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Thread: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

  1. #1
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    Default My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    My little yorkie Pebbles is being tested for cushings . She will be 11 yrs old in June . I noticed that she was drinking a lot more than usual. Her potty pads were constantly soaked . Her tummy was getting very big and tight. I took her to a vet. And he accused me of feeding her table food , large amounts . He did a blood panel and said that would explain the high levels . I dont feed her table food of any sort . I barely give her treats . Took her to her groomer the next day and she said you need to get in her to another vet . I got a appointment the same day . Vet. did a axam and said she looked pot-bellied and wanted to test for cushings . She has all the symptoms . I noticed 4 days ago she couldn't see . We were still waiting on her bloodwork from the allday testing to come back . It had to be sent off to auburn . We took her intoday and the vet confirmed she had lost her eyesight . It seems to have happened overnight . So , wmy husband and I thought Sards. But she is still exhibiting all the signs of cushings . The test were back this morning but the vet wanted her retested because they sent in for Cushing testing and Tyroid and only got one report . I'm taking her back on Monday for the 8 hr. Testing to be reran . So , my heart is breaking for my baby , she can't see and possibly has cushings . In oct. she had bloodwork because she got her teeth cleaned . She was fine . Showed no signs of anything being wrong with her . She weighed 5.1 pounds . Today she weighs 8 pounds and appears to be miserable. How do I know if she is in pain ?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    Hello Sandie, and welcome to you and to little Pebbles. You’ll see that I’ve shifted your thread to our main discussion forum. This way, more of our members are likely to see your questions and have the chance to reply to you.

    Gosh, I’m so sorry for all the problems you’re experiencing! I have to agree that SARDS sounds like a definite possibility. Do you have access to a vet who specializes in ophthalmology? He/she ought to be able to confirm that diagnosis in the event your regular vet cannot, and I think I’d want to know that information for certain. Unfortunately, SARDS remains a poorly understood disease. If it’s confirmed, it’s possible that Pebbles’ other symptoms may spontaneously resolve over time, or it’s possible that she truly suffers from Cushing’s, as well. Hopefully, the additional testing will shed more light.

    It sounds as though you’ve already done some reading about SARDS on your own, but for our other readers, here’s a fairly recent blog summary about the condition:

    http://blog.vetbloom.com/ophthalmology/sards/

    As I say, I believe I’d first want to pursue a definitive diagnosis re: the vision loss. If it’s indeed SARDS, then the Cushing’s test results can be interpreted with the SARDS diagnosis also in mind. I know it’s hard to imagine any good news coming out of this. But studies and experience have shown that dogs can often adapt to blindness with far greater ease than do humans. And if Pebbles truly does have Cushing’s, there are effective medications that can control her symptoms and make her feel far more comfortable.

    So I’m really glad you’ve found us, and please do update us with any and all test results.
    Marianne

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    I just wanted to add one other piece of info, Since your test results are going to Auburn, I’m assuming you live somewhere in the southeast. A leading SARDS researcher, Dr. Freya Mowat, is affiliated with the vet school at North Carolina State Univ. Here’s a link to her page re: ongoing research and clinical studies re: SARDS:

    https://mowatlab.weebly.com/sards.html

    If it turns out that Pebbles does indeed have SARDS, you may wish to contact Dr. Mowat or elect to participate in one of her study projects. Just a thought...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    I'm real sure how to comment back on a post . I hope I didn't delete a post that was sent to me . If it is SARDS why is she having the Cushing symptoms ? Tomorrow when I drop her off for testing for cushings I'm going to ask who to take her to for her eyes . She seems so miserable . She breathes very loud when she isn't asleep , snores , she drinks so much , and her tummy is huge . My heart is breaking for her . If it is cushings how long does it take for the meds to start making her feel better ? Can you tell me how to respond to a post . Thank y'all so much

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    SARDS shares signs with Cushing's as do many other conditions. SARDS will also cause false-positives on the tests for Cushing's, as do many other conditions. This is why canine Cushing's is one of, if not THE, most difficult canine disease to correctly diagnose. You are doing a good job so hang in there. Keep asking questions and we will do all we can to help.

    btw, you posted perfectly! All your posts/comments/questions/etc about your baby belong in this one thread.
    "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
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    Hi again, Sandie! You posted your reply exactly correctly — good job! Just keep doing the same thing from now on and you can post as many replies as you want, on your thread here or on anybody else’s. You can’t delete anybody else’s posts or mess anything up.

    As you’ll see in that article I posted, apparently whatever it is that causes SARDS can also cause symptoms that are similar to Cushing’s, at least temporarily. However, some dogs do seem to truly suffer from both conditions simultaneously. It’s unfortunate that the disease is so poorly understood.

    Sudden onset blindness is frequently associated with a constellation of systemic signs, hence the inclusion of the term “syndrome” in the SARDS name. Such systemic signs are variable in occurrence and severity, and when present they often occur weeks to months prior to the onset of vision loss. In one recent study of 100 dogs diagnosed with SARDS, only 16% had no other clinical signs besides blindness. The most commonly reported systemic signs were weight gain (75%) and polyphagia (69%) with other common signs including lethargy, polyuria, polydipsia, and panting. In addition, laboratory abnormalities suggestive of hyperadrenocorticism (lymphopenia/neutrophilia, low urine specific gravity and/or proteinuria, and elevated ALP, AST, ALT and cholesterol) are present in up to 75% of SARDS patients.

