Friday, September 18, 2009
This blog is about Koda's second surgery. I wish i had kept one for her first, but it hadn't occured to me at the time. I read several other blogs as I progressed through her first surgery and they were such a help to me, that i decided to create one for her second in hopes of helping others.
Now that Princess Gimpy is fully recovered from two knee surgeries and doing great, I need to post some pics so i can show you what went wrong with her first surgery.
The pictures below are fairly graphic. They were taken about 7-10 days after her surgery and it sent me out to the emergency vet in tears. I LOOKED SO BAD.. the emergency vet scared the crap out of me saying she'd probably need to redo her surgery and this was a case of a poor job done by the vet.. when i was able to take her into my regular vet (not the surgeon) she said it wasn't bad, it was fluid building up and if we drained it, it would just build up again, so she stapled the wound shut and sent me home.
One week after the swelling started, it was MUCH better.. it happens.. but it really scared me half to death.
These before and after pictures were taken exactly one week apart.. the before pics were taken the night i brought her to the emergency vet.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
They swam so much, I can't imagine anything better for Koda and I was thrilled to swim WITH them! That's a first for me!
And now they look something exactly like this...
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Friday, September 4, 2009
This weekend is our first camping trip! 3 girls (some of my friends from work) 4 dogs and 3 tents.. real camping.. this is going to be so amazing.. all the swimming and running her biotic knees can handle!
I'm a bit nervous.. Koda has some fear issues with other dogs.. but i'm not going to think about that right now.. if i start to get nervous, so we'll she.. we'll think positive and we'll deal with it when we have to.
Pics to come!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Took koda to the vet who was very happy with what she saw.. walking great, no pain, no sign of any concern.
She does have some limited movement so i'm going to have to stretch out that ligament myself everyday by manipulating her leg and knee to get things a little more mobile. She is a bit careful when sitting, which is how you can tell she does have some mobility issues, but walking and running is more a straight up and down thing, so that's not going to help much.. it has to be stretched to really fix it.
So that's our project.. me stretching out her legs and knees for the next few weeks.. that being said, she has the go ahead to resume normal activity and start an obedience class.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Anyway.. once we got there, everyone had their harness and floaty rope attached, it actually went great. The water was warm, the training dummy was ready and both dogs were raring to go.
I went in to my knees and threw that dummy for an hour. Seriously.. tucker is a relentless retriever but superb at bringing it back and releasing it which makes the game enjoyable for me.. koda is a MUCH faster swimmer than tuck.. but tucker always got a head start.. i don't think Koda won a single race =)
So.. her first water adventure after 2 knee surgeries? Perfection. No a single limp.. this morning i looked for stiffness when she woke up.. pfft.. she sprinted to her food dish.
I have often wished she could talk so i could really know if she has any pain, the severety and what it is in comparisson to before surgery.. i /think/ i remember her previous owner saying she'd limp after short walks at after water exercise. She doesn't limp at all now.. so i hope that's her talking to me =)
Friday, August 21, 2009
She's had an excellent few days.. she's been left free in the house since Tuesday and aside from one "incident" with the shampoo bottle and a plastic bag, she's done great! Although now all doors must be closed before i leave..
She has also moved to sleeping on her bed in my bedroom at night.. and done perfectly. Tuck sleeps on my bed, but it's so high, i don't think her jumping up and down on that every day is a good idea.. i'm not sure. For now, she's great on her bed.
Video of Miss thang coming soon... i was going to take her to the beach this weekend, but they closed it because of bacteria.. ew.. so soon =)
Monday, August 17, 2009
It wasn't that long ago i watched her and though.. well.. maybe she'll always walk like that.. and then yesterday when she was walking across the deck, i didn't see one.. not at all.
There's still some swelling in her legs.. it can takes months for that to go down.. months and months and months.. so it can make her gawky walk more pronounced, but yesterday she looked REALLY good!
I need to video her walking. That's going to be interesting to explain.. "excuse me, why are you filming your dog's butt?"
Yeah.. like my neighbours don't already think i'm insane?
