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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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Thank you Diane,  for your information.  I will have to agree with you on the prednisone.   The Doc had given me the steroids just in case of abnormal GI problems, which all were normal.  I gave her a dose of prednisone yesterday morning, and by early afternoon, she was walking around sniffing for food. He only gave me four pills which are 5mg. I know that his (doc) plan includes lysodren about twice a week, and then blood work, and so forth.  I will most definitely tell him that the steroids really seem to help her.  I also am wondering (after hours of research of the endocrine system) if she is to maintain a daily dose of prednisone will this push her into the other, less common form (Iatrogenic-or something spelled like that)?

I was just wondering also if your beagle was heavy, and if so, did she lose any of her weight?

Thanks again for responding. Most, not all, but most people do not treat their dogs as I treat mine.  They think it's insanity, what all I am doing, and they most certainly do not know one thing about Cushing's.   It is nice to know I am not the only one.  Again, thanks so much, and have a great day!

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Great news! But, PLEASE check with your vet before giving her the Prednisone! It is only to be given in case of emergency and we were told not to give it to he unless we called them first. My beagle has been on Lysodren for about 7 years. She only had this one set back over the holidays. That's the first time we had to give her Prednisone. I was a little surpised that the vet keeps her on it daily now.  I thought it was just a one time thing. I also worry about giving her that because it's tough on the liver. I am also surpised that I don't have to give her Lysodren any more as there is no cure for Cushing's. But we are following the vet's advice. He doesn't think she'll ever have to go back on the Lysodren...but we have to monitor her bloodwork a couple of times a year to be sure. She is WAY good! Her appetite is always good...but, then again she is a BEAGLE! She is not drinking nearly as much water as she used to when she was frst diagnosed. Her symptoms never totally went away on the Lysodren. In fact, she still gets up 2-3 times at night to go out...but, she is 11 now. She is the kind of beagle that's built a little more stout. She did get a HUGE bloated belly when she was fist diagnosed. I was so worried she had kidney failure till I found out that it was Cushing's! She got most of  the weight off, but she is a solid dog!  I like her that way! She's cute! It's always good to have a little more weight on them, I think...especially when she had that episode and wouldn't eat for 9 days! She couldn't even drink water!!! She even disloacted her shoulder because she was so weak and kept falling down the steps. When a dog's Cushing's gets really bad, one of the symptoms is weakness in the back legs. I was soooo worried! She lost a few pounds that week! Ayway, once she got her appetite back, we had to wait a couple of weeks for her shoulder to heal! She's all good now! I swear, though, every time something happens, I immediately think Cancer or that the ned is near! I worry so much about her and my other 2 dogs (my oldest is 14 and s on heart meds). We believe our beagle is pure bred, but not 100% sure. She showed up @ our house one Christmas Eve. morning in 1998. She may even be as old as 13, but we're going with that she is 11. Don't worry about what people think. If people think that we are crazy, then they don't know what it's like to love a dog! They are a member of our familes and if they need medical care, we do it...just like we would for one of our children or any other family member! It's not easy, it's not cheap and sometimes it's not in our budgets, but we do it because we have to! I would give my right arm to keep my beagle healthy and happy as long as I can! Just remember, you and your family have to be patient with this disease. It is very tricky and changes could happen immediately or never at all. Just monitor your pooch, keep your vet updated and contnue to learn about the disease online. When you're reading info, make sure of the date th info was written. There have been so many advancements made for this disease, and the older articles can be misleading. I would also check into that new medicine that was mentioned above, I think it's called, Trilostane??? It is only available in the UK but you can have it shipped here...although I am hearing now it's in the U.S.??? It is supposed to be WAY better than the Lysodren and it doesn't cause the dangerous side effects that my dog went thru. You should aks your vet about it. It may be easy to change meds since you just started on the Lysodren. Hope this helps! Good luck with your beagle!
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203342 tn?1328740807
No offense, but would you guys mind starting a new post to chat with each other? It just hurts to see my old post pulled up since my dog just died last month. It's kinda hard to see. I hope you understand. And I wish you both the best with your dogs. God bless.
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So, sorry for your loss!
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203342 tn?1328740807
Thank you. :o)
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My Cassie a Cocker has Cushings. It broke my heart when we had it confirmed. My Mothers dog and sisters dog also had it so I knew what we were in for. My Mother tried all the gammit of medication the vets put her dog on. They seemed to help for maybe 6 months but then it just made her worse and she slept all the time. My Mom took her dog off all medication and saw an improvement in her for a few months...she slept less and they had more quality time together. My sister choose not to give the medication and her dog was fine for 2 years until her kidneys shut down. I chose this route for my Cassie.... not medications that would make her sleep our time with her away. I started cooking her dog food of ground turkey and green beans and she loves it. I also found some vitamins that made a HUGE difference in her symptoms. Her thrust is gone, all of her skin infections, her coat is soft, panting has stopped and she has more energy. Its from NUVET Labs. I think every dog should be on this. Theres a guy that I found online that gives you recipes on what to feed a dog with cushings to make them healthier. Look it up, I downloaded his whole book online for 30 something. It has given us more control.  Anyone that says Cushings isnt a death sentence is crazy...it is...a slow one and breaks families hearts.

