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Thread: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

  1. #1
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    Default Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    Blue Healer, 9 years old.

    Went to the vet with Polyuria, Polydipsia, minor Alopecia, Polyphagia, Panting and Behavior change. Vet confirmed diabetes with suspicion of cushings. Weighed 40lbs. A week later went back to vet for a low dose dex test that took 8 hours. Weighed 38lbs. Vet sent the samples off and apparently the lab no longer does that test so those samples are gone. It's a few days later after the test and she now weighs 35lbs. She no longer has an appetite like she did before the test. Small town vet with no resources and no alternatives. Vet is ordering insulin and cushings drugs but it's going to take time. She may not have much time now if she continues to lose weight and refuses to eat. Insulin will be useless without a full stomach and as for the cushings drugs; with no tests to actually confirm it, I don't know if the proper dosing and tests will be performed. I've educated myself on cushings and diabetes at https://www.veterinarydiagnosticinve.../continuing-ed

    I had other questions but that was before she started losing her appetite. If I can get a hold of the vet on the weekend I don't know that they will have anything on hand to help her. So we'll see...
    Last edited by Nutlike2102; 09-14-2022 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Age Correction

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    Hello and welcome, although I’m so sorry to hear that you two are really struggling this weekend! I’ll return a bit later on to write more, but wanted to quickly tell you we received your gmail reply, and that you’re membership is now fully approved.

    Thanks so much, and I’ll be back!
    Marianne

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    Also, in the meantime I want to give you the link to a companion forum that is devoted to canine diabetes. Of the two disorders, I believe treatment of diabetes is your most immediate priority.

    https://www.k9diabetes.com/forum/

    Unfortunately, just as is the case with us, their readership has been slowing down in recent months (A lot of people seem to now prefer Facebook groups). So I don’t know how quickly you’ll get a direct response to any questions you may have for them. But they also have a lot of resource info that may be a help to you, as well.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    Thanks. I didn't know about the diabetes forum. I was just looking for comparisons of meters and now I have them thanks to you. These K9 forums are not easy to find initially. Bookmarked now.

    My sisters dog had diabetes and I was hoping she had some test strips leftover so I could check my dogs levels this weekend. Turns out she never tested her dogs blood and also used the same vet. I was under the impression it was important to monitor glucose at home in order to not give too much insulin.

    The only thing I can get her to eat today is fresh cooked ribs meat. She didn't want FreshPet or the home cooked BalanceIT recipe I cooked. Absolutely no kibble. I guess as long as she eats something through the weekend she might pull out of it long enough for the vet to get the insulin ordered.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    OK Iím back again and so wishing I had some brilliant suggestions to give you :-((((. I think inappetance is one of the most stressful issues for owners to try to deal with, and I especially understand why itís an especially huge issue for you now. My elderly Lab periodically gets really picky and during those times I struggle to find something sheíll accept. Sometimes scrambled eggs will tempt her, sometimes jarred baby food, sometimes actual canned dogfood. But itís so anxiety-producing, and in your case, Iím sure itís doubly so since it may be related to metabolic imbalances from diabetes. I donít know whether youíve taken the time to create a membership at k9diabetes, but if so, they might be able to give you some better informed feeding suggestions.

    Iím sure youíve gotten some accurate info from the website for ďVeterinary Diagnostic Investigation and ConsultationĒ services. The chief medical officer, David Bruyette, is very well known to us and was actually a member of our forum here many years ago. Heís definitely a world-renowned endocrinological expert, and if time allows it, maybe you and your vet might actually wish to arrange a consultation with him. Although I realize that the immediate hurdle is probably just getting ahold of the insulin and testing your girlís glucose level.

    As I say, I sure wish I had some worthwhile tips in that regard. At this point, I realize that Monday morning canít come soon enough! You can certainly continue to check in here with us in the meantime, and if any brainstorms occur to me, Iíll definitely let you know.

    Sending healing wishes to your sweet girl,
    Marianne

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    Here is an update for today:

    Last night before bed she threw up all the meat she was able to eat during the day. So I got her some beef broth to drink before bed. She's still picky today, eating a bite here and there. So far what she has taken has stayed down.

    I did register on the diabetes forum but have not received an activation link yet.

    I took a blood glucose test with a human tester knowing it wouldn't show the most accurate number but I would at least know if it was high or low. 299 mg/dl which I guess is on the higher end. I don't know how much over or under it might be off though.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    Surely hoping your girl made it through OK until this morning, and that now your vet will be able to give you the support youíre needing. Thanks for yesterdayís update, and weíll be hoping for some improvement when you have the chance to write once again.

