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Thread: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Default Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    Hi All,
    Welcome some clarity here.
    My dog was started on a 1/2 dose (30mg)of vetoryl last Sunday. We're due to start this Sunday with a full dose(30mg-2x@day). Here's my problem. He is a finicky eater to begin with. His 'normal' before starting trislostane, was to stop eating partway through his food and stare at me. I have to 'spice it up' by adding in some ' doggy crack' (freeze dried liver, or chicken,or lamb, etc) by crumbling it on top, then he'll go back to eating. He does his routine 2-4 each meal, then he finishes it. The internist told me danger sign would be 'when a crappy eater becomes an even crappier eater." Does that mean he won't eat AT ALL? Walk away from his bowl? Or does that mean he'll stop twice as many times, so l have to add crack 6-8 times to get him to finish? Wondering how others with picky eaters gauge medicine effacy by their dog's food consumption?
    P.S. can not use a decrease in PU/PD as a signal, as he'd currently being medicated for that. BTW, he is a 10 yr old, 83# coonhound. THank you in advance for your help!

  2. #2
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    Hello, and welcome to you and your boy! You'll see I've moved your thread to our main discussion forum -- this way, more of our members are likely to stop by.

    Before addressing your own questions, I'm afraid I have a few of my own. Can you tell us more about the symptoms and testing that led to the Cushing's diagnosis? When you say your boy is already being treated for PU/PD, what exactly does that mean?

    Excessive hunger, thirst and urination are three of the most common and troublesome overt symptoms of Cushing's, so if your boy no longer exhibits any of these common symptoms, it will help us to know exactly what has prompted the diagnosis and the desire to treat Cushing's.

    Thanks so much for any additional background info you care to share!
    Marianne

  3. #3
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    Thank you for helping me navigate the board!

    I recognized sub-clinical symptoms in my dog about 2 yrs ago. Started doing tests, more tests, more tests. At first, everything came back mildly elevated, marginal etc. Over the past 2 years we've done: ACTH stims, numerous chem + CBCs, thyroid screens, tick titers, complete UAs, UCCRs, UPCRs, 2 abdominal ultrasounds, full body x-rays, 2 full adrenal panels sent to U of TN and LDDST. I might be leaving some out, trust me, if there was a test we did it.

    He was suspected of having CDI after we R/O any other cause for his PU/PD, so started him on desmopressin acetate last January. He responded wonderfully, went from an SG of 1.004-1.011 to 1.038-1.045. He had/has recurring skin infections (which responded unsuccessfully to oral antibiotics) which I 'manage' with topical treatments, was diagnosed with PLN, and had an acute crisis of pancreatitis + aspirated pneumonia that required 2 back-to back 4 day stays in the ICU. I recently included an internist into his treatment team, who positively gave the DX of Cushing's, pituitary dependent type. There's still some question whether it's micro or macro. At this point I'm electing NOT to do an MRI or cyberknife surgery if indicated. Plan will be once he's stabilized on trilostane (as the internist said "when his numbers look pretty after 2 weeks on full dose") we'll ween him off the DDVAP and later the benazepril for the PLN. Hope that answers your questions! Thanks!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    Thanks so much for this additional info! I'm afraid I still have some remaining questions, however. I must first warn you that I am not a vet myself, so I am not intending to challenge your new internist's treatment plan. But your dog's clinical presentation does not fit the more typical Cushing's profile, and in order to give you our best advice, it will help us to know more.

    This request relates directly to the question you've come here to ask us: how to judge medication efficacy in a dog with a poor appetite. The dilemma for us is that the norm for Cushpups is a ravenous appetite. We are always concerned when trilostane is prescribed for a dog who is not eating properly, because inappetance is not usually associated with the disease itself except in the presence of an enlarging pituitary macrotumor.

    I am still wondering about the basis for this current Cushing's diagnosis. It sounds as though you had a ton of tests done previously, but I'm assuming that none of them confirmed Cushing's. Can you tell us what test results have led your new internist to make the definitive diagnosis now?

    Part of what puzzles me is the expectation that your dog will no longer need the DI medication once the trilostane dose is stabilized. If your dog truly has DI -- which is apparently the case since he has responded well to that medication -- then as far as I know the trilostane would have no bearing on resolving that condition. DI can indeed be associated with pituitary tumors, but as far as I know, direct treatment for the DI must continue regardless of trilostane treatment.

    It seems as though your other concerns have included recurrent infections and the protein-losing nephropathy. It's true that both those vulnerabilities can be caused by Cushing's, but neither would definitively diagnose the disease in the absence of positive results on tests that are specific to the disease.

    The reason why I am going to such lengths to determine the basis for the diagnosis is because lack of appetite is a major red flag/issue for a dog being treated with trilostane. As you're already aware, loss of appetite is one of the markers for a cortisol level that has dropped too low. So it's worrisome if your dog is already picky from the get-go. Is the picky appetite due to a different underlying condition altogether? Is it due to an enlarging pituitary tumor? If that's the case, you may not want to even institute trilostane treatment at all, because decreasing the circulating cortisol may increase inflammation and swelling of the tumor and surrounding brain tissue.

