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1342335 tn?1276722327

Cushings Disease... so many questions and doubts

My dog who is an 11 1/2 yr old Maltese was just diagnosed with Cushings Disease. He has had Diabetes for about two years and gets injections twice a day. I expect to get a treatment plan and medication from our Vet tomorrow.
I am afraid as I am 67 yrs old and suffer with chronic pain due to severe peripheral neuropathy, plus spinal stenosis and a seizure disorder.I have read so much about this disease that my head is spinning. One thing that really stuck with me is that to be able to treat your pet you need to be in physical, emotional and spiritual condition to be able to do what might be needed 24 hours a day. What if I can't say for sure that I can be all of that in the condition I am in? The costs of treatment, especially all of the tests are worrisome but i am very low income social security and I believe I can find help out there. Excuse me for rambling, guess this is the first time I have shared my fears. I have to do what is best for my precious fur baby but not sure what that is.  
16 Responses
Avatar universal
Our dog had Cushings, and the only thing that I can think of that you will be required to do in a 24 hour period would be to clean up pee, until your dog gets regulated, and also to let him out to pee hourly, even if he doesn't seem to have to go.  I would confine him in a kitchen or room that can be wiped up easily, as he will have accidents, even if he never did before. POSSIBLY he will have leg weakness, in which you MIGHT have to help him down stairs, but that comes and goes, and might not even happen.  I would definately try everything you can for your baby, you won't regret it.  Just make sure your vet is familar with the disease and knows what hes doing, mine didn't and was always guessing, I'm sorry we didn't switch vets.  Good Luck and let me know how your doing.  
Avatar universal
Have you considered trying an alternative remedy such as Cushex?  It's a homeopathic remedy that you can get on Amazon.  My dog has early symptoms of Cushings and this remedy really helped him.  He stopped having pee accidents, doesn't drink so much water, stopped begging for food and his coat is much shinier now; it took about a whole month to notice that the remedy was working.  I think it  might be helpful to use along with whatever your vet suggests. The bottle wasn't cheap but it almost lasted 2 months for me, so it will probably last longer for you because your maltese is half my dog's size.
1342335 tn?1276722327
Thank you both so much for your input. I talked to the Vet today and we can use either of the two meds.. Trilostane or Lysodren. For sure I cannot afford the Trilostane, out of the question on my little social security. The other even is iffy when I  count his insulin, his glucose curves and the new tests that will be needed. My boy has been diabetic for almost two years now and I have an area that I put down pee papers for him to use in the evening when I am not able to get him out. Now his insulin has increased to 19 units and it still isn't exactly where it should be.
I want to do all I can do but it is difficult on low income. Would this homeopathic remedy be something that could work instead of the meds? I hate the thought of giving him meds that are so powerful and will make him sick.
What would happen if I could not treat him?
Well after 1am ..another sleepless night of thinking too much.
Avatar universal
I have never tried the homeopathic remidies, it might be worth a shot.  I had our dog on Trilostane, so I can't say how Lysodern works, but I do know it is an older drug for Cushings, so at least its been tried a lot.  I don't know what would happen if you didn't treat your dog, I would ask your vet.  
793908 tn?1294705109
Hi...Please try to calm down. Things will work out for you. I have been in your shoes.
I had my Julie poodle on Trilostane from the start & it didn't save her. Yet, she lived a good life for 1 1/2 yrs on it.  Although I was told no, I know that she had to have Cushings years before her diagnosis. Why don't u try the Cushex drops. I heard all good about them.  Lysodren can be a very dangerous drug if your dog rejects it. There is no antedote. On the other hand, it can help him greatly if it works. You must continue the treatments though & it is costly.
Read my Journal if you want to know more about Julie & Cushings...what she went through. I have tears now just thinking of my pretty baby.
Thank god that another dog came my way...so unexpectedly. She is Miss Chanel & I love her alot.  My best to you & your baby doll. I know you can take care of him without it draining you. Huggsssss
1342335 tn?1276722327
Thank you for your reply. I did order the Cushex for Romeo at Amazon but guess what I was able to find a very good price for Trilostane at an online pharmacy that is right here in CA. The price for 10 mg 30 count is $45. and I ordered three bottles so I would have no shipping charge. Also found Prednisone ten dollars for 100 count..  i do not need so many but such a good price. I cannot return the Cushex or do not think I can but will ask vet if I can use it too. If it works and I can even give my baby a year of fairly good life it will be so worth it. He is almost blind, diabetic for almost two yrs and now this terrible disease.. makes me cry but only when he cant see me.
1342335 tn?1276722327
Thank you so much, I am a little calmer now that I have found affordable medication. It was pretty obvious when Romeo go Cushings.. his water intake, hunger and most of all the pot belly with no weight gain. Thought first it was old age. I am glad I am able to go with the Trilostane instead of the Lysodren. What a great price I found at Pet Med N More
When I talked with Dr. Gillespie yesterday she told me her office manager had applied for a $500. grant for me to use on my vet bills. Said she would be glad to fill out any paperwork for any help I can find. Will need this as I won't be able to afford all the testing..
we are going on this venture on a wing and a prayer.
I will read your journal..thank you. I am so happy for you that Miss Chanel came to you just when you needed her and i am sure she needed you.
I will not be able to get another dog as I got disabled five years ago and cannot walk.
I have in home support who walk romeo for me but they are not really supposed to.
If I can't take care of a pet I don't really want to depend on others, what if I move or
circumstances change and I don't have help. Romeo is my first and only fur baby.
Avatar universal
Cushex really helped my dog, I've been unemployed so I'm in a similar situation. The good thing about homeopathy is that you can take it along with meds, doesn't interfere.  Since you seem very panicky, sounds like Cushing's is more advanced for your dog, so you might need to follow the vet's recommendations until your dog's symptoms subside.  If you go on the PetAlive.com http://www.nativeremedies.com/petalive/cushex-adrenal-support-dogs-cats.html and read the feedback on the product, you will get a better idea of what other people did. I prefer not to give strong drugs to my dog because he is a senior who's had 2 major surgeries unless absolutely necessary.  I did a lot of research online before I bought Cushex for my dog.

