The other day, Gracie came down with a real runny nose. It was clear fluid, not gunky or greeny (yuck!). So Mum didn't worry too much - 'cause gunky and green can mean an infection.
There was only one thing that happened in the days before that Mum thought could have affected Gracie's nose. Mum put down new organic fertilizer (with blood meal) and it smelled pretty good to Gracie. She really didn't eat it, 'cause the pellets were very small and Mum watered it in real well. But she still sniffed a lot and our best guess is it irritated her nose for the day.
One thing that Mum did to see if she had an infection causing her runny nose was to take her temperature. I have to tell ya, Mum's never taken our temperature before, and has only watched as our vet has done it. But she decided it was time to learn and did some research on the Internet. She also got our rectal thermometer out of our trusty first aid kit that she takes everywhere with us. And a little packet of lubricant to make the 'slide in' easier.
Here are a couple of links to helpful sites that she used for directions:
How to take your dog's pulse and temperature
How to take a dog's temperature
After gettin' educated, Mum got Gracie to cooperate and took her temp. We do recommend that two people do this, as it was kind of difficult for Mum to do it on her own, with strong Gracie. But Gracie was a good girl. She followed the directions and Gracie's temp was completely normal - 100.5 degrees. So we felt a lot better knowing that Gracie wasn't really sick, just had an irritated nose.
You all know it's important to check with your vet on such matters. Mum did throughout the day when Gracie got the runny nose. But it's good to know how to take your dog's temp and pulse to help assess the situation, communicate more information to your vet and make more informed decisions.