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Thread: Our Silver Belle Labrador~Athena has crossed the Rainbow Bridge

  1. #21
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan2517 View Post
    Oh, we all know how you feel! I give Lena her pill at least an hour and a half before I go to work, just in case. And my hands still shake when I take it out of the case. And I still hesitate, wondering if this is the right thing to do. And then I watch....I hate leaving her and going to work. I wish I was able to just stay home and take care of her. The days drag.......

    The minute I get to my front door, the first thing I do is look through the window to make sure she is there, and then I can really breath for the first time all day.

    So, you are not alone....

    Joan
    Oh Joan.. You would like me with how I feel giving her this medication. Thankfully we can be home with her. My other half retired recently from the Marine Corps after being injured in combat ( which we have had a long few years with that as well) on top of that I was diagnosed with MS. So you can imagine....thankfully we both have level heads and are able to face everything thrown at us head on but when it comes to our dogs it's so different. We feel it's because they are just our world, they ask for so little, and they give so much and we have come across some cruddy people along the way that just made us so jaded when it comes to humans and the only bright light of the day are these beautiful dogs we've been blessed with. They have been lifesavers. It's so true when they say "who rescued who".

    I just wanted you to know I appreciate your words. you have a good heart. I can tell and I would do the same thing if I had to give meds and leave. I'm an RN as well but I too, am home now but I'm taking care of alot here with my Marine and everything else. When I give her the meds ( it's day 2) we won't go anywhere. We stay put with her. About to post an update on that as well
    Have a great day. Is that your little bandit in the pic? Sooooo cute!!

  2. #22
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    Red face Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    Day 2 of Medication

    Hello all. I intended on writing last night. I'm so sorry. I just crashed on the bed and couldn't do much more. I think the stress of all this and worry just got to me.

    Athena is on day 2 of her medication. I'm so nervous giving to her. So strange considering I've been an RN for so many years and administered big drugs on doctors orders which all have risks but nothing ever made me nervous like this. Isn't that crazy.

    We give her the medication after she eats. We actually wait about 15 mins or so for her food to settle. Then we give it to her. We don't leave the house at all. We stay close by just in case. So far day 2 and she has had nothing really happen. She seems her happy self again. We do notice one thing and not sure if this is related to this medication but she sleeps alot more than she used too. She will actually go off in the dog room where we have a queen size bed ( mattress and box spring but no frame so they don't have to jump) and she will get up there with all the soft blankets and just lay down and sleep. We notice she does that alot more. Not sure if the meds are making her sleepy. Before the med she would sleep but she was always up here and there. She's a lab that is always on alert for lack of better words. She is protective and the true guardian of this home.

    However I wonder if the extra sleep is just because she was so stressed during that test, the reaction she had and the 2 days it took her to get over it all. Maybe she feels like I do... wiped out.


    I'm reading and re-reading everything heere. So much to take in but with that I'm beyond grateful, we both are, for this priceless gift of everyones kind words, information and such compassion. I feel like I found this little dog family that "gets it".

    As you know we started her on 60mgs vs the 120 they wanted us to give her. They gave me a box of 60 and 30 because they thought I may go for the 90mgs vs 120 but I'm not comfortable with that. Started her on 60 and if she does good for awhile I don't mind adding the 30 mgs. Not sure I ever want to do 120 but we'll see. Any thoughts on that?

    I did call the vet about the possibily of adrenal tumor but she assured me there was nothing that indicated it could be that, or that Athena should be tested for that unless I really wanted to go that route but she didn't see the signs for that with Athena. Does that sound right? I love our Vet. She's cared for all our dogs and Athena since she was a puppy but I know vets are not perfect and all sort of have their opinion on things.

    She's a hard working vet. She works long hours and I love how she is with the dogs. She's very kind. She's willing to listen to what you say and she's not one of those Vets that push $$$ things on you ever. She's very common sense.

    I love all the pictures here of your doggies. So adorable each one and they are so lucky in having such awesome families caring for them :-)

    I haven't slept good. I sleep but I'm up every few hours checking on her. I have this fear for some reason that I'll wake up and this med has done her in. I know. Pure paranoia. I promise I"m not crazy

    Thanks to each of you. This has been so overwhelming....

  3. #23
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    That is indeed my precious! We have 3 others, a teacup chihuahua, a puggle and a lab mix. I love them all, but there is always that one, and that is Lena. I hardly sleep anymore as I am listening to her breathing, moving, anything.

