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Cushings
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Cushings

An excellent site for understanding this disease is:
http://www.2ndchance.info/cushings.htm

After almost 1K of tests, 2 opinions, assistance from a specialist, office visits, and medication in a 4+ month period of time, I finally took my dog off of Trilostane--he got worse and I didn't need more blood work to prove it-although more blood work showed he got worse.  In summary:  the disease is easy to diagnose, can be difficult to regulate. Although there is no cure and even the mildest of drugs Trilostane can make your dog symptoms worse.  Educate yourself, trust your instincts, trust your vet, trust what you have left in the bank to afford treating this disease.  The side effects of some of these drugs are worse than the disease itself.  If overdosed then Addisons disease occurs.  I am going to let my Teddy live out his days comfortably and with my unconditional love and no drugs.
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
You've tried everything, and made a very smart decision.  I wish you much luck, Teddy is a very lucky dog to have such a devoted owner.
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Avatar_n_tn
Linda, Thank you for commenting.  It's 8 months later and my little Teddy Maltese is still hanging in.

No Cushings disease medicine - tried lower dosage (2nd time around)  he got worse.   He has Thryroid Disease as well and the Soloxine has helped him a lot.  Also, bad Skin conditions and hair loss from with Cushings.  I tried natural NYZYMES for 3 months-  did not help. -works great for some people.   I use DMSO (stinks) on his skin (vet dermatologist rec.) for the bumps-fancy name per vet, I don't recall.  I use a medicated shampoo and so does his groomer-when I bring him there (sold through vets).. p.s. no more Advantage Plus for him.  He does not go out and will die of Cushings before Heartworm or flees.  His skin is raw and tender along his spine.  

  It has taken me months of trial and error and expenses to figure out how to deal with it and all it's side effects.  There seem to be some posters that are really still in the learning stages of this horrible disease.  I just want to educate people about this disease and share MY experience.  

Blessings to all the baby's out there and their owners.  Given the chance, they will lick your tears away.   GAIL
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Avatar_f_tn
You sound like your trying so hard, and Teddys hanging in there, so you must be doing everything right.  Our dog also got worse after trying the meds, so I was anxious to see how you made out taking yours off.  How is he doing with excessive peeing and drinking water?  Thank you for posting your suggestions, I'm sure they will help someone who is trying to decide what to do, its so hard to figure out whats the best way to go with Cushings.  .  Keep up the good work, I'm sure Teddy is worth it, and once again, he's very lucky.
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Avatar_n_tn
I did not know your baby had Cushings Disease.  I have a great vet and he is willing to work with me in that I observe Teddy everyday (of course) and it is called clinical signs vs. expensive tests.  I was desperate and tried the lowest version of Trilostane the second time around.  The first time I left him on it for about 4 months.  IT DID NOT HELP THE PEEING/DRINKING PROBLEM.  He just got worse, lethargic, unresponsive, dopey, etc.  My 9 lb. dog still drinks about 1/2 gallon of water a day and pees in the house on papers.  I live in a hi-rise condo.  He cannot be walked because of breathing problems in the hot FL sun and he gets too pooped out-no pun intended.    Teddy just turned 8 in July. The medication is only to supposingly help stop the peeing problems and symptoms, of course not to stop the disease.  I am willing as an owner to clean up the mess and keep the dog as vibrant as possible.  This is my choice and I have to live with a mess on a daily basis and yes, I cry everyday. Cushings is complicated in that they cannot operate on the pituatary gland (near the brain) and the pup may not survive removal of the tumor in an operation if it is in the adrenal gland-near the kidneys.  And you may not survive the vet bills to get to that point.  

At the end of the day, at the end of his time, I will know that I did everything I possibly could.  I wish I could send you a Holiday photo of him in a wreath when he was still healthy.  

I am putting my email address out there, as this is a topic I am very involved with and willing to share anything I have experienced and what others have.  If one suggestion can make my Teddy better, how others have lived through it, or I can comfort anyone, I would like to. My email address is:    ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
I guess we cannot share email addresses.  It is too bad.  I want to reach out to as many people as I can.

  If you looked at Teddy, you'd know he was sick.  But, His personality- He is vibrant, happy, responsive, eats and drinks like a normal healthy dog Although the drinking is excessive.  I hope this answers your question.  They say it is a matter of time before the kidneys, heart or liver shut down.  It is a great strain on the dog's system.
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Avatar_f_tn
You sound like you know more about Cushings than our vet did.  He prescribed meds, and didnt do any follow up.  When I would call and tell him how the dog was getting worse, he was clueless why.  Our dog only lasted about 3-4 months after she was finally diagnosed, which took months to do.  Teddy sounds like he still has a lot of life in him, and is enjoying it.  I congratulate you on making the right decision for your dog, I wish I would have went that route.  Enjoy every day with him, and when you cry, don't let him see you, it will only make him feel worse.  Good Luck, and let us know how its going.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am very sorry for your loss.  You are correct-I try not to let Teddy see me cry-dogs are very sensitive to all kinds of behaviors.

