Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29, Update

Man. It's been nearly 10 days since my last update. Oops! But I had a loaner laptop come in last week and I've been busy getting that up and running, so hopefully I can do a bit better.

Elvis has had a bit of an inadvertent medicine problem. Mea culpa. I had put him back on 1 cc of Lasix twice a day since he was taken off the Vetmedin and it has been more humid here which had increased his coughing, and it finally caught up with him. Not being used to toy breeds, I forget sometimes that medicine amounts can really add up.

Bless his heart. It wasn't ANYTHING like the Vetmedin, but that's probably because we noticed it sooner. He was having the same sort of behavioral reaction that he had with the other medicine. Increased spookiness, some confusion and general trust issues. His coat had also gone to shit...shedding and flaking...and while the olive oil that I added to his diet was helping, it couldn't do it all.

He got cut back to .75 cc twice a day about five days ago, and he's made a full behavioral recovery. His coat has also come back nicely. I really, really, really am going to have to watch his dosage amounts.

I also need to call Dr. Walthall's office tomorrow and set up a follow-up appointment with her. She had wanted to see him about six weeks after the first time we took him in, so it's about time. I wanted to get us past Thanksgiving and some doctor's appointments I had before we took him in.

All in all, though, he's doing really very well. His coughing is very much under control, though I've notice a bit of wheezing occasionally, and his behavior and attitude are good. Definitely a far cry from the scared little boy we brought in here in July.

I'll post another update after we see his vet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20, 2009

Randall and I went by the shelter on Wednesday to pick up Elvis' medicine, and like we'd hoped to do, we took him with us.

The folks there were very happy to see him and said how good he looked. Sadly, poor little Elvis didn't enjoy the experience much. He definitely knew where he was, and started shaking and coughing right after he got into the lobby. He was much, much worse than he was when we took him to the vets office.

I suspect that he thought he was being left, since Randall said when he got back to the van and saw his crate, he was VERY excited to get back in there. Anyway, we'd hoped he'd do better, but I completely understand that he was anxious about the situation. And, as you can imagine, he was very happy to get home and back with his buds. :)

On a bit unrelated note. I got the results from my CT scan yesterday, and the cancer still hasn't returned. That means I will feel much more like enjoying the holiday season and able to tackle whatever needs Elvis has over the next several months. I won't have another CT until next December, so unless something shows up physically, I'm not going to give it another thought.

Also, this means that I can definitely speak more with Dr. Walthall about the immature heartworm treatment she mentioned to Randall. I'll call her next week and get an appointment set up for after Thanksgiving. Elvis is doing very well, but I'm not a vet and I can only go on what I'm seeing.

Not sure if I'll post an update next week or not. I probably will because Randall and I don't really celebrate Thanksgiving, but do our Christmas decorating...and since I still wear out easily, we'll start it on Monday or Tuesday. I'll probably end up updating on how Elvis has handled the experience...because there is a LOT of decorating in this house. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009

Ever have one of those "AHA!!!" moments? Well, Randall and I had one today.

Elvis has been getting back under his desk, and working himself further and further back into the corner. For no reason that we could understand. And he's just been spooky as all get out. For no reason we could understand.

So, last night, Randall went and got a box and stuck under the desk. Smoked out, Elvis had to come out and deal with the world. And low and behold, today he's been a different dog. Apparently there's some sort of cycle that he gets into if he can hide away. He hides, he gets spooky/scared and he hides more and he gets more spooky/scared. And around it goes.

But, apparently, when he has to come out and be more involved in the goings on around here, he becomes a great deal more brave.

So he's off the cholodin and the box is a permanent fixture under Randall's desk. What an improvement. :)

Our only problem right now is that the humidity is going up, and it's playing hell with his heart condition. I'm not sure there's a thing we can do about it, but it's definitely an issue...even here in the house. He'll just be monitored closely and given another cough pill if he needs it. His spooky/scared bit was aggravating the problem, so at least we've got that worked out and that part is alleviated.

I would like to give him a bath early in the week and take him with us to the Humane Society when we go pick up his medicine refills. He's still shedding like crazy, but I know the Lasix is causing that. I want them to see him, though, since he's doing so much better than he was in July when we brought him home.

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

(Just a quick update here, since I'm still using my husband's PC.)

