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Thread: Newbie Helicopter Pet Mom needs help/support - 12 yr old American Bulldog Part 1

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Finally got a Cushing's diagnosis for Patch

    Your response has given me some comfort Marianne. Thanks. I'll first address the vetoryl history on Patch for you. Patch started Oct. 7th on 15mg once daily for 1 week. Week 2, the dose increased and he began 15mg twice daily. That's 30 mgs. Nov. 4th he had his first ACTH test, wherein the results were, pre 1.5 and post 4.6. The Vet used Antech Lab. A CBC and urine was also done, wherein his bilirubin was extremely high. They forgot to run the urine creatinine protein. His blood pressure was fine.

    I forwarded the results to Auburn since they are in the loop and they called me seriously concerned and asked me to get Patch down there, which I did on Nov. 9th. They wanted to do another ultrasound, x-rays and chemo panel to check his gallbladder, pancreas, his adrenal tumor, etc., for fear he may have something serious going on. Thankfully all went well and all his numbers were fine. My pocketbook wasn't, not to mention the trips there are exhausting for this old lady! Auburn stated to have his urine creatinine protein checked at his next ACTH test, not overly concerned about it at the present. His Vet said Patch should be retested by Dec. 11th coming. I'm unsure if that is outside the normal range for test two.

    During Patch's Auburn LLDS test of Sept. 20th, I had the orthopedic department give Patch a thorough exam, as a precaution, to hopefully catch any issues before anything got worse. Their report stated most what I already have known of over the years and they felt Patch wasn't in pain. I begged to differ having arthritis and spine problems myself. I discussed this with the new Vet on Nov. 4th and that's how Patch came to be on Galliprant. 60mgs seemed to make him inactive and drowsy, but a half dose of 30mg made him more responsive daytime. Either way had a ZERO noticeable effect on him for any pain relief. The Vet suggests we might add some gabapentin into the mix but not really wanting to add more med's to Patch. So don't know what I'll do.

    ow we are entering week 7 on the vetory, 30mg daily. In week 4, (1st week Nov.) Patch lost interest in breakfast. I'd find something edible to trick him into at least eating even a small amount of food with his med's. Shredded cheese, cottage cheese, mashed up chicken. Anything I knew he'd eat just for the pills. Night feeding hasn't really been an issue.

    At the Nov. 4th first ACTH test at the Vet, they had trimmed his nails and hit the quick on his left front toe nail. He also slipped afterwards on my car ramp, when we were leaving, hitting that same leg. I noticed him limping the following day, mentioned it to the Vet and kept watch on him. Over that weekend he seemed to be fine. Of course I used a heat pack, massages and Yankee ingenuity and put baby oral gel on that toenail, thereafter liquid nails to feel confident I had closed up any damage that may have occurred. I know that hitting the quick is painful. So I reasoned I knew why he was limping. Last week I found he was having a difficult time getting up off the floor, but didn't seem to need my assistance to get up. Saturday, I noticed he was really struggling to get up off the floor. I placed several rugs and fatigue mats all over the house. I noticed the Vet, we dropped down on the vetoryl to 25mgs. Seemed now it is his back legs were giving out.

    Yesterday was terrible in that I had to use a towel underneath him to help him up, go up or down my 3 house stairs, and just to help him to get to his bowls. I was freaking out, called the Vet to report his worsening condition, trying to brainstorm, searched the internet for possible causes, just worried sick. I had a beautiful cat die a couple years back from a sudden aortic thrombosis and now I was forced to recall that sad experience, scared to death Patch may die! I found if you cut the sides off a cloth shopping bag you can use that as a sling with handles, so that's what I'm currently using. Thanks to some posting it on the Net! I'm still saddened over his tail fur loss, but I appreciate you addressing it Marianne and giving me some hope for regrowth. It was a shock to get a handful when I brushed him!

    I have a Monday Vet appointment for Patch. They're not open on Saturdays unfortunately. Thinking that Patch could have low calcium, low thyroid, a host of spine or degenerative diseases, low blood pressure (vetoryl can cause problems with BP med. benezapril) or whatever, I decide to stop all his med's until Monday except the vetoryl. Whether right or wrong, I dropped him down to the original 15mgs, all to see if he reacts better by Monday. He didn't have any issues until week 4 on 30 mgs. I hate this roller coaster ride!