Blessings everyone,
Cassies Mom
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793908 tn?1294708709
My poodle has/had Cushings Disease in the most severe form. Now,  three months after treating my Julie with TRILOSTANE.. I recieved the call from my Vet who said her numbers are now back to NORMAL.
Whoo Hoo... I am so happy.
To all of you out there who look at Cushings as a dismal disease...here is your savior. TRILOSTANE!!
This drug is great & the most my 13.5 lb poodle was on is 22.5 mg.  NO side effects at all. I saw a change after the first month.  Julie's body hair was growing back. WOW was I ever happy. Little by littlie I saw many other symptoms go away. She is back to herself. Thank you God.
I had The TRILOSTANE compounded by a online pharmacy in N.J..  My Vet contacted them & approved it.
It is available in chicken flavor pill form or capsule form. I had to switch to capsule & disguise it in mashed sweet potato.  No problem. I crushed the pill & Julie hated it...no-matter how I hid it. So I switched to the capsule & that was great.

Cushings is NOT a death sentence, contrary to what people here have said, so please have hope for your dog.
But.......please try TRILOSTANE...NOT Lisodren, which is way too dangerous.
Julie is still always hungry & drinking less, but we think the hunger is a habit now.
I have her on a low protein diet We have to see if the protein count is down. My Vet thinks that high protein count may be from Cushings.
She has to be tested for that, in the future. Hopefully it's not Kidney Disease.
For today, I am a happy woman.





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943684 tn?1245497100
So sorry for your loss, April2

We have been going through lots of stress and tears over the last few days. I have a 10 year old basset, George, who has Cushings and has been on a once a week dose of Mitotane for a couple of years now. The Cushings seems to be somewhat under control. He drinks a lot, but thank goodness, no problem with accidents in the house as others seem to have.
He seemed a bit "off" last weekend - I noticed him panting in the house which I noted as a bit odd. Then he began throwing up the next day. Third day he would not eat - definitely a bad sign with a basset! I took him to the vet and he said he was in liver failure and he did not sound too overly optimistic. He put him on a strong antibotic IV and fluids for a couple of days thinking that it could be bacterial. He seemed to respond well and we brought him home - only to have him throw up a couple of times the day after we brought him home (yesterday). I will be calling the vet as soon as they open this morning.
The vet seemed like the antibiotic treatment was his only real option and if it didn't work then it may just be the end of the line as George will continue into complete liver failure. He never really mentioned any possible association with the Cushings and the liver failure.

Has anyone else had any liver related issues with Cushings??

Sending lots of positive energy to all of you and your pups!! as well as lots of basset hound drool filled get well wishes!!

