We went ahead and took Elvis in to see the vet who works with the Waco Humane Society. Mainly I wanted her to check him over since she hadn't seen him since mid-July when we went to get him to foster him. His weight was down a bit from where I'd like it (though her scales are different from mine and I'll always go by mine...he was 6.8 there and 7.6 here).
She did ask what medicines he was on, and added a heart tablet to his routine. His cough pill changed, too. The heart medicine is one pill twice a day, the Lasix is still twice a day, though I will try decreasing that a bit once Haley comes out of season. Dr. Walthall said to basically tweak his dosage, so for now it will be the heart pill (Pimobendan 1.25 mg) twice a day, the 1 cc Lasix twice a day and the cough pill which is an expectorant (Guaifenesin) at 1/4 to 1/2 pill as needed for coughing. Once we know if the heart pill is working, I'll start backing down his Lasix a bit. The heart pill might also back down some, but that will be dependent on how he handles the lower Lasix dosage (I can see a drug diary in my future to keep up with this!)
Also, he handled the trip and the office visit, really, really well. He shook some (not unusual) and was nervous, but he didn't cough and he handled the exam and new people really well. I did put him down on the floor while we were getting the medicines sorted out, and he was confident enough to smell around the desk. So he weathered that little experience very well, and I was proud of him.
He got his first dose of the heart pill this morning with breakfast. Got his Lasix and then a couple of hours later, he got a cough tablet. The heart pill will take several days before we know if it will work well, so I'll call the vet in a week or so. This new cough pill works fast, though. It also seems to really halt his cough. His other tablet worked, but he'd occasionally cough after he'd had it. This one doesn't let any cough through. He's also not wheezing, which is something I'd been noticing some over the last few days. Nothing bad, just a bit of a wheeze (one reason I wanted him to see his vet) that seemed a bit tough to stop.
So far he's been good all day with the new stuff. The heart pill will effect the blood pressure, and the vet warned me he might be a little light headed. Not sure how I'd know unless there was something physical to key in on, but I've not seen anything today, so he may be handling that well.
One thing I did find. I will NOT cut the cough tablet down to 1/4 before making sure the new heart medicine works. Tonight I ended up doing 1/4 pill about 25 minutes apart, and then when that didn't kick his cough, I had to give him another 1/2 pill. So the 1/4 test is going to have to wait a bit. From my notes, it looks like his cough kicks in about 2 hours after his Lasix.
This morning Elvis ate breakfast at 7:00, and by 10:30, he hadn't started coughing. Not sure that means much, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the new heart medicine might actually be kicking in faster than we expected. One meal does not a good sample make, though, so we'll have to wait and see how it goes the rest of the day and over the weekend.
Apparently the outside air is triggering something with him. I've often wondered if he wasn't allergic to something out there since he spent so much time his first several days here scratching. He does fine with his cough when he's inside, but Randall and I notice that it's when he comes in from outside that he's most likely going to cough. He has sometimes done that in the past right after eating or drinking, but that always passes within a few minutes. When he comes in from outside and starts coughing, he doesn't stop until I give him a pill. That happened late this afternoon after he came in from his pre-dinner trip outside and then again after his final trip out for the night. I'm really hoping the new heart tablets will help with this, but I've no idea yet.
It's finally stopped raining after nearly a week of it, so I'm hoping to get some new pictures of him. I'd like to take some video with my digicam, but that might have to wait until after Randall mows the yard.