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Thread: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Default Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    Hi, thank you for letting me join. My 6 year old cocker (7 in November) has just been diagnosed with Cushings following on from ACHT blood tests and various scans. Despite being familiar with some Auto-immunes, I am in the dark about how Cushings will affect her day to day.

    She presented initially with a Urine infection. Peeing excessively, Drinking loads, panting more than just weather related and quite wheezy and not really going up stairs in the same way she did. I had not really added the pot belly into the equation until we clipped her belly to scan her to make sure no obstructions.. Once we had a possible Cushings diagnosis so many other things all made sense. She has probably had one proper season in her 6 years and she's quite grouchy.

    The only stereotypical symptom we seem to miss has been her coat has remained in excellent condition

    She has now been on Vetoryl for a couple of weeks and the antibiotics have cleared the urine infection.

    She is not drinking as much and does not pant now. She still has a lot of accidents in the house although I am not sure whether this could be behavioural. I also have an aged cocker who has accidents so she could just be matching him! She can be a difficult dog and has always been moody with the others at home, although of course this might of been because this has been ticking for a long time.

    I really would like to know what to expect day to day, is this pretty normal to how you came to get a diagnosis. What should we look for in the future?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    York, PA.
    Posts
    10,656

    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    Hi and welcome to you and your sweet girl!

    If you could round up the copies of all tests that were done on your girl and post those results here that would really help us in helping you. You need only to post those values that are marked abnormal with the reference ranges and units of measurement, we are especially interested in the results of the tests used to diagnose her Cushing's...thanks!

    What dose of Vetoryl is she taking? How much does your girl weigh? Has an urine culture been done to make sure that the UTI is completely gone?

    Cushing's is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose and often is misdiagnosed because there isn't one test that can accurately identify it. Multiple tests are recommended so that a diagnosis of Cushing's can be confirmed, these tests include the LDDS, ACTH, and usually an ultrasound is performed to get a look at those adrenal glands and other internal organs.

    I do want you to know that a diagnosis of Cushing's is not a death sentence for a dog. Cushing's is a treatable disease and with treatment dogs with Cushing's can have a good quality of life and there is every reason to believe that they can live out their normal life span. However, for the treatment to work safely and successfully it requires an educated pet owner along with an experienced vet as adverse side effects are mostly seen when the proper protocols are not followed. I do urge you to look over our Helpful Resource thread and learn all that you can...link to that thread: https://www.k9cushings.com/forum/for...Cushing-s-Dogs If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask them.

    We are here for you and will help in any way we can, again welcome to our family!

    Lori

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    6

    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    Thank you for the welcome.

    She is a 6yr 9mth cocker spaniel weighing 11.6 kg

    Antibiotics seem to have cleared the urine infection, she was retested this week and showed normal. The antibiotics finished a few days before so think that sorted now OK

    She was ultra-scanned a few days before we went to the ACTH because we half wondered if there might be a tumour or something causing the problems. Didn’t see anything on the scan. Her in-house bloods showed elevated liver enzymes. I am sure there was some mention that the adrenal glands were slightly more visible than normal

    However clipping her for the scan emphasised she wasn't fat but more pot bellied which we initially thought might be all the drinking. One of the Senior vets suggested possibility of Cushings and the ACTH was done which I am sure will mean more to you than me

    Cortisol Basal H 331.0 nmol/l 50.0 - 250.0
    Cortisol Post ACTH H 1219.0 nmol/l 150.0 - 550.0

    Comment - In the presence of appropriate clinical signs. and supportive routine laboratory abnormalities, these cortisol results support a clinical diagnosis of spontaneous hyperadrenocorticism (HAC)

    She takes 1 vetoryl 30mg daily

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    York, PA.
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    10,656

    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    Hi and thanks so much for these results and the additional information. For the benefit of our U.S. readers, those diagnostic ACTH stimulation test results convert to approximately; basal 12 ug/dl and post 44 ug/dl. One question, besides the high ALP were there other abnormalities found on her CBC/chemistry blood panel? Generally, a dog with Cushing's has elevations in cholesterol, gluclose, and a mild elevation in ALT, and on the complete blood count (CBC) dogs with Cushing's syndrome have what is called a "stress leukogram," which refers to a specific white blood cell distribution in the blood. This includes a high total white blood cell count with increased numbers of neutrophils and monocytes and decreased numbers of lymphocytes and eosinophils. Also, is her urine diluted?

    Lori

  5. #5

    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    Hi
    I don’t have anything of substance to add to these brilliant administrators replies. I just wanted to say hi. Please try to be patient and try not to get frustrated and worry too much. I’ve spent the last month worrying crying not sleeping and guess what.....she still has cushings! Doesn’t change the diagnosis.

    Just try to educate yourself as much as possible and give your little one lots of love! Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Sep 2019
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    6

    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    Thank you, I feel a bit of a dunce because these are all just figures at the moment!

    Ironically in many ways she is easier to live with at the moment than she's been for a long time so I suspect that this has been ticking away for a while and the urine infection just escalated things. She's always been quite a grumpy dog and quick to pick a fight with our others, only ever had one season in 6 years and generally a bit autistic!

    Since the meds, other than weeing in the house which might be unconnected and more to do with our old boy having accidents in the house, she's a much sweeter temperament and far less growling her way through life!

    She had dilute urine, elevations in her alt (which is a liver enzyme which is why we thought she had liver disease. Can’t remember cholesterols and her glucose was ok. Will find out what the cholesterols were if I can today

  7. #7
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    Apr 2009
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    York, PA.
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    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    I surely understand how overwhelming and confusing this can be, when I first joined I was a basket case! Your girl's ACTH stimulation results do indicate Cushing's and along with her outward symptoms the diagnosis may be correct.

    The ACTH stimulation test is also used for monitoring a dog's treatment and her first monitoring test should of been performed 10-14 days after she began the Vetoryl. The recommended starting Vetoryl dose is 1 mg per pound of a dog's weight and with her weight of 25.5 lbs (11.6 kg) the 30 mg is a bit high. If a monitoring ACTH stim test hasn't been completed I highly recommend that one be performed on her ASAP to make sure that her cortisol has not dropped too far.

    Please keep us updated!

    Lori

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    6

    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    Thank you Lori. I will look at that.

    We lost our old boy today so I'm sure the rest of the gang will be all over the place for a few days. Will check when the next test is due.

    Whilst I was there today I did check the Cholesterol results from the original tests for Els and they were normal.

    As I also have a breed predisposed to Addisons (Pointers), I was interested to read that sometimes vets will push them towards Addisons as it can be easier to treat? It seems odd to push them to the other end of the spectrum when you surely want to aim them at the middle point? Why would this be?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    York, PA.
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    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your precious boy and my heart goes out to you and your family.

    Planned induction of permanent hypoadrenocorticism is not commonly practiced. An Addison's dog is no easier to treat than a dog with Cushing's. With Addison's, a dog needs a daily dose of glucocorticoids, such as Prednisone, and mineralocorticoids, this can be very difficult to find the right dosages for the dog to feel well and in the long term this type of treatment can be more costly.

    Lori

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Glen Cove, NY
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    1,624

    Default Re: Newly Diagnosed cocker spaniel

    I am so sorry for your loss. Losing them is so painful.
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

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