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Cushing Disease in an elderly Boxer
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Cushing Disease in an elderly Boxer

My Boxer is 10 1/2 years old and has been diagnosed with Cushing ’s disease.  My first instinct was to let him live with no treatment because what i have researched on the severe side effects.  He is not doing well at all.  His stomach is completely bloated, he is beginning to get soars all over his body, he can’t control his urine, and he has no excitement anymore.  He lays down all day long and barely comes to great me.  This dog is like my child and all i want is what is best for him.  I don’t know now if i should try the treatment and take the chance of helping his quality of life or causing more harm.  He also has had previous signs of severe arthritis and bad knees, which can possibly be hidden by the Cushing’s and cause more pain if cured.  I don’t know if his time is up now or if i should proceed with treatment.  I just want to do what’s best for him.  Any advice?
Tags: cushing's
9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I can't tell you what to do, but I know the position your in, and how hard it is to watch your dog suffering.  We tried meds for Cushings, and had no luck with them, but in a way I'm glad we did give them a try. I would have always wondered afterwards, if I didn't try them, if they might have helped.  But then there is the other side of me that says I wish I would have made our dog as comfortable as possible and let the Cushings take its course instead of putting her through all the testing.  Its a very tough decision, and I wish you luck on whatever you decide.  If your dog on meds for the arthritis to help him with his pain?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thats how I feel.  I want to know i tied everything and at this point right now i feel that he is at the end of letting him live out the disease.  I just dont want to put him on meds and make his last days worse.  As for the arthritis he has just been on pain medication.  Thanks for the comment and its a very tuff decision, has of now he looks like he is not enjoying life which destroys me.   What medications did you try and what were the reactions and cost if you dont mind me asking?
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Avatar_f_tn
Our dog was on Rimadyl for arthritis, and Trilostane (I think its also called Vetoryl) for the Cushings.  I tried to find an old bill to see what we paid for the Trilostane, but couldn't.  I think it was around $80 a bottle, and of course a couple of hundred dollars for the testing.   When we brought her home after the Cushings test, I thought she was going to die during the night.she was so sick.  I don't know if it was the stress from the test, or what happened, but the vet was clueless.  We put her on the meds, and she stopped peeing so much, but then she had no appetite.  We tried Burger King. baby food, everything.  She also had no energy, and her legs would give out.  I finally told the vet she should be retested, and he found out the meds had worked too well, and she had to be put on Prednisone.  She would not eat, layed all day panting, and started throwing up foam.  She had lost almost ten lbs in the two months since she was diagnosed.  My vet was clueless what to do next.  (I blame a lot on him, he didn't seem to know anything about Cushings, and I feel she should have been diagnosed much sooner than she was)   I decided she had had enough.  Look through all the posts on this board, a lot of people have had luck with Cushings meds, we didn't, but like I said before, I'm partially glad we gave it a try.   If you do decide to give meds, make sure your vet is familiar with them.  Does he give you any advice on what he thinks you should do?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am going through the same thing with my 11 year old Sheltie. Next week I am meeting with my Vet to discuss the pros and cons of putting Max on the meds. Hopefully, I will be able to make an informed decision, and be at peace with it. Good Luck. Wishing you well, and wishing you enough... Jan
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for the information I appreciate it.  I did see another vet this weekend and she did seem knowledgable with the disease.  She told me with his age and far along the disease has gone that she really didn't think treating the disease would do that much.  With her experiance she did say she has had luck with it, but with a dog my age she didn't think he would improve that much and the best bet may be just to let him live it out and make him as comfortable as possible.  It is a really hard decision and ***** to think of, but he is already not doing so good and i would just hate to put him on the meds and make his last weeks worse then they are.  My other vet said she would be ok with trying meds and she would also support the decision to put him down as well.  It is hard when you get so close to them and they become such a huge part of who you are.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good luck as well and let me know what you decide on.  After talking with another vet i think i am going to let him just try and live it out and make him as comfortable and happy as he can be.  If that is so i think it may only be a couple more weeks so I will try to do as much as possible to make it good. He has just been such a great dog and friend i dont want to put him through any suffering in the end.  The hard decision is knowing when his time is up and not being selfish to myslf because i love him and doing whats best for him
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Avatar_m_tn
It is just really hard to decide.  There is no right or wrong in my opinion.  In your case your dog didnt react well, but like you said at least you tried, and thats what makes it hard for me I dont want him to suffer and be in pain, but i do want to know i tried all i could.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Just enjoy every minute you have left with him.  Take him for rides, and let him eat anything he wants.  Anything you can think of to spoil him.  Let me know how it's going, and try to stay calm in front of him, he doesn't need anymore stress.
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790669_tn?1392994148
I'm so sorry you're going through this.  My lil Sadie past away because of this awful disease.  I noticed her lil belly was a little "bloated" looking for about 2 days in a row and she's NEVER like that.  She was a chihuaha mix and soaking wet she weighed around 10 lbs.  I took her to the vet in Nov. they said it was "liver disease".  I came home, researched it and it didn't make sense.  She was eating a ton..she would honestly try to out eat my 95lb boxer/bulldog.  She was drinking constantly and I kept researching.  Glad I did...I came across Cushings Disease.  I took her to a different vet that Feb. and he diagnosed her with it..by this time my lil girl was sooo weak.  He said that he could operate, get the tumor out and put her on meds, but honestly didn't think she'd survive the surgery OR the meds alone wouldn't do any good.  I was sooo heartbroken.  I brought her home with a heavy heart and debating whether I should have her put to sleep..but then thought she'd be around strangers..scared and I didn't want her feeling that way.  I called the vet back, asked him if he thought she was in any pain..he said no..she was just getting weak.  SO I made the tough decision to let her live her last days at home.  I would  carry her down the steps to go potty, she would only go a couple of feet (where as she would normally go 100-200 ft away) turn around and come back..I loved on her soo much, she'd lay with me on the couch..I always babied her..but I made a point to do it more for her and the time I had with her.   After diagnosing her in Feb she only made it to May.  May 2nd was 2 yrs ago and I still cry about it..especially typing this.  I miss my lil girl sooo much but I know she past away at home, with the people who loved her sooo much.
I wish you the best with your dog...it's soo heartbreaking to lose a "member of the family", but I'll never regret having her here with me in her final days.
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