Google has convinced me that my dog, Sally, is dying.
One of the worst things you can do is to type into Google anything related to your personal health, or the health of the ones that you love. Search “Why am I coughing a lot?” You will get something like this:
“A productive cough could be a sign that a disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is getting worse or that you have an infection. Many coughs are caused by a viral illness. Antibiotics are not used to treat viral illnesses and do not alter the course of viral infections. Unnecessary use of an antibiotic exposes you to the risks of an allergic reaction and antibiotic side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes and yeast infections. Antibiotics also may kill beneficial bacteria and encourage the development of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”
Of course, like a good American, I will click on the link “viral illnesses” and see what comes up, and surely then the search results will have me convinced that I either have contracted some rare tropical disease or am dying from bird flu or something like that, and I will call my doctor.
On her cell phone.
On a Sunday.
I never thought this line of thinking would translate to my dog. But one day I brought Sally over to my girlfriend’s house and out of nowhere she said, “You know, Sally really drinks a lot of water.”
“Do you think that’s weird?”
“It’s really weird. I wonder if that means anything.”
So, of course, I decided to Google it and, yes, I’m pretty sure that my dog is dying a slow and horrible death. Here is what came up when I searched “My dog drinks a lot of water is that weird?”
“Many things can affect how much your dog drinks, from weather to activity level to diet. Common sense should be your guide when it comes to your dog’s thirst. If your canine companion is drinking so excessively you’re noticing the change, it’s probably time to talk to your vet who, with a few tests, can get at the root cause of your dog’s increased thirst. In the meantime, a few reasons why your dog might be unusually thirsty include: Dehydration, Illness, Diet, Medication.”
I skipped over to the part that said “illness” and officially freaked out.
“Many conditions can lead to excessive thirst or dehydration in your dog, including liver disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, cancer, diarrhea, fever, infection and kidney disease.”
Naturally, I clicked on cancer, then later clicked on dog diabetes. The final straw came when I clicked on kidney disease and I read “Kidney problems often lead to life-threatening conditions that require immediate hospitalization and treatment. If left untreated, end-stage kidney failure will occur, leading to a fatal outcome.”
OH MY GOD MY DOG IS GOING TO DIE OF KIDNEY DISEASE! HOW DID I NOT NOTICE ALL OF THIS TIME THAT SHE IS THIRSTY!
I got on the phone, called the veterinarian in a sheer panic and made an appointment. They aren’t available until next week. As far as I’m concerned, it’s on Google if she dies