You might want to put your dog on a good diet too, I cook for my dog now and that has made a difference too for him.
Avatar universal
Good luck with the Trilostane, you did  get a good price on it.  Why do you need the prednisone, we only had to use it after awhile when our dogs levels of Trilostane got too high, not in the beginning.  When you do use the Trilostane, I would start on a VERY low dose and work your way up, don't start too high and work your way down, I think it will be easier for your dog that way.
1342335 tn?1276722327
I am glad to hear that Cushex helped your dog and also that it can be used with the meds since I have both coming in the mail. Of course I am planning on getting an ok from our Vet about using the Cushex along with the medication.
You being unemployed.. GOD BLESS YOU! I have my social security check and since it isn't much in my state i qualify for SSI, which since CA is broke..my little check has gone down and down.. california needs it more than i do, lol
Actually even though I am very panicky I do believe that my fur baby is doing very well right now. His water intake his greatly gone down..of course he is on a high dose of insulin which will be cut in half the day i start him on the Trilostane. He is still very hungry but seems like not as much as he was a couple of weeks ago.. very strange.
Food always was his best friend. I can feel his stress level when it goes up sometimes, I see the clear signs of this disease. I am dreading this fight for quality of life we have ahead of us. I am very sad as when my boy goes to the bridge i will be totally living alone and gee, I might have to move from here, don't know if i will be able to take it.

I read the reviews on Amazon before I bought the product .. they were very good.

If you have the time and wouldn't mind sharing i would love some good ideas for healthy cooking for our dogs. Right now he is on Hills Canine R/D and has been for a couple of years since he got diabetes. He is so tired of it and before he got sick he would hardly eat it.. we started putting a tiny bit of beef hot dog mashed up in his kibble and that make a big difference.. kniw that wasn't healthy so I am cooking chicken breasts for
him to add to the kibble, problem is it has no fat in it.. just too dry so he at night sometimes will try to eat just the chicken.

