SUMMARY: Confounded dog brains, confounded drug prices.
Back on November 10, after that trip to the emergency room, I started Tika on the diuretic Disal (furosimide), 2x/day (half of a small disk-shaped pill).
On November 12, I realized that she also had that anal gland infection and started her on the antibiotic Cephalexin, 2x/day (one green capsule).
After we got the ultrasound done on November 19, which revealed the messy heart situation, we started her on Enalapril to keep her blood pressure down 2x/day (one small disk-shaped pill) and Vetmedin (Pimobendan) to strengthen her heart 2x/day (one large chewable tablet).
So she had 4 meds, twice a day, just chewing up the chewable tablet and the others each wrapped in a slice of string cheese. (Boost also got cheese to keep everyone happy.)
As of November 28, she had done the first one 36 times over 18 days, the 2nd one 32 times over 16 days, and the last two 20 times over 10 days.
Then she rejected the antibiotic. I rewrapped it several times, but by then she (the dog who snaps food from your hand, gulps it down and asks for more) was taking it each time very gingerly and then quickly spitting it out. Eventually the capsule just became soggy and I gave up on that one for the evening.
The next morning, Nov 29th, she spit out that one (with the cheese wrapping) and she also spit out the teeny tiny half of a Disal pill (also with its cheese wrapping). I did finally get her to take them both.
The renter all along has been saying "cream cheese is the best." He watched this production and again said, "cream cheese". I said that I've been giving dogs pills in semisoft cheese for years without any problems until right then and I was sure everything would be fine.
The next morning when I handed her the chewable tablet--keep in mind that she has cheerfully accepted and chewed 24 of them so far--she took it and spit it out immediately. I handed it back to her, same thing. I wrapped it in cheese. Same thing. I broke it in half and wrapped it in cheese. Same thing. What was going through that little brain that suddenly decided she wasn't going to chew those any more?
Finally I smeared it with peanut butter and that worked, but peanut butter is pretty greasy and smelly.
That evening, tried handing it to her plain again, but no, she was having none of it. So I went out and bought a tub of cream cheese. (And, hey, whatever happened to those foil-wrapped blocks that it used to come in? Now it's all in plastic tubs!)
Now she's consuming all the pills again happily as I surround each with a tiny blob of cream cheese. A bit messy but not as bad as peanut butter.
Yesterday I went to the vet's to get refills on everything (except the antibiotics), and laid out over $150 for a month's supply. Yikes! Maybe this isn't as bad as cancer treatments, but that adds up to a lot of money that wasn't in my budget, for every month that she goes on surviving (which I hope she'll do for a long time).
Vet said that he'd gladly transfer any prescriptions that I could find more cheaply at human pharmacies (not the Vetmedin, of course). I'll look into that before the next refills.
Dang health care costs! Plus the price of the cream cheese! :-)
Update: Dec 5, 9:15AM PST: Funny thing: I took this photo a couple of days ago. You can see that the field is sopping wet from all the rain we'd received up through that morning. Just now I notice that the sprinklers are on in the far background! I never noticed them while we were there. Great use of our scarce water resources, eh?