Don’t put down your “dying dog” yet; may be treatable strep throat.

Is your sick dog’s dying process starting and you’re making arrangements to put the dog down? Does death seem imminent for your cancer-stricken pet?

Don’t call the vet or Humane Society yet to have the dog put down; a strep throat infection can mimic dying, in that it can seem like death will occur within a day or even hours  – death from cancer or whatever your dog was originally diagnosed with.

Don’t be too hasty with plans to put your dog down until you get it checked for strep throat. This happened to my parents’ dog.

The animal was diagnosed with a brain tumor about three weeks prior to when he took a sudden turn for the worse. He was taken to the ER of the diagnosing facility.

The dog had suddenly become listless and lethargic. The treating neurologist said it was fluid buildup in the brain from the tumor.

The German shepherd was kept overnight, and $1,300 later, was sent home all perked up, having been treated with mannitol, an anti-inflammatory, and furosamide, a diuretic, via IV catheter.

Come evening, the animal had regressed and had diminished appetite. Next day he was more lethargic, slept excessively and had diminished appetite. We thought it was side effects from chemo.

Next day he was worse, doing nothing but sleeping, not responding to familiar verbual cues, and exhibiting severe hind leg weakness.

He was growing increasingly out of it and appeared to be entering his “final” stage; it appeared that death was around the corner; that “this is it.”

We braced ourselves as the evening wore on. The dog refused to eat; his breathing was very rapid while he deeply slept; he had profound body weakness; his eyes, when open, lacked life.

“He’ll probably expire overnight,” said my father, who had suggested calling the Humane Society for someone to “come over with a needle,” after the dog collapsed in the garage (after we let him out the side door to relieve himself) and refused to budge.

Once back inside the house, he resumed sleeping. This is it, we all thought. By then, we had begun taking the animal to a holistic doctor.

We thought the new treatment wasn’t working; the dog’s ears wouldn’t even twitch when we announced familiar verbal cues that historically excited him.

We called the new doctor that evening; he said bring the dog to his clinic 7:30 am next morning; he suspected a strep throat.

Next morning: Diagnosis: Strep Throat. Here we were, thinking the dog was dying, had reached the end of his rope.

Many other people in the same boat would have taken their dog to the nearest shelter or vet to be put down.

Had we had the dog put down, we would have had a dog put down for a strep throat!

A strep throat is very treatable, though success is not guaranteed. But you don’t put a dog down for a strep throat!

Symptoms of strep throat in a dog can mimic the dying process: rapid breathing, excessive sleeping, not easily aroused, no interest in food or social interaction, glazed, half open eyes when not asleep, significant weakness, collapsing on hind legs, unsteady gait.

The German shepherd’s temperature turned out to be 104.7; normal is 101-102. The doctor diagnosed him within one minute of examining him.

Later in the afternoon, the doctor called to say that the animal was doing very well, and had been walked twice around the building, which includes a hill!

If your dog, that’s been diagnosed with a serious disease, seems to be dying or on its way out, consider having the animal examined for a strep throat before you arrange to have it put down.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.