She still looks a bit weird when she poops though.. not as ginger as she used to be, but it can take some shuffling around to find the perfect squat.. i'm wondering if that's getting used to a new bone placement? Something?
I'm not sure..
I've been putting off leaving her out of her crate during the day.. i'm so nervous! I know tuck likes to sleep whhile i'm gone, but will they play when i'm not there? What if she hurts herself because i'm not there to tell her to calm her furry butt down? She can get into a butt tuck in .3 seconds when playing with my other dog .. if i'mnot there to stop her...
Gah.. plus i don't know if she has seperation anxiety issues.. destruction problems.. i really don't know. I've started to leave her in the house whil i go run errands and so far so good.. so i left her in the crate this morning that we both know she can get open with her nose.. i figure i'll leave the decision up to her. We'll see how many wiggly butts greet me at the door when i get home from work. =)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This is the week that signals the official end to Koda's recovery! The date we've been looking forward to for quite some time!
My gir's all ready to go!
Her last vet appt is next week because the vet is at a conference this week, but man, what a relief!
It's been such a long, arduous time these past six months..
She came to me broken.. discarded by her previous owner who was going to put her down.. she was only 15 months old!
I don't think i knew what i was getting into.. i'm sure i didn't
the anxiety of surgery, the long trips back and forth to the vet (4 trips, 10 hours each) the leash restrictions to potty, the crate restrictions, the meds the panic when she did something she shouldn't, yelling at my other dog when he tried to engage her in play..
and then we did it all over again.. but we're done! And the happy, bouncy Lab who snuggles in for the evening with me, was worth every second!
I'm going to take a video this weekend and post it - a girl with two brand new knees =)
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I'll probably continue to be careful with her beyond the 13 weeks.. But I don't know if I'll ever watch her run w/o worrying.
12 weeks is good!
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Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
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Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Ten weeks.. finally... things really do get easier from here. Now Koda can be out of her crate while i get ready in the morning and she gets more crate freedom at night too. I allow surpervised games of bitey face, and allow the to progress to more exuberent matches as the days pass..
We're up to about 30-45 minute walks now and there hasn't been a limp in sight.. it's been a slow steady pace for us. Ten weeks.. double digits.. 3 more weeks to the end.. man, what a relief!
I think it's worth noting here.. i'll have to put it somewhere more obvious in this blog eventually, that our regime has been what was recommended by my vet for Koda's recovery.
I've done a lot of research and the one thing i know, is there are as many recovery processes out there as there are vets.
A lot of people have their dogs out on walks after 2 weeks.. i was told to wait for 6.. but there are some who don't step foot out of the crate until 12 weeks and then spent the next four working their way up to running.
So.. that being said.. DO WHAT YOUR VET TELLS YOU TO DO.. because in the end, he knows what's best for his surgical patients...
Oh.. and speaking of walks.. i've been walking both dogs at once because doing it tandem was driving me crazy.. koda is /almost/ 2 years old and given that she's been crated since October, it's like walking a hurricane.. so it's been a challenge.
A friend of mine suggested the easy walk dog harness and we gave it a shot last night.. zomg! so much better!
Youtube has some helpful tips on how to properly fit it.. which does take some time.. i'm pretty sure i still need to make adjustments.. but once that's done, it really easy a great tool, much better than coming home with sore arm muscles from the bulldozer on leash.
I think next week I'm going to take her to the beach.. no free retrieving, but i'd like to get those legs in water to use the resistance and see how she does.. I think if she can handle a half an hour in the water w/o incident, then we'll be on the right track...
I wonder if i could do that with two dogs... probably not.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
One of my friends has a Great Dane (Thor the sweetheart) and the other has a husky mix, Mac the ridiculously well-behaved.
I can't wait to find out what sharing a tent with my two dogs is going to be like =)
I'm so excited! I finally get to plan outings with my dogs!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I was re-reading my post-op instructions yesterday and laughed at the fact that i was supposed to be walking her 4 times a day.
I can get her out twice, but who on earth has time to walk a dog 4 times per day? I don't! So i think letting her loose a few more times during the day in the house is a good compromise. Sometimes, you need to jig these things to work for you, right?
