Thank you, everyone, for the outpouring of support and sympathy. I've taken strength from the knowledge that so many people have been pulling for Hobkin during these past couple weeks.
Hobkin had another good night, and this one was without any furosemide. The vet told us to take him off it as it seems that his heart meds (pimobendan and enalapril) are effective enough for now to keep the fluid from building up in his lungs. Of course, we're to put him right back on the furosemide if he starts having breathing problems again.
His hind legs are still weak, particularly his right one, but I found discussion on several veterinary sites about how dilated cardiomyopathy frequently causes blood clots to form that often lodge in the primary artery of the abdomen, blocking the blood supply to the rear legs and tail. This starves the muscles of the legs and tail of oxygen, causing them to become limp, resembling spinal cord damage and/or paralysis. Haven't been able to find much discussion about what to do about this, although they say that the clots usually dissolve slowly, returning limb function.
He's also off the lactulose, the prednisolone, and the cephalex (which we couldn't get him to take anyway), but we've added Metacam (an NSAID) and buprenor (an opiate) for pain management. Seems that while Hobkin was under for the ultrasound, the vet went ahead and pulled the tooth we were worried about. Apparently the root was rotting.
I'm glad to have that taken care of but concerned about having added another complication to Hobkin's recovery. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be in much pain. He ate dinner without any hesitation, although he was a little restless during the night. Skunks don't seem to be the most forthcoming about expressing pain, so I'm not sure if the restlessness was just his energy coming back (yay!) or a sign of discomfort (wah).
He also woke up at 4AM, thereby waking me up. Concerned he might be hurting, I offered him a light snack to see if he had an appetite. He did, but only for blueberries and mealworms. After his snack, Hobkin curled up in a pile of blankets in his area. I fell back asleep at 5 and subsequently slept through my wake-up alarm.
Had fosteronfilm drive me into work in the mad hope that I could make it on time. Mad hope dashed. We passed no fewer than three accidents on the way to the capitol, which of course ground traffic to a standstill.
Glad the weekend is almost here. Also glad my office and co-workers are really understanding about pet issues. Especially since I just had the courage to add up all the vet bills we've accumulated. Over $3000 and counting. Ouch.
Love and hope unabated, still comin' atcha from Omaha:
Metacam is very effective stuff - Tabs has it for his spondylitis; we were concerned he might need to be on it daily, but thus far I've been giving it to him when he seems a little stiffer than usual, and it works pretty well that way.
If Hobkin ends up having to take it daily, you'll need to take him along to have bloods drawn every three months to check it hasn't affected his kidneys; just thought I'd mention that inh case the vet didn't.
Having the tooth out will probably help Hobkin recover. Tooth problems and infections put a particular strain on the heart.
Still sending the love and good thoughts--and good wishes for all the work issues. Props to your colleagues for being so supportive.
Ouch on the vet bills (I can commisserate -- we've just spent around five hundred dollars on our calf whom, sadly, we had to euthanase yesterday) but it's splendid news to see that Hobs is holding strong. His determination is as impressive as his cuteness.