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Thread: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    I have an autoimmune thyroid disease that requires increasing doses to keep things in balance. When my levels are dropping, meaning I need another increase, I become very thirsty and hungry all the time. So if canine low thyroid makes them feel the same then I can say that scavenging is certainly part of that condition. Over the years I have become a scavenger par excellence!
    "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.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    Hahaha! Me too, Leslie!
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    Hi Everyone,
    We just got off the phone with the vet once again. She said if her system were producing cortisol because of the tumor it wouldn't be producing as much as would be needed to see the enlargement of the adrenal glands. This is why she was more inclined to do an LDDS. I did speak with her more about doing the Thyroid test and she mentioned MSU and quoted about $300 for that test about the same for the BRAF test and about the same for an LDDS. At this point we are just lost. I wish I had a better update.

    Thanks,
    Angela

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    Hi Angela, FYI, I looked back thru my folder and I paid $230 for Angel’s BRAF test and that included overnight shipping which I had requested to get the test ASAP. I think Sentinel charges around $100 per kit to breeders of those breeds most predisposed to TCC. The thyroid does seem to be on the low side and it would be easy to start Ginger on the lowest dose of thyrotabs (prob .1 mg daily) and see if she feels better. I’ve had some dogs respond very well and others, it didn’t seem to make a difference. Angel reacted to apoquel with high liver enzyme spikes so we discontinued that. She’s fifteen and she has all sorts of little growths, the sebaceous adenomas, vesicles, little cysts. I’ve had several other poodles and they too had a lot of growths. I think it goes with the territory to some degree. Poodles seem to predispose to a lot of things.She will bite at the little warts so I assume they itch. We might try to laser some of the most annoying ones off using a local anesthetic since no one wants to put her under general anesthesia due to her age and the risk to her liver and kidney. I don’t know if any of this helps you but I will say Poodles and bichons seem to have more than their share of weird little skin issues as well as other diseases.
    Claire

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    Claire,
    I appreciate the insight Claire. I didn't realize poodles and bichons could be so predisposed to skin issues. Did you find she got a lot more of them from seemingly nowhere while she was on Apoquel and how long did you have her on it. How is she?

    Everyone else,
    Has anyone used any animal communicators and had positive interactions? Sometimes I wonder what she wants. We don't have a lot to spend on diagnostics and would rather treat. I'm not looking for any diagnosis from a session. I want to know what she wants and maybe know what some of her senstations are.

    Back to the medicine part. We are really considering the MSU test. The BRAF test is a little more of a question. I know it would determine TCC, would it help with anything else? If we aren't leaning toward treating the TCC is it still viable? I also have another question about the Ultrasound Findings. Can enlarged adrenals be a "thing" without Cushing's? I do appreciate anything anyone is willing to weigh in on as I tend to analyze any situation from all angles I can find before making a decision.

    Thank you to everyone,
    Angela

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    I have worked with two communicators over the years. One is a former member here but she is no longer doing this work. The other is Melissa Sehgal. Here is a link to her website:

    https://melissasehgal.com/

    And to her Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/VEGANMEL

    As for causes of adrenal enlargement, I can't answer. Hopefully Lori or Marianne will have some input for you. Logically, I would think anything that causes an increase in cortisol production would cause the adrenals to enlarge simply from the extra work they are having to do but I don't have anything to back that up scientifically. My first dog with Cushing's was initially misdiagnosed because of a tumor on her spleen. The US that found that tumor also found enlarged adrenal glands. BUT when the tumor was removed all the tests for Cushing's - ACTH, LDDS, and UTK panel - showed her cortisol had returned to normal levels. I did not do another US that I recall however...or if there was one I can't remember the results. She had a very serious pancreatic reaction because that organ was moved around during the surgery to remove the tumor and they may have done more during that hospitalization....I just don't recall. I was under extreme duress during all of that. But like I said logically it makes sense that those glands would enlarge any time they are doing extra work. My second dog diagnosed with Cushing's was also misdiagnosed with an ACTH result of >50- as high as the labs level went. I never really believed she had Cushing's but I didn't know that for a fact until her necropsy which found normal adrenal glands. She had numerous US over the last 6-8 months of her life due to a host of other health issues and the reports I got always stated enlarged adrenal glands were found. But she was on Lysodren the last few months of her life and that might account for the normal findings with her adrenals in the necropsy, MIGHT....however I don't trust anything I was told about her from her vets. The cause of her death should have shown plainly on all those ultrasounds but not one time did they mention to me that she had an inguinal hernia so I don't trust what the told me about her adrenals. It doesn't make sense that they would be enlarged all that time then suddenly be normal after death. So even based on my own experiences, I can't answer your question definitively.

    I can say that based on my experiences I would pursue the thyroid and TCC before considering Cushing's.