    Marianne

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    I went into the office but the vet was in surgery so I had to go back home. Still waiting for a return phone call back.

    Update:

    I was given Cerenia and Omeprazle. The vet didn't seem to think it was related to diabetes. The vet is still going to treat the cushings but not the diabetes. Cushing meds are still a week out.

    She threw up again last night and is becoming weaker, unable to jump up onto the couch which is already low to the ground.

    It's hard to say what is going on. I looked in her mouth for signs of a tooth infection but didn't see anything. She could have some sort of food poisoning but she hasn't eaten anything the other dogs haven't. She seemed to start getting bad after she came home from her LDDS test so I'm wondering if she didn't pick up some illness from another dog being housed alongside her that day. She's been sleeping since coming home from the vet visit today. No food yet for the day.
    Last edited by Nutlike2102; 09-13-2022 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Updated Info

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    I just now noticed that her drinking water is turning red in color. Possibly blood? I've looked in her mouth for dental decay or an injury but didn't see anything. Does anybody have any insight on what this could mean? My main goal is to get her eating and gaining weight again but I need to figure out what is causing it first. Is this all related to cushings or is this something else entirely?

    Update:

    I did a more thorough search and there is a small amount of blood at the gum line of a tooth. Could this be the cause of her refusal to eat and stomach sickness? The vet should have checked for an infection while I had her there yesterday. I always bring in a urine sample but they never use it. The tooth isn't loose and the blood is not always there every time I look in her mouth.
    Last edited by Nutlike2102; 09-14-2022 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Updated Info

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Australian Cattle Dog with Cushings & Diabetes

    Thank you for this update, but I have to say I’m very worried about your girl. It’s important for you to know I’m not a vet myself, and it makes me uncomfortable to question your own vet, especially since you don’t have any alternatives. But you’ve come to us for our input, so in good conscience, I have to share my concerns.

    Did your vet check your girl’s glucose level again yesterday? I would surely hope so, and if it’s still elevated I don’t understand why he isn’t exhibiting urgency about lowering it. Regardless of whether or not she has Cushing’s, and whether or not Cushing’s is playing a role in the diabetes, consistently elevated glucose needs to be addressed ASAP. Like, immediately! Just from reading the news, I realize that insulin supplies and costs are a huge national issue for humans, so I imagine veterinary supplies may be an issue, too. So maybe your vet is having a hard time getting it?? Otherwise I cannot understand why he isn’t focused first on getting her glucose level down if it remains elevated. Dealing with the possibility of Cushing’s can, and likely should, come later.

    Here’s one big reason why. The LDDS test that your girl was given is very vulnerable to returning “false positives” in the face of other physical illnesses or stress. Therefore, an ill dog suffering from the effects of uncontrolled diabetes is at a much higher risk of testing “positive” even if she doesn’t really have Cushing’s at all. For this reason, we’ve been told by endocrinological specialists that it’s best to try to control diabetes first, before proceeding to test for Cushing’s. And at that stage further down the line, a different diagnostic test — the ACTH stimulation test — may be preferable, anyway, because it’s less likely to be skewed by the presence of other nonadrenal illnesses.

    Your girl really sounds ill to me right now. I don’t know what to make of the bleeding from the gums, but it doesn’t sound good to me. I did find this info which may be relevant:

    People with uncontrolled diabetes tend to get periodontitis more often than the average person or those who keep their diabetes under control. Some signs that you have gum disease include: Red, swollen and/or bleeding gums.
    Also, weight loss is a common symptom of diabetes, and elevated glucose levels can also cause loss of appetite. The exact opposite is the case with Cushing’s — we see ravenous appetite and weight gain. Truly, it seems to me that your girl’s most pressing problems are most likely associated with diabetes. As a final issue, if she’s not eating, I can’t even imagine how the Cushing’s medication will be of use to you when it arrives. One huge warning is to never give it to a dog who is not eating or otherwise appears to be unwell. It *must* be given with a regular meal to be metabolized properly. And as I’ve said above, at this stage the accuracy of the Cushing’s diagnosis seems questionable, anyway.

    Is there any possible way in which you could get a second opinion about all this? Truly if not, I’d press your vet as hard as possible re: the elevated glucose if your girl’s level remains abnormally high. I truly don’t understand why he is choosing not to treat what can quickly become a life-threatening illness.

    Marianne

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