I'm glad that things are going well - and not getting worse is well in my book! I understand about rotating through things, and I'm big on being true to "instinct" and that inner voice.
Max panted a lot. The internist thought that it was the infection that had dilated his blood vessels, making it harder to pump his blood. Many months after he told me that, I read something about some breeds that heat up, pant because the blood vessels get dilated from the heat. With Timber, hard to say maybe, with a nasal tumor, history of tick disease, and a dog that loves the cool, could be a number of reasons!
Max was very intolerant to the heat. He died last Februrary, which maybe was the kindest for him, because I did not think that he could make it through the summer, when we get very very hot temperatures. I so understand your worries about that!
But I am very happy to hear that Timber is maintaining