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Thread: New member: SARDS and Cushing's

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020

    Default New member: SARDS and Cushing's

    Hi, I'm Trish and I'd like to thank you for letting me join your amazing group.

    We have a gorgeous 8 (nearly 9) year old westie called Bob. Apart from skin issues, he was a healthy, active dog but in January he became very lethargic. He stopped barking (very unlike him), didn't want to go for walks and stopped greeting us when we came home. He had always been an incredibly over zealous pooch and used to love to run around doing zoomies when he got excited. He still had a very good appetite though and there was nothing wrong with him in the toilet department either. Our vet at the time suggested a full panel of blood tests. The results were pretty inconclusive. His thyroid levels were a bit low and liver enzymes a bit high (they attributed the high liver enzymes to his apoquel medication) but not overly so and nothing significant to suggest what it could be. We were told to go back in three months. We were worried sick about him. He wasn't himself at all so we decided to get a second opinion about a month later from a different vet. Very similar blood test results again but they were concerned he may have hypothyroidism. After another round of blood tests a little while later they gave us Thyforon to try. It didn't really do much for him and it was decided we should wean him off them. In May Bob began to bump into things and trip up steps etc. The vet was concerned he may have a tumour. The Vet wanted Bob to have a thorough check over with an ultrasound, MRI and x-ray. Nothing was found. It was obvious Bob was having difficulty seeing. The vet checked his eyes but could find nothing wrong. He was then referred to a specialist vets which had an ophthalmology department. They suspected SARDS and diagnosed this on a follow up appointment.

    Here we are 9 months after he became ill. He is completely blind but adapting well. However, he doesn't have much stamina when walking. At first we put this down to anxiety but this isn't the case. He's keen to go but he'll walk for around 15 minutes and then slows down and his tongue hangs out the side of his mouth. He pants a lot more than he used to, sometimes it wakes him up. He's back to barking at noises he sometimes hears and greeting us when we come home but he isn't there yet. He's been on liver supplements (which unfortunately started to upset his stomach) which have lowered his liver enzyme levels but his bile acid was high on this occasion. His thyroid levels are now within the normal range. The vet suspects Cushing's disease and says it often goes alongside SARDS. We are awaiting the blood test results which were carried out on Friday. Having read about Cushing's we're really scared and apprehensive for him and us (we don't want to lose him and read it can shorten their life). We've read some worrying comments about the medication and wonder what to do if he has it. The vet is also talking about doing another ultrasound. Will this show up anything new, considering he only had one in May? I feel as though we're on a road we can't get off and I don't really like where we're heading. We just want Bob back to feeling good again so he can enjoy life. There has been improvements and he's much better than he was back in January.
    Last edited by TrishKS; 09-19-2020 at 01:27 PM.

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