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Sick dog - possible cushings disease - Answered by Dr. Lee

lindeelou
July 5th, 2007, 05:51 PM
My little Cairn is only 8 but she has been ill lately. It started with loose stools
and a lot of panting, mucus in stools, etc... Vet did lots of tests and suspects Cushings Syndrome but suggested no sort of treatment. I can't really afford too many "tests" that one visit was over $300.
Anyway, she was taken to the vet again his week for her skin allegergies that get worse in summer, and normally one cortisone shot does the trick and a few baths in Pyoban.
Well, she has seemed a bit lethargic, ignoring her dog food, peeing on carpet, and i know cortisone will increase thirst and urine, But against my better judgement, I went to a 4th party last night and left her alone for several hours in the house. When I got home there was diarrhea everywhere.
All oriental carpets, all over hardwood floor, in almost every room.
So, cleaned that all up, rugs are going to cleaners. She slept on the bed with me last night and seemed well. This morning I awoke to find the same dribbles of diarrhea on all the wall to wall carpet in bedroom and walk in closet. Not on hardwood, just on carpet. So. I just don't know what's going on. I did leave her a few treats in her puzzle so she could play while I was gone. She has never done this before, also, she lays on the floor and makes a "sighing" noise. It breaks my heart, but don't know if this is an emergency or just an upset stomach from medication/shot or too many treats. So broke, every vet visit no matter what for, is always over $100

Dr Lee
July 5th, 2007, 07:29 PM
Sorry to hear that she isn't feeling well. Also it sounds like there are a few things going on: lethargy, inappropriate urination, diarrhea, allergies with steroid therapy and suspected Cushing's disease. Am I correct?

Let me take them in reverse order:

Cushing's disease:
Routine blood work and physical exam may make a veterinarian suspicious of the disorder but without additional (unfortunately expensive) blood tests (i.e. Low Dose Dexamethasone Test and ACTH testing) Cushing's cannot be fully diagnosed. The treatment options are not themselves inexpensive and not without risks. Thus without complete diagnosis, treatment options may not be offered. Do you have a copy of the blood test? I would be happy to take a look at it.

Allergies with steroid therapy.
Steroids, if given too much will cause Cushing's symptoms (both those on a physical exam and those in a routine blood test). Have you seen a dermatologist? How much steroids are being used? There are a lot of options other than steroid injections. Even sporadic steroid injections have some risks and there are currently a lot of great options for allergy dogs. See links here on Atopica, topical steroids and hypoallergenic injections.

Diarrhea.
If recent blood work and exam was recently performed, can't your veterinarian prescribe some antidiarrheal medication for her? That should'nt be very expensive, even if they require a physical examination. For 'normal, healthy' dogs; pepto-bismol may be used. I will typically recommend one teaspoon for every 10lbs of body weight given orally every 8 - 12 hours. Please note: I am NOT prescribing this for your pet but merely making a general statement regarding the use of pepto-bismol in 'healthy' pets with SOME forms of minor diarrhea. I would recommend that you discuss the use of pepto-bismol with your veterinarian prior to giving it. (Any lawyers out there?):crazy:

Inappropriate Urination.
While cortisone may increase urine production. Steroid therapy also increases pets risks of infections - like urinary tract infections. There are 12-14 different possible causes of increased urination. Cushing's is one. Unfortunately we are back to testing area (blood urine testing). What tests were done?

Lethargy.
So many things can cause this. I am concerned that many of the above problems may be linked. There may be one or two more serious problems creating some of the above signs. Can you ask your vet for a some cost options - payment plans,etc...? Maybe you can do the testing but spread it out to make it easier. Perhaps your vet can give a list of the testing and you go down one by one. Unfortunately sometimes a lot of tests are needed? =0( Cushing's is often diagnosed late in the disease course for many dogs because of this.


I hope this helps.

CMCLY
September 20th, 2008, 06:35 PM
My dog Buster has just been diagnosed with Chushing's. The meds are extremely expensive...$100.00 a month for life. The brand name is Anipryl...but Anipryl has a generic form called selegeline that is less than a quarter of the price...about $17.00 a month. It is the same drug which is sometimes prescribed for people who have alzhimers. My vet won't prescribe the generic brand because, it is his policy that where a medication is authorized for vet-use, they will only use that, not a generic. I am unable to afford Anipryl....but can afford the generic version selegiline. To order it on line I need a perscription, but due to this policy I can't get one. I want to be able to give my pet a healthy life and not shorten his life either, but what does one do when the costs of medications are so high? Anyone have any ideas or experience with this?

luckypenny
September 20th, 2008, 06:47 PM
I think you should get on the phone with the veterinary association in your area. As a doctor, your vet must provide you with a prescription if you ask for it. You are not obliged to buy medicine from him. Even if the prescription is for Anipryl, you can take it to your pharmacy and ask for the generic brand. The pharmacists here always give customers a choice whether they want the name brand medication or the generic form of it.

I won't tell you what I think of your vet for not giving you the choice of which is your right :frustrated:.

:fingerscr You can get the appropriate, affordable medication for Buster soon.

rainbow
September 20th, 2008, 06:55 PM
I agree with luckypenny. My vet will always give me a presription to fill at the pharmacy if it will be cheaper.

Where in B.C. do you live? I won't tell you what I think of your vet either but I hope there is another vet there that you can go to. Good luck and keep us posted. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

moneterrie
March 10th, 2010, 05:12 PM
My little Cairn is only 8 but she has been ill lately. It started with loose stools
and a lot of panting, mucus in stools, etc... Vet did lots of tests and suspects Cushings Syndrome but suggested no sort of treatment. I can't really afford too many "tests" that one visit was over $300.
Anyway, she was taken to the vet again his week for her skin allegergies that get worse in summer, and normally one cortisone shot does the trick and a few baths in Pyoban.
Well, she has seemed a bit lethargic, ignoring her dog food, peeing on carpet, and i know cortisone will increase thirst and urine, But against my better judgement, I went to a 4th party last night and left her alone for several hours in the house. When I got home there was diarrhea everywhere.
All oriental carpets, all over hardwood floor, in almost every room.
So, cleaned that all up, rugs are going to cleaners. She slept on the bed with me last night and seemed well. This morning I awoke to find the same dribbles of diarrhea on all the wall to wall carpet in bedroom and walk in closet. Not on hardwood, just on carpet. So. I just don't know what's going on. I did leave her a few treats in her puzzle so she could play while I was gone. She has never done this before, also, she lays on the floor and makes a "sighing" noise. It breaks my heart, but don't know if this is an emergency or just an upset stomach from medication/shot or too many treats. So broke, every vet visit no matter what for, is always over $100
Hello!
Two years ago, my 14yr old shih tzu developed Cushings after very expensive tests with the Vet. Then they wanted more money to determine which type of cushings and the treatment was similiar to chemo.
I could not put my beautiful little dog through that.
My groomer recommended a Naturopath Vet. He prescribed "long dan xie gan tang",a chinese herb. She has done extremely well since; despite her fading eyesight and hearing. He said it works for some, but not all.
It's worth a try. Let me know how you make out.
Good luck!

Frenchy
March 10th, 2010, 05:48 PM
moneterrie , this post goes back to 2008 but , I hear you. I also treated my Chloe with natural remedies after she was diagnose with cushing (I agree , the cost for the tests are pretty expensive) the vet meds wasn't helping her. I'm glad your dog is doing good :thumbs up