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We got news today that Kati (my mom's dog) has Cushings Disease. I am just looking for info on it. I have Kati's sister Toby from the same litter, of course I am concerned for Kati but I am also concerned about the odds of Toby having it as well. Toby has not been tested yet and I don't know if I should just go ahead and have her tested or wait until she has symptoms.
The vet told us that Kati would have 1 year to 18 months of life left and that is so hard to hear. We are keeping positive though because when they told my father he only had that long left he faught his cancer battle for many more wonderful years we were lucky enough to have with him.

Any information on Cushings would be greatly helpfull since we don't really know anything about it yet. I am very interested in more natural way of treatment options if they are possible as well. Thanks :)
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about Kati. I am by no means an expert, but I thought it might help if I provided you with my personal experience with a boxer that had Cushings. I lost my 13 year old boxer, Quincy, over the summer to Cushings. That is the sad part, the good part is he lived 2-3 years after his diagnosis.

We stated him on a few medications recommended by the vet, but unfortunately the side affects from the medicine were worse than the symptoms of the disease. To complicate things he also had arthritis in his back legs. The things we noticed the most over the last year or two were he wanted water all the time and he seemed lethargic at times. From what I understand, they feel thirsty all the time even though their body doesn't actually need water. For the most part he was still himself and in my opinion his quality of life was very good up until the last few months.

Again, i'm not an expert, but if you know Cushings runs in Toby's lines, I would personally have him tested. Hopefully you never have to worry about it with Toby, but if you do, knowing sooner must help. Then you can see if there are things the vet or other more experienced forum members recommend to help out early on.

How old are Toby and Kati. Quincy was about 10 when he was diagnosed. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks alot for that info...They are Boston Terriers and they will be 8 years old in May. The increased thirst and panting are the signs that something was going on with Kati. We have a follow up appointment with the vet so maybe we can get more info there too.
Thanks again :)
 

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Have they determined the type she has? They can have adrenal, pituitary, or atypical.

There are a few treatment options for atypical Cushing's disease, including melatonin and lignan. Flaxseed does contain lignan, but may not have a strong enough concentration to be beneficial.

For PD or adrenal, there are also a couple of options. Selegilene or trilostane seem to be the treatment of choice; Lysodren can also be used, but can have some pretty severe side effects and require close monitoring. Trilostane also requires monitoring, however.

Has the diagnosis been confirmed with bloodwork? Before starting any treatment, you would want to make sure its confirmed with bloodwork. There are a few different tests that can be used, including urine:creat cortisol, Low dose dexamethasone suppression, and ACTH stim. Or, your veterinarian can elect to run an adrenal panel available at the University of Tennessee College of Vet Medicine/endocrinology lab. That panel is basically a combination of the lddst and ACTH stim test, so you can get the 2 tests run at the concurrently, rather than consecutively which will save a little money. The downside to this is that the blood samples have to be shipped to the lab, which can increase the turnaround time a bit.

Generally, if you have your vet run blood chemistry panels annually, it may show an elevation in 1 or 2 liver enzymes before your dog starts showing any symptoms of Cushing's disease, which could be followed up with the specific test for Cushing's. I don't know if the test for Cushing's disease would be positive if your dog isn't showing any sypmtoms, or the elevated liver enzymes. That would be a good question for your vet.

Hope this helps some. :)
 

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Also, we have had some patients with Cushing's disease do very well with treatment, and have lived pretty long, happy lives after being diagnosed.

Just keep up with the treatment and monitoring, and keep in touch with your veterinarian, as he/she will need your observations to make the best treatment recommendations or adjustments to medications.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the info.
cc, they did bloodwork and said she has cushings. Mom didn't give me much info but said she had to take her back for more bloodwork. Those tests were started and they said some level was at a 21 that should be at a 2-4 range but she didn't have all the details I was asking her for. I will be up there again this weekend and will get a chance to see the paperwork so I may have more answers after that. I may also have more questions :)
I have not had much time lately to be online but I appreciate you guys on the fourm and just wanted to say that I miss you & thanks for always giving me good info and caring.
 

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I am so sorry to hear this news about Kati.... I know nothing about Cushings except what I read here or on line. I am a fan of Dr. Karen Becker and get her newsletters on line every week. I pray it goes well for Kati....
 

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Thanks!
The video sure is informative, I sent mom the link to that. She doesn't understand alot of the things the vet was explaining and I am not there to ask questions. I think she will have alot of questions for the vet upon the follow up appointment now that I have given her the info you guys have provided. It sure has opened my eyes to this disease I knew nothing about before.
Just keep lil Kati on your doggie prayer list for her, that will mean alot to mom too :)
 
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