    This morning after just omitting last nights vetoryl dose, Patch was hungry for breakfast this morning and eat he did! I'm seriously beginning to think Patch needs no more than 20 mgs daily. But the back legs issue is another thing, even though he got up by himself a couple of times this morning as well. As long as he was on a rug and not under my kitchen table.

    I'll update after Monday's Vet appointment. Trying to hang in there over the weekend and praying he doesn't get any worse.
    Donna
    "It is important to remember that you are your petís advocate, your petís voice, so no one can tell you what you will and will not do when it comes to making health based decisions for your loved ones."

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    14,476

    Default Re: Finally got a Cushing's diagnosis for Patch

    Hi again, Donna. Gosh, Iím so sorry about this turn of events. Mobility issues are such a nightmare for those of us with big dogs! Not only do we have the worry as to what has gone wrong, but we also must wrestle with the practical issues of trying to help them up and around. The suggestion about the shopping bag is genius, though. We had bought a handled harness online when we were struggling with hind end issues with our Lab girl. But honestly, the shopping bag sounds as though it would probably work just as well. So thanks for sharing that tip with us.

    Iím afraid I donít have any brilliant thoughts as to what might be causing this sudden decline, but Iím very relieved that youíll be heading back to the vet tomorrow. For what itís worth, Iíd be inclined to totally discontinue any more Vetoryl until Patch can be seen. Since he seemed to perk up when you eliminated that evening dose, at this point you may want to give him a total break until he can be further evaluated. Who knows, maybe his cortisol level really had dipped too low.

    Anyway, Iím surely hoping that things have stabilized since your posting, and that tomorrowís appointment may yield some answers. Iíll be watching for another update!

    Marianne

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Finally got a Cushing's diagnosis for Patch

    Hi Donna,
    Sorry to hear about Patch's issues - it's SO hard. I just wanted to pop on and say hello and good luck! Wow, I have never seen anyone advocate for a dog like you - it's amazing all the information you're able to retain and understand. This stuff all goes over my head!
    I am Jet's mom, who Marianne quoted within your thread about her reply to me about Jet regarding the Galliprant. It's just so interesting to see how this disease varies from dog to dog. Gosh, I can't believe Jet is taking 120+60 and Patch doesn't seem to be responding well on only 30mg! And as much as medication my dog is on, he STILL cannot wait to eat - he cries when it's approaching dinner time because he just doesn't want to wait! I definitely would know if something was wrong if he stopped eating. Patch's cortisol levels seemed to be pretty good too on the Vetoryl, am I right on that?

    I am also experiencing some very small mobility issues (lame front leg, and some rear leg shaking)...I am so afraid it's going to get worse and I will also need to start helping him up. I just dont think I could physically do it. Jet is 75 pounds and I am only 95 pounds! I will struggle, so it really makes me nervous. The Galliprant may be helping but I am really not sure. Not sure how many mg he is on right now either but its once a day.

    I will follow your thread to see how Patch is progressing and what meds you may have him on. Jet has his next test and bloodwork on Wednesday.

    Good luck!
    Jennifer

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Finally got a Cushing's diagnosis for Patch

    A HUGE thanks to both Marianne and you Jennifer (Hello there. My daughter's name also)!! This group has kept me from losing my sanity and such a comfort! Even without this awful covid, I'll take whatever imitation hugs I can get! Having serious lumbar issues and scoliosis, although I manage (not wheelchair bound ever hopefully) I've learned a thing or two about backs over the years. Know what constant pain is as well. Dedicated to my Patch? You bet! He's had so many problems, some at the hands of bad careless vet's over time and I constantly try to educate myself to be able to help him. So wish our babies could speak human. It certainly would make our lives easier.

    Patch has been getting up by himself since Sunday morning, as long has he has traction under him, like a rug. No traction on the bare laminate floors. (His pads are trimmed from excess fur). Can do the few outside house stairs and even took a couple of short walks throughout the day. He still shows some signs of hind leg weakness no matter, but a relief in that he can at least get up most times.

