Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010 - Quick Update

Since I'm still up in Dallas, and will be through Friday, May 7, I'm just going to post a really quick update.

Elvis is doing well at home with Randall. His weight is stable (7.8 lbs), and his coughing is minimal. Randall did have to give him a Torb one night, but that was mainly because Howdy was prowling around squalling. That makes him nervous at the best of times.

Other than that, all is well. He's bunking a lot with Skeeter because of storms coming through the area, but he's handling them well from what Randall said.

I will probably post another quickie update sometime next week unless something happens.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

4_14_10 Update

This will probably be my last update until I get back from Dallas in May.

Elvis is doing fine. His weight is fluctuating a bit between 7.6 and 8.2 pounds, but I think that's more reflective of his food than anything else. One thing you can say about this little guy, his pasture has improved tremendously since we brought him in.

I did have to give him 1/2 a Valium today because I cut his toenails. That always stresses him terribly and I keep the Valium ready because I know he'll need it. Sure enough, he did, but the Valium did its job quickly and he settled right down. I shouldn't have to cut his toenails again until June. I was hoping to make it every three months, but they just get too long.

One new thing. He chased a bird tonight after dinner. :) First time he's ever shown any interest in any of the birds or squirrels that come in the yard, but Randall saw him do it and said there was no mistaking what he was doing.

I do have a major complaint about him, though. There is apparently some bug or something that is coming out of the ground in our yard at dusk/night, and Elvis refuses to come in until he's grazed his fill. Unfortunately, that can take 20-30 minutes which means the evenings are spent yelling at the back door for him. There's no question he hears us because lots of times he looks up from his grazing to look at us, but there's no getting him in until he's good and ready to leave the buffet. If I could walk, I'd go out there and see just what in the hell it is he finds so tasty.

Anyway, I leave for Dallas on Sunday, and Elvis will stay here with Randall. I can't imagine that I'll do any sort of update, but Randall has assured me that if something happens, he'll post an update here on the blog. He also said he'll try to post one general update a week if he gets a chance.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vacation reminder

Just a reminder that Elvis' blog will be on vacation from this weekend until around May 8. I'll be in Dallas during that time and unless something happens with Elvis, the blog will be on hiatus.

Friday, April 09, 2010

4_9_10 Update

Oh man. Not a good day for poor little Elvis.

We were scheduled to take him to the clinic this morning for a quick checkup and his booster shot. We'd gotten the stuff in the van, and all that was left was for Randall to take him out and put him in his crate.

He walked out the utility room door into the garage with Elvis in his arms, saw the door was down, and hit the button to raise it. Big mistake. It blew Elvis' mind. Got him in the crate and while Randall had run back inside for something, Elvis expressed his anal glands. So out I get, open the door to the crate and catch him just in time as he launches himself across the seats to the open door.

Poor little guy. He's shaking and coughing. Got the towel exchanged and Elvis back in the crate and off we go. Get a block away and I can hear him wheezing and coughing and obviously in the grip of a full blown panic attack. I had Randall turn the van around and go back for a Valium.

We got out of the driveway and started the drive over and in about five minute I could tell the drug was beginning to take the edge off. The drive to the clinic take 20-30 minutes and by the time we pulled in, he was about 80% recovered.

Got into the clinic and it was apparently the day for new shelter animals to get checked over. Everyone in the clinic was going nuts trying to get a handle on the new shelter dogs and surgery and Elvis. Of course, that set Elvis back off again.

Fortunately we got him calmed down just enough, but when Dr. Walthall saw him (and this was on the bench in the waiting room), she listened to his lungs and asked, "Elvis. Why aren't you dead yet?" LOL His lungs sounded bad still from his panic attack.

That aside, she said she didn't want to give him his booster because if he was doing well (and he really is), she doesn't want to jinx it. And, frankly, it's not like he's exposed to anything now and even if we brought in another dog, the vaccine he was given last year should be effective for another year.

So, today wasn't the best of days for the stumpy fella, but once he got home and around his buds, his cough went completely away and his behavior went back to normal. I'm just sorry he had to go through hell this morning, but like I told Randall, it's hard to know what will set him off, and there are times he goes nuts and you don't know if it's going to be a five minute episode or a 50 minute episode. This morning it just happened to be the latter.

Since things have calmed down now, I'll probably not post another update until early next week.

Monday, April 05, 2010

4_5_10 Update

Just a quick update.

Elvis is still doing the coughing bit, though now it's in the evening after his dinner/before ours. He is really getting himself worked up, and when he does, the cough starts.

Of course, what's really starting it is the potty break after dinner is the one where both Skeeter and Haley are ready to tear down the door to go outside. That just totally ramps him up and he's flying down the path fully stretched out to hit the back of the yard first. I know he really shouldn't do that; that much exertion isn't good for him, but he LOVES it SOOOO much, I just can't bring myself to stop him.

So between the oak mold, the evening run down the path and the excitement he's working up to before our dinner, he's getting 1/2 of a Torb pretty much every evening. The good news is that since we keep the house closed up now, he's not coughing like made in the morning.

So it looks like we've exchanged one problem for another, but it's manageable, so I'm not really worried.

Also, Elvis has an appointment Friday morning to go in for a checkup with Dr. Walthall. I just want her to go over him and also give him his vaccination since I'll be shooting my guys here at the end of the month.

I'll update after she sees him.

Friday, April 02, 2010

4_2_10 Update

Randall came in this morning with the news that Elvis did very little coughing when he first got up. Just the usual bit when he first begins moving around when he comes out of his crate, but nothing more.

Since I get up an hour or so later than Randall (he's up at 6:30; I'm up about 8:00)and then feed shortly after I get in the den, there's a pretty good stretch of time for Elvis to either settle down or keep coughing. When I got up and in the den, there wasn't any coughing to be heard. I went ahead and dialed the Lasix back to .75 ml.

So it looks like Elvis has an allergy to oak mold, which really isn't surprising considering our house has three huge live oak trees and the amount of leaves on the ground in the spring is unbelievable. And, well, since his coughing really seemed to get worse as the oak mold count climbed, it wasn't rocket science. Obviously allergies aren't the only problem, but they do seem to exacerbate his heart condition and the breathing problems he has.

So with that in mind, we'll be careful about opening the house for the next couple of weeks (the green hairies will be falling from the trees soon), though we'll probably try opening the house a bit in the morning and then shutting it up in the afternoon and running the house fan.

(Oh. And he had his heartworm pill last night, and there's no coughing from it, either. This is the second month now that he's not coughed the day after the treatment.)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Dog Quote

I saw this on one of the photos on a Flickr stream I subscribe to, and though I would share it:

He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog" - Gene Hill

4_1_10 Coughing update

One day does not a trend make, but....

Randall woke me this morning with the news that Elvis had done very, very little coughing during the time he'd been up.

Yesterday, we'd kept the house closed up because I've watched the oak in the pollen count scale the 1-10 chart over the last several days, and I've had a suspicion that his coughing has coincided with the increased oak mold. His coughing escalated when the live oak leaves started falling, and he's gotten some relief from me clearing off the patio. Still, there has been a disturbing increase in his cough. Interestingly enough, the Torbutrol stopped it cold and 1/2 a pill was enough to keep it at bay all day.

So again today we're going to have the house closed up. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so there may be a bit more coughing due to the increased humidity; that sometimes happens. We'll experiment over the weekend with the closed up house and probably open it again Monday or Tuesday.

I suspect this is the main culprit, though. We don't want to cause him difficulty, but we do like to air the house out when we can, but this year we'll keep it to a minimum.

I'll update again over the weekend I'm sure.