    Despite the common association of systemic abnormalities suggestive of hyperadrenocorticism (HAC), the relationship between SARDS and HAC is currently poorly understood. Only about 20% of SARDS patients are diagnosed with typical HAC, and there are only rare documented reports of dogs with pre-existing HAC developing SARDS. Studies have suggested that dogs with SARDS may have atypical HAC due to elevated levels of sex hormones with glucocorticoid-like activity. Given the currently poor understanding of the basis of the relationship between SARDS and endocrine disease/systemic abnormalities, it must also be considered that those patients with systemic signs may represent a different disease variant or etiology compared to dogs with no systemic signs.
    So right now, we don’t know for certain as to exactly what’s going on with Pebbles. Apparently only 20% of SARDS dogs also are diagnosed with the high cortisol associated with conventional Cushing’s. However, some SARDS dogs suffer from elevated adrenal hormones other than cortisol. If it turns out that Pebbles does test positive for conventional Cushing’s, though, and you start medication, the excessive thirst, urination, hunger, and panting are some of the symptoms that can show the fastest improvement — sometimes even within the first couple of weeks of treatment.

    Marianne
    Last edited by labblab; 02-03-2019 at 06:14 PM. Reason: To add.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    Thank y'all so much for the replies . My heart is breaking for my sweet baby . We live in mobile Alabama . I'm going to get a name of a eye specialist in the morning and get her in to get tested for Sards . When the lst results came back and we were talking with the vet. Sat she said I think there is a mistake . We sent off to have it checked for cushings and thyroid . It came back negative but only one test result came back . So the vet said " we will get levels drawn again and get it sent back to auburn . She said Pebbles looked cushings . I have the gut feeling it's Sards. Her eyesight left so quickly . It was like overnight . I will feel better getting her eyes tested to confirm . Thank y'all for suggestioning I do that . I will keep y'all posted . Thanks you again , Sandie and Pebbles

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    Sandie, I want to let you know that one of the foremost Cushing’s experts in the country is Dr. Ellen Behrend at Auburn. Depending on how all of Pebbles’ diagnostics turn out, you might encourage your vet to contact Dr. Behrend for her input. I’m confident that she will be aware of current research re: SARDS and its relationship with elevated adrenal hormones. I’m guessing it’s a multi-hour drive from Mobile to Auburn, but it might even be possible for you to take Pebbles up there for a direct consultation if the situation warrants. But as I say, at the least, I’ll bet Dr. Behrend would consult with your vet by phone or email. Here’s her biography and contact information:

    https://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/faculty/behrend-ellen/

    Marianne

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    Losing eyesight is never a good thing but our babies adjust much better than we do much of the time. I have had a dog who was both deaf and blind, dogs that were only blind, and one currently that is blind in one eye. To help your sweet Pebbles adapt there are some thing you can do. One, find where you want your furniture to be and leave it - do not move things around. Two, watch her and see if she reacts more to sound or touch or scent to find her way around then accommodate that. One of my blind babies operated by touch - he could figure out where he was by what his feet felt. So I used rugs with differing textures at the doorways of each room. That way he knew when he felt that stiffness of artificial turf he was going into the back bedroom, the soft rug meant the kitchen and so on. He also used hearing to help him navigate so TVs stayed on at both ends of the house to help him get from one end to the other. He went at top speed fearlessly everywhere he went and was prone to crashing into things so my house became the bubble wrap castle. All the hard surfaces like table and chair legs were covered in bubble wrap. I got pipe insulation, slit it, and put it on the corners of walls, etc. Good Housekeeping would have fainted had they ever visited! I could have cared less and would gladly do it all again to have him back.

    Another baby had sonar like a bat, I swear! She seemed to know where things were and would turn away or go around just as if she saw them....but she didn't even have eyeballs so that was impossible. She amazed everyone who ever met her when they watched her maneuver thru her dark world. I did my best to teach them both how to go and down steps but neither one could over come the fear of going down...but that was alright too; I had built a ramp for them to gain access to the yard and back to the front door again. Both learned how to find that ramp and used it like pros.

    Both these babies were itty bitty babies but the one who was deaf and blind was a Great Dane. She was born with her condition and had learned to navigate fairly well as a stray - how she survived on the streets I'll never know. When I adopted her SHE taught ME how to communicate with her. After supper I would fill the dishwasher and turn it on then take her out for the night since she never got the hang of house training. In a very short time, I noticed that when the dishwasher started she would stand up and go to the back door....it finally dawned on me she was feeling the vibrations in the floor and knew what that meant. So I started working with her by hitting the floor for certain cues - 1 slap or stomp on the floor by her meant it was time to eat, 2 meant it was time to go for a walk, and so on. To play, I would stomp around then take an old blanket she like to lay on and drag in around the yard. She would put her nose to the ground and follow me by following the scent.

    Pebbles will help you learn how to help her, too. I believe this. Just pay attention to her, watch her carefully to see how she operates, and don't baby her too much - you want her to learn to be as independent as she can. The more independent she can be in her home and yard the happier she will be....and you, too. So cry for her loss today but tomorrow start working to learn how the two of you can manage together - and I know you can!

    There used to be some good online forums for blind dogs but I haven't checked on them lately. I'll do a bit of looking and post links if I find anything that would be good.

    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.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My 10 yr old yorkie has cushings

    Blind Dog Support
    http://www.blinddogsupport.com/

    And if you are on FB, here is their FB group (just be careful about opinions VS facts)
    https://www.facebook.com/BlindDogSupport/

    Here is a site that offers other tips you can try to help Pebbles adjust. I did use the scents on the rugs when my itty bitty man first came to live with me but soon he didn't need that at all.
    https://www.blinddogrescue.org/dog-b...ps-for-owners/

    More tips from BestFriends
    https://bestfriends.org/resources/bl...g-and-cat-faqs

    And again if you are on FB, here is what a search on that site found -
    https://www.facebook.com/search/grou...s&epa=SERP_TAB
    "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.

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