    Last but not least, there's a concrete reason why trilostane treatment is problematic for a picky eater -- to be metabolized properly, the drug must be given along with a full meal. So if you're planning to dose twice daily, that means two meals must also be consumed alongside the trilostane.

    So returning full circle, I'm afraid I don't have an answer for the question that brought you to us . Lack of appetite is not typical of an uncontrolled Cushpup, and therefore I can't give you guidelines as to how to judge whether even worsening appetite is cause for worry or not. To be honest, I'd be worried about even starting trilostane with a dog who doesn't want to eat.

    Marianne

  5. #5
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    Internist thinks DDVAP might be masking what is really Cushing's. Both can be caused by a pituitary tumor as you stated. While he's a 'picky' eater, he does eat full meals, eventually, and so ls administered vetoryl with a full meal (administered at the very end, while he's eating last portion.) Internist made a positive DX due to cortisol levels from results on the 2 full adrenal panels, ab. ultrasounds + LDDST +other labs + physical presentations. He does not have many of the 'classic signs' (no pot belly, no symmetrical hair loss, no voracious appetite) and is not a typical Cushing's dog, i.e. being a large, male. He may also have some GI/pancreatic enzymatic insufficiency due to his pancreatitis episode that caused scarring that we may address later but are controlling right now with a LF diet, digestive enzymes and tylan powder. He's a complicated case, hence why my vet involved a specialist to read through all the info, examine my dog and offer his expert opinion. He's not your typical case for sure...it's why I dragged my feet, did so many tests and re-tests, sought more insight. I appreciate your time to consider all this. He's complicated for sure. U of TN suggested starting him on a maintenance dose of lysdodren. The internist feels trilostane has less adverse effects. Just interested on what those with less aggressive eaters look for. Thanks again for your thoughts + time.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    If UTenn recommended a maintenance dose of Lysodren, that suggests to me that on their adrenal panels, your dog fit the pattern for what they label "Atypical Cushing's." This is the situation where a dog's cortisol falls within the normal range, but some or all of the other tested adrenal hormones are elevated. If a dog exhibits elevated cortisol on their panels, they instead usually recommend either trilostane or full Lysodren loading. So their treatment recommendation leaves me wondering about your dog's cortisol level.

    By any chance, do you have the actual numerical results for the Tennessee testing as well as the LDDS results? As we all proceed with your dog's treatment, it will help us a great deal if we have a better understanding re: the actual status of his adrenal hormone levels. That way, we can be more helpful with suggestions as to judging whether the trilostane is having a helpful or not-so-helpful effect.

    Marianne

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    not sure how to upload pdf?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    Unfortunately, members can't upload attachments to the website. One option is to take a digital photo of paper results, and upload the picture to a personal photo album that you can create here. Or you can just go ahead and type the results into your reply. For the LDDS, it will just be three numbers (baseline cortisol, 4-hour result, 8-hour result). For the UTenn panels, it's a bit more laborious, unfortunately. But you can still type out the baseline result and the post-ACTH result for each of the hormones.

    Or, last but not least, you can embed URL links into your replies. So if you have the test results posted elsewhere in some other form or using a web data manager, you can give us the link.

    Marianne

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    Hi from me too. I was one with a picky eater. It was a real bugger to get her to eat a meal all at one time. I ended up having to use toppers to get her to eat enough to be considered a meal to go with the trilostane. She did have high cortisol but not a big appetite. She was a grazer, so would just munch off and on at her bowl till it was done. Not easy to deal with when meds are involved.

    I made up for this by doing frequent testing for cortisol levels. Every couple weeks to start with just so I would know what was going on and how she was responding and I used other things like, was she lethargic, did she show the same levels of activity and engagement. No voimiting or diarrhea.

    An ACTH would have a pre and a post level so you could just post like this:

    ACTH
    pre 10.
    post 35

    LDDS
    base
    4 hr
    8 hr

    And any high or low levels on cbc (don't post the normal levels)
    that is what I use to do and I'd update the test results each time I got them back. I always got a copy and kept my own file to refer back to.

    Also for pdf convert to jpg, you can also do that online. I'd upload to a pdf converter, have the website convert to jpg and then save that to my computer and load it in an album here on the forum. But for the most part I just typed in cushing results and cbc and urinalysis results by hand.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Sharlene and the late great diva - Molly muffin (always missed and never forgotten)

  10. #10
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    Apr 2016
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    17

    Default Re: Confused about subtlety of food changes with Vetoryl?

    Thank you Sharlene!!! I'm grateful to know of others with 'food issues' happen and can be treated with vetoryl. The internist didn't seem concerned nor surprised but I'm brand new to Cushing's so worry more. My hound has been an anomaly, such an odd duck, through this all (why there are several veterinarians monitoring + directing his treatment). He too eats all his food after after I add on extra goody bits! Appreciate the posting tips for labs as well, will try to get to those later. Thanks again!

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