Woman Convinced Her Dog Was Dying Gets Unexpected Diagnosis

A woman who feared her rescued greyhound was dying from a serious illness experienced “world-changing” relief when she learned he was simply being a bit dramatic.

Eight-year-old greyhound Robert was rescued by college student Zoë-Louise Doyle, 25, five years ago. He had been “dumped” at a shelter after having “no more use” in the hare coursing industry.

Doyle, who studies zoology in Cork, Ireland, was terrified for Robert’s life after the usually energetic dog became lethargic and developed a hacking cough and swollen lymph nodes.

However, the real diagnosis turned out to be a little less life-threatening: hayfever.

Hayfever greyhound
Robert the greyhound was lethargic and coughing. His owner thought the worst, but got a welcome surprise at the vet’s office, instead.

Zoë-Louise Doyle

She shared a video on TikTok on May 3 in which Robert looked tired and ill, writing that she had been “ready to hear the worst news from the vet.”

However, the video then quickly changed to a video of Robert looking healthy, happy and enjoying the sunshine with a giant smile on his face, along with the single word: “Hayfever.”

Speaking to Newsweek, Doyle explained Robert had a series of medical mishaps in the lead-up to his hayfever diagnosis, from a dental accident to a dog bite and gastroenteritis flare-up, and was “a regular in our bets for half a year at one point.”

“We were finally moving past the last freak accident, which was a torn-out toenail, when I noticed he seemed to be losing interest in walks again,” she said. “He wasn’t really playing very much, wasn’t super into treats or snacks. He just seemed to want to cuddle up and snooze all day.”

At the same time, the greyhound developed a “deep, hacking cough” that sounded “awful,” Doyle said, and the final terrifying straw came when she discovered two lumps on each side of his neck.

Immediately making a vet’s appointment, Doyle Googled Robert’s symptoms and was being told that “Robert was dying, that he had cancer, that it was a cardiac issue, that his immune system was shot,” she said. “I don’t think I slept the night before his appointment, I was so anxious.”

Purina states that swollen lymph nodes “are one of the symptoms of dog lymphoma.”

However, the company assures pet owners in an online publication: “Before you check your dog, know that finding a swollen lymph node doesn’t necessarily mean your pet is suffering from cancer. Inflammation in the body can lead to this swollen lymph nodes as well.”

In Robert’s case, when they got to the veterinarian’s office, and a terrified Doyle explained his symptoms, the vet simply giggled and told Robert: “You like to scare your mom, don’t you?”

The vet then assured Doyle that “it wasn’t cardiac, it wasn’t cancer, it was hayfever,” and after a couple of weeks on antihistamines, Robert was back to full health.

“The relief I felt was world-changing,” Doyle told Newsweek. “I had gotten so wrapped up in the idea that my beloved companion was actively dying, only for him to pull out the Pollen card.”

Hayfever greyhound
Zoë-Louise Doyle shared “dramatic” Robert’s story on TikTok. She said she had “convinced myself Robert was dying.”

His story proved popular on TikTok, with other pet owners finding Robert’s not-so-near-death-experience relatable.

One person wrote: “I swear greyhounds live to stress us out,” and another asked: “No but why are they so dramatic?”

“They do love the drama,” another said, and as one person put it: “He’s so me.”

Doyle told Newsweek Robert can sometimes be “dramatic” but only with the smallest things: When he “impaled himself on a tree,” he allowed himself to be patched up without a whimper, but when a tiny pebble got stuck between his toes, “the scream was enough to make my neighbors open their door to check he was OK.”

“It’s commonly referred to as ‘The Greyhound Scream of Death’ and is only employed over life’s tinest issues,” Doyle joked.

“Greyhounds as a whole are known to be a bit of a quirky breed, and after five years of having Robert (plus fostering dozens of other greyhounds for rescues across the country), I can wholeheartedly say they will ALWAYS find a way to keep you on your toes.”

She added: “Can they be dramatic? Yes! But they are also lovable bags of bones who will steal your heart and your couch.

“I thought my world was ending when Robert was sick, only for him to pull an Uno-reverse card on me and make an absolute full recovery like nothing had ever happened.”

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