I also let her have a small game of bitey face with tucker last night.. i supervised closely to make sure nobody got out of hand. Actually, the only dog that ever gets out of hand is Koda.. my bad girl!
I watched the land shark around each other for a few minutes, and then koda crawled up on the couch and went to sleep.
Do you know that i've been yelling at these dogs for weeks to not play bitey face? WEEKS.. because it's the first thing they try and do when koda is sans crate.. and when i finally let them have a bit of fun, she actually self-regulates herself and stops the game when she's tired or had enough.
My dogs are smarter than me. =(
Actually, i'm hoping this will help them bond better. Me yelling at them to stop playing probably wasn't helping their relationship much.. tucker seems to need more convincing to accept koda than vice-versa, but these games and our walks with both dogs at the same time will hopefully help.
I am looking forward to getting koda in the water, but curious about how i expect to do that.
I can't take one to the beach and not the other.. it would be like taking one kid for ice cream.. could you imagine the chaos and hurt feelings?
But apparently swim time is supposed to be gradual as well.. deeper into the water each time until they're fully comfortable swimming.
Whoever wrote that never had a Labrador. Who in their right mind can take a lab to the beach and keep them in shallow water? She'd rip my arm clean off my shoulder! And then swim away with it!
Now add tuck, who as calm as he is, CANNOT contain his excitement around water.. he loves it and will bounce around like a crazy dog for retrieving games.
Anyway.. all those are down the road a couple of weeks.. so for now.. small steps forward will all help future steps, right?
So.. week 9.. onward!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Once the first leg was done, she was still even tempered since she still had pain in the second leg.. but now the second leg is healing and we're getting closer to where both legs will feel better for her than they have in a really long time.
Now her lack of obedience and pent-up energy is as much of a hurdle for us as surgeries were in the beginning.
Keeping her calm. That's a tough one. Add to that her strange food aggression issues with my other dog and her leash issues and suddenly i'm presented with new obstacles I didn't face the first time around.
Food aggression has been dealt with keeping her crated at meal time. Seems to do the trick.. but i'm hoping to FIX the problem, not contain it, since it would be really nice not to have to worry about her in public if there was another dog around with a cookie.
Last night I gave her and tuck a denta stick.. koda had hers in her crate, tuck in the same room. Everything was fine until they were both done and i let Princess Gimpy out of her crate.. she immediately when sniffing around where tuck had eaten his, looking for crumbs, and when tuck passed by the area teeth and growls broke out, first from koda, then fromt Tuck.
I aas actually happy to see tucker stand up for himself.. he usually just ignores her tantrums.. but still, that girl has some issues that are going to need dealing with. Luckily she is not food aggressive with me.. i can stick my hand in her mouth and pull out a bone and she's fine.. tucker is a whole other story.
I ordered a book called Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs by Jean Donaldson which gets some favourable reviews.
She also needs some beginner obedience classes as soon as her leg is healed.
She is the super great dog most of the time and i love her to pieces..i really hope we can fix this problem. I was so mad at her last night and into this morning.. she probably knew that but had no idea why.. i feel bad for being angry with her, but threatning tuck really upsets me.. he's so tolerant of her but becoming even more distant these days.. i'm assuming he's pretty fed up with her bossiness.
He does love to play bitey face with her, though.
Anyway.. i'm feeling a little down about this whole thing today.. maybe today will be a better day. Until i can get some direction on how to fix this.. no more treats.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
You're supposed to walk slowly and then gradually increase speed to a trot, but i don't know if anyone has tried to walk a 2-year-old lab after having spent the better half of 6 months in a crate.. but a slow walk isn't an option.
Not allowing her to run is what i consider a success these days.
What i did for the first 2 weeks of rehab instead of taking her outside to walk was allow her out of the crate to roam the house for a while..She will walk around the house without running or trotting, so it was the best option for us to get that knee working w/o over-doing it. There's just no way i could have taken her outside to walk and had her go at a leisurely pace.
Not really conventional i suppose, but it worked.
