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203342 tn?1328740807
Dog with Cushings Disease
Hello. I have a maltese mix who was diagnosed with Cushings Disease several months ago. The vet said there's medication but that it's very expensive and doesn't seem to prolong their life. I made the decision to just watch him and let him live out his life. He's 11 years old. This last year I've noticed a decline in him somewhat but not sure if it's because of the Cushings or just old age. He has trouble with his back legs a lot now just suddenly giving out especially on stairs. He struggles to get up if he's been laying down for awhile. I also don't think he sees or hears as well as he used to. He's overweight which seems to partly go with the Cushings. We have him on a low-fat diet and it doesn't seem to help much. I try to walk him but he tires out easily and I wind up having to carry him home because he'll sit down and refuse to walk anymore! And just last night he was breathing funny. At first he was panting really hard for a long time. I kept checking the AC and turning it on more. Finally he stopped panting but was snoring and making funny noises for hours before he finally quieted down. He has snored before but not sounded like that. Today he's acting ok. Is this all signs of aging? Could some of it be the Cushings? Also, I told the vet sometimes he will try to get up and his back legs act like they're frozen and he can't come to me. I'll call him and he struggles to come but can't for several seconds and then he can walk again. It's weird. I've tried to describe it to the vet. I wish I had a video of it. Could this just be arthritis? Or could he be having a mild seizure from time to time? He's kind of gone down hill more this last year. I wonder, sadly, sometimes if this will be his last year.
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140622 tn?1190102529
Check this article out. http://pethealth.petwellbeing.com/wiki/Dog_Cushings_DiseaseIt will explain everything to you.

My dog was just diagnosed with Cushings she is 10years old. She is a Siberian Husky and she has a longer life expectancy so I am treating her. She has had all the symptoms you describe. Panting, drinking water like crazy, back legs very weak and lost a lot of muscle, eating like a wild dog,up all night has to pee all the time even in the house which she NEVER EVER did before.
She lost her eyesight but that doesn't bother her much. She is on the medication and we shall see if it helps. She just started it a week ago.
It might be a good idea to start thinking about helping your die. It might be the kindest thing you can do at this point. Right now he is suffering.
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203342 tn?1328740807
Thank you so much for responding! I didn't think anyone would. I wasn't sure if these symptoms were Cushings or old age or what. I wish we could afford the medication. It's terribly expensive and we just don't have that kind of money. I really don't think he acts like he's in any pain or anything. If he was, that'd be different. He's very attached to me (always has been) and follows me everywhere and lays by me, but I don't think he acts like he's in pain. He doesn't whine or anything. He even plays once in awhile, although tires out easily. He doesn't have accidents in the house and pretty much sleeps through the night. He does seem hungry and thirsty a lot. The thing I've noticed the most is how weak his legs have gotten.
Can Cushings give them dementia or something like that? Or again, could that be old age? I've noticed that he barks at everything now. He's always been a barker, but he's barking more. It's like he can't see so well or he's forgotten we belong here? Like for instance, when my husband or teenagers come in through the door, he will bark and continue to bark at them even after they're in and he can see who it is. They usually have to pet him and reassure him before he stops barking. Then he'll wag his tail and relax. He even barks sometimes when someone comes up from the downstairs basement.
I don't want to think about putting him to sleep unless I know he's really suffering. Right now, he's acting ok. I hope you dog will be ok too. Thanks again for writing back. God bless.
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My mom's dog had Cushings for the last 3 years or so.  they almost killed him with an overdose of meds so she stopped and he seemed good for a while then she put him back on Anapril (?).  He had all the things you said your dog has, weak back legs, couldn't walk, had trouble going up and down stairs, panting, barking over nothing, lost his eye sight, couldn't hear, funny noises while sleeping, all of it.  He got a bad eye infection that required surgery.  After surgery he did not fully recover.  He just couldn't breathe and it got worse.  He was put down on July 21.  It's still hard to think about, he was such a healthy puppy and young dog.  He had so many surgeries in his life but in the end he didn't make it.  Until the last day and the hours before he died, his quality of life was good.

Rhonda Morin
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203342 tn?1328740807
Thank you for sharing your story. I still didn't know much about Cushing's. I thought he was just getting arthritis from getting old. I honestly didn't think it was from the Cushings. I don't want to think about putting him to sleep right now. Overall I don't think he's doing too bad. My vet told me the medication doesn't really prolong their life but can improve the sypmtoms. There's no cure, I guess.