    I watch her so closely that the poor girl avoids eye contact most of the time and when she sees me with the camera she either closes her eyes or looks the other way. She knows what I'm doing...

    I am dreading the day that she dies or I have to make that decision. I know she's going to be 15, she's had a great life and it's not fair that she got sick like this. She has never been sick, ever. Up until a few months ago she was a happy little girl, even though she had a lot of the symptoms, but they were subtle and just seemed to go with old age. Then it was like BOOM! And our lives changed...I cry all the time now.

    And the only place where I can say all this is here, with people who understand and feel the same way about their furbabies. So, nothing you say sounds strange to anyone in this forum.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    With all due respect to your vet -- you have nothing to lose by definitely ruling out (or ruling in) an adrenal tumor. I'm confused about why she would insist you not pursue finding out, regardless of whether or not she thinks there are definitive symptoms pointing one way or the other. For that matter, if your dog has cushings at all, then an adrenal tumor is always a possibility and there is no way to determine if the cushings is PDH or ADH based on symptoms alone. Given Athena's age, surgery could be a hugely viable option.

    Great vets aren't always right. It's sad, but very true, that cushings is a complex disease that most vets just are not familiar with. Or, their education of the disease is outdated.
    Reneé
    Mom to Tobey, Ichiro & Skeeter. Foster mom for Polar Pug Rescue


    “Animals have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance…there is something so very dreadful…in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.”—Cardinal John Henry Newman

  5. #25
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    Hang in there, because you are doing a great job with all of this!! So much new info and so much worry to have to absorb all at once. But I am hopeful that things will start to settle down again soon, and you will be able to feel more peaceful about Athena's progress.

    I have one quick comment about meals and administering the Vetoryl. I totally understand why you are thinking it is better to wait for a little while after her meal to give her the capsule. But I do believe that for maximal absorption, it may be better to give her the capsule simultaneously with her food rather than waiting even for just a little while. I could kick myself because I didn't bookmark an article that I recently saw that I think made this statement. But since I can't find it again right now, I've put in a call to Dechra, the manufacturer of Vetoryl, to see what their advice is in this regard. It may be a day or so before I hear back from them, but I'll report on what they tell me

    Also, as far as an adrenal tumor...

    I did call the vet about the possibily of adrenal tumor but she assured me there was nothing that indicated it could be that, or that Athena should be tested for that unless I really wanted to go that route but she didn't see the signs for that with Athena. Does that sound right? I love our Vet. She's cared for all our dogs and Athena since she was a puppy but I know vets are not perfect and all sort of have their opinion on things.

    She's a hard working vet. She works long hours and I love how she is with the dogs. She's very kind. She's willing to listen to what you say and she's not one of those Vets that push $$$ things on you ever. She's very common sense.
    Your vet sounds as though she's been a wonderful partner for you through the years, but the info she is giving you about the possibility of an adrenal tumor doesn't really sound accurate. In the absence of additional specialized blood testing or actual abdominal imaging, there is no way to know whether or not it is an adrenal tumor or a pituitary tumor that is causing Athena's Cushing's. Frequently, there is nothing different about the symptoms that are produced, or the outward appearance, or the general labwork of the dog.

    It is a fact that adrenal surgery on a dog is very expensive and a risky undertaking. And if surgery is not an option, then treatment with Vetoryl is recommended for adrenal Cushing's as well as for pituitary Cushing's. Your vet may be hoping to save you the financial and emotional stress that might accompany further diagnostics, let alone the stress of contemplating surgery itself. In honesty, I don't know whether or not I would opt for adrenal surgery on a dog of my own. A lot of factors would go into that decision. But from what I can tell, there is nothing that we know about Athena's testing that would rule out adrenal Cushing's as a possibility. So if this is something that you want to know more about, I think you will need to push your vet a bit harder for more answers. This is not something you need to do today or tomorrow. But if surgery is something you'd consider, it is better to proceed sooner rather than later so as to remove the tumor before it expands even further and perhaps becomes inoperable. However, if you already know upfront that surgery would not be an option for your family, then your vet is correct and there is no need to stress further about the issue.

    As an ER nurse, I'm betting you will agree with this thought: Just because a procedure is available does not mean that it is the "best" choice for every patient. So however you and your husband feel about further diagnostics and the possibility of surgery for Athena, we will understand and support you here.