So.. for the next few weeks we keep going and gradually bring up her distance .. by about 11-12 weeks she'll be on controlled runs and on 13 weeks we'll lift her restrictions.
i'll probably wait a couple of weeks longer to allow her to go wild.. but it does look like she'll be able to go swimming before the fall.. and that's going to be awesome!
Oh.. i've been taking her and Tuck out for walks together.. she's not exactly the tornado tuck was to walk as a pup, but my left arm is probably longer than my right one is, now.
Did i mention i'm loooking forward to some obedience classes as well?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Well it seems a new problem has popped up i wasn't anticipating.
Koda loves tucker.. LOVES him.. but tuck seems pretty distant with her.. he likes to play bitey face with her, but that about sums up his use for her.. I tend to think it may be exascerbated by the fact that when she tries to engage him in play, i am stern with both of them to NOT do that.. repeatedly.. so the only thing tuck knows is when he goes near her, he gets yelled at. I'm sure that's not helping, but i don't have much choice at this point.
They tend to get pretty grumpy with each other when it comes to the couch, and i have to say, i think it's Koda that has the bigger issue. Tuck gets pissy and leaves if she's hogging the couch.. but if she is on the couch and tuck tries to get on.. GRRRRRR.. my sweet girl.. grrrrr'ing at her brother.
So basically we've had to rejig the couch policy.. i've explained to both of them that I'M the master of the couch, not them.. but since tucker has always had privs and Princess Gimpy is new to the family.. she must wait her turn.
She's not much on waiting.
So.. we'll see how this goes.. tuck gets jealous when i pet her, she gets jealous when i pet him.. i swear, it's like having kids.. that shed..
It'll be interesting to see how things go when they can actually play together.. i tend to think it will actually help the situation to tire them out and they won't care as much about who's paw is touching whom and where.
Honestly.. DON'T MAKE ME TURN THIS COUCH AROUND!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Although she's been much better these past few days.
My parents came over last night and she was in mid butt tuck when i had to catch her and stop her from going lab-crazy.. i put her in her crate to calm down for half an hour and then she was fine to socialize with us outside and relaxed enough to lay down and behave.
I said something to the fact that she's doing excellent, mood wise, for a lab that's been couped up for the better part of 6 months. I couldn't imagine tucker at 2 years old having spent 6 months in a crate what kind of whirling dervish he'd have been. Koda is so much more relaxed than he was.. thank god!
I have another week off in 4 weeks. That'll put us around the 11th week, entering into 12. She'll be at a whole new level by then and nearing the end of her rehab.
So many things to look forward to, but i'm trying really hard not to wish the present away..it's summer!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Now.. back to koda..
I sit here wondering how many dogs that have cruciate surgery are confined as long as koda is.. i mean.. if i had two kids and a bunch of other crap going on in my life, would i be as diligent and so tuned into what's going on with her?
I mean, i'm a HUGE dog person.. obviously.. only serious dog people start blogs about their dog's surgery, right? So that's obvious.. but what about people who get dogs because they like them and they're cool and they sort of melt into the family and routine and just become there.. like.. you yell at your kids because they didn't feed the dog again and so you feed it and walk away exasperated but not because the dog didn't eat, but because the kid is irresponsible and you're going to have a talk with him.
You know what i mean?
Anyway.. my point is.. what happens with these dogs? Do they get the full 13 week attention they need to be nursed back to health? Do people give up after a couple of weeks and say screw it.. i don't have time for this and continue on with a casual observance rather than a hawk eye?
I can't picture some of my friends who own dogs, but aren't crazy, blog-writing dog people and wonder.. what would they do?
I don't know why i think of this.. maybe because i'm nearing the end of my rope of patience.. sure, i can make it.. i can go on and on and on with this if i had to.. but 6 months now.. i'm pretty much ready to have my dog back.. not that i ever had her any other way.. she came here broken .. but she got to be out of the crate for a whole 2 weeks before she had her second surgery.. it was nice.
She's doing well today.. i think my instinct to put her back in the crate 24/7 was a good one.. i still can't explain why.. i just know she needs some downtime.. lounging on the deck was for me.. not her.. and that's not fair.
