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Thread: New to the Forum - English Bulldog Mom

  1. #1

    Default New to the Forum - English Bulldog Mom

    Hi everyone, I have been creeping quietly for a few weeks and decided to join after seeing so many helpful suggestions.

    Back ground -- Chewy aka Chewybear, Chew Chew baby, or any other variation I say daily... is a 7 year old (almost 8) Male English Bulldog. I was given Chewy as a gift when he was 4 months old. My boyfriend at the time knew how much I had always wanted an EB. Long story short... after finding out that the Vet Records and AKC papers Chewy had come with were fake... I took him to the Vet we had always taken our family dogs too and we found out that he had (more than likely) never had his puppy shots, and or been nursed by his mother... he was a stolen puppy. After paying a typical EB puppy price $$$$ + getting him all caught up and treated for ring worm, HE WAS MINE. LOL... yes shame on me for not trying to find the owner, BUT... I knew he would be my forever companion. He was home.

    Fast Forward... August 2017, Chewy had been showing all the typical signs of Cushings. After noticing a hard spot under his skin on the back of his neck I decided to take him in, realizing what was happening... after the first visit, which led to the second, which led to several more. Biopsy's, blood work, urinalysis, etc... there it was, the whole shebang, Positive for Cushings and Calcinosis Cutis. I sat on the floor loving him, kissing him, talking to him... what did he want me to do? I couldn't afford the medication the Vet recommended monthly. Vetoryl. I searched endlessly for holistic treatments, and to my surprise I found MANY!

    **Chewy has never been on Prednisone, he wasn't on any medications when the symptoms started. He has always been the picture perfect example of a healthy dog. I had recently had him caught up on his Vaccines and I think that is what caused it. Needless to say, I switched Vets.

    Fast Forward to present condition... I have successfully managed his Cushings symptoms on my own. He's on a Raw homemade diet prepared by me weekly, herbal supplements (ashwagandha, lignans, melatonin, etc...) All of the typical symptoms have decreased significantly. His muscle weakness is present but only when there is an obstacle like stairs. Walking, moving around normally is not an issue.

    My battle is with the CC. The initial spot on his neck spread rapidly after the biopsy. That spot is actually relatively cleared up... his skin is soft with very few calcium deposits on it, although the hair has still not grown back. The CC has spread all the way to his hind legs and to his tail (nub of a tail) its very hard and oozy. I bathe him once a week and keep Charcoal on those spots to keep them dry. DMSO was a waste of time for us... my next move is Golden Paste, and mixing up a Charcoal Poultice with Bentonite Clay... any other recommendations, I'm all ears!

    Anyways, I just wanted to share my story, struggles and small successes. Not a lot of people understand why I am willing to try anything under the sun to keep my boy going. His eyes are bright, he's still fighting... plus I think he's enjoying the homemade meals a little too much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    York, PA.

    Default Re: New to the Forum - English Bulldog Mom

    Hi and welcome to you and Chewy!

    I have only a moment to post but wanted to say hello! I'll get back later today to give you a proper greeting and share any thoughts that I have. In the meantime I'm sure the others will be by to share their thoughts, experiences, and advice.

    Hugs, Lori

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: New to the Forum - English Bulldog Mom

    Hi and welcome to you and Chewy! Good on you for all you've done to help manage Chewy's symptoms so far. Unfortunately, and I hate to break it to you, but everything that I've read (or seen recommended here) says that CC isn't going to get better unless Chewy's cortisol is brought down. And that (typically) only happens through the use of specific meds. Now maybe some of those holistic/herbal supplements you're using can help, but I don't think we've seen long-term results from them.

    I do not have any knowledge or experience with CC myself though. There are others with loads more experience than me, so hopefully they'll stop in and share that with you before long.

    Mama to Jackson and Kira, and my darling Cushing's angel, Visuddha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    York, PA.

    Default Re: New to the Forum - English Bulldog Mom

    Ok, I'm back! I'm so glad you have come out of the shadows and created a thread for your precious boy! Could you get copies of all the tests that were performed on Chewy and post those results for us? Also, what symptoms was Chewy displaying that led you or the vet to test for Cushing's in the first place? Is Chewy neutered?

    I've been fortunate that I have never had to deal with CC but we've seen our share of this condition on the forum. From our experience in order to get some control of it the cortisol needs to be under 5 ug/dl. And, unfortunately, CC seems to get worse before it gets better.

    I'm including a post from one of members, Renee, who is well acquainted with this skin affliction with her Tobey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    Hi and welcome. I am so sorry that you are dealing with CC. My pug was first diagnosed with CC in Oct of 2013. Before it was all said and done, she had open lesions from the top of her head to the base of her tail. She is now what I would call in 'remission'.

    First, I'll just put this right out there - there is NO cure for CC other than bring the cortisol into proper therapeutic range and keeping it there long term. The proper range is a post of below 5 ug/dl. And, when I say long-term, I mean staying in range for months or for life. My pug stopped her meds for about a month during a bout of pancreatitis. In just 3 weeks, I saw lesions recurring.

    There are things you can and should do to help manage the CC, but none of these items will cure it. They can help, that is all.

    CC lesions are very susceptible to secondary infection, so I do suggest you run a course of abx on occasion, especially if things are looking particularly bad. In combination with the abx, I also suggest you add a high quality probiotic.

