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Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,570
Registered: ‎06-13-2012

Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

Were you able to manage their symptoms okay with the meds? TIA.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,948
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

Hi HappyDaze!  Yes, I had a dog with Cushings disease.  She was a lab/boxer mix and was 12 when she developed Cushings.  My doctor put her on Vetoryl (60 mg) and her symptoms were completely under control on this medication.  I believe she took 2 pills daily - one in the morning and one at night.  She lived to be 15 and a half and was on this medication until she passed away.  The one drawback is that the medicine is expensive.  I think it was something like $170 a month.  You need a prescription for the meds, but be sure to shop around because, as I'm sure you know, prices vary a great deal.  I can't remember the name of the place where I ordered her medicine from, but I'm going to look in her file and see if I can find the name of the place for you.  

Best of luck to you and your pet.  I remember being extremely upset when my dog first received this diagnosis, but it really was quite manageable.  I wish you well.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,153
Registered: ‎05-04-2015

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

Yes, my Lhasa had Cushings.  She was on medications and they helped control her symptoms for about two years.  She was about 10 years old when she was diagnosed.  She felt pretty good up until the end.  Along with the meds I fed her a good quality dog food with as few ingredients as possible, natural, no added preservatives.  

 

I am so sorry if your dog has this disease.  Your vet can help keep your baby comfortable and he or she can still enjoy life.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,837
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?


@Citrine1 wrote:

Hi HappyDaze!  Yes, I had a dog with Cushings disease.  She was a lab/boxer mix and was 12 when she developed Cushings.  My doctor put her on Vetoryl (60 mg) and her symptoms were completely under control on this medication.  I believe she took 2 pills daily - one in the morning and one at night.  She lived to be 15 and a half and was on this medication until she passed away.  The one drawback is that the medicine is expensive.  I think it was something like $170 a month.  You need a prescription for the meds, but be sure to shop around because, as I'm sure you know, prices vary a great deal.  