In my case I realized the peeing and drinking was not normal.  I did research on the internet and figured Teddy had either Cushings or Diabetes.  Took him in for full panel blood work - my main vet said he has Cushings-prescribed Trilostane.  Put dog on it.  Then took dog for 2nd opinion.  2nd vet said he had Cushings and to up the dose--which I did not. As he was failing on the lower dose.  All this was being monitored by required $190 ACTH tests a pop every few weeks that was required to keep Teddy on this medication.  I think he had at least 3 of these tests, where they take blood.  I did not need anymore of these stinking tests when I saw that he was failing and did not need a test to tell me--which it did he was getting worse.  I said enough, no more drugs and no more $$. I had to trust my instincts and prayed to God to make the right decision.   Meanwhile, he was put on Thyroid medication and he improved substantially.  His thyroid reading was very low from the first panel of blood work.  I don't know if Cushings and Thyroid Disease sometimes run in tandum.  Linda, there are a couple of other much stronger drugs out there to treat Cushings - one being the equivalent of chemo.  He was on Trilostane which is the least invasive.  I figured I'd start (per my vet) with that and that his system was so compromised that anything stronger might kill him. I discussed all these drugs and options with my vet. He agreed that some of the side effects of these drugs are worse than the potential cure.--just like people.  He is not holistic, but a very common sense, humane vet.   I don't know what drug your baby was on?. My dog was a vibrant 7 yr. old when he was diagnosed. I look back and he was showing minor symptoms months before.  Typically, this is a disease of older dogs (which may have other problems to begin with).  That was not my case.

I did give my vet the article I referenced in my first post and suggested he give it to other Cushings disease parents so they can educate themselves.
At the end of the day, it is all about educating ourselves and trusting ourselves to do the right thing with hopefully a good outcome.  Don't ever blame yourself-that is a heavy burden to carry.   These are my thoughts and my thoughts are with you..
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Avatar_f_tn
We also had our dog on Trilostane, which only stopped the peeing, but also stopped her wanting to eat, which was her favortie thing to do.  I've read other posts from people who have had luck with Trilostane, so I guess it might be hit or miss, or depend on the age of the dog.  Ours was 12.  Cushings is a horrible disease, I hope they continue to come up with more and better meds to help dogs live with it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read the article on your website on Cushings, it explains EVERYTHING and is easy to understand.  I'm sure it will be very helpful to other dog owners.  Thanks.
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I wish I could get credit for that wonderful article, but I found it on the Internet around the time Teddy was diagnosed with Cushings - 10 months ago. Treatment for the disease is difficult to get the right dosage and the costs of monitoring the dog to keep them on it, is cost prohibitive for some people.  I can only add to it that Cushings is a horrible disease-I agree with you.  Between my knowledge, gut feelings, great vet and groomer*, we have gotten this far. With or without the drug, the dog can live for up to about 2 yrs. I have read. It is just hard watching them fail slowly--but in Teddy's case not suffering yet.   No one knows or has a crystal ball.

I will also say that I did not put him on Soloxine-for Thyroid Disease at the same time as Trilostene.  I wanted to know what was working and what was not. I needed to evaluate 1 medication at a time and Teddy's reaction.  

*My groomer used to work in a vets office and noticed things about Teddy and made me aware.  She is anti a lot of drugs.  She also volunteered to have Teddy buried in her wooded back yard with the other 12 or so when the time comes.  After Teddy, there will be no other dog.  I cannot go through this again and would not wish this on anyone.
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Avatar_f_tn
I understand your not wanting to go through it again, ours died almost 2 years ago, and it still seems like yesterday.  We have another dog, who is 12, and in very good condition.  She can run so fast it is amazing, we hope when its her time she will be running and drop from a heart attack, instead of getting sick.  Unfortunately it seldom happens that way.  Please don't definately rule out another dog, there are so many dogs in shelters that would be so lucky to have a good owner like you.
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1950519_tn?1324521793
Hello,
My Black Lab is only 7 and she has Cushing's also.  
Wondering what article you found that was good.

My dog Tia has been on Cephalexin and Cipofloxacin pills, Pyoben shampoo for staph skin infections.   I think we are on our 6th bottle, and still have some infection.  Any suggestions?  She doesn’t seem to have allergies.

I wish you well, this is so hard.  Kate       KateTia
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1950519_tn?1324521793
I'm sorry I just found the web site.  
Any words on the infections
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1832268_tn?1326819610
Just Bumping this up for others who are searching for Cushings info.
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