Well, it seems I've created a monster. :(
Having Skeeter and Elvis sleep together at night was such a wonderful fix for his issues sleeping through the night, that I really didn't think about it causing a new problem. **sigh**
It wasn't until yesterday that it dawned on my why he's seemingly reverted to a fear of people (though that's a little harsh a term for it). However, yesterday, when everyone went outside to potty, Skeeter climbed the short fence we have that divides our backyard and Elvis followed him. Twice! I'd noticed Elvis was pinging in heavily on Skeeter (like he did with Haley when we first brought him home), but I didn't connect the new sleeping arrangements to it. Or, well, some of it, sure, but not the increased spookiness. He has tied himself so tightly to Skeeter that he's not able to handle people interactions again. Basically, if Skeeter isn't getting the exact same sort of attention, Elvis goes into a panic.
So this is going to have to stop. Tomorrow, Randall and I will hopefully get down to the shelter to pick up his Valium. With that here, I'll move Skeeter back into his crate tomorrow night, and we'll deal with the separation anxiety that's bound to crop up. There's really nothing for it, though. I told Randall there will be some nights we'll want to put the boys together (like when we have storms in the area or if he just won't settle down and it kicks off his coughing), but tomorrow night, we're going to have to go back to the regular sleeping arrangements.
That said, I talked with Dr. Walthall this morning about Elvis' heartworm treatment. I was really having concerns about giving him the injection because it's so debilitating and you have to watch them like a hawk. That could normally be done , but since I'm going to Dallas for two weeks in March, it became even more of a concern. Randall can handle the normal stuff we're doing, but for the heartworm treatment, I really need to be here.
What we'll do is continue giving him the heartworm pill (like a normal preventative would be given) until April. At that point, we'll reassess his health and breathing condition and if he's doing well, we'll go with staying on the monthly preventative without a shot. Essentially if he lives two years and is on the monthly preventative, the adult heartworms will die of old age. So that's what I'm hoping for. He can get the treatment that all dogs should have, and if he lives two years, he should be heartworm free. I think that's the best way to go with him. He may not be with us two years, but if he is, then the heartworms shouldn't be an issue any longer.
As far as his steroids go, he is doing well on the 1/4 Prednisone, but today is the first day he's been off it (we're doing one day on and one day off). I should have a pretty good idea by early next week if he's going to do OK on the every other day schedule or if he needs it every day. Regardless of the timing, it looks like Pred is a permanent part of Elvis' meds routine. It seems to handle the vast majority of his breathing issues, so he'll stay on it, Lasix, Robitussen DM (or Guafinisen), Enalapril, and Torbutrol (as needed). The Valium will be for the times he's gotten into a panic attack and can't be talked out of it.