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Endings for Untreated Cushings in Dogs
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by SpartacusGeorge, May 25, 2012
My 14.5 yr old beagle was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease a few months ago. He is nearly blind and deaf already - we decided not to put him through the treatment. My question is how do most older dogs with untreated Cushing's begin to fail? I would really like to minimize any suffering in his final days. Right now, I am red-flagging every little twitch and thinking if I knew what to expect, I could calm down a little and hopefully not send any frightened messages to Spartacus. He is currently on Proin to control his urine accidents and that has worked for a few months now. Would just really prefer to look at him with joy rather than fear these days. Thanks, in advance, for your knowledge & stories.
Member Comments (14)
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by lindapalm, May 25, 2012
I don't have any good advice about what you can expect to happen, but I definately agree with you that you should try to be calm in front of him, being deaf and blind, he needs all the help and calmness he can get.  Take each day as it comes, if he's in pain make sure he has meds, and simply enjoy him and do his favorite things with him as long as you can.  Good Luck.
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by SpartacusGeorge, Jun 01, 2012
Thanks - I've heard about muscular problems, seizures and other things that happen to Cushings dogs and would appreciate hearing others' stories for what to watch out for as he approaches his 15th birthday.
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by Des_a_rae, Jun 01, 2012
Hi there...I am terribly sorry to hear about your lil guy.  I lost my Sadie to this horrible disease.  She had just turned 10.  To keep a long story short, you've gotta have alot of patience.

Sadie weighed only 11 lbs and her first signs were eating, alot!  She would try to out eat my boxer/bulldog.  She was constantly hungry but after fiding out about Cushing's, I knew it was the disease.  I went from feeding her once in the morning and once in the evening to 3 smaller meals throughout the day.  Another thing is the thirst, it's insatiable.  She would drink constantly.  They shed, she would get lil white mole looking things everywhere.  Then she started getting really weak.  She would go out to potty, but I'd have to help her down the steps (I'm not going to let her stumble and risk falling) and I'd help her back up.  She normally would go wayyy out in the back yard but she barely made it into the yard as she grew weaker.  She was tired all the time.  I made sure she wasn't in any pain as I was told she wouldn't live through surgery, nor would the meds help.  I decided to let her live her final days at home around the people she loved.  The first time I took her to the vet was in Nov. 2010, I wasn't convinced it was "liver disease" so I got a 2nd opinion in Feb of 2011 and was diagnosed Cushing's and I lost her in May on that year. :(   She was my princess (and baby since I dont have any children) and I loved her so much and loved her MORE than I ever could during those last months.  The vet told me she wasn't in any pain and just to expect her to grow weak and she did.  

Just love him as much as possible, be his best friend as he needs you now more than ever.  I wish you the best!!  And again, I'm so sorry to hear.   If you have anymore questions please feel free to ask.
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by lynnbob, Nov 19, 2013
my 10 yr. old Bassett hound was just diagnosed with cushings. my vet wants me to spend $211.00 dollars a month to treat her, which i cannot afford. i wish i could if it would help. so my question is when your dog was diagnosed did your vet mention giving your dog the medicine or think it would be better to just let it be and do like you did. i guess what iam trying to ask is -is it really going to make that much difference if you treat them or not at this age or is it just basically prolonging there suffering? just was wondering what your opinion is and if your vet said anything.
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by lynnbob, Nov 19, 2013
my 10 yr. old Bassett hound was just diagnosed with cushings. my vet wants me to spend $211.00 dollars a month to treat her, which i cannot afford. i wish i could if it would help. so my question is when your dog was diagnosed did your vet mention giving your dog the medicine or think it would be better to just let it be and do like you did. i guess what iam trying to ask is -is it really going to make that much difference if you treat them or not at this age or is it just basically prolonging there suffering? just was wondering what your opinion is and if your vet said anything.
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by SpartacusGeorge, Nov 20, 2013
Thanks for all the posts - an update on Spartacus, my beagle with untreated Cushings. He was diagnosed at 14.5 and he hung on for another year until we decided to have him put down at 15.5 yrs old. To answer my own question for anyone who's decided not to treat Cushings - in our case, his progression was slow but nothing major. His eyesight worsened over that year, his hearing worsened but mostly his kidneys worsened to the point where he was wearing a diaper all the time and was wanting to go outside every 1-3 hours all day and all night long. He didn't have any other issues.

As for his meds, he had been on thyroid meds for years already, and we added in one to help with his bladder. Finally, they suggested one to help with his liver function that was pricey ($60 extra i think) and it seemed too late for that med.

For LynnBob with the Bassett - there is no cure for Cushings so there's no guarantee. For us, it seemed cruel to put a 14.5 yr old dog through chemo (which is the recommended treatment) and am glad we decided not to do that. Good luck with your decision - its never easy.
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by bougie, Dec 30, 2013
Vectoryl has been an affordable treatment for canine cushings. I spend about $90 a month for it at Coscto for my dog and it worked for two years. Hope this helps someone.
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by Qoq, Sep 22, 2014
I have a miniature schnauzer whom we have been treating for Cushings for about a year. He took Vetoryl for months and in his monthly stem test vet noticed he is starting to show signs of Addison's disease (opposite of Cushings) so took him off the Vetroyl for 30 days. Ill tell you that he was a completely different dog while being treated with the meds!! On the meds he is like a puppy again and totally worth he money. Our family had to give up a couple things to be able to afford his treatments but our dogs a member of our family so we don't mind. We are actually putting him back on the Vetroyl but at a lower dose. This way we will continue to treat the symptoms but not cause him to develop Addison's disease. We will continue to treat him for the rest of his life ( he is 10) because we have seen the amazing difference in his quality of life while being treated!!!  
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by lindapalm, Sep 25, 2014
I just want to thank you for being such a good pet owner.  So many people claim they can't afford treatment for their pet, but your family is willing to give up things so you can .  Your vet sound like he is up to date on treatments, and I'm so glad your dog has improved. I wish you continued good luck.