Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I don't think there's any question Elvis' weight has changed. It may be that everything has simply redistributed, but whatever it is, I can definitely feel ribs. And he "feels" different. Even Randall has noticed it. I'm definitely going to weigh him at 4 pm over the next three days and see what's up. I'm keeping a tally, so by Thursday, I should have a good idea of where he is. I find it hard to believe our scales could be that far off...particularly when I stepped on/off three times each time I weighed him. An ounce or two I could understand, but we're talking pounds here. Perhaps being on better dog food and in a more relaxed environment is helping? I can't help but think some of this is a water weight loss/gain that's somehow related to his congestive heart failure.. I dunno. More on this in a few days.

I'm also going to try to get some different pictures of him. He's exploring more outside so that's where I'm hoping to get them. Sort of depends on the weather, since there's a line of storms headed our way. Not sure how he's going to handle thunder because he really doesn't like loud noises, but I won't know until they get here.

We swung by Petsmart this afternoon to pick up a can of dog food that I could cut up into small bits and bake to turn into treats for Elvis. I did that for one of my dachshunds when he was diagnosed as diabetic and I needed to carefully monitor his food. This is a can of Science Diet, Mature Adult, Gourmet Beef Entree. Essentially you just want a "loaf style" canned food. I slipped it out of the can and sliced it in dime or smaller bites, placed the pieces on a foil lined (and sprayed) cookie sheet and popped them in a 285 oven. Baked for 25 minutes on one side, flipped and then baked for another 25 minutes. They have to stay refrigerated, but they should work fine for a toothless senior. Just watch and be sure they don't get too crunchy.

Elvis also now has a topical flea treatment on. I put it on late this morning, and I've not seen any reactions to it, so I suspect it's fine. He's also splitting his time between laying on the pillow next to Haley and laying on the floor by my chair. It seems he may be moving towards being with humans more than dogs, which is great. I was afraid his closeness to Haley might be a problem, but it looks like he's weaning himself away from her some. He'll just move at his own pace.

Sometimes I don't know where my mind is. I'd completely overlooked the fact that one of the symptoms of congestive heart failure is weight fluctuation. That would explain the swings I'm seeing. I will go ahead and weigh him every day and keep a log of it in case it swings badly off course and I need to contact the vet, but I'm not going to worry a great deal about taking weight off. The excess weight he was carrying seems to have been water because he definitely "feels" different. Looser, I guess is the way to put it. I can also feel ribs, so I have to think that getting him on a better quality food is going to help. I'll keep an eye on his weight, but I've seen 8.6 pounds up to 11 pounds. I think that's the range I'm going to try to keep him in.

He joined us in the dining room voluntarily tonight. He doesn't like the noises when the plates are being served, but he's interested in what's on them. And he's definitely more relaxed. He'll be laying down with his head pointing away from me and when he hears my feet shift he cocks an ear back or raises his head, but he rarely turns around and generally just lays his head back down. I'm really proud of how well he's done over the last week.

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