    OK, enough blabbing for now. As I say, I'll report back when I hear from Dechra.

    Marianne

  6. #26
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    Renee/Marianne Thanks. I'm calling her now for a more detailed explanation on her feelings on this. I'm glad you wrote this. Making the call now. Thanks! :-)

    ** Marianne. Thank you. I was thinking let her food settle and not upset her stomach but you're correct. It's better to do it the way you said. I'll give it to her with the meal. Thanks. I'm so overwhelmed right now with it all but that does make sense. Thanks for checking with Dechra for us. We are so grateful
    Last edited by WeLoveAthena; 02-10-2016 at 02:48 PM.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    I just got the call back from Dechra -- they were very prompt! -- and they did confirm that it is best to give the capsule simultaneously with food for maximal absorption.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    This disease is very overwhelming, even for 'seasoned' veterans. You are doing amazingly well and being very thoughtful / thorough.

    When my pug had her LDDS done, it was inconclusive for PDH / ADH. I opted to do a CT scan in the hopes she may have an adrenal tumor that could be surgically removed. Turned out that she has PDH, but I have never regretted finding out for certain which tumor she had and it provides more information to me now in terms of watching and assessing symptoms.
    Reneé
    Mom to Tobey, Ichiro & Skeeter. Foster mom for Polar Pug Rescue


    “Animals have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance…there is something so very dreadful…in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.”—Cardinal John Henry Newman

  9. #29
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    Vetroyl will continue to lower cortisol levels for usually at Least 30 days with no change in dosage.

    So I would definitely not introduce the additional 30mg until you see how she is doing after a month on the 60mg. They test usually at 14 days and some vets now don't test till 3 weeks or 4 as long as there are no risk factors. Dechra the manufacturer still recommends the 10 - 14 and 30 day testing regime though.

    If you can get an ultrasound at a reasonable price, then I personally think it is worth it and that is just me personally. I hate surprises when it comes to my molly. Not that the little diva doesn't throw a lot of surprises our way but they are usually of the more pleasant sort. LOL
    Sharlene and the late great diva - Molly muffin (always missed and never forgotten)

  10. #30
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    Default Re: New here. Diagnosis today for our Silver Lab of PD Cushings. Guidance please.

    @ Marianne. Thank you!!! So thankful you made that call. How very sweet of you to do that for us. We will make sure it's done together with her food. Thanks again

    Renee, thanks for prompting me to make that call to the Vet. She called and what I didn't know ( and she may have told me but I was so taken back by the whole thing of Athena having Cushings and such) is that the test she did on Athena is from IDEXX Labs. It tests for both with certain markers. The math turns out that because of Athena's numbers and her baseline being less than 50% that she is not in danger of having an Adrenal Tumor. Had her numbers been matched with her baseline being over 50% then she would have had us bring her in for an ultrasound and further testing.

    I'm so sorry. Hope this makes sense. You'd think with my fancy Nursing degree I could get this straight but I'm taking this real hard about our girl Athena. Just so much happening at once which I've always been great handling but not lately :-(

    So she said her baseline was 4.8

    4 hour was 3.5
    8 hour was 10.0


    Hope that makes sense. I apologize for being all over the map right now. In a few days I may be able to explain this more clear but the vet said the old test they used to do ended up causing alot of dogs being misdiagnosed or having to go back in but this new test takes longer ( 9 hours) but it tells them whether or not it could be an adrenal tumor. She said she tried not to dump alot at once so she just wanted us to know what it was and how we would treat her and when we see her in two weeks we could go over more info but that there was nothing to be concerned about regarding a tumor in Athena.

    I was able to tell her how Athena was doing on the meds so far and she was happy about that. She said in fact that she may do well just staying on 1/2 the original dose she had wanted her to be on. I pushed for the 60mgs vs 120mgs and it Athena's numbers look good in two weeks there is no reason to up the dose but if not we will have to up the dose.

    I'm thankful Athena is tolerating the meds. I pray it helps her. We noticed today that she was playing with some of her toys. She hasn't touched those toys in a long time. We thought that was pretty funny. It may have nothing to do with being on this drug for 2 days but it was good to see her playing. Her brother and sisters were laying with her today. Very sweet. They didn't like that she was gone for a whole day. They missed her! We all did.

    Thank you to all and thanks to you Renee. I feel better with that info now.

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