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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.
287 Responses
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.
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.
Avatar universal
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
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!
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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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