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Thread: New member with lots of questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2021

    Default New member with lots of questions

    My name is Ken
    My dog is a 9 yr old BT
    We think he has had Cushings for 1-1.5 yrs
    We knew nothing about it. We thought he just like to drink a lot of water
    We thought the panting was just his anxiety
    He gets upset around crowds. Kids in our pool etc
    He shows all of the symptoms except aggression
    We are in Colorado. I work up here. We’re from Houston
    So we have noticed weight loss
    His nose is clogged up
    We took him to the vet. Blood work came back that he is type II diabetic

    We started doing research and are devastated that we could/maybe have prevented this
    So we are nubies
    We don’t know what to to do other than schedule an appointment when we get home this weekend
    We’ve seen things like

    What do we do. He is our 4th child and a huge part of our life
    What can we expect
    What kind of quality of life can we expect

    How difficult is canine diabetes
    Do we monitor
    Do we inject

    Lost in Colorado

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: New member with lots of questions

    Hello, Ken, and welcome to you and your family! We surely understand what a shock it is to receive the diagnosis of diabetes and/or Cushing’s. And trying to put the puzzle pieces together all at once can be overwhelming. But we’ll do our best to offer any help we can. So let’s go ahead and dive in ;-).

    First of all, I must admit that I’m not really familiar with Type II diabetes occurring in dogs. We’re much more familiar here with Type I, requiring insulin treatment for sure. So it’ll be a help if you can tell us more about how the vet arrived at the Type II diagnosis, and what treatment has been recommended thus far. I’m wondering if your vet is labeling your dog’s diabetes as being Type II because he/she believes the elevated glucose is secondary to Cushing’s (steroid-induced elevated glucose)? It’s true that uncontrolled Cushing’s can cause glucose levels to increase, but in your dog’s case, I’ll be interested to know how the underlying Cushing’s determination was made if your vet is indeed convinced it’s the primary cause of the problems.

    Diabetes in any form can be determined pretty easily simply by measuring blood glucose levels. Cushing’s, on the other hand, is a lot more complicated because there is no single test that can definitively identify it. The two diagnostic blood tests that are used when Cushing’s is suspected can return “false positives” in the presence of other illnesses or systemic stress — of which Type I diabetes is one. In other words, a dog suffering from uncontrolled diabetes may very well return a positive result on a Cushing’s blood test even in the absence of Cushing’s. Also, the symptom profiles for the two disorders overlap quite a great deal. Of the two disorders, uncontrolled diabetes definitely presents the potential for more immediate emergency. For this reason, our experience here has been that most specialized clinicians recommend jumping first on the diabetes treatment for dogs with significantly elevated glucose. Testing for Cushing’s would only come later, once the diabetes is under better control, if at all possible. Or, in the alternative, that would be one reason to advance to Cushing’s testing — if the dog is not responding appropriately to diabetes treatment. But diabetes is generally the first and top priority. In that vein, here’s a link to a blog article written by a noted Cushing’s specialist, Dr. Mark Peterson. The article was written quite some time ago, but I think the points are still considered to be valid:

    For what it’s worth, one of the chief differentiations that Dr. Peterson notes in the general clinical presentation of the two disorders (diabetes vs. Cushing’s) is that Cushing’s frequently causes issues with skin and coat. Has your dog exhibited problems in that regard? Also, I see that your dog has been losing weight, which is typical of diabetes. Cushpups, on the other hand, typically *gain* weight secondary to their ravenous appetites. But going full circle, I’d want to know more about your dog’s Type II vs. Type I diagnosis because it’s not a diagnosis with which I’m very familiar, and I’m not as clear about the ramifications for either testing or treatment with a Type II case. And if your vet believes that Cushing’s is the primary “driver” of your dog’s elevated glucose, it’s important to know how the Cushing’s diagnosis itself was arrived at.