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203342 tn?1328740807
I'm so sorry to hear how poorly your basset is doing. I know it hurts to see our pets so sick or in pain. I will say a prayer for you and your doggy.
I don't know if my dog had liver failure. I didn't have them run any tests. I have a feeling his organs were shutting down fast, though, because a few weeks before he died he cut way back on his eating and was losing weight. So we coaxed him with wet food for awhile, which he seemed to like. Then the day before he died he refused to eat or drink, was just kind of laying around and had bloody diarrhea. My heart sank because I knew it was the end for him. I didn't want him to suffer and when I looked in his eyes he looked so tired and sick. I took him to the vet to have him put to sleep and it was the hardest thing I've had to do. He went gently, thank God. But I cried and cried. This is the part of being a pet owner that I hate. I don't look forward to that with my other pets. They give us so much unconditional love. I just want to always do the best for my pets and take care of them.
Keep in touch and let us know what happens, ok? God bless you and your little basset hound. Prayers and blessings to you both.
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946670 tn?1246030607
Hi,
Well we lost our 10 year old border collie Hailey yesterday (6/22/2009) and my heart goes out to all you that have gone through this or are going through this. It's devastating.  Hailey was our baby, like all of you I know what that means when you say that. We were blessed with Hailey 10 years ago after our first year of marriage.
3 weeks after we had her, she got very sick and was diagnosed with Parvo.  The Vet gave her a 20% chance she would pull through because she was so young. But in only 3 weeks she became such a big part of our lives we couldn't let her go. I had just lost my father 5 months prior and I felt personally responsible to keep this little puppy alive.
So I quit my job and stayed home with her feeding her and keeping her hydrated from a syringe. She bounced back 100% and she lived a happy life, but last year
in September 08' after we noticed the signs of cushings...water consumption, appetite increase and loss of hair. We had her tested and the Vet was honestly in shock that she was doing as well as she was.  We started her on lysodren immediately and we did notice her water and food consumption returned to normal. She even grew back some of that thick gorgeous black n' white hair Border Collies are known for.
It wasn't until about 4 months ago that we noticed she was leaning to one side alot and her face was droopy on that side. We suspected a stroke and the doctor confirmed, but after a month or so she seemed to recover from that.
She had really good days...running around in the yard, chasing our other puppy Sophie, but then she would have the days where she was very lethargic. Never seemed to be in pain though.
Then this past Sunday on Fathers Day she didn't seem herself and she had stopped eating and drinking. For the first time she began to cry when she laid down. she was constantly pacing around the house...she started running into walls and would lay down but then after 10minutes she would start crying again and start pacing all over again. Her legs being so weak it was killing me to watch her struggle like that. Sunday night I stayed up with her all night watching her repeat that pattern. She didn't sleep all night...and only managed 20 minutes of sleep sunday morning. before she woke up to repeat the pacing. I never left her side for 12 hours, using a syringe to give her water or small pieces of ice. She just wouldn't take it anything.
We called the vet as soon as they opened because we knew what we had to do, but they said they did that type thing at 6pm. Well there was no way any of us could watch her or let her be in pain for that long...so we called the vet back and they took us as soon as they could. Hailey finally could no longer walk...and we got her favorite blanket and carried her to the truck. She never once looked scared or cried on the way to the vet or when I carried her in. She was so good! We opted to stay with her through the whole thing...and although it breaks your heart anyway you look at it...I couldn't leave her side. Hailey is finally at peace now, and I try to remind myself that we had 10 years with her that we probably never should have had...that helps for about 2 mins then the reality of it all sets in.

We're worried about our other pup Sophie. That was Hailey's shadow...and Sophie isn't eating and she's hiding under the bed, which she never did before.

thank you all for sharing your stories...it does help.


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203342 tn?1328740807
That's how my dog was when we took him to the vet. He was calm, didn't act scared at all and he normally hates going to the vet. I think he was just so sick at that point he didn't care. I stayed with him too, even though that was so hard on me. I'm grateful he went gently and quickly. Still, it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
We now have 2 puppies. I wasn't planning on getting another dog that fast but it just kind of happened. They in no way could ever take Willow's place. They aren't even a bit like him. But they sure are a distraction and fun to watch play, etc.
I wonder sometimes when they're old if one goes before the other how it would be. I've heard it can be so hard on the dog left behind. I've heard it can help to get the other dog a new friend. It might be something to consider. You could take Sophie to the pound or a rescue place and let her pick out a dog. I've heard of people doing that. In the meantime, give her lots of attention and love right now. As I'm sure you know, animals grieve just like we do.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I do understand. God bless you.
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946670 tn?1246030607
Thank you so much!
I know we made the right decision but it's still like you said..the hardest thing to do. I'm still in shock really.
We were always afraid we'd come home from work to find Hailey had passed but we were able to spend all night and day with her and she never was alone.
I feel terrible for leaving Sophie alone today but we both had to go back to work.  I'm definitely NOT ready to be here right now, but here or home...the feelings are the same
My wife, however is going home during lunch to check on sophie. My wife started going home for lunch to check on Hailey & Sophie when we found out Hailey was sick last year.  She did that because it made me feel better about leaving them and i appreciate that so much.

