How Does an Ill Pet Impact The Pet Parent?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here on my blog.

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write. I’ve sat down at my computer several times, started typing, deleted what I’ve typed, edited what I’ve written, not sure what to say, but more so, how to say it.

At the time I didn’t know how this “story” was going to end. So how could I begin to write if I didn’t have an ending?

Pets Have Positive Physical and Emotional Effects on Our Lives

It’s a well known fact that pets have a great and positive impact on our lives. Pets enhance our days, pets make us happy, pets have positive effects on our physical and emotional health.

But what happens when our pet becomes unwell?

How then does the physical and emotional life of the pet parent become affected?

How Does an Ill Pet Impact The Pet Parent’s Well Being?

I went from being happy, loving the daily routine with my pets and family, enjoying writing about pets, to someone who couldn’t even think, or care, about writing a blog post. I was consumed with worry, dread, sleepless nights, and those nagging thoughts of “what if I did this or didn’t do that”. Each day was an emotional rollercoaster not knowing what lay ahead for my dog’s health, her life.

How could I possibly put down on paper – or in my case, my blog, the full range of my emotions? How do I articulate the emotions of dealing with a dog with a health issue and how it was affecting me?

I thought maybe I should just lay out the facts – what was happening with my dog Edie and what her symptoms were. But after reading it over, it sounded clinical and depressing. It was also a little “too real” for me, seeing the facts about my dog’s health laid out in print. Additionally, I didn’t want to misinform others by sharing my dog’s health issues and healthcare. Meaning, I am not a vet, or a pet health care professional and didn’t want to share information that could be misunderstood.

I Googled My Dog’s Health Symptoms

I did the one thing I tell others not to do, “I Googled my dog’s health symptoms.”

It’s only natural to want answers about my dog’s health issue and to find a solution.

Answers and solutions were what I wanted, what I needed.

I wanted to find out “what’s wrong with my dog.

I needed to find a solution “how can I make my dog better?

I just wanted someone to tell me “everything is going to be fine and your dog will be alright.

Don’t get me wrong, Edie was under the care of a veterinarian specialist the entire time. But I have this thirst for knowledge when it comes to my pets and their health. I want to know all I can, to understand what’s happening with my dog’s health. I have a tendency to ask a lot of questions! Maybe it’s my way of dealing or feeling some control over a situation that I really had no control over?

Reasons Not to Google Your Dog’s Health Symptoms!

There are so many reasons “Not to Google your Dog’s Health Symptoms.”

Googling our pet’s health symptoms will not only scare the hell out of you, it will add to your already high stress levels, your fragile emotions, and quite possibly, very possibly, give you incorrect pet health information.

I admitted to Edie’s veterinarian specialist that I Googled Edie’s symptoms. He understood my need for doing so, but his response was that the problem with Googling pet health symptoms, is the answers I would most likely find would be the worst of the worst, and in reality, only a small percentage of dogs would actually fit that worst case scenario.

My Dog’s Story Now Has An Ending

I can finally sit down and write about the challenges and upset I went through with my dog Edie’s health scare, because our “story” has an ending.  

A GOOD ending!

How Does an Ill Pet Impact The Pet Parent?

Thankful to have these smiling eyes looking back at me

After almost two months of veterinarian appointments, medications and veterinarian specialists, I have the answers I so craved.

I now know “what was wrong with my dog”. Now those constant thoughts of dread and worry running through my head have lessened. I say “lessened” because no matter what, I will always worry and be concerned about my pets and their health.

I now know “how to make my dog feel better”. Thankfully, Edie received medication that essentially eliminated her symptoms and did so quickly.

After Edie’s last examination, I finally got those words I so craved to hear “your dog shows no more symptoms!”

Of course, no one can see into the future and say for sure what will be. But considering where we started, what we went through, and where we are today, the improvement in Edie’s health is – in my words “amazing” and, I have my dog back! And when you leave the veterinarian specialists exam room and everyone is smiling – it’s a very, very good day!