    I did use tramadol for pain, as needed. I think they are painful. Or, at least they were painful for my pug.

    You may be told that DMSO is a treatment. My personal belief is that it does nothing and is an outdated treatment. But, that is only my opinion, and there are those that have reported good results using DMSO. It will not cure the CC though, so don't think it will. It smells horrific and you'll need to wear gloves when using it. I used it on my pug for about 2 weeks then stopped. I could see it was doing nothing but making her uncomfortable and making my other pugs treat her like she had leprosy.

    What I did find helpful for topical treatment was using tea compresses. Not tea tree oil! Just tea bags, like lipton or chamomile tea. I did clip the hair around the areas as well, to keep them open and exposed to air, and I did peal away the scabs that were ready to come off, otherwise they just rotted over the skin. I never covered the lesions up, although I understand covering them may be necessary to prevent your dog from itching them.

    Another CC mom, Dawn, had success using a spray she purchased on amazon. I cannot recall the name, something like cetochlor? I think this helped keep infection down.

    Some people have used weekly medicated baths. I'm not opposed to this. My personal choice was not to bathe my pug until her lesions were in a significant stage of improvement. I didn't think the sores needed anymore moisture and I didn't want anything else topical on them to irritate the skin more.

    I actually think some time in the ocean may not be a bad idea, especially if the sores are crusty right now. If they are open and oozing, then I would not recommend it.

    The lesions will bleed, crack, ooze, peel away, look raw and angry, then eventually start to dry out. When they begin to flake and dry out, I believe they are on their way to getting better. Also, keep in mind, they will get worse before getting better, and even as you bring the cortisol down, the lesions that are below the surface will continue to bust through and break open. This went on for about 6 months for us. Hopefully they will not be as angry as the ones that you may be dealing with now though.

    Sorry I've typed so much. I'm working a lot right now, so I am not on all the time, but I always watch the CC threads.
    Vetoryl is expensive, the active ingredient in it is Trilostane. Trilostane can be compounded which is a lot cheaper to purchase. Many of our members through the years have been quite satisfied with compounded Trilostane.

    Diamondback Drugs in Arizona is one commonly used provider among our members. Here's their link:

    And in case your interested, I'm including links to a couple threads where compounding Trilostane is discussed:

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask them. I am sorry for the reasons that brought you here but so glad you found us and we will help in any way we can.


    P.S. ~ I have manually approved your membership so now all your posts will be seen right away. Also, please just disregard the validation email that was sent to you from k9cushings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    rural central ARK

    Default Re: New to the Forum - English Bulldog Mom

    Hi and welcome to you and Chewy!

    In case you haven't read this thread, you really need to in order to see one of the best cases we've had here with fighting CC successfully. It's a long thread but well worth the read!

    If you plan to continue using non-traditional approaches to treat the Cushing's, I STRONGLY recommend you have the ACTH run at least every 2 months so you can see if what you are doing is clinically controlling the cortisol or just masking the signs while the corticosteriod continues to do damage behind what is visible anecdotally. I am NOT against using herbs, diet, and so on as I am a novice herbalist and use herbs, foods as medicine, etc. for myself and my babies....but I do that in conjunction with traditional medicine - an integrated approach.

    I'm glad you found us and look forward to learning more about Chewy as time passes.
    "May you know that absence is full of tender presence and that nothing is ever lost or forgotten." John O'Donahue, "Eternal Echoes"

    Death is not a changing of worlds as most imagine, as much as the walls of this world infinitely expanding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    New Jersey

    Default Re: New to the Forum - English Bulldog Mom

    Lignans and melatonin daily may prove helpful. U of Tennessee Veterinary used to provide guidelines on the daily amounts for each. You can probably look it up. Rodiola is another adaptogenic herb you can consider. But, you may want to consider getting compounded Trilostane, which is much less expensive than brand name Vetoryl. I would not blame the vaccinations for the Cushings...your boy is in the age range for when it comes. One thing I found helpful for the calcinosis was liquid Milk of Magnesia...seriously! Shake it up well, then apply with a cotton ball or swab. Reapply every few days as needed. Good luck

  7. #7

    Default Re: New to the Forum - English Bulldog Mom

    Thank you for the Welcome everyone! I had a busy weekend with a sick 5 year old. I will take pictures of his most recent labs, which were in September. I was waiting to get through the Christmas season and diligently working on his nutrition before taking him in for more tests to see where his levels are. I will definitely look into the compounded Trilostane. My brother and his wife are both Compounding Pharmacists' so we use all kinds of variations of things in our house. I am trying to figure out how to share pictures... I took a few of his recent condition this weekend... but cannot seem to figure it out... I will see if I can add them in my profile

    Forgot to answer Harley PoMMom, he had all the typical symptoms leading up to his inital appointment, Thirst, appetite, insomnia, his head felt very boney, his demeanor changed... then one day I was giving him a bath and I noticed hard lumps on the back of his neck which I was thinking allergies or hot spots until I did a search on his other symptoms and realized that the Symptoms for Cushings go hand in hand with CC... that's when I realized I was in for a loonnnnnnng process and scheduled his first appointment with his Vet.
    Last edited by ChewybearsMom; 12-11-2017 at 11:38 AM.

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