Friday, February 26, 2010


Just a quick update on why I'm not updating.

Rest assured, Elvis is doing just fine.

I'm all involved with one of my cats over I mentioned the other day. We took Savoy in on Monday to see Dr. Walthall, and after a CBC was done, it looks like he has a kidney infection. He got an antibiotic shot, but I'm not seeing much in the way of improvement, though some mouth sores have cleared up.

I'm having to syringe feed him four times a day which is taking up all my Oomph. Come Monday if he's not improved, I'll call for some oral antibiotics (which Dr. Walthall mention as a possibility when she saw him). My suspicions are that the Convenia, which has mouth ulcers listed as one of its main targets, isn't geared as much for a kidney infection. I've had Baytril highly recommended to me on my Devon rex mailing list as being very effective on kidney infections, so I'll ask Dr. Walthall about that if she doesn't suggest it.

Anyway, I'll post more on Elvis after I get more of a handle on Savoy. But like I said, Elvis is doing really, really well.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2_21_10 Quick update

Elvis is doing just fine. He did need a Torb last night for the slight coughing/wheezing he had, but that took care of it. Since he's on the daily Pred, he only needs a Torb every 7-10 days which is really good.

This update is short because I'm currently dealing with a sick cat. My tabby boy, Savoy, has been having problems since yesterday...not eating; listless. I've got to call in a refill of Elvis's meds in the morning, and I want to see if Dr. Walthall can see him. I've been force feeding with a syringe since last night, but that's not an optimum situation. Hopefully this isn't something serious.

I'll post another update on Elvis later in the week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Update 2_16_2010

Sort of a minor, rambling update here. :)

Elvis is doing well. Since going on the small dose of Pred once a day, the improvement in his breathing is really remarkable. Even when he comes running in from the back of the yard, his breathing is pretty much clear. If he does wheeze or cough, it's only really briefly. From looking at his calendar, I'm estimating that he will need a Torbutrol every week to 10 days. That's a huge improvement over the dosage he was getting before the Pred got added to his routine.

To build on the lurking post of last week. He is really getting brave. He definitely knows the kitchen is where it's at, so he comes in there nearly every time I'm in there working. If silverware drops, he runs back into the den, but then turns right around and comes back in. This is a really good turn of events.

Elvis has also gotten brave enough to walk past the cats at lunch to come in here and get his little lunch treats. I have Science Diet loaf style canned food that I chop up and bake so he can have treats like the other guys, and he LOVES them. I'm so glad he's decided that walking past the cats is something he can do.

He's got Skeeter sleeping with him every other night, though he's waking Randall up very early to go outside (5 am early), and when he comes back in, Skeeter goes in with him. I would like to have him alone in his own crate as much as possible because he depends less on his bunkmate, but I'm not sure Randall can handle the early wake up calls on a regular basis. Randall is going to have to let me know about that one...I wear earplugs, so I'm blissfully unaware of anything going on.

As a side note. This blog is going to go on vacation from March 7-March 27. For those of you keeping track, when I had my lower teeth pulled in preparation for my radiation treatments for cancer, I had to wait a year to get teeth. One delay led to another, but I'm going to Dallas on March 7 and won't be back in town until March 26. If something weird happens, Randall will post an update.

I had hoped to have some pictures to post, but I just haven't had the chance to take any. Hopefully I can get some over the next several days and post them with my next update.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Elvis former "owner" sentenced

It's a damn shame the guy can't be forced to live inside a cage with several inches of his feces for company.

Elm Mott man receives deferred probation on animal cruelty charges


For the last couple of nights, every time I'm in the kitchen getting stuff ready for dinner, Elvis is lurking around. This is a first.

I can only catch him out of the corner of my eye, and if I look straight at him he leaves, but it's like he's put two and two together and realizes the Food Lady does food stuff in there and he gets some of it later. Now he wants to be in there for the prep even if he's not quite brave enough to do more than hover around the edges.

Back to double crating


Elvis was doing so well sleeping on his own for the first few nights. Then night before last, Haley had to get up to potty. Well, it was 5:50 am really and not the middle of the night. Elvis had to get up and potty. Randall let Skeeter out with him and then double crated the boys and that was it.

This morning at 5:20, it was the same thing (minus Haley needing out), so out Elvis went and Randall told me that between the time Elvis was crated and he could pick up Skeeter to put him in with him, Elvis was pawing madly at the crate door. Once Skeeter was in, he was fine.

