Can we say "screwed," boys and girls? I thought so!
I just talked to the vet and got the good/bad news. The good news is that he has no parasites and no current lung or heart issues. There was evidence that he did have pneumonia at some point, but that is not the issue causing Toby's coughing. The doc suggested it may be allergies, since she couldn't get him to cough at all when he stayed the day at the office last week. She asked about what part of the house he spent most of his time in, and what contact he had with other animals. I told her Smidgen was with him almost all the time, but he'd never had any allergic reaction to her before. When I mentioned Syd and Nancy, though, she seemed pretty certain we'd found the allergy culprit.
The problem is, he can't be kept away from Syd & Nancy, since they live in my room with Toby, Smidgen, and me, and there are other birds throughout the house, so it wouldn't matter where he is.
She suggested that Syd and Nancy be moved to a different part of the house. That isn't an option in the current situation. She then suggested that I get a Hepa filter for the room. It occurred to me, then, that Toby didn't start the chronic coughing until I turned the A/C off for the season. I asked if I should at least turn that on the fan function until I could get the filter, and she said that would probably help immensely. So the A/C fan is on, despite Matt informing me that the electric bill went down $300 the month the Mother Unit and I turned off our A/C units.
Not only am I going to have to purchase an expensive filter, I'm going to have to pay at least $200 for electricity. Either that, or be made to feel like the dead beat I obviously am.
Toby's boot-scooting, which has not diminished since the vet visit, is not due to any parasites, nor the bump the doc treated. She asked if I had changed his food, which I had, because he has a problem tooth, and I was trying to make it easier for him to eat. As of today, though, I have to give him the food he had been eating for a couple of years and, when it comes in the mail from Amazon, add the vitamin-enriched flavour enhancing gravy to let it soften a little. That means the food I've bought for him for the month can't be given to him.
Not even a third of the month has passed and I'm already broke as fuck. I don't know what I'm going to do... The one thing I can not do is fail to be a proper guardian to my little man. If I have to go hungry to make sure he's okay, then so be it. I throw up half of what I eat anyway, so why bother? Waste not, want not.
On a lighter, but related, note, I never thought I'd have an asthma hound chihuahua in my life, but sometimes - most of the time - life can prove you wrong.