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dog losing muscle mass, Cushings disease?

July 10th, 2005, 11:38 PM
My 10 year old dalmatian, Molly is losing muscle mass all over and has recurring diarrhea. She has been on 5 mg of prednisone daily since age of 6 months and the vet suspects maybe Cushings disease. Is diarrhea a symptom of Cushings? She eats well but doesn't gain weight. The muscles in her face, chest, legs, hips are wasting away. The vet just treated the diarrhea last time with flagyl pills and pepto bismol. It seemed to work but never found the cause. I am going to make an appointment tomorrow for her. Last night she had diarrhea all over the house. I spent hours cleaning her, her brother, plus the house too. Has anyone had a similar experience with muscle loss and diarrhea?

July 10th, 2005, 11:50 PM
Thats a really long time for pred,why is the dog on it?Cushings can be caused by long term use of pred,sorry this has happened,Id get blood work and urine done to help.

July 11th, 2005, 12:43 AM
The prednisone is for allergies, food and inhaled. She was taking injections for allergies from a dog allergy specialist when she was young. We did all the testing and spent a lot of money to sort out her problem. She is on Eukanuba fish and potato food and this is the only dog food she can tolerate. We have tried to lessen the dose or use prednisone on alternate days but she then reacts. Her allergy symptoms are under control with the prednisone and am aware of it possibly shortening her life. Now at 10, she is not well. She has been through a lot so just want to make her comfortable in her old age with no big, invasive surgeries etc. I've been that route with a previous dog and will not do it to her. Yes, I will suggest blood test to the vet and am trying to get an appt with a certain vet that knows her well. The diarrhea seems to recur. She eats a lot but is wasting away.

July 13th, 2005, 09:51 PM
Your blood panel will tell you yes or no on the cushings. Most dogs on steriods have yearly blood work to watch for it. Does her belly seem to droop? Like that sway back appearance? My dog had serious liver elevations from just three monthly steriod injections given. We were give SAM-e supplements from our vet specialist and after one month his liver levels returned to normal. But mind you he was off the drugs too! He will live on those for life now since the benefit to the liver is so great and its used for arthritis in humans. No side effects either. I think any dog that needed to be on steriods that long for allergies might benefit from a work up with a vet dermo specialist. They can then transfer the care back to your family vet.

July 13th, 2005, 09:58 PM
I'd get the dog off prednisone it could have been the cause to begin with. I would if it were me see a holistic vet and start feeding your dog a natural diet of food you prepare no store/vet bought dog food...fresh foods.

July 14th, 2005, 11:46 AM
Well, got the blood results from the vet and she has some elevated levels for liver function but nothing unusual. They biopsied a lump in the abdomen but it was just fat. They want her to stay on the prednisone because really nothing else has worked for her and we have tried a home cooked recipe from her skin specialist before, but she still had big allergy problems, even with desensitizing shots. The diarrhea has cleared up with flagyl and pepto bismol but this seems to reocurr with her. Now they say if it does reocurr, they want to do an ultrasound. I'm reluctant to do that because she is 10 and we went for quality of life (prednisone) over length of life, knowing she would have a shorter lifespan. Also, I'm against doing surgery on her. I did all that with a previous dog and regretted it. I would put her to sleep if she had anything much going on in her abdomen. Sounds cruel, but I think it is actually the kind thing ... hopefully it won't come to that. To answer your question, yes she does have a sway back apperarance due to loss of muscle and her hips stick out, shoulders too. She lost 4 pounds but eats like a horse. She has always been on 3 meals a day. Poor girl. I love her to pieces and she is a real character. Dals have a wonderful playfulness and a sense of humor! The breed really gets put down a lot but she is a really nice gentle girl and good with everyone.