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Thread: Iím New Here; Need To Know More

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020

    Default Iím New Here; Need To Know More

    My name is CeeCee and my 10 year old Ratt Terriers name is Princess. We are new to Cushings disease. Princess hasn’t been formally diagnosed yet, but her Vet has told me that he’s pretty certain that she has the disease. I’ve been applying to organizations that offer financial assistance to pet owners who can’t afford medical care. We are very close to having the test done. I keep telling myself maybe the test will be negative. My heart tells me it’s going to be positive. I’m very rattled by the idea of my little sweetheart being sick. I want to learn everything there is to know. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, but I want to know deeper information. For instance, What will my dogs life be like? What are the pros and cons about the medications? How long will my dog survive? I really want to learn the bottom line information about Cushings. Princesses doctor isn’t informative and he has very little compassion. I’ve learned a little about the disease only by reading. And, to be honest, I’m very afraid and while I know that Princess and I are not the only ones affected by Cushings, I still could use some support.
    Last edited by Squirt's Mom; 09-24-2020 at 12:41 PM. Reason: to remove capital A's in the middle of words

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    rural central ARK

    Default Re: Iím New Here; Need To Know More

    Hi CeeCee,

    Welcome to you and Princess!

    One thing right off the bat...I would find a new vet asap. One that is both Cushing's savvy and compassionate. Your baby needs both right now.

    There is no true "bottom line" when it comes to Cushing's....each pup is different - none of them read the rule book! However, barring one of the rare complications Cushing's is not a death sentence. Our cush pups can and do live out their normal life span and beyond with treatment. Treatment is a very personal choice, tho. Treatment can be expensive - both the meds and the testing, especially when using Vetoryl because it typically requires more dose changes and therefore more testing than Lysodren. But Vetoryl is the drug most used today. If you choose not to treat you will want to keep a close eye on her blood pressure and kidney function as time passes.

    First let's start with the signs you are seeing that might indicate Cushing's. I say "might" because Cushing's is one of, if not THE, most difficult canine condition to correctly diagnose because so many other things cause the same signs and can cause false positives on the tests for Cushing's. The most common signs of Cushing's are:

    increased thirst
    increased urination
    increased appetite
    reduced activity
    excessive panting
    thin or fragile skin
    hair loss
    recurrent skin infections
    enlargement of the abdomen, resulting in a "potbellied" appearance

    What of these signs are you seeing? What prompted the testing for Cushing's in the first place? Why does her vet think she has it?

    There are two types of naturally occurring Cushing's - pituitary dependent, meaning a tumor on the pituitary gland in the skull, and adrenal dependent, meaning a tumor on one or both of the adrenal glands. In rare cases the dog can have a combination. If the pup has been exposed to or on steroids there is another type called Iatrogenic Cushing's which is "cure" by removing the source of exposure or weaning the pup off the steroid if possible. Most cush pups, 85%, have the pituitary form and it is the easier of the two to control via medication.

    One of the first test you will want is the UC:CR - this is a urine test that can rule out Cushing's but not diagnose it. If the results are normal the odd of Cushing's are very, very low. If the results are abnormal that simply means something is off and more testing is needed. The other tests are blood tests - the LDDS, an 8 hour test, and the ACTH, a 2 hour test. An abdominal ultrasound is very helpful not only in diagnosing but also determining which form your pup has as well as letting them get a good look at the internal organs.

    Does Princess have any other health issues? Is she on any other medications? The more you can tell us about your sweet girl the more meaningful feedback we can offer. And please start getting copies of all the test results, not invoices, but actual results so you can share them with us here if you don't mind. That will help us a great deal.

    I'm glad you found us and look forward to learning more about you both as time passes. Please take advantage of our Helpful Resource section where you will find some great information.

    "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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Iím New Here; Need To Know More

    Hello CeeCee! Welcome to you and Princess from me, too. Leslie has just done an outstanding job of offering info and support. So for the moment, Iíll just ďsecondĒ everything that sheís written above ;-). But Iíll be watching for your further replies, and then weíll take things from there.

    Weíre so glad youíve found us, and we all look forward to learning much more about your sweet girl.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2020

    Default Re: Iím New Here; Need To Know More

    Just adding my two cents in with Maia. She was tested in 2015 with ldds test and came back negative. She had so many symptoms..we decided to go with hmr lignans and melatonin for her..and she did well with it for a long time. The last 6 months I should have had her retested and possibly put on actual medicine. Worried me with all the side effects etc..but as I put in my other post..I think she developed pulmonary hypertension and or had some kind of heart disease.. although her heart wasn't that large..and maybe had an embolism. So for my dog.. so for my doggie she lived 5 years I would say. She may have been atypical which I read those supplements work better for. She was also on cbd for over a year I would say. Vitamin C..krill oil..milk thistle to help her liver and joint supplements. I did notice the last few months or maybe 6 months she was really losing her vision and hearing more ☹️ good luck with you and your little one!! There is alot of helpful information out there if you do your research. One thing I want to add is I tried cushex drops and they didn't seem to work for my girl. So just trial and error..what works for some won't work for yours of course..but I myself prefer to go as natural as possible as long as possible. I get too scared of the side effects etc..but that's me. No matter what choice you make you're helping her with this. Good luck! ��

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2020

    Default Re: Iím New Here; Need To Know More

    One more thing..with what squirt's mom said.. Maia did have a UCCR test and it did in fact come back abnormal. So we knew something was up..just sadly the ldds test was inconclusive. That's where we stopped and I found the natural supplements to try. I'm unfortunately not made of money to keep doing test after test or I would have..then again as I said..she did good on those supplements.

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