The Dog-Breath App

Torvald wants to go out on the porch. It breaks my heart to thwart him, but it’s nearly 80 degrees out, and yesterday, when it was just short of this warm, I found him too wilted for my peace of mind in the corner cat platform, breathing just a little fast. Cats do dump heat by breathing faster, which is something we really want to avoid with him now; I took him in and he was fine after a quarter hour on the cellar floor, but of course doesn’t remember the chain of cause and effect. I would rather break my heart than his.

We are supposed to track his breathing rate, and we were about to use the Engineer’s smartphone just as a stopwatch when the phone rang. Dr. Cohn was at the other end with particulars about his follow-up visits. “You can download this app called Cardalis,” he said when I told him what we were doing.

I handed the phone off to the iPhone owner. I have yet to find a serious use for one, though I guess you could say that now I have.

“Heart failure causes your DOG’S breathing rate to increase.
If you have a DOG with or at risk from heart failure, your veterinary surgeon may ask you to monitor this over time.
This app will help you to measure your DOG’S breathing rate…”

Oh well. There are some “pet” people who can’t see past dogs. It works fine, whatever. You tap a heart logo to start it and sit and tap it every time your critter’s ribs go up and down, and after fifteen seconds it beeps, multiplies by four, gets a breaths-per-minute rate and stores the information in a longitudinal database that can be realized as a graph and e-mailed to the vet. It’s actually very handy for someone who has trouble seeing a second hand.

We’re down from forty-plus on Friday morning — when I didn’t need Cardalis to tell me to call the vet and bring him in for a Lasix shot, because apparently his liquid medicine wasn’t cutting it and only the standard pills he started out on will do — to twenty-two last night in a moment of profound slumber, or around 24 earlier this morning. Supposed to stay at thirty or under.

I might get one of those fancy phones eventually.

Torvald in his Famed Swastikat Pose

There’s A Nap For That


6 thoughts on “The Dog-Breath App

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