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I just wanted to give some advice to all of you with dogs with Cushings. Every vet is different and every dog is different. All I can do is tell you what has worked for me with my dog. I am surprised by everyone's posts about diagnosis and treatment of Cushings. It seems that every vet has a different oppion or approach. I am also noticing that for the most part, vets have a negative outlook when it comes to Cushings. Huge advancements have been made over the years and the medicines have been highly successful in treating the symptoms assocated with the disease. Here's what I can tell you I went thru and hopefully it helps all of you! First, when I read articles online about the disease when my beagle was diagnosed with it about 6 years ago, I was very discouraged to learn that a dog has about a 2 year life expectancy with this disease. I later learned that those articles were several years old. So, I really had to start paying attention to what I was reading and how old it was. As I found more current info I became extremely encouraged. Stay postive and be patient! My beagle was diagnosed at age 5 (were are not 100% sure of her age, so she could have been 6 at the time). She was drinking water excessively, panting, tremoring, and urinating all over the house.  I was extremely worried that she had kidney failure. The vet could not fgure out what was wrong and ruled out everything. Then she becmae bloated and I really worried! I researched Cushing's online and had her tested by another vet who tests for the disease. Sure enough, she was diagnosed with the Cushing's. Searching for the right medicine is tough. We decided on Lysodren. It did not work right away, but the vet remained patient and kept adjusting her meds. After about a good year on the drug, her bloddwork started to improve. She never totally stopped the urinating and stll has an accident every now and again...but the excessive drinking dramatically decreased. Over the years, it's been work to take her in for testing a few times a year, but it's been worth it. I couldn't imagine losing her at age 5 or 6! Her bloodwork was never perfect over the years, but the doctor said that it was managable. He and other vets told me when we started treatment that if you are patient with the disease and keep up with everyting that dogs can live out their normal lifespan on the medicine. That's my biggest advice to all of you! Keep up with the testing and the medicine. This is a very tricky disease and the symptoms are so similar to many othere diseases...i.e. diabetes, thyroid, etc. Many think it's just old age and ignore it. The truth is your dog can live many good years on the medicine. The other trick is to choose the right medicine. I chose Lysodren. It worked on my dog, but it s a dangerous drug and can have side effects. There is a new drug from the UK called Trilosan (spelling?). It's not available in the U.S. but you can have it shipped here. It does not have the dangerous side effects of Lysodren. My dog did have a set back around the holidays...her cushings was getting bad...because her back legs were getting weak, she would fall, and couldn't go up stairs, she was putting on weight around her belly and drinking lots of water again. She was due for her testing and sure enough, her bloodwork was off the charts. So my vet increased her meds. This time, though, he doubled her Lysodren...someting he had never done before. This increase then threw her into Addison's, the opposite of Cushing's. I knew this was happening becuase she would not eat for a week! I kept asking my vet if I should bring her back in to test again and he kept saying, "I highy doubt she is in Addison's...we could never get her numbers that low in all the time she's been on Lysodren." He thought that maybe she should have an ultrsound to see if she had some sorth of blockage in her stomach. I insisted on her Cushing's test instead, and sure enough, she was in Addison's. Too much of her Adrenal gland was stripeed from the Lysodre and she was very ill. When this happens, they give your dog Prednisone to counter the reaction to the Lysodren. She totally bounced back the next day, was eating again and she is fine now.  She continues her daily low dose of Prednisone. She may never have to take the Lysodren again. ALso, just so you know,  some vets purposely adminster extra Lysodren to throw the dog in Addison's...since it is easier to control than the Cushing's. Like I said, this is a trcky disease....but except for the week she worried us with the lack of appetite, she has lived a healthy, normal happy life on the meds. She is 11 going on 12 and s a happy Beagle! You must give the medicine a chance, be patient and know your pet! When things change, you must alert your vet. You must also be active on the internet and learn all that you can about the disease. The medicine is affordable if you shop around. Most dogs are on one pill per week. I was able to find it for just over $4 a pill. I was paying $8 a pill! Also, the testing costs about $129-$150 and she goes a couple of times a year for that. Your vet should be willing to work with you on cost. Since I'm there so much with Suzie...he sometimes doesn't charge me the office visit fee or to cut her nails....so just ask! I also try to get her shots and annual exam done when she is in for testing...this helps cut down on cost too! Good luck with your pet and I hope these words give you some piece of mind!
3 Responses
675347 tn?1365464245
Thank you so much for this post! You have been so dedicated, and worked so hard for your dog's sake. It was very good to read this. Blessings to you and your dog! May you two carry on having a good life for a long time yet!
793908 tn?1294708709
My poodle 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 alot 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.

Avatar universal
Hi my 7 year old maltese was diagnosed 4 months ago with cushings, after a blood test showed up issues. her dosage is still not right, she still eats all the time and drinks all the time. 2 months ago she went blind, and a month ago she went blind, none of this was expected and we had no warning. she was a happy beautiful puppy and now she is sad all the time. the vet says these things happened as a side effect to cushings. i wish i could help her.
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675347 tn?1365464245
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