    I found this bit of info below to share in hopes it helps someone. I'll be presenting it to the Vet later today. At least I have a more than willing and cooperative new Vet who truly cares and is concerned about Patch's wellbeing.

    I hope the link works. If not just google type it in.
    Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS By Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVSAug 1, 2019

    Hind Leg Weakness: When Your Dog's Back Legs Give Out (petful.com)

    There are so many causes of weak leg muscles, you almost need to be a rocket scientist to sort them out. I made up a spreadsheet listing and will try to convert to a pdf file and post later on this week. Hopefully I may get some answers today, but I'm thinking Patch may have to go to a neurologist specialist or at least (my choice) a Vet Chiropractor which I've located here for an evaluation.

    Jennifer, I tried gabapentin with Patch last year. Didn't work. This new Vet thinks we may try that along with the galliprant (lower dose), but she's not really keen on wanting to add more med's to him. His cort levels were fine at 1st ACTH test. He was on 30mg vetoryl then for 3 weeks or so. The galliprant 60 mg, makes him so groggy the following day. I've experimented with half dosage and no real relief did I see. I hear you on trying to lift a big dog. Patch is 64 pds. But if you see I mentioned cutting the sides off a cloth shopping bag (with handles) to use as a sling underneath the dog, is a cheap enough easy fix vs purchasing one. Even though I sew, this was a no brainer. Also at my age, nearing 70, I can't run the risk of further back injury. I thank you for your compliments.

    Lastly Marianne, I dropped Patch down to 20mgs vetoryl, seeing that he did well on the original 15mg's, I opted to try 20 instead of the 25mg. May have to stop it completely temporarily. I also noticed Auburn as to this newest dilemma of Patchs'. Two Vet heads are better than one. Will have a better prospective after Patch's visit today.

    I'll post again soon with an update. Thanks y'all
    Donna
    "It is important to remember that you are your petís advocate, your petís voice, so no one can tell you what you will and will not do when it comes to making health based decisions for your loved ones."

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Finally got a Cushing's diagnosis for Patch

    Patchís Vet visit went well for the most part. Had a full blood workup. Thyroid, calcium, salt, creatinine and electrolytes were within normal range. His BUN, TP, GLOB, ALT, ALKP, GGT, and TBIL were slightly high.

    X-rays showed his hip dysplasia had worsened a little from previous x-rays of a couple years past. Didnít see any bulging discs, dislocations or slipped discs in the images. An MRI would have produced a better understanding, but not available at most Vetís.

    Vet did a manual exam of his legs and feet to check for possible nerve damage and muscle weakness. She felt sure it was his hip dysplasia causing his weakness. Boy, did his back legs shake while standing. I presented her with the printout of possibilities with simple testing for such, but although she glanced it over, I donít feel she was too impressed. I was delicate to explain I wasnít undermining, just trying to cover every possible cause and doing my job in advocating for Patch. No pin prick of his skin for sensation or a knee reflex test was performed.

    Being on a limited income, Iím the one paying all these amounting Vet bills and not in the habit of financing someoneís business. Letís get real and upfront. I expected a thorough exam and nothing less. I insisted his ears be rechecked from an earlier visit as heís still shaking his head on and off. Sad one has to do this. Iím not out for a popularity contest, and done with paying the big bucks for an intermediate exam visit. Although clean ears, it revealed some yeast. Naturally, I opted out of the Vet priced zymox when presented. Thinking outside the box, with Monistat for starters and yogurt. I think he even has some on his belly although not itching anywhere.

    Overall, Iím not convinced weíre out of the woods just yet. Doubtful hip dysplasia alone is the cause of Patchís sudden hind legs weakness. Heís still having difficulty rising, is more thirsty than usual, and now seems to have little interest in eating, just sleeping. Iím back to human grade meats for him, which I know heíll eat! The exam did drain him. Iím investing in a rug for under my table and bought some more cost effective, floor fatigue mats to aid in his traction. More vacuuming isn't on my list. Under the table is off limits for now. Patch loves cold floors, but itís way too hard to pull him out from under it. The mats are less hassle and cheaper than those foot grip booties or rubber toenail tips that are sold. My handy ďslingĒ is always close by. Realizing that my 18 ft. hallway is a race track for my cats, itís a good thing IĎm feeling like an OSHA employee in safety these days. Iím exhausted!

