception. Proud!
Keep cats (especially black cats) indoors.
Keep cats inside a few days before, during, and a few days after Halloween, just to be safe! Sometimes mean humans will play tricks on animals in the neighborhood, especially black cats. I’m not sure why, but some people mistakenly think black cats are bad luck and will hurt them! My cat sister, Peanut, is a black cat, and she is the luckiest cat I know. I mean, she lives with me, doesn’t she?
Be careful with candles.
Around this time of year, Mom likes to put little fires around the house. Not the outside big kind but the small smelly kind. Mom seems to like them, but to me, they are just weird! These small fires should be kept in high places where they’re out of the way of wagging dog tails and passive aggressive cat behavior, like knocking things off of tables and shelves for no apparent reason. I will need to discuss this further with Peanut to get to the bottom of it...
Supervise pets in costumes.
Since I’m Good-Boy-Brody, I love everything. I don’t even mind wearing outfits! Mom likes to put me in a simple Halloween costume to be “so cute.” Sometimes, I see animals wearing really elaborate or ill-fitting costumes. What a stress! Only animals that like wearing things should wear one, and they should always be supervised just in case they decide to eat part of it or have trouble walking or breathing.
Know the signs of food poisoning.
If your pet is vomiting, has diarrhea, fever, rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath, they might have eaten a bad thing! Make sure to call your veterinarian for a their opinion. Treating early is the safest and cheapest way to help a pet that may have been too tempted by the candy bowl.
Do your pets wear costumes? Do you have any funny Halloween pet stories? Let me know in the comments!
Good-Boy-Brody, T.D.S.D. (Therapy Dog Show Dog), a qualified expert, offers pet care tips from a canine perspective.