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Thread: Our 9 year old mutt, Penny, in the dx process

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Our 11 year old mutt, Penny

    Wow. Go Penny!

    I love hopeful stories like this. She has been through so much and yet she still keeps plugging along.

    The cruel tragedy of these amazing animals, friends, furry family members, is that they have such short lives. :-(

    I know I'll need to deal with that some day down the road with my Kobe, he's only six (and boxers aren't the longest lived dogs), but in the mean time I intend to help him make it as long as he can, while also making sure he's as content as possible.

    That TLC goes a long way toward that.
    Glen, Kobe's dad.

    (pronounced Kobay)

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Clio, CA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Our 11 year old mutt, Penny

    Just made an appointment to take Penny for ACTH stim testing. Our rural vet doesn’t have it so it will need to be ordered. Our appointment is next week.

    Penny is now 14 and she keeps on tickin. Her Cushings symptoms have progressed recently, with more panting, thirst and having to potty a lot more often. So we think she might need her meds adjusted. She is currently on 40 mg vetoryl per day.

    My concern right now is the minimal Cushings experience of her current vet in our rural community. I’m trying to decide if we would be better off trying to find an internist in Reno which is about an hour drive.

    Penny is dong amazingly well considering she has had Cushings for five years(!) and survived hemangiosarcoma as well. The only remaining symptom from the vestibular syndrome is head bobbing, especially when she eats. She bobs her head like she can’t find the bowl. She has lost a little weight, down to 39 pounds, so we are feeding her more and more often.
    Last edited by trk_koa; 08-12-2019 at 08:32 PM.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    rural central ARK
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    14,048

    Default Re: Our 11 year old mutt, Penny

    Hi, good to hear from you again!

    So Penny has been on the same dose of Vetoryl since 2016, correct? When was her last ACTH? Would you mind posting the results from the latest ACTH?

    If you aren't comfortable with the knowledge level of the local vet I would certainly say go to Reno for the IMS. Considering all she has had to deal with over the last 3 years that might be the best bet regardless. It is important that the vet our babies use be cush savvy so the trip may be well worth it.

    I am so glad she seems to be doing well even with the increase in cush signs! She is a trooper for sure!
    Hugs,
    Leslie
    "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.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Clio, CA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Our 14 year old mutt, Penny

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirt's Mom View Post
    Hi, good to hear from you again!

    So Penny has been on the same dose of Vetoryl since 2016, correct? When was her last ACTH? Would you mind posting the results from the latest ACTH?

    .....
    2014 actually. She started at 30 mg and then up to 40 mg about 6 months later.

    This vet doesn’t recommend ACTH testing much since Penny gets so upset, he felt it wasn’t going to be all that accurate. We have been monitoring her symptoms and they have been very well controlled until recently.

    Honestly, with all her other issues and almost losing her to those other things, we weren’t expecting her to even still be here.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    rural central ARK
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    14,048

    Default Re: Our 14 year old mutt, Penny

    He is right - dogs who get upset just going to the vet can and do cause elevated numbers on the ACTH. Have you tried having them come outside to do the test? Someone who had a dog like this found that worked much better for her baby but I can't remember if they were from this group or one of the many others I have been part of over the years. If I remember correctly they spent some time making several trips before trying this just letting her dog walk around the vet lot and yard with members from the care team coming out to say hi and bring a treat. Then when the day came to take the test her baby wasn't as nervous about being in the yard there or having the vet and techs around. One of our members here simply had them come out to her vehicle and do the testing there, taking her baby out for a ride to get a special treat from a drive thru between draws. In both cases it was understood the ACTH might well be elevated more than expected and that was taken in to consideration when adjusting meds. Just food for thought.

    Indeed! Penny is definitely a fighter and I too would be so thrilled she was by my side after all she has been thru and very hesitant to upset the apple cart. You are doing a great job of monitoring her!

    Hugs,
    Leslie
    "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. #46
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Clio, CA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Our 14 year old mutt, Penny

    Well, I finally obtained a copy of Penny’s test results. The vet’s staff told us the wrong pre test instructions so that delayed it a week, then the vet ended up in the hospital from a bee sting (single vet practice). Anyway.

    Her ACTH result did not indicate a change of vetoryl dose.
    Cortisol Pre 2.2 (2-6)
    Cortisol Post 4.4 (1.5-6)


    Here’s what is abnormal:
    Platelets 579 (143-448) K/uL
    SDMA 18 (0-14) ug/ dL
    Creatinine 1.7 (0.5-1.5) mg/dL
    BUN 41 (9-31) mg/dL
    Potassium 5.6 (4.0-5.4) mmol/L
    Na:K ratio 27 (28-37)

    Her kidneys are showing signs of failure. She also has a grade 2 heart murmur (0-6). These things might explain her increased panting, fatigue and increased urination.

    The big problem is right now her appetite has waned considerably. Unfortunately, the food she has eaten for years recently changed from chicken based to turkey and lamb. She won’t eat it. Spitting out her usual kibble too, even if I hand feed her. The vet wants her on Rx kidney diet and at first she ate the stew kind willingly. Now she eats only a few bites, even if I warm it up.

    We are resorting to grocery store gravy-based canned food. This has upset her digestion a little bit. She eats more of it but certainly doesn’t even eat that well. I will make her some chicken and rice today to see if she will eat that.

    Her teeth and gums are in bad shape even though she just had a cleaning a few months ago. We are reluctant to do it again because of the anesthesia required.

    She’s sleeping a lot more but is still a trooper and seems happy and interested in the world. Loves going outside to sniff and explore. We are just taking each day as it comes.

  7. #47
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    Mar 2009
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    rural central ARK
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    Default Re: Our 14 year old mutt, Penny

    I am so sorry to see those results for the kidney function. If I were you, I would stop the Vetoryl with no plans to start it back. Vetoryl is contraindicated for dogs with kidney disease. From the Vetoryl brochure:

    CONTRAINDICATIONS: Do not use VETORYL Capsules in animals with primary hepatic disease or renal insufficiency (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS)...
    Since her appetite is already falling off I would be very hard pressed to continue the Vetoryl period. I would find foods she could and would eat and enjoy every minute of every day with her and not worry about making her take a pill she really shouldn't take any more. Hydration is even more crucial for her now so a wet food or home cooked food may be better than a kibble.

    Let us know how your sweet girl is doing!
    Hugs,
    Leslie
    "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.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Clio, CA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Our 14 year old mutt, Penny

    Thank you, Leslie. I just placed a call to the vet about stopping the Vetoryl. I had not remembered seeing that on the prescribing info.

    Penny’s last blood work six months ago did not have the kidney values she has now. The numbers were high normal then. So the kidney disease is a new development.

    I’m so glad I posted here. Thank you.

    I can’t seem to find any information about stopping Vetoryl. Does it need to be tapered off or cold turkey?
    Last edited by trk_koa; 08-12-2019 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Add another question

  9. #49

    Default Re: Our 14 year old mutt, Penny

    Subcutaneous fluid could help as well. My vet showed me how to do it at home.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    13,982

    Default Re: Our 14 year old mutt, Penny

    Sorry I have only a moment to write, but you don’t have to taper off of Vetoryl — you can just stop it entirely at any time it seems advisable.

    Marianne

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