Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A correction about my meds: the diuretics are to remove the fluid from the inside of my lungs, not from around my lungs. Too bad; if the fluid was just around my lungs they could remove it with a small needle, but because it's inside my lungs they have to use drugs which are more inefficient, take longer to work, and hurt my kidneys. The cardiologist said that each dog is different and gets fluid buildup in different areas. She said one dog got fluid in its abdomen and everyone just thought it was getting fat!
It was kind of boring yesterday. Everything was pretty stable. Mom and Dad both worked and I couldn't get nearly as many treats as I was trying for. They seem not to notice the mental directions to give me treats I direct into their brains. I did get into the bed by myself this morning. Dad put a step stool in front of the chair he puts by the bed and it looked so much easier I had to try it.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I really seem to feel much better, lately. My lasix has only been increased since Saturday night but I don't seem to be having as many coughing spells as I was. I'm going to keep my paws crossed. I have been having trouble holding my pee throughout the night with the increased lasix, but at least last night I was able to locate a rug with rubber backing. I won't dare use the rug and pee pads that Mom and Dad laid down; they put so much work into it I don't want to ruin it.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Wow, was I busy yesterday! First, Mom and Dad walked everyone to Starbucks and Dad pulled me in the wagon (he finally got that leash). I was so good; I didn't try to jump out even once. We saw an old friend there who used to have a 13 year old rottweiler named Rudy. Lots of people pointed at me from Starbucks' window. I guess they hadn't seen dogs ride in wagons before. Bumpkins!

Then I spent the rest of the day at the cardiologist in Santa Monica. Good thing, too, since she saw that my lungs weren't clear enough. "Darcy's acting much better than she ought to ," she said. (Ha!) So now my Lasix dose is higher, 20mg up from 15, three times a day, and my enalapril may increase in a few days. And I am feeling better; I'm more alert, more active (which is not necessarily good for me, but it's a good sign) and I'm not coughing as much as I was on Friday and Saturday. I sure hope this clears my lungs. I don't want to go back on oxygen again; Mom and Dad get so upset and they're much more fun when they aren't worried.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dad got me a wagon so I can go places with the rest of the family, but he still needs to get me a special leash so I won't jump out. I wish he'd hurry; I'm really getting cabin fever.
Some things I miss:
  • Chasing my sisters
  • Fetching my hedgehog from the bottom of the stairs
  • walking to Starbucks® and meeting (licking) all sorts of new people
  • humping Bella (well, I still get away with this sometimes)
  • Seeing our neighbors. I really like our neighbors, Jen and Chicken Man (Jim), Cathy and Glenn, Bud, Mary Lou (she always makes me squeal).
I think I'll list all my meds so you'll know what I'm on.
    1. enalapril - for blood pressure, once a day. An ACE inhibitor.
    2. hydralazine - more blood pressure, twice a day. An alpha antagonist.
    3. spironolactone - a diuretic to remove fluid from around my lungs, twice a day.
    4. lasix - another diuretic to remove fluid from around my lungs, three times a day.
    5. pimobendan - a canadian drug that opens up the blood vessels returning blood to the heart which reduces pressure on my heart. Twice a day.
    6. aspirin - My blood is pooling in the backwash from my valve failure and aspirin keeps my blood from clotting. Twice a day.
Luckily, Mom and Dad have adjusted the times so that now I get most of them at the same time. When I came home from the hospital my meds where due all around the clock and I hated having to take them almost all day long. Now it's not so bad. Also, they went to a compounding pharmacy that mixed some of the drugs into a chicken-flavored liquid and I like taking those.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My new med seems to make me only a tiny bit more loopy; I couldn't immediately find the banana this morning. I'll have to try harder. I didn't have any trouble finding the tangerine and apple, though. I guess I'm getting all these fruits to try to keep my potassium levels up. The lasix and spironolactone are trying to do a number on my kidneys and I have to pee like crazy, so my electrolytes need some help staying balanced. My humans have been giving me electrolyte solution and so my sodium and chloride levels are good. Plus the fruit makes the meds stay down.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I had a worse than normal day yesterday. I coughed more than usual, and seemed slightly more tired, perhaps because I was quite active yesterday. Luckily, I had an electrolyte recheck (Na and Ka values are fine) and a followup ultrasound scheduled for today. The vet put me on a sixth med hydralazine (not to be confused with hydroxyzine). We are to increase my lasix dosage if necessary. Mom and Dad worry about me constantly; am I too excited? Am I getting enough exercise? How many coughs has that been today? Do they let me walk back from peeing or should they carry me all the way back? I of course only care about licking their faces. I wish they'd do the same.