My friend has a schnauzer with newly diagnosed cushings and a tumor on her adrenal gland. She is 14 years old and the vet is concerned with doing surgery but offers no other option. Has anyone had any successful surgery to remove the tumor at a dog of this age and any other treatments that worked. Her symptoms are drinking tons of water and having to go pee very often, in return. Thank you in advance.
My dog was tested for Cushings at one time, but didn't have it. However, my vet said that as long as the symptoms aren't too bad and the dog is living a good and full life, to not treat it. He said that sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease itself. I am not sure if this pertained to the tumor or not...Just a little input...hope it all works out.
I'm assuming you're talking about a pituitary tumor in the brain? If it were my dog, I would do the surgery. There really is no other way to treat this problem if that's the case. My Aunt had a mini-schnauzer who lived to nearly 20 years with chronic pancreatitis, so this dog's life isn't over by a long shot. What I would be more concerned about is the side-effects of the Cushings disease on the kidneys as evidenced by the excessive drinking and peeing. Once kidney tissue is damaged, it can't be healed. If lab tests show the kidneys are in severe failure, then I probably wouldn't put the dog through surgery and just keep her as comfy as possible for as long as possible. There just aren't any easy answers where this disease is concerned, particularly when it is discovered late in the process.
Get a second opinion. My dachshund was checked for Cushings for about a year before we found out it was early onset of diabetes (they have similar symptoms). The vet had mentioned quite a few drug therapies for Cushings (treatment for adrenal Cushings is different than treating pituitary Cushings).
The problem with doing this surgery is such an old dog is, of course, risk of anesthetic, risk of kidney damage, internal bleeding, etc. The surgery doesn't cure the Cushings either.
Try posting this to the Ask A Vet forum for a better idea on treatments for Cushings.
Here's some other reference material:
Thank you all for your comments. I forgot to add that she had the ultrasound that showed the tumor on the adrenal gland. The vet is unsure how or if she'll be strong enough for the risks of anesthesia. Tough decision. It has been an issue for quite some time with going outside frequently and peeing accidents in the house. Now, they are up 4-5 times a night. About every 1 1/2 -2 hours. I will suggest a second opinion, although my friend dearly loves this vet and has had him for years. We'll see.
She had the surgery Tuesday. The tumor on the adrenal on the kidney was larger than they had thought originally. It was the size of a "circus peanut" orange candy that we used to eat as a child. I was shocked, that is how the vet explained it to my friend. Anyhow, it is a large incision and the dog is doing fair. She has a lot of pain at the moment and is needing to take heparin, a blood thinner to prevent clots. Hopefully this will help her with the symptoms that she was having, however the vet would not offer any guarantees.
What a terrible decision to have to make. The one consolation is that everything that can be done, is being done. There was no right or wrong way to go in this case. I think it's going to be up to the dog's constitution and mental attitude how well she recovers. Just the fact that she's made it this far is a great sign though. Is she still in the hospital or back home? Keep us all posted on her recovery.
Sorry to be so long to get back here. She is home now, but spent 4 days in the vet hospital. She is all healed up but unfortunately ALL of the symptoms of her Cushing's Disease are still there. They have spent a ton of $ on this dog and are so disappointed, however the vet did tell them that there was no guarantees. Shes back to drinking tons of water, going out to pee every 1/2-1 hour and accidents all through the house. Also, dragging her back legs at times. She went last Friday for some further blood testing. I'll have to get back with you on the results.
Thank you for your kind thoughts. They were told yesterday that they now highly suspect another tumor, this time on the pituitary. The vets say this is a very rare case. She is going for a ct or mri today of the head. This is so much to go through for them. I am glad they have the $ to pay for it all bc I know that I couldn't afford that much and would be devastated.
They tried the pads and she eats them to shreds. She's very hyper and probably part of the disease. Thanks again, tmv
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