I have made edits to this...
I just got a call from Dr. Rod with the results of Skeletor's echo.
Here's what I could get over the phone... I'll update/clarify after speaking with them in person.
He suffers from severe congestive heart failure. There are a host of medications that may potentially help with this.
The most life threatening symptom of the heart failure caused by the lousy stinking heartworms is that dastardly anemia. He needs those red blood cells!!!
They plan on changing his anti-biotic to one that contains doxycycline and something called ibermectim(sp?) that may slowly weaken the heartworms.(this will possibly be the next step. He's just on regular doxycycline now in hopes of stabilizing before beginning the slow-kill heartworm treatment)
They are putting him on an expensive heart medication that will hopefully get his pumper going strong. I can't remember the name of it, but I know it's chewable and about $150 per pill.
They are prescribing him viagra 3 times a day to help with the pulminary hypertension. This pill doesn't come in doggy form, so I'll have to go to a compounding pharmacy.
They are keeping him on the prednisone.
Whether or not the surgery will be required (or even an option) depends on getting him stabilized.
Sounds like he's going to be taking a whole lot of pills. Unfortunately in his weakened state, he doesn't catch them in his mouth anymore :(
He has a tendency to store them in his mouth and pretend like he swallowed them only to spit them out later.
Yesterday afternoon he seemed to have selectively regurgitated the pill after I gave it to him.
Sounds like a lot of TLC will be needed. I hope he stays strong enough to see this through.
Thanks again for spreading the word, leaving comments, and sending contributions. Skeletor is very lucky to have your continued support!