I am so torn about giving him the strong drugs or not.. really hate to but he should have the chance to try it to see if it will work for him. Vet is starting him out at a 10 mg morning and evening.. she seems to know a lot about treating cushing's patients. She has been romeo's doc since he was a puppy and seems like she cares about him.

Please excuse me for writing a book.
1342335 tn?1276722327
I had been told that Trilostane is very pricey and it is if you buy it from the pet hospital that my vet practices at. She is the one who told me to check out  the online pharmacies. Wow, it works out to about $1.50 a pill. I hope that if anyone here is using this drug they would check out this pet pharmacy.. Pet Med N More
I am in a yahoo group similar to this forum. They told me and also my vet told me when I talked to her yesterday that i need to have Prednisone on hand in  case he takes this medication and he gets sick from it.
When I have no knowledge on a subject, especially something so important as the health of my little one, then I tend to closely follow directions.. strange for me as I rarely do follow or even read directions, like to do things 'my way'  
Avatar universal
I think that if you research home cooked diet or dog food for diabetic dogs, you'll find some good alternatives to Hills, I'm personally not a fan of Hills dog food, they use preservatives BHA, BHT and ETHOXYQUIN that cause cancer in dogs.  You can find some recipes in this book: Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative. Donald R. Strombeck, DVM. Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0813821495, you might be able to get it from the public library or a used book from Amazon. It is important that you talk to your veterinarian before starting your dog on home cooked meals, because the dog's insulin doses will probably have to be changed.  

Also, when you get Cushex and give it to your dog, I would give it apart from the meds, I used to give it to my dog first thing in the morning, and before he went to sleep.  I don't think that the herbs dandelion, burdock, and astralagus interact with the meds but you might want to ask the vet.

I am always reluctant to give strong meds to my dogs so if you feel that you can try out Cushex alone for 1 week or 2 without the meds and see if there is any improvement in your dog's condition, it might be worth it.  I'm not sure how serious the situation is.  If there is improvement, you can ask your vet about trying out Cushex for a month without the meds.  Also, you should read this article http://www.ehow.com/way_5776689_alternative-medication-cushing_s-disease-dog.html  It explains how burdock may or may not affect insulin levels.

1342335 tn?1276722327
Thank you. I am not really sure about the home cooked meals..just thinking about it. I cannot afford to let him gain weight. When he got Diabetes he was obese at 24 lbs.
He was put on Hills R/D and the pounds seem to just melt off of him in no time.
Now at 20 lbs he is good altho the vet would prefer 16-17lbs but she is not complaining.

I have been watching Romeo very closely. He no longer seems sick. He is no longer panting, his appetite is normal..not looking for more after his meal. He is happy and relaxed, taking good walks almost every day. I cannot judge his water intake, it is very good at less then three cups a day..but then his insulin dosage is very high. Of course he still has the 'pot belly'.

I received the Cushex yesterday and the Trilostane should arrive today. I really do not care that our vet says I am not going to give my boy Romeo this strong and dangerous medication when he doesn't appear to be sick. I could see my way clear to giving him the Cushex just in case I am wrong.

I read that there should be more than one test to get the Cushing's Diagnosis but Romeo only had the Low Dose Dex.. have a feeling this could have been due to the fact that our vet knows my financial status.

Bottom line is I feel good chance there was a misdiagnosis.

Thanks for reading.  
Avatar universal
I have heard that Trilostane could be toxic, especially since you have a senior dog.

My dog has been misdiagnosed many times, even just recently, so it is very possible that your vet has too. Have you considered asking the opinion of the vets on the Medhelp Expert Forum.  I recently did, it was very helpful.  It is a good alternative for you too since you also have limited finances -- this way you don't have to second guess yourself.

1342335 tn?1276722327
Thank you, I am going to Ask a Vet at this site. Right now I am so confused.
Avatar universal
Consider Cushex Drops (herbal) and new medicine:  Vetmedin.  Working good for my Boston Terrier with Cushing's disease.
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