How old was your mom's dog? Willow's 11 years old. That's not too bad I guess. For his breed I think the average life span is 12 to 14 years. I just don't want him to suffer. Right now, he doesn't seem to be suffering. I bought some dog aspirin to give him and some Joint Ensure for his joints. I don't know if that helps or not.
He's had a good life too, I think, especially the last 7 years. I rescued him from the Humane Society. He had been in a dog fight and would have probably been put down. It wasn't his fault. The family that tried to adopt him the first time had a bigger dog that didn't accept him and attacked him. When we first saw him, he looked so pitiful. He had his backside shaved and stiches. When they first brought him out, he was cowering and so afraid. My heart just went out to him. I don't know if he had been abused or not, but he didn't seem to like men. I tend to go for the underdog, the one nobody else would want, so I adopted him! It took a full year to win over his trust and get him to relax. Now he follows me around everywhere I go, even when I go to the bathroom he will sit right outside the door waiting for me! When I was working nights for awhile, my husband and kids said he drove them crazy with his whining and pacing. He didn't like me to be gone! I'm just glad we rescued him. We also rescued my cat from the Humane Society and she was getting ready to be put down, too. I wish I could rescue them all! I drive my husband crazy because I or my teenage daughter seem to find all the strays in the neighborhood! What can I say? I'm an animal lover!
Thanks for writing!
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Mine Bernese is 9 and because of rear leg weakness, loss of appetite and general depression, I had the test done again. Her values changed to be a Cushings free dog yet the poor signs above are still here.  No energy at all - Random poor breathing also but xray shows lungs and heart are good. Passed some kidney cells in weak urine. Some compression of 2 discs near her rear and very high white cell count. Its been almost 2 weeks overall - Vet gave a shot of antibiotic and prescribed 3.5 weeks more of doxcycline and amoxicillian. I am very concerned - any suggestions?
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TO ALL PET OWNERS WITH A DOG WITH CUSHINGS DISEASE. I HAVE A BRINDLE PIT BULL TERRIER, 11 YEARS OLD.  HER NAME IS TAZ. SHE'S HAD CUSHINGS  FOR 3 TO 4 YEARS. SHE STARTED  DRINKING WATER  EXCESSIVLY AND COULDN'T HELP BUT URINATE ALL OVER THE HOUSE. HER HUNGER WAS LIKE SHE COULDN'T GET ENOUGH FOOD. THEN THE PANTING STARTED ALL THE TIME. I'D WAKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND SHE WOULD BE WIDE AWAKE CRYING BESIDE HER WATER BOWL. IT WAS SO SAD. I COULD SEE WAS SUFFERING. I TOOK HER TO THE VET AND  HE COLLECTED URINE,CHECKED HER OUT AND HE SAID AFTER TESTS THAT IT LOOKED LIKE CUSHINGS. I LIVE IN TORONTO CANADA SO IT WASN'T EASY GETTING HER MEDS,THERE CALLED VETROYL,IT'S FROM ENGLAND. COSTS $650.00 EVERY 3 MONTHS BUT I DON'T CARE SHE IS TOO PRECIOUS TO ME. SO FAR ITS KEPT HER PRETTY COMFORTABLE, LATELY SHE'S BEEN GETTING THE POT BELLY,LOOSING SOME HAIR AND NOW I SEE A TUMOUR ON HER BACK ANKLE STARTING. THE DRINKING IS STARTING AGAIN AND HER BACK LEGS ARE GETTING WEAK. THE DOCTOR SAID TO GIVE HER A QUARTER PEICE OF MELOXICAM 15 MILLAGRAMS AN ANTI-INFLAMITORY THAT I TAKE FOR MY BACK. THAT REALLY HELPS HER. SHE SEEMS TO HAVE GOOD DAYS AND BAD DAYS. I BOUGHT HER THE LITTLE DOG STEPS TO GET ON THE BED AND I  HELP HER UP ANY BIG STAIRS,THAT REALLY HELPS. I'M ALSO STARTING TO NOTICE CALCIFICATION BUMPS ON HER ELBOWS. JUST PUT SOME VASELINE FOR THAT TO KEEP IT MOISTERIZED. I KNOW SHE 'S GOING DOWN HILL NOW BUT I AM DETERMINED TO BE A GOOD MOM TILL THE END. SHE LOVES TO GO OUT IN THE TRUCK EVEN JUST TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW AND HER FAVOURITE DOG SHOW IS TOP DOGS. YEP SHE EVEN WATCHES TV. SHE IS SO SPECIAL TO ME. PIT BULLS ARE BANNED HERE IN TORONTO.SO THANKS FOR  LISTENING, I HOPE I HELPED YOU UNDERSTAND A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THIS AWFUL DISEASE AND BE KIND AND LOVING TO YOUR ANIMAL IT WILL BE GIVEN BACK TO YOU TEN FOLD.  SHERRI
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I have an 11year pomeranian/terrier/poodle mix.  Not really sure as I rescued her from some homeless people 11 years ago at Lake Shasta, CA while on vacation.  Of course her name is "Shasta".  She has been my baby ever since. I found out that she had cushings about a year and a half ago.  The doctor explained and I looked up the disease to find out more.  I have opted to not go the medication route.  1 reason was the cost but also because I talked to other owners of dogs with the disease who did give the meds and their dogs did OK till the end.  I guess my thinking is that nothing  is going to make it go away and as long as she was feeling OK her life was not too bad. Shasta also started drinking a lot of water but according to the vet she was at the borderline on this.  