thanks again!
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I just wanted to give a short story for those that learn when thier little baby is diagnosed with cushings.  I have 9 year old, pure breed yellow lab.  He was diagnosed with Cushings about a year ago.  He had all the classic symptoms, which in retrospect I should have picked up earlier.  He was storing weight at a plump 100 pounds.    

After all the testing, ultrasound and thousands of dollars, they determined it was a pituitary tumor causing the disease.  Based on his moaning, hind leg weakness and other issues I though I would have to put him down.  The thought of this broke my heart and I would pay any amount to keep him well.

He began the Lysodren loading treatment and didnt seem to get any better.  I learned that patience is crucial during this phase.  He stopped eating, began to lose hair and was having some serious skin issues.  I was becoming more skeptical that this would work.  His loading phase was extended as his blood levels were not responding.

Then he began breaking his teeth (slab fractures).  A lesson learned that I want to share:  Do NOT give your dog rawhide bones when on Lysodren.  Their teeth weaken and will break easily.  As time when on and regulating his prednisone on bad days, we finally found the balance.  His maintenance dose is three per week and now the symptoms are gone.  He is also back to a healthy 75 pounds.  His energy is back and he's a playfull little puppy.  He misses his daily rawhide, but its for the best.  For those that get discouraged, be patient.  Of course the monetary side of this is devistating, but we as true animal lovers know its so worth it.  

I have been reading this site for a while to learn about this early on and I just wanted to post to say thank you.  Also to give a light of hope that they can recover and still live a happy life with this disease.

    
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Life is so uncertain.  About an hour after I wrote my last comment.  My maverick died in my arms on the way to the emergency vet.  I tried cpr on him while my wife drove fifteen minutes to get there.  I should have just kept my mouth shut.  

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203342 tn?1328740807
Oh hon, I'm so sorry you lost your dog. I totally understand. They're our babies. I lost my dog 2 months ago to this horrible disease.
I like to think God has a special place in heaven for our pets since they're one of the few innocents of this world. I pray God will comfort you in your time of grieving and give you peace. God bless.
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Thank you, it's been a very hard day for our family.  

Beside the normal missing the clicking of the paws everytime the bread drawer opens, I have noticed an unbelievable void with respect to his illness.  I have spent countless hours making sure he was comfortable, covered with a blanket, not itching, not licking, applying his hot spot ointments, making sure he was not to warm from the meds, giving his numrous meds throughout the day, watching his skin, monitoring his teeth, monitoring his bowels, countless trips for bloodwork..etc etc.  And it's only been a day.

I have been so busy taking care of him, I didn't realize how much care he needed.  I guess he is truly at peace and in a better place.  

Just when you think they have recovered.....What a horrible disease. :(
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675347 tn?1365464245
I am so sorry to hear about what has happened to your dog. So shocking, especially as he seemed  much better.
There are hardly any words to describe that void when a dog has gone. I know. You will miss those health routines because they were an important part of his life.
Many of us here have had the experience of losing a dog before. It never gets any easier. If you need someone to talk to there is always someone who understands here.
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Thank you.

The onset was unreal.  He was feeling fine and 30 minutes later, his mouth was cold, gums and tongue turning white.  Could barely walk and panting.  He wasnt crying though and thank goodness he was on painkillers from his recent tooth extraction.

I have never seen an animal die so quickly without any type of external trauma.  Im just glad he died in my arms looking in my eyes, instead of all alone in his favorite hiding spot.
  
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I'm sorry to keep posting.  Im having such a hard time (guilt) with how he just suddenly turned for the worse.  I feel so cheated.  Has anyone else ever dealt with that or know anything about it.  
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675347 tn?1365464245
Post all you like, Mark. It's a hard time for you, and it's hard to come to terms with these things.  No I haven't known the same thing. I have to admit I don't know a lot about Cushing's. It does seem strange your dog died so very suddenly, from being ok to sudden complete collapse.
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