Not long now.. not long now.. this too shall pass.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Maybe it's too much too soon and it makes me nervous, but I can't shake the feeling that she needs more rest right now. So that's what I'm going to do with her.
Better safe than sorry. And she settles much more comfortably in her crate, anyway.
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Sunday, June 28, 2009
I doubt this is something i'm ever going to be able to break her of. I have gotten used to it, but it's not something the average visitor appreciates. The problem is if i step in before it's about to happen, my hand gets dangerously close to the offending area.. i think that's even less comfortable for everyone involved.
Anyway.. it was pretty hot so she had to go inside and rest in her crate. I'm so thankful i put in central air last year. It has come in so handy with her recovery given i keep that ortho bed in her crate to keep her comfortable.. i bet that thing is crazy hot when it's hot inside.
Tuck doesn't touch his dog bed in the summer, but loves it in the winter.. so i'm sure that's why.
I'm on vacation this week, but it's going to rain all week.. i'm sure she's not going to be fond of being crated while i'm home. She doesn't normally mind, but i've been giving her an hour here and there of out-of-crate time when i'm home, as long as she doesn't get bouncy and want to play.
She tried to entice tuck into a rousing game of bitey-face this morning, so she went back into the crate.. but then went right to sleep. I have to say, having her used to the crate has been an invaluable tool throughout this entire process. Keeping her quiety w/o it would have proven to be hugely difficult at this stage of the game.
Oh.. and i think now's a good time to point out.. we're officially HALF WAY THROUGH her second and final surgery.
13 weeks is the day she can go back to normal activity.. so that makes us halfway.. and if you put both surgeries together.. 3/4 of the way done the entire ordeal.
I try not to look too forward to the end, because that falls close to september and i don't want september to come.. i want to enjoy every second of summer! We had such a brutal winter, i don't even want to think about fall!
So.. all is well as we continue our daily short walks. We're working on not being an asshole when walking on a leash.. and we're currently at pain in the ass.. so that's good.. when she's fully recovered, she'll be able to take obedience classes and i'm lookng forward to those. They did tuck a world of good when he was a douchebag puppy. =)
I've been leaving her out of her crate for sporadic moments throughout the day to see if she'll be able to be left during the day at some point. Tuck, although a hugely bad puppy, could be left at around 9 months.. i get the feeling koda would have eaten my entire house if she'd had that same right.. but she's going to be 2 next month and i'm hoping she'll be ready.
I left her once for 10 minutes when she first got here and she chewed my baseboards.
Now i'll leave her for 5-15 minute periods and she's done okay.. we'll see how that works out.
My biggest concern is tuck.. he's not a fan of having her invade his personal space, so if i'm not around to stop her, she made drive him mad. My poor boy.. such a rough life he has.
Okay... this has nothing to do with her injury.. which is what this blog is for.. but in case you hadn't noticed.. since week 2, there hasn't been much to report.. so unless you want nothing but dead air.. "maintenance mode" is going to be full of me babbling.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Now that the walks start, i distinctly remember from last time her fondness for the crate deminishes.
She's rarin' to go, that one..
I'm off this coming week.. finally.. but it looks like it's going to rain for most of it. Neither of my dogs care, they'll walk in any weather, so we'll be out there, every day.. walkies!
Man, i'm so excited to walk them together.. i've never done it.. i hope it's possible =)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Today is the first day koda can go on a short walk! If her last walk was any indication, technically, she'll be walking me.
I find this funny because when her owner handed her off to me that day, she reassured me that she walks so nice on a leash.
Maybe if she was tranquilized, but i have yet to see it.
Now the problem with this, my usual training techniques are hard to implement on post-surgical dog. And at the same time, it's so important that she not pull and walk calmly.
I bought a martingale for her, we'll see how that works.
My ultimate goal is to have her and tuck walking in a manner that isn't a danger to my health.
A girl can dream, right?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Now.. remember that part where i said oh, she can be on the deck no problem.. she doesn't play on there...
Why do my dogs insist on making me a liar?
