The update part is actually very short. :)
Elvis continues to wheeze some and cough some, but if I had to put it on a scale of 1-10, I'd say he pretty well stays at a 2. Sometimes up to a three, and sometimes down to a one, but on average it's a two. This is good because it means he can continue to sleep through the night, and I don't have to push water on him because he's coughing so much and dehydrating himself. A definite improvement there.
Now, for the future plans. :)
He will begin a small dose of steroids on Monday to help him with his wheezing/breathing. I had hoped he'd be able to go on them, but Dr. Walthall wanted to consult with some other vets to ensure that the steroids would be OK for a dog with his physical problems. It is OK, so Monday Randall will drive out to the clinic and pick up his pills.
If these help stabilize him, Dr. Walthall wants to look into treating the adult heartworms that he has. She feels that many of his problems may actually be coming more from that situation, and if he's stable, addressing it could very well help.
Making the assumption here that the steroids will do what we hope, I've emailed Fallon (the new foster care director at the shelter) to find out how she wants to handle this. Normally, heartworm treatment for positive dogs is given by injection, but because that is so very debilitating, Dr. Walthall wants to use a monthly treatment pill each week for a few weeks. Right now, I'm not sure where I'm getting the pills, but since this is a treatment like his Lasix and other heart drugs, the shelter should pick up that cost. Once he's been treated successfully, then he can move over to the preventative I use for my guys and it will be treated like just part of his diet.
I did ask that we not make any plans to start this until after the first of the year. There's just too much going on at home to add something like this. I want us to be able to give him our undivided attention. I doubt we'd make the decision to move to the new treatment before then, but I wanted to mention it just in case.
And that's where we are. I'll post another update after he's had a chance to be on the steroids for a bit and we can see if they're helping.