Jack Russells aren't noted for short noses or quiet personalities. 10 days ago, Patch, started "horking." It's the only way to describe the sound, akin to an old man trying to (unsucessfully) "hawk" up some phlegm. (Apologies to old men.) The difference was that Patch couldn't breathe and the harder she tried, the worse it became. Her whole body heaved as she attempted to get air into her lungs. As the horking got worse, I panicked and 9:00 Monday morning a week ago, I was in the vet's office, Patch trembling in my iron grip. I didn't put her leash on; pulling at the collar could add to her discomfort. I feared the worse, heart disease, cardio-pulmonary problems, collapsed trachea. (Do not research symptoms and diagnose conditions via the internet.)
The vet actually saw her, without an appointment before she started her day of surgeries. Patch horked a little cooperatively and a look of recognition dawned on the vet's face. "It's rhinitis," she said. "It could be a little infection, inflammation from allergies, even an injury from breathing something in or swallowing something."
On went the muzzle, and Patch had her first set of nose drops. She does not appreciate anything that makes her uncomforable or nervous. Hence, the muzzle. Before long, we were on our way home with prescribed nose drops to be administered 4 times a day.
It wasn't a one person job. I held her on my knee, my husband put on the muzzle, and then with his hand covering her eyes, tipped her head until her nose was vertical. Drops released on target. We have done this faithfully, following the decreasing dosage and I am happy to say rhinitis seems to be in check.
Patch is 10 years old and I was so grateful for the vet's time and patience. Sunday is likely her last day of treatment and even though she knows the drops are helping, she occasionally snaps symbolically to signal that she is "allowing" us to treat her, not that she likes it.
I've been married a long time and often write about everyday events.