Elvis is doing well. Occasionally he has to have another cough tablet added to his two 1/2 pills he gets a day, but at this point, he's not on any special heart medicine like the Vetmedin. He's still getting his Lasix, and with the cough tablets, that seems to be enough.

I have added 1/2 CC once a day of olive oil. The Lasix seems to really dry out his skin and coat (which is understandable since it's a diuretic), and that seems to be helping. I'm also brushing him daily with a slicker brush (to pull out the dead hair) and then following up with a bristle brush to work out the dander. Takes all of five minutes (he's a small dog! LOL), and it does seem to relieve a lot of his itching and has improved the feel/appearance of his coat and skin.

Also, he seems to be having a bit more trouble with anxiety. Nothing huge; nothing unmanageable; nothing consistent, but I have some cholodin here that I had when we had my senior dachshund, Brenna, who suffered from dementia in the last stages of her life. Cholodin is something that actually seems to work (to varying degrees) to help alleviate a lot of senior dog "moments" and physical problems associated with that. He's getting 1/4 tablet, and I just started him on that three or four days ago. It takes a week to 10 days to kick in, so by the end of next week, I hope to see some stabilizing. If I don't see improvements within 2-3 weeks, I'll take him off it. No point in over-medicating the little fella.

And, as I think I've mentioned before, he's massively obsessed with finding soft spots to lay on. Preferably between someones legs so he can be "protected." He's been spending a lot of time on the ottoman in the living room, and you can see him circling it and staring lovingly at it when he can't get up there. I guess it's safe to say that's his obsession. Every animal in this house has something to obsess about, and soft spots (the ottoman in particular) are his. LOL

On a personal note, I've got a CT scan scheduled for this afternoon (being a cancer survivor, I get these), and once I get the results (hopefully by the end of next week), I'll want to make an appointment for his vet to see him around the first of December. Nothing special at this point, but she wanted to check him out, and I want her to see him and talk to her about treating the unhatched heartworms. I don't know enough about that to say grace over, so I'd like to find out more about what's involved and what he'd go through.

Monday, November 02, 2009

November 2, Monday

It's been a slow week. :)

Elvis' weight seems to have gone back up to the over 8 lb mark. The last several weighings that I've done have put him at 8.6 or 8.8, which is good. I really would rather have him over 8 lb. I suspect that when he drops down under 8, the heartworm eggs are hatching. I definitely want to keep an eye on this, and I do want to talk to his vet before Thanksgiving.

The only thing I'm seeing right now that has me a bit concerned is his coat. He's blowing an awful lot of it, and the texture seems a bit different. Not sure if this is heartworm related or just something he's cycling through. If it keeps up, this will get mentioned to Dr. Walthall. Right now, I'm simply brushing him every couple of days to pull out the dead coat.

I will say his 1/2 pill twice a day of the cough medicine coupled with the .75-1 CC of Lasix twice a day seems to be doing the job very well. I have only rarely had to give him another cough tablet to help ease his cough. And, since he's not panicking hardly at all now, that doesn't drive the coughing to a worse state.

He has also developed an EXTREME love of soft particular the ottoman that's in the living room that I use when I'm stitching. He's gotten where he "haunts" me here in the den if I've not spent an adequate (according to him!) amount of time in there so he can lay on it. He still goes in and stares lovingly at it during dinner, and last night, when Randall picked him up off it and brought him here in the den in preparation for going outside, he said Elvis rushed back around the corner to get back to it. LOL

Apparently, too, Elvis has some pretty sharp elbows that he uses to be first out the door when all three dogs go outside. He muscles his way past Haley (a feat when you consider he's all of 8 or so pounds and she's over 20), in order to get out the door first and then he races to beat Skeeter to the back of the yard. He's got quite the competitive streak when it comes to this, so he does everything he can to be first out the door. Yesterday afternoon, he was pushing out the door so hard that he ended up going out at an angle and tripping over his feet.

I'd love to get a video of this, but I'm not sure I can. It's funny though to watch him fight to be first out and then pin his ears back and take off. I just wish his heart condition didn't limit his physical activity, but it does. Otherwise I suspect he and Skeeter would do a lot of running in the yard.

I know I keep promising more pictures, but I'm having a hard time a) getting pictures taken because of the rains we've had and b) getting new ones off the camera because my online time is so limited right now. I hope to have some posted this week.