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Thread: New here - Cushing's symptoms but no diagnosis?

  1. #1
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    Default New here - Cushing's symptoms but no diagnosis?

    Hello! In recent days and weeks we have seen the following symptoms in our 8 yo mixed breed (mostly a combo of Aussie/German?/chow?) male dog: climbing up on and knocking over to gorge on dry cat and dog food. Excessive thirst. Apparently loose ligaments (that stance - sitting and standing). Peeing in the house (from all that drinking) and even pooping - never occurred before. Less energy - though, as a high energy (but not hyper) dog, fortunately he is still interested in good walks, but not excessive, as formerly. His facial expression has sadly gone from always up for a good time, to, something's wrong, mom, and I can't tell you what! We adopted him at age 3.

    I immediately googled "why is my dog suddenly ravenous?" - this just started in the last 10 days, and came up with Cushing's.

    We were able to rush him and they did a blood and urine draw. We got the results today: nothing out of the ordinary! A little high on proteins in the urine, but nothing marked.

    We don't know where to turn from here? We will have an in-depth with vet (she left us a vm with the results). Should we do more rule-out tests - ultrasound? Should we start him on doggy melatonin?

    Any and all input is beyond appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Sorry if re-post...can't find my earlier one? Dog with Cushing's symptoms but ...

    Blood and urine draw turned up negative.

    Symptoms just developed in last 2 weeks or so: less energy; excessive thirst and hunger (climbing up/knocking over cat and dog food, and gorging on it); loose stance; sad look on face - he's very expressive!

    8 yo mixed breed Aussie/shepherd/Chow...?

    Wondering where to turn next.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sorry if re-post...can't find my earlier one? Dog with Cushing's symptoms but ...

    Hello and welcome to you and your boy, although I’m surely sorry for his new set of problems. The reason why your posts were not visible previously is because the membership process had not yet been completed on our end. But that’s all been taken care of now, and you can ignore an automated request for email confirmation should you still receive it. You should be able to publicly add new replies with no problem from this point forward.

    Your boy’s new symptoms certainly are a puzzle. I will tell you that Cushing’s is typically a slowly developing disease with symptoms that worsen over time. So even though ravenous hunger and excessive thirst are indeed common symptoms of Cushing’s, they usually would not manifest so abruptly. In order to brainstorm further, can you tell us whether there were *any* abnormalities at all in his labwork aside from the elevated protein? The hallmark of Cushing’s is elevated cortisol, and I’m wondering whether any related Cushing’s-specific testing was done. I’m guessing not if only a single simple blood draw was taken. Still, most Cushpups exhibit abnormalities on their basic blood panels as well, including elevated liver enzymes, cholesterol, and platelet counts. So if no such abnormalities were noted for your boy, that also definitely makes Cushing’s less likely.

    I’ll go ahead and close for now, but I didn’t want to waste any more time in welcoming you. Do let us know if you think of any other relevant details to add, and I’ll also plan to stop back by again tomorrow to see if we can strategize further.

    Marianne

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sorry if re-post...can't find my earlier one? Dog with Cushing's symptoms but ...

    Quote Originally Posted by labblab View Post
    Hello and welcome to you and your boy, although I’m surely sorry for his new set of problems. The reason why your posts were not visible previously is because the membership process had not yet been completed on our end. But that’s all been taken care of now, and you can ignore an automated request for email confirmation should you still receive it. You should be able to publicly add new replies with no problem from this point forward.

    Your boy’s new symptoms certainly are a puzzle. I will tell you that Cushing’s is typically a slowly developing disease with symptoms that worsen over time. So even though ravenous hunger and excessive thirst are indeed common symptoms of Cushing’s, they usually would not manifest so abruptly. In order to brainstorm further, can you tell us whether there were *any* abnormalities at all in his labwork aside from the elevated protein? The hallmark of Cushing’s is elevated cortisol, and I’m wondering whether any related Cushing’s-specific testing was done. I’m guessing not if only a single simple blood draw was taken. Still, most Cushpups exhibit abnormalities on their basic blood panels as well, including elevated liver enzymes, cholesterol, and platelet counts. So if no such abnormalities were noted for your boy, that also definitely makes Cushing’s less likely.