This is a dilemma. Apparently there isn't always some external problem causing the initial wake up...he's on so many medicines that increase thirst/urination that that just about HAS to be the culprit at times . The problem seems to be that since he wakes up and realizes he's alone, he simply has to go outside. With Skeeter in with him, that doesn't seem to be the case. Don't ask me why. My thinking is when you gotta go, you gotta go. But apparently with Elvis, it's sort of depends on something that isn't always the bladder being full.

So I told Randall I wanted to try putting Skeeter with him tonight and then not tomorrow night. I'm hoping we can do an on/off thing because Elvis does seem to be "braver" and less reliant on Skeeter since he's had a couple of nights without him.

To make things worse, I've got a head cold, so I'm sleeping in the front room. That means I miss out on the antics (not that I'm particularly coherent enough at 5:00 to make much sense if I give advice), and everything is sort of a "best guess."

Anyway, that's what I want to try. I'm hoping that the on again/off again routine will help stabilize Elvis without making him so emotionally dependent on Skeeter. Fingers crossed that will work. If it was happening at 2 in the morning, I'd go with trying a Valium, but at 5:30 or 6:00, that seems like overkill.

(The weather has been too icky and grey to get any pictures, so I'm hoping maybe this weekend will give me a better shot. If so, I should have a few to post.)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Dinner time!

We got another video of Elvis. This time it's during our dinner, when I turn into The Food Lady. :)

If the weather cooperates (it's supposed to sleet over the next day or two) and we get decent light, I'm hoping to take a few pictures of him here in the house...I doubt he'll happily stand in the yard in the rain/sleet.

Also, I finished clipping his nails this afternoon. I had the rear ones left, but I wanted to be sure not to give him another Valium close on the heels of the one last week. He panicked like I expected, but the Valium took the edge off and, again, didn't knock him out. Just calmed him, so I'm really happy with that response. He's so medicine sensitive that I just never know what will bug him. The Valium doesn't, though, which is great.

Hopefully I'll have a few pictures to post of him later in the week.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Elvis stars in a movie

This is Elvis in his first starring role on film. :)

Haley (our dachshund) always has to checkout the empty dog food bag once the food has been emptied out into the storage container. I figured this might be a chance to catch Elvis on film, and it was. Of course, you can tell he wasn't too thrilled about the event.

Outstanding Hotdog :)

I meant to post a link to this the other day. While it really has nothing to do with Elvis, it reminds me of Brenna, my last smooth dachshund show dog, who went down in the back at the age of 14 and after a few months of being unable to walk, began to get up on all four legs and move around. Sheer determination and willpower. We lost her last January when she was nearly 17. That dog owned my soul.

So this one is for Brenna.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Good Night

Moving Skeeter back to his crate for the night went without a hitch. Not a peep was heard from Elvis, so tonight will be the same thing. Sunday and Monday night has possible thunderstorms and one night with high wind...those two nights will be good for Skeeter to camp out in Elvis' crate. We'll just take it night by night.

I'm also hoping tomorrow to clip Elvis' back toenails. I know that will be a Valium event, so the pills will be ready.

Unless something happens, I suspect I won't post another update for several days.

Friday, February 05, 2010

2_5_10 Update

All is still going well with Elvis, though I am seeing far too much reliance on Skeeter. To the point he's missing out on some things that he particularly enjoyed before we began bunking them together.

So if all goes well this evening, Skeeter will get to stay in his own crate tonight. Obviously if something sets Elvis off between now and bedtime that will change, but for now, that's the plan.

I'll post tomorrow about how the transition goes.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

2_3_10 Early afternoon update

Just a very quick update on Elvis and the Valium since it's been 3 hours since his dose.

It looks like no allergic reactions, and while the Valium takes the edge off the anxiety, it doesn't knock him out or sedate him too heavily. He has been interested in our lunch and on my doings in the kitchen, and while he still has some reservations about people (normal during/after) a panic attack, he's pretty well calmed down to normal. No drowsiness to speak of and his respiration looks to be pretty normal.

So unless something changes, it looks like he reacts well to the Valium, so it should go in my bag of tools for future problems.

2_3_10 Mmmmmmmm....Valium

Elvis got his first 1/4 tablet of Valium at 10:30 this morning. I knew that when I cut his toenails it would send him into a panic, and if that didn't do it, doing Skeeter's would since he screams and howls like I'm amputating his toes.

Sure enough...Elvis went into a full blown panic complete with gasping, struggling, coughing and people avoidance. I had called the clinic to give them a heads up on what I was going to do, so they're alerted. Now I just have to watch and be sure he reacts OK to it. I figure the first 15 minutes to 1 hour is the usual time to watch for an allergic reaction to the medicine. After that, I will need to keep an eye on the sedation/breathing.