    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.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    Hi Angela, I think poodles are predisposed to everything. Bichons are one of the breeds that seem to get TCC more easily. Angel was only on Apoquel a couple of weeks because it sent her liver enzymes soaring. Had to pull her off pretty much everything while we figured out the liver spikes. One of my other poodles would get a staph infection of the skin that resulted in kind of round little crusty spots that seemed to peel. They told me it was because she was a senior dog and their immune system isnt as strong. That we treated with the antibiotic simplicef. With Angel the skin issues seem to be sebaceous adenomas and these little water filled blisters that can be kind of a bluish color. She’s the second poodle I had with the fluid filled blisters. The Bichon is now developing the sebaceous adenomas (the little flesh colored cauliflower type warts)
    They are all white/cream dogs. I often wonder if it’s more prevalent in them.

    The BRAF test as far as I know is only going to tell you if Ginger has the BRAF mutation for TCC. If you’re not going to try to treat it then I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as they regularly monitor it for progression because if the tumor blocks the ureter or urethra you have a very serious emergency. I agonized about what to do with Angel because as best we can determine she is around 15 now. I hated to put her thru chemo. That said, I don’t regret it because she handled it well (better than me I’m sure) and it has given her 15 months of high quality life. I don’t know if the drug she is presently on (Chlorambucil) is what’s causing some GI upset. I restarted it Tuesday after a drug holiday and now she’s spit up foam a couple of times. I also had another poodle who had an adrenal tumor as well as an extremely bad heart. I think Amanda was around 13. And it was an agonizing decision to have it removed however I felt it was growing fairly rapidly and would begin to impact veins and arteries and other organs so we went with the surgery. Her heart plus her aging kidneys were major concerns but she came thru like a champ and was back to normal within a couple of days. As it turned out it was a benign tumor but it was secreting so she likely would have developed Cushings symptoms. It was her heart disease that eventually ended her life. Fortunately Angel’s heart has been good. Aging kidneys of course and the crazy things her liver seems to do but overall, until this sudden G.I. Upset she’s been doing terrific and you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with her.

    The most difficult part is we don’t know how they feel or what they want. We can only guess and try to put the puzzle pieces together. Sometimes for myself I feel as though the responsibility is overwhelming. What if I miss something? What if I don’t notice a relevant change right away? What if I make a wrong decision? Sometimes when I’m simply exhausted I fear I don’t make the sharpest decisions. The responsibility for our precious fur kids is so awesome isn’t it!!

    Good luck, I know you have a lot on your plate to consider!!
    Claire

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    Quote Originally Posted by LtlBtyRam View Post
    Claire,
    I also have another question about the Ultrasound Findings. Can enlarged adrenals be a "thing" without Cushing's? I do appreciate anything anyone is willing to weigh in on as I tend to analyze any situation from all angles I can find before making a decision.

    Thank you to everyone,
    Angela
    Chronic illnesses can cause enlargement of the adrenal glands, I'm including this excerpt from Dr Mark Peterson's blog:
    One should never make a diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism based on the finding of large adrenal gland size alone. Remember that the stress of any nonadrenal illness commonly leads to an overactive hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Therefore, any dog with chronic stress or illness can develop bilateral adrenocortical hyperplasia as a physiological response. I know that some radiologists like to diagnose Cushing's disease based on adrenal gland size, but this just cannot be done using this criteria alone (5,6). Dogs with Cushing's disease certainly tend to have larger adrenal glands, but large adrenal glands alone are not diagnostic for this disease.
    https://endocrinevet.blogspot.com/20...l-adrenal.html

    Hugs, Lori

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    Hi again, Angela. I’m so glad Lori has provided you with this quote, because it confirms my same understanding that any serious systemic stress can result in adrenal enlargement. Also, I’m not intending to further “pile on” re: the info your vet is giving you, but $300 seems quite high for MSU’s thyroid testing. Here’s a link to their actual charges for their laboratory testing. Under “Endocrinology” you’ll see various thyroid related options, but their “Canine Diagnostic Thyroid Profile” is $55, and their “Premium Canine Thyroid Profile“ is $79. There are other thyroid-related tests that can also can be added on. Also, I believe you can pay extra for written clinical interpretation to be supplied by their specialists. However, given this pricing, I have to say that $300 seems excessive. Obviously your vet will add charges for drawing the blood and shipping the sample, but still, $300 seems like a lot. I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with her, but if it was me and my vet, I’d simply tell him I’ve pulled up MSU’s testing schedule, and in order to make my decision, I’d like to know exactly which tests he’d be planning to order.

    https://cvm.msu.edu/assets/documents...e-Schedule.pdf

    Also, if you do plan to consider thyroid testing, I’d warn you against starting any thyroid supplementation beforehand because, for the time being, it will invalidate the results of any subsequent diagnostic testing. The dog’s thyroid function has to be evaluated in its natural state to be accurate for diagnostic purposes. So if you start it, the supplementation would have to be stopped for a period of time before the testing could be performed.

    Marianne
    Last edited by labblab; 05-29-2020 at 10:18 AM. Reason: To clarify.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Ginger-16 yo Poochon (Bichon Poodle mix)

    Hi Angela,

    Melissa is great. I had a session with her after Lena died and she was wonderful. I have emailed her a few times over the years when something she had said came to me.
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

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