It's my fault really.. she sometimes gets this squirly look on her face that says.. i'm about to go crazy! lookout! but i can normally get her to control it and calm down.
I wasn't paying attention, and by the time i saw the butt tuck start, it was too late.. that sweet face turned into monster dog, ran around the table, got her foot caught in the mosquito netting attached to the gazebo and put a huge hole in it.
my sanctuary has a blemish.
NO PLAYING ON THE DECK!
I sent that furry butt straight back to the crate where she proceeding to give me those puppy dog eyes.
Momma? I didn't mean it...
Some with also think that.
Well, we're having a bit of a heat wave up here in northeastern ontario.. something we never had all year last year.. so nobody's complaining too loudly.
I left the AC on in the house for the dogs while i'm at work.
Normally i probably wouldn't have.. there are cool floor surfaces they can lay on and with all the blinds closed i can usually keep the house cool enough for someone who's sedentary.. but with Princess Gimpy forced into a crate w/o a cool surface.. and even worse that her ortho bed is foam wrapped in sheepskin ish..
Plus it's one thing less for me to worry about.
She's doing great, btw.. i can bring her out for some reprive time on the deck with me which is nice.. her and tuck don't play on the deck so she gets to stretch her legs a bit out there.
We start our walks on thursday.
She looks like she's 100% back to normal.. no limps, no pain, nothing.. she looks great. Remember self.. she looks perfect, but she's not.. you'll get there!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Not much to report.. i took her off the benedryl yesterday.. so far so good, but we'll see how it goes after i mow the lawn =) I'm really hoping it was related to the intubation because i already have a dog with allergies, i was hoping to avoid that this time around. Oh well, it could certainly be worse.
One more week and we start our short walks. I'm looking forward to that.. she would be too if she knew =)
It's tough these days.. she's so happy to have some respite from that crate that it's hard for me to put her back in there. I miss my girl! But it's for her own good. I know that. And i know that despite how great she looks and how great that leg looks.. one mistep too early in the game can send us into a tailspin.. so..back in the crate she goes.
Two surgeries back to back like this is starting to take its toll, i have to admit.. it's already been 5 months of this.. i think we're all a bit weary.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I'm going to take her off the 'dryl this week and that should give me a good idea of the culprit. Whatever it was, thanks to the advice of a few awesome people, i saved myself and koda the expense and stress of tests that, as of now, were not necessary.
On another note, summer is finally making an appearance here in Northern Ontario.. i'm grateful i have centrral air since koda won't have the ability to find a cool surface to lay on. Not that tucker ever does, but he /could/. I would imagine heat + crate would not be fun for her.. the crate floor is metal so i have to put a blanket or bed in there to keep her comfortable, but it would make things that much more hot for her.
My dad is putting a gate on the back deck today, which means in a few weeks, i'll be able to take her outside to relax without worry about her running around in the yard. I'm looking forward to that.
Tomorrow's the beginning of week 5.. one more week until we start out short walks! Yay!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Koda has been SO GOOD. She just stays in her crate and sleeps. She doesn't complain.. unlike SOME dogs i know *eyes tuck* who gets quite agitated when i'm outside and he's not. Must think he's missing out on something, because he has very little desire to stay outside if i'm not out there.
So i'm so proud of my girl.. she's so well behaved in that crate of hers.. only 1.5 weeks until she can go on short walks! I think we're both looking forward to that!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Week four feels like you're getting somewhere!
And THAT, is the best part of Week four.
We're still in maintenance mode.. our routine is set and there's not much straying from it. crated 24/7 still, but she seems to take her sweet time finding the perfect spot to poop. I suppose if that was my only freedom during the day, i wouldn't be in a hurry either.. but whem mommy is already late for work and she's sniffing every blade of grass... well... mommy needs more coffee.
Anyway.. i'm now unsure if Koda's cough was related to her surgery at all now.. turns out, it /may/ be an allergy and if it is, you can go ahead and disregard all my lamenting on this blog. Although it is good to note that it is possible for a dog to get Kennel Cough or have throat problems because of intubation and it would sound similar to what koda has.. More investigation required.