Monday (the 16th–yes, I’m still catching up) was an important day because Dash had his first ever vet visit! Of course he had worms, which is totally not a big deal and easily treated, but he also had a parasite called Coccidia. Since I’m new to the whole fostering thing I wanted to ask the vet a few questions and she was nice enough to sit and answer all of them.
I knew it was important to walk my dogs in a different area than Dash and to immediately pick up all of his waste so that other dogs couldn’t get into it. I also was assuming that since my dogs were completely up to date on all their shots they shouldn’t be susceptible to anything as long as they weren’t like eating any of his waste or anything.
Well, I was wrong. Foster fail #1: my dogs were still completely susceptible to kennel cough! Yikes–I probably should have know that! Turns out vaccines don’t protect against this and you really should quarantine all dogs that come out of shelters for about 10 days since this is the incubation period for kennel cough. Since it was clearly too late for that the vet said I should just keep a close eye (and ear) out for any of the signs like: coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. If any of them were to show these tell tail signs (which they still haven’t, knock on wood) I would just need to bring them in and get them started on medicine. Crisis avoided but I will be filing that little tidbit of knowledge away for next time.
So what’s this Coccidia thing all about? I haven’t ever heard of that? Turns out it’s a nasty little parasite that lives in the intestinal tract of animals and was responsible for poor Dash’s upset tummy. Luckily they are easy to treat and the vet said that within 36 hours of starting medicine he should be right as rain. She also told me that I kind of wrong and kind of right about walking my dogs in a different area than Dash. I thought I needed to do this so avoid them catching tape worms but it turns out those are not contagious and I actually didn’t have that much to worry about. HOWEVER, Coccidia is highly contagious so she said it was a good thing I had been walking them in different areas. Within a couple of days the vet said it would be safe to start walking them together but to continue immediately picking up after them.
Ok, I think I’m done with the gross stuff. Sure enough, within a couple of days I could tell Dash felt 764,325,598 times better. Now I call that a foster win!