I did ask about having to follow up with a Torbutrol in case he ever gets into a situation where the Valium doesn't completely do the trick. In a normal dog, Valium lasts 2-4 hours...we're not sure about him, so if he got a Torb, it would only be after monitoring him for his sedation level. This is one of those things that's not cut and dried, but more of an eyeball test. Unfortunate, but pretty much what I suspected.

One thing...I was only able to do his front feet before his stress level went through the roof and the struggling became a real worry. So I stopped. I'll have to do his back feet later, and I suspect I'll wait until this weekend. I don't want to get him ramped up, give him a Valium to bring him down and then ramp him right back up and not be able to give him anything to settle him back down. So I suspect Sunday will be the next time I go for his feet (and I want to give him a Valium first and then give it an hour to work).

Plans here are all predicated on him tolerating the Valium without trouble.

I'll post later today after I see how he does over the next few hours. (Randall did just come in and tell me that the Valium has seemed to calm him down because he's now out in the basket rather than cowering under the desk like I know he would have been. That means it's taken the Valium about 15-20 minutes to start having an effect.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Update 2_2_10

I've made inroads over on the calendar (linked on the right), and should hopefully be able to keep more medical notes. I really should have done this a long time ago, but I didn't think about it. I've also uploaded a number of photos, and I'll add more later. Since the blog is more chatty (even with medical updates), it's harder for me to find things if I have to go back in time and see what happened. The calendar should help me there. If you click on the link and can't get to the calender or see the pictures, post a comment in here and I'll go over and try to figure it out. This is a new site to me, so it's always possible I've not got it set up right.

Elvis definitely has a reaction to the heartworm pill. We gave that Sunday night around 9pm, and yesterday morning I had to give him 1/2 a Torbutrol to calm the coughing, He was still coughing some 6 hours later, so I gave him 1/4 of one. That seemed to handle it, and he didn't have to have another dose before bedtime.

This morning Randall said he was still coughing a bit more than normal, so when I dished up his breakfast, I gave him 1/4 of another one. Knock on wood that that's done it. I'm not hearing any coughing right now, so it's possible that's all there is to it. I'll want to keep in mind that the 48 hours after a heartworm pill seems to kick off a reaction. With the Torbutrol here, I don't have nearly the fear of the serious coughing reaction he had the first time we gave it to him in early December. I know Dr. Walthall will be happy to hear that, since I'm sure she doesn't like midnight clinic visits anymore than we do.

I have also added a bit of canned pumpkin to his diet. He's been constipated some for the last several days, and while I've been able to add some fiber (lettuce ribs, etc) to his dinner, that hasn't been enough. So now with his breakfast, he gets 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin. With any luck this will help straighten him out. A lot of medicine has this as a side effect, and while I've not noticed it before, the Prednisone may be causing it.

The other problem I see is that he is still having the behavior problems. Spookiness is an issue, but I'm hoping when I get him moved into his own crate that will lessen. Pred may also be contributing here, and if it is, we'll just have to live with it. There are a lot of benefits from that steroid, and we can deal with a bit of spookiness if it means Elvis can breathe without wheezing and coughing.

If all goes well I plan on cutting his toenails tomorrow morning. I want to do that while the clinic is open because I'm nearly 100% sure that he'll have to have a Valium, and I want to be sure I can get to help if he has a reaction. Once I see how that goes, I'll hopefully be able to move Skeeter back into his crate at night. I won't try that until some time this weekend since rain/wind is in the forecast and I would rather not have extra trauma ladled on top of separation anxiety...and I know there will be some of that.

I'll post a quick update after I've had a chance to see how he handles the Valium.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Blog Name Change

I decided today that the name of this blog should really reflect who it's about...Elvis.

When I started this back in July, I honestly didn't expect him to be with us this many months down the road. But he is, thankfully, and since the blog really is all about him...well, the title should include his name.

Hopefully this won't jinx anything because he is doing so very well, but since it's about him it should say so. When the time comes for this blog to make an exit from the world of updates and another foster dog comes in, he'll have a blog of his own. For now, though, blogging is about Elvis and I'm happy it's that way.

New Blog Feature

I finally did something I should have done months ago and that is add a calendar to Elvis' blog. I just got around to it this morning, and it is linked over on the right hand side under Useful Links. From what I can tell, the calendar is public, so anyone who is reading this should be able to click the link and be taken over to another site that maintains the calendar.

Essentially I'm using it for medicine updates and how he's reacting to meds or whether he's doing a lot of coughing and such. The information will still be in the blog posts, but I need some way of going back in time to see previous issues.

Also, I hope to upload a lot of his pictures there, too. With any luck, those should be public, too.