    I’ll go ahead and close for now, but I didn’t want to waste any more time in welcoming you. Do let us know if you think of any other relevant details to add, and I’ll also plan to stop back by again tomorrow to see if we can strategize further.

    Marianne
    Oh gosh, Marianne - thanks so much! They did a "senior screen" (CBC, core organ function, thyroid) and the urine test where they found subtle change of extra protein in his urine, which was dilute since he's drinking so much.

    The only "symptoms" we noticed in addition to the sudden food craving and excessive drinking was 1) for about a month now he's been placing himself very near us, just standing there, as if to let us know he doesn't feel well! 2) about 10 days ago on a cross-country ski (he's very active and energetic with great endurance - but not hyper) he was much less active. He hung near me, instead of ranging all over per usual. That's it! He now stands near us with his head dropped, moves quite slowly, looks like he hurts. We've secured the food (cat and dog dry) so he hasn't been overeating. We try to spread out his feedings with less at each meal supplemented with a kong filled with pb and kibble, etc. Also giving him frozen green beans when he begs-ish. This guy always really loved his food!

    I honestly don't know what all was measured in the CBC - would they have tested for elevated cortisol? We will have a call with our vet today as to next steps. I'm thinking right now the choices are ultrasound and/or a course of melatonin with lignans?

    Thanks so much!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: New here - Cushing's symptoms but no diagnosis?

    Hi and welcome to you and your boy from me as well!

    A CBC (complete blood count) is done to see how the blood is performing such as the white blood and red blood cells, it also looks at other things to do with the blood. Usually a Chemistry blood panel is included which looks at markers for the kidneys, liver, cholesterol...do you know if this was done, and if so, could you post any abnormalities listed?

    To measure cortisol an ACTH stimulation test is performed, with dog's with Cushing's the "gold standard" test is the LDDS (low dose dexamethasone suppression), this sees how the adrenals and the pituitary gland are responding to each other. I do believe that an ultrasound is a good idea, as they do recommend one when a dog does have Cushing's so they can get a good look at the internal organs. As for the melatonin and lignans, if this were me, I'd wait until all testing was done before starting them.

    Keep us updated, please!

    Hugs, Lori

  6. #6
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    Default Re: New here - Cushing's symptoms but no diagnosis?

    Hi Cilla,

    Welcome to you and your sweet baby boy!

    I would not be thinking Cushing's because this disease progresses very very slowly. Most of the time folk think their dog is simply aging because the signs come on so slowly...over years typically. So the sudden appearance of increased appetite does not say Cushing's to me at all. I would instead be thinking thyroid (and want a full thyroid panel run not just the T4 looked at), diabetes mellitus, or an intestinal parasite like a tape worm. I would talk to the vet about these possibilities and any other issues they are aware of other than Cushing's that could cause the sudden signs you are seeing in your precious boy.

    It would help a great deal if you could get copies of the testing done to date and post the results here. Just anything that is too high or too low is all we need to see along with the normal range and the little letters that follow each value posted. From the organ function test, or wellness screen as some vets call it, the results would look something like this:

    ALP 150 100-200 mnol/L
    CHOL 325 300-400 ug/dl

    Please stay in touch and let us know how things are going!
    Hugs,
    Leslie
    "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.

  7. #7
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    mytil is offline Administrator and always In Loving Memory
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    Default Re: New here - Cushing's symptoms but no diagnosis?

    Hi from me too,
    The others have raised some good and valid points about what could be the issues and causes. In addition to seeing the actual results of the tests performed, I have a few additional questions.....how are his stools (diarrhea for example) and the color of them?......I know you mentioned the appetite increase and food consumption on the onset, but does he look like he has lost weight no matter how much he eats? Is he or has been on any other medications?
    Please keep us posted
    Terry

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