Perhaps one day I will write about the actual symptoms my dog Edie experienced, what helped her, and what her diagnosis was. But for now, I’m just thankful for the good fortune I’ve had, and more so, that I can continue to share my life with this amazing, beautiful, healthy, wonderful dog.

Author: Kelly Harding

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  1. When your pet is il there is a constant black shadow at the back of your mind. Even good events and good things only stay ‘good’ got a short while and you default to worry, concern, finding symptoms and awaiting results.

    I am so glad your sweet girl is doing OK. I am not a dog person but yhe one dog I adore and always love to see is the pug.

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    • Well said Marjorie! It’s hard dealing with the “everyday” when my mind continually was worried about the “what ifs” and “what will be” Thank you

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  2. I’m glad she’s going to be ok! I’m an obsessive googler, I need to know all I can know, from all sides.

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    • I went against what I know I shouldn’t do by Googling my dogs symptoms – it just added to my worry and it didn’t help my dog. As much as I too need to know all I can about my pet’s health, my best resource was my vet and vet specialist.

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  3. I had no idea Edie was sick. I know what you mean being a pet parent of a sick pet. I went crazy with Truffle and Brulee last year.

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  4. It is always quite a drain both physically and emotionally when a loved one is sick for any length of time. I am glad Edie is feeling better and hope you are too!

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    • A sick pet is such an emotional drain on the pet parent! Thankfully, Edie is showing incredible signs of improvement, and me – I’m slowly getting back on my feet 🙂

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  5. Oh my goodness, I didn’t know Edie had been ill! I’m so glad she is doing much better, I can imagine the pain and fear you must have been going through. I worry sick about my dogs’ health, anytime any little things seems off. I pray they stay healthy and will live a long time, enjoying life w/ me. I’ll be interested to know what the issue was and how it got resolved.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    • Thank you Cathy. I didn’t want to talk about Edie’s health right away – or more like it, I couldn’t face the fact of what might be. Some day, I will write in detail about what exactly happened to Edie and how we are resolving it – only because I felt alone going through this and maybe I can encourage others dealing with the same issues Edie had.

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  6. Oh my! I’m not sure what was wrong with Edie but happy she’s doing so much better and now showing no symptoms. I think many of us pet parents (and non pet parents) can totally understand the dangers of Googling “health symptoms” and fearing the worst. It’s best in all circumstances to just go get checked out my a vet or doctor. Get a second opinion if needed. But I definitely agree that our pets health and happiness DOES impact us too. They feel our energy and I think we do the same. They are family after all.

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    • It’s been a long go with Edie’s health lately, and even though she has improved and back to her best self, I still can’t help but worry about the future – worry is what I do best 😉 I’m so glad we took our vets suggestion to have her checked out by a specialist!

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  7. For me my pets are my children so if they get sick they impact my life and my finances too because I want them to have the best medical attention and treatment. I am glad yoru Edie is fine now. What a relief!

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    • Most definitely there is not just the impact on our lives and health when dealing with an ill pet, but the financial worry of being able to give and get the best possible care for them as well.

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  8. Don’t even get me started. When there is anything wrong with my dog (and there was plenty of that over time) I’m a total wreck, The only upside is that it’s good for my weight loss.

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    • “Total wreck” Yes! As far as weight loss, it can go either way. Either I’m so upset I can’t eat, or I tend to disregard my own health because I’m too upset over my pets wellbeing.

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  9. So glad to hear that Edie is doing better, whatever her issues were. I know how hard it can be to deal with a sick pet. It can be such an emotional time. I hope Edie continues to do well!

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  10. I was concerned about Edie, not knowing what I would read at the end of the post. I’m so happy the news is good but I can definitely relate to the massive impact a sick animal can have on our own health and wellbeing. You’re right about never Googling symptoms, no good can ever come of that, only sheer panic. Here’s to hoping she continues to do well.

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  11. I’m glad that Edie is feeling better! I know how tough it can be when your dog is sick.

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    • Thank you 🙂

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