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My Dog Has Long COVID
So do all the other dogs in my small community.
I wish this was a satirical post, it is not. Perhaps COVID-19 and associated countermeasures have zero to do with my Labrador retriever’s condition, dogs do get sick after-all. According to our veterinarian, in our small community (~10,000) many of the dogs are sick lately with an upper respiratory infection, and a substantial subset of those have been persistently sick up to a month, and counting. The symptoms are cough and congestion. In some dogs these symptoms worsen and become bronchitis, and in a small number of “older, sicker” dogs this becomes pneumonia and death. The vet also told me that, whatever “this” was and he didn’t know, it was highly contagious and that I should make sure to keep my dog away from other dogs for about two weeks. (I shit you not.)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. Anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age.
Our lab, Sammie, came down with dog covid about a month ago. He was coughing and it was causing him to throw his partially digested food up. (Unfortunately, this included on a very expensive rug in our living room that we’d just bought. If you have a dog and/or kids, do not buy expensive rugs. I definitely won’t again.) The vet prescribed a round of antibiotics and cough suppressant. Within a few days, his symptoms largely resolved, though I would hear him cough once every day or two. After a couple weeks, and about one week after completing the antibiotics, his cough returned slowly at first but progressing quickly (this time I got him into the laundry room before any property damage occurred.)
After a return trip to the vet for chest x-rays, I was told that this was all normal and that the last 4 dogs the veterinarian had seen that day presented with exactly the same symptoms and most of them had previously been sick. Sammie’s x-ray showed that his infection had turned into some bronchitis in his upper lungs. The vet said not to worry about progressing into pneumonia, since Sammie is only 7 and in otherwise good health. He prescribed another round of more potent antibiotics and oral prednisone to clear the infection.
We are now a few days into treatment and the cough is gone, and Sammie is furious with me. The prednisone makes him tired and thirsty, and then he needs to pee. I hope he quickly recovers. Except for the (exceptional) shedding, this Lab is a perfect pet for a family with children, and much loved by my four kids.
In thinking about what could be going on here, I will say that no one in our household has been injected, and we all had covid in January. (Our vaccinated friends and neighbors have had it again, some a few times, we have not.) Further, we live on a small equestrian property (h/t Robert Malone) so our neighbors are far away, and don’t own dogs anyway.
Our small community is around 70% vaxxed, with many wealthy retirees who have been boosted to the max. There are very few “dog parks” in this rural area, there are parks where you can bring your dog but they don’t get to socialize with each other. It’s hard to imagine how dog covid is spreading, but I am sure that chronically infected 4x vax retirees giving it to their household pets is playing a role.
There is one other species that may be playing a role as well, and this particular species jumps our fence all the time and feeds in our field. In fact, our area is completely overpopulated with them, especially in the summer.
We do know that covid has been said to be spreading in deer. Perhaps there is some retiree-deer-dog transmission chain or evolutionary process akin to the worm-pig-orchid lifecycle in Upstream Color (I dare you.) Deer droppings look like piles of black beans, and dogs are often fecophilic maybe, but I have never seen my dog eating the beans.
What is going on? I don’t’ know, “I’m not a biologist” as they say, I work in advertising. In order to survive the scamdemic, you have to pay attention. Selling used cars in my 20’s is where I learned the value of paying attention. It has served me well ever since.
I’m sure there are some sciency people on Substack that might know how to find out if chronic/long dog covid is a widespread phenomena, or just a middle Georgia thing between deer seasons.
I will post an update on my lab’s long covid. As the veterinarian says, this is new and we’ll just have to see where it ends. Hopefully more transient than the inflation.