Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 19-21, Saturday-Monday


I'm combing these two days because both are seeing a lot of medicine tweaking.

I have no idea what's causing the increased coughing (progression of his disease, new medication, something else), but he's been doing quite a bit of coughing and I've been tweaking his cough tablet for the last couple of days. Saturday ended up with two 1/2 and one 1/4 tablets throughout the day. Sunday morning I went ahead and added 1/4 of a tablet to his breakfast and I've not heard any coughing today. I'll add another 1/4 tablet to his dinner unless I end up having to give him something before. This is really frustrating because I've no real idea how long his new heart medicine will take to begin working (what I've been reading is showing several days) or if it will at all.

I am also keeping an eye on his weight because he has been down from his 8 pound weight since I weighed him on 9/7. He's been between 7 and 8, so it's not extreme weight loss, but he's sat at 7.2 now for five days. I know weight loss is a symptom of congestive heart failure, but I don't know if this is tied to anything I need to worry about, so I'm going to weigh him every day for the next several so I can keep track of what's going on. My intention right now is to monitor what his coughing/breathing and his weight do over the next two days and if there's still concern, I'll call the vet on Wednesday or Thursday.


Yesterday and today, I added 1/4 of his cough tablet to his breakfast and dinner, and that seemed to "preempt" his coughing. He actually did really, really well with it today (and Sunday I saw less, too). Weight today was at 7.6, so while that's less than the target range I like him in (8-9), it's a gain from the last few times I've weighed him.

He did have a really bad experience tonight, though he handled the aftermath well. I had just put him on his lead (it's usually attached to the arm of my desk chair), and when I got up to go check the progress of our dinner, I didn't notice the lead wrapped around my ankle and tripped. Since we have linoleum throughout the house, I fell hard and loud and dragged him and my chair a couple of feet. Fortunately I didn't hurt myself, but the other two dogs weren't convinced and had to be crated so I could check on Elvis. He was pretty badly shaken and his little body was vibrating, but he wasn't coughing, and after a couple of minutes in my lap, he calmed down. Obviously I would have preferred not falling and traumatizing him, but he actually handled the situation pretty well. A far cry from how he would have done a few weeks ago.

We also took him outside this afternoon to try out his new "swimming pool." That wasn't at all successful, in part because a) it was very new and strange to him and b) we were out there (something he really isn't used to). I suspect we'll need to get him used to the new container here in the house first and then take it and him outside and see if the experience improves. We may have waited too long because it is beginning to get cooler here, though not by a tremendous amount, and he's still our resident water baby. Here are three new pictures of him, too.

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