    I’ll go ahead and stop here, and await some further info from you about the diagnosis/diagnoses you’ve received. And then, we can move ahead. We do have a sister site that’s devoted to canine diabetes, and you may find them helpful, as well, in terms of discussing diabetes and related treatment in more detail. But as I say, I’ll first wait to hear back from you with some more details about your dog’s specific situation. And once again, welcome!

    Last edited by labblab; 10-01-2021 at 09:20 AM. Reason: To clarify some things.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Detroit, Michigan

    Default Re: New member with lots of questions

    Hi Ken. I also had a Boston, who was diagnosed with Cushings around the same age.
    - Im a few years removed, so I apologize for not having specifics (I WAS pretty fluent with the way things worked, but its been a few years.)

    - The 'crusty nose' was an alarming symptom, as I remember... Bostons already have a slight breathing issue (it doesnt take much to get them overwhelmed, and 'reverse sneezes' are common with the breed.)
    - so I understand, and have seen what happens when you compound that with the closure of the nostrils.
    - For THAT, I found the best defense was to actually get Vitamin E 'SoftGel" and puncture the pill, alowing the liquid inside to come out...
    squeeze the liquid from the softgel, and rub the liquid on the crusty nostil and around the nose.
    - I tried BioBalm, but it didnt seem as affective, so not a "price" thing.
    (obviously, do not rub in a way/area that would obstruct the intake of air)

    In hindsight, maybe what you thought was being upset around crowds, and kids in the pool was actually his reaction to outside stimulus, and was trying to cope with the excitement, thru a weakened air flow.
    Last edited by Jonathan; 10-01-2021 at 09:28 PM.
    In Loving Memory - Gigi (2006-2018)
    - Had a great quality of life as a "Cushings Dog"
    - And passed non Cushings related...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2021

    Default Re: New member with lots of questions

    one thought... there is another form of Diabetes you may want to look into--- Diabetes Insipidus which is one of the many things our journey took us into. Its different than Diabetes Mellitus. Some call it "water diabetes." Some overlap with Cushings. Primary symptom is Massive water intake and urination. Problem is, thats also a clinical sign for Cushings and "regular" diabetes. Reason I mention it is the comments about a dry nose which can be a symptom due to dehydration from the DI. Weight loss is generally not what you'd see with Cushings but I'm sure there are exceptions.

    Your comment about "we could have prevented this" struck me. If your Dog has Cushings, no, there really isn't anything you could have done. At least nothing to my knowledge.

    Regarding holistics. We tried a bunch of them. The Cushex you reference falls into a group of liquids (Adrenal Harmony, Prana, Cushex) that all seem to use some herbs. Most have Ashwagandha and/or Astralagus root. There are lots of anecdotal comments/reviews that seem great. We didn't see much if any improvement on them. The other big bucket of holistics is Melatonin/Lignans. Yeah, we tried that too. In fairness, our Dog has a littany of issues he's battling so its not simply run of the mill Cushings. If your Dog has diabetes, I think you have to be careful with Melatonin supplementation. What I find most frustrating with Holistics is this---- how hard would it be to take 10 dogs with diagnosed Cushings and monitor their Cortisol levels for a couple months while on one of the wonder supplements? I searched all over the internet for a simple test like that and couldn't find anything. Just commentary from owners. If Cushex or Adrenal harmony believe in their product so much (and it seems like they do), pay for 10 diagnosed Cush Dogs w/ owners who chose not to go the Vetoryl route and have their Cortisol levels monitored for a couple months while on the product. Sorry, had to get that rant off my chest.

    Good luck. Sounds like you have some diagnostic work to do before you can go much further. Its a complex road to navigate but lots of Dogs live high quality lives with Cushings and Diabetes. Personally if I had to do it over, I'd recommend getting to a Specialist early on so you can get some definitive diagnosis work going. Many Vets just don't see enough Cushings to be very versed and you can literally chew up weeks and months trying to figure out whats going on.
    Last edited by Kevin; 10-04-2021 at 12:37 PM.

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