    Vet wants to continue the 25mg of vetoryl. Marianne, Iím taking your comment to heart and stopping for now because I feel the vetoryl is contributing to Patchís leg weakness. Itís worth the experiment for a couple of weeks to see what happens. Iím beginning to think Patch may be experiencing some kind of withdrawal also by his behavior. People close to me have stated that Patch acts like heís been on anesthesia. Iím leaning on not restarting the vetoryl, because I feel itís done more harm than good, but if I do, Iíll begin with the 15mg and only increase by 5mg at a time. What I did take notice of though, the 1st week even on 15mg, Patch suddenly started with frequent urination and accidents in the house. Things that hadnít been a prior issue ever as many complain about their cushpup. His panting seems to have increased as well and heís gotten a little dehydrated from all the urinating. Since week 2, itís been 30mg daily. Regardless of the dosing, Patchís health has gotten worse over these past few weeks. But he stills wags his tail!

    I only find vetoryl side effects makes mention of weakness and lethargy. Nothing specific as to what weakness. Are we not being told the whole story? The literature mentions side effects and when to stop giving it to your dog.

    In my search for answers, I discovered that until 1994, trilostane was used to treat Cushingís in humans. But, it was banned for this purpose because it was no longer considered safe. I was not aware of this information, as many other pet owners probably arenít either, before I began giving this to Patch. Iím also very disturbed that Patch has been getting sicker instead of feeling better, even though every Vet Iíve been to promised he would feel better. Begs to question, why was it considered unsafe for humans, yet give to a dog?

    I also decided no galliprant, (possibly a contributing candidate to muscle weakness?) rather opting for the next 3 days to give Patch a regular 325mg aspirin, once or twice a day for his pain and forego the dose of his blood thinner plavix during this time. Aspirin is a blood thinner and he doesnít need both. Iíll figure out something pain med wise later. He cannot tolerate many heís already previously tried. Tried CBD oil way back, before he started any medís, with no effect. One can never be too careful in cross checking adverse medicine interactions nonetheless.

    Jennifer, Iíve been thinking about that high vetoryl dosage for your dog. You said 120mg plus 60mgs? The specialist I first saw wanted to start Patch on 180mgs.. way too much and so happy I didnít listen! I hope youíve explored why heís having muscle issues, with at least some x-rays. Heís a large dog and no breed is immune from hip dysplasia.

    Which leads me to add, Iíve learned everything I could absorb about hip dysplasia for the last couple of days. I came across what I feel is great information to share. While Iím a fan of Dr. Marty Becker and Mercola.com I happened upon a Dr. Andrew Jones of Canada in his You Tube videos about hip dysplasia. There were many other good videos from others as well, including how to test your dogís muscles yourself. I also found some easy home exercises Iíll be starting on Patch too.

    Itís easy to find by typing in Google ďVeterinary secrets Dr Andrew Jones YouTubeĒ. He has videos for many of our pets ailments to explore. I always say, choose your poison and believe what you like, using your own judgment. Iím unusual in that I am open minded and use common sense.

    I found that underwater hydrotherapy is good for hip, muscle and mobility issues, as well as acupuncture and Chiropractic care. Patch has a Chiro appointment next week for a complete assessment/2nd opinion. Thankfully itís not breaking the bank. In two years I have racked up alarming Vet expenses. Patch deserves a much better quality of life than what heís been experiencing lately. Iíve applied for many organizational grants for Vet assistance, but havenít received anything to date. This Chiro is an AAHA member and said they should be able to get some assistance for Patch. Thatís comforting.

    Until next time, my mission continues.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone. You know Patch will be getting some turkey!
    Donna
    "It is important to remember that you are your petís advocate, your petís voice, so no one can tell you what you will and will not do when it comes to making health based decisions for your loved ones."

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