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Minnie's tested + for Cushings

nancy in AZ

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I asked my vet to test her for it after accidently stumbling across a list of symptoms, most of which she exhibits (and a couple of which are quite distinctive) but which had been attributed to various other diagnoses. After he drew her blood sample I asked him if he intuited anything one way or the other. He didn't initially feel she was cushingoid because she doesn't have the typical pot-belly appearance, but he said it wasn't impossible. He was also able to come up with reasonable alternative explanations for a couple of the symptoms I brought up. So I left there thinking maybe she was in the clear and didn't look any further into it. I'm kind of stunned right now.


She goes in for the test to detemine whether it's pituitary or adrenal next week. My vet feels we caught it pretty early. Can anyone here enlighten me with your experience and treatment options. I'm pretty worried about the side effects of using the lysodren. I read that there is an alternative available in the UK that doesn't destroy the adrenal tissue but it's very expensive and shipping delays are common due to the red tape required to attain it.

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Your vet probably already has or will, but verify that (s)he is also checking for diabetes. They do not always go together, but frequently do.

If that is the case, you have to get the diabetes under control before going after the Cushings. This is because the Cushings increases insulin resistance.

Treatment for Cushings also depends largely on the age and health of the dog. In many cases for older dogs, the Cushings is not a completely "bad" thing since the Cortisol overproduction will help alleviate joint and muscle pain.

In Zeke's case (He was Cushings and diabetic), because of his age, over 13, we only targeted the diabetes with insulin and did not go after the Cushings. He lived another 2 years with twice a day insulin shots to the ripe old age of 15 1/2.

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