She does urinate more often but has not had any accidents in the house.  Her stomach is swollen and she no longer can jump up on the couch or into the car.  She has had the other systems with dull coat and hair loss too.  She is now partially blind also.  My worry now is that for the last 3 weeks or so she is not eating much or drinking much and she has been throwing up nearly every day.I have to have her on special prescription dog food due to kidney stones so don't have a lot of options.  I talked to the vet and got the same prescription dog food only in canned.  The first couple of days she ate this good and did not throw up as long as I kept the portions down to a couple of tablespoons.  Now the last 2 days she is not even eating this. I have tried crumbling a couple of potatoe chips (her favorite) and mixing this in with no luck. she still does not eat.  She does not seem to have much energy,although I did take her for a walk yesterday and she did OK.  I was just wondering if anyone has had a dog that seems to be close to the end?  And if you do have you had the problem of your dog not eating and throwing up all the time. She does not appear to be in any pain.  I just hate going to work every day wondering if when I get home she will be gone. Please if anyone has reached this point with their dog let me know - I just don't know who to turn to.  Debbie
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Hi I just wanted to let you knows  since I posted my note a couple days ago I have called and talked to my vet.My dogs symptoms are not a part of cushings disease. The throwing up and now not eating are something else.She probably has some kind of tumor other kidney disease. No way to tell with out spending hundreds of dollars( I don't have.) And the bottom line is she is dieing anyway  I just wanted to let you know so that you don't worrry about your dog. According to my vet cushings disease does not stop them from eating and does not make them throw up.  For the last 6 months or so I have had to be careful and pick her up just right or she would cry.  She occasionally threw up but I just thought it was because of the cushings and her stomach being compressed by her other swollen organs. So I guess I should have taken her in long ago,now it is too late. or Good luck to you. Watching your dog die is not something I would wish on anyone!!
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82861 tn?1333457511
I just had to that exact thing: watch my dog die of kidney failure.  I can't think of a bad enough word to describe it.  :-(
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203342 tn?1328740807
Deb, I'm sorry about Shasta. I just saw your posts. If you think she's suffering, you may need to consider putting her to sleep. I know how hard that is. :( I had to put one of my cat's to sleep several years ago. It's not easy, that's for sure. But it's not easy watching them suffer either.  My prayers are with you. ((( Hugs! )))
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Our dog, Shadow is a 13 1/2 year old lab.  She has just been diagnosed with Cushings Disease.  She also quit eating, but the vet said it was due to the meds, not the disease.  We cut her meds by 1/2 and she has been doing fine the last 7 days.  We know we are on our last chance with her, and hope each day is a good one.  Thank you for sharing your story, it is a sad time, but it helps to know that others share your pain.
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I have an 8 year old male basset hound that has been just diagnosed with Cushing's.  For a few years now he has had arthritis and hip problems as well as chronic ear infections but in reading about Cushing's, I'm now wondering if it was the gradual start of the disease.  Recently, Muggs has been waking us up at 4am to go out to pee and drinks water like it is going out of style, even eating snow outside till he shivers!  He has also had a few accidents in the house (never before) and so this is why I took him into the vet.
The vet is recomending the low dose dexamethesone tolerance test next to see if it is the adreals or the pituitary glands that are being affected, and then he is suggesting lysotren (sp?).  I have read that this drug is very toxic and have real concerns about it.  Does anyone have any suggestions about this drug and their dogs or any general help for Muggs?  Thanks,  Karen.
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I just wanted to let you know that our 10 year old little Shih Tzu/Maltease girl has been diagnosed with Cushings. We have not yet put her on any meds but we did do the accupuncture route.  We did all the blood work before her disease was diagnosed and her liver enzymes were sky high.  She went for the accupuncture treatments, 5 in all, and then had her blood work redone and her liver enzymes were still high but had come down alot.  Out vet believes in homopathy treatment and I am glad we were open to this.  We are just taking it one day at a time.
I just discovered this web site and I must say that this forum is such a good and helpful idea.  It lets us all know we have someone to talk to about our dog's problems and know we are not alone.
It is so wonderful to see so many people that love their dogs so much.
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165308 tn?1323190145
I had to put my dog down in December and I could not have made it through without the people on this site.  Welcome and we hope to help in anything we can.
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We just discovered that our 11 year old golden retriever has cushings disease.  She is now drinking lots, still eating good, is having accidents at night, sleeps on a cool floor, snores loudly, coughs once in a while, a dry cough, barking alot more even at all the family, has had trouble getting up the stairs, we have found a few lumps.  We can not afford the medicine and really don't want her to suffer, which at this time, she does not appear to be, is there anything else we can be doing?, and how far along does this appear to be?  Thank you for any information you can give me!

March 20, 2008
Tish
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We have a 7 year old flat coat retriever who was diagnosed with Cushings about 2.5 years ago.  We put him on vetoryl (imported from the U.K.) and it has helped his symptoms tremendously.  I think he is getting in the later stages of the disease and gets very anxious and barks constantly at nightime.  He has to go out alot more often and seems to be running overly warm all of the time.  The vet said the tumor on his pituitary (which is in the brain) is probably growing and causing cognitive problems (he could even be hallucinating).  It is very sad to us to be losing such a valuable member of our family.
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Our 9 year old beagle was diagnosed with Cushings in late Jan after having a horrible seizure.  He was so sick and we were ready to let him go, when our vet gave him Lysodryn.  The result was incredible.  He still staggers around like a little drunk dog, and we had to get a harness for him to help stand him up when he has to go outside, but he has been doing very well.  He takes the Lysodryn (not sure of the spelling) 2x a week and the tablets cost about $7.50 a piece.  We know that our time with him is limited and we make the most of everyday with him. But the Lysodryn for him, was a life saver.  
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212161 tn?1476095111
hi i just put my sweet baby kizmoe to rest 3 weeks ago he had cushings to, , he had been on predsone for years for shin problems ear problems so he took the shots. he had the pot belly and drink a lot to. the last 3 days he was with us he really went down fast he stop eating as much on weds , than thursday i notice he was breathing harder and not eating as much. friday morninghe got up real early went into the living room and laid on his bed when i got up to check on him he had wet on the rug near the back door, he just could not make it out the doggy door i guess, i called the vet, took him in he was laboring for air , he took x-rays said his heart and liver was inlarged( that explained why he no longer laid on his tummy always on his side last 3-4 months) said he had water in his lungs gave me pills to gave him , but told me his out look was guarded and that i would be making a decision in 5 days, took him home he locked his teeth together would not take pill for me or husband , called his dr back , he said if he not take pill he would be gone by sunday but that pill not save him just help him to breath better . i laid on floor for 3 hours loving him and talking to him, he looked right through me, was very uncomfy and sad, i could not go whole weekend with him suffering, so called  vet back took him in , he never walked to the back rooms on his own always trying go out front door but this time he walked back and stop looked at me like its ok am ready. i miss him so much, he took a part of my heart with him, yes he was a dog but to me jhe was my baby boy. he was 17 years old so he out lived his life span and gave me so much love,he was a shihtzu so plz love them and lay them to rest when time. God Bless ya for being great Parents to your babies. Barbara
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My lovely Cairn has Cushings, diagnosed last September. She is 13 years old and her name is Bella. She has been on Vetoryl but got traumatised every time she had to have a test at the vets. Terrible panic attacks, we thought she might have a heart attack so we decided to keep her happy and stay away from the vets, just to continue with the Vetoryl at the same dose. She has been slowly going downhill, her breathing is very bad, her stomach very enlarged, she can hardly get up a step. She has developed very large lumps on her joints. I have reduced her Vetoryl and am giving her Cushex drops which have helped with the excessive drinking. I know its just a matter of time now but, I am sure, she is not in pain, just finding life very hard.
How long does one keep her going ? I don't want to have to play God but I know that will come before too long as she is eating less now. But when is it the right time for her to go, I don't know!!!!!!!!
It helps a lot to read all the comments, thanks, Pat
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514916 tn?1224521687
My female chi of 8-9 yrs old, was maybe diagnosed w/ Cushings, her blood elevations were a tad bid high...but, we go again to make sure for she had at the time other related issues that also could raise concerns..
One of the hints for Cushings,,the back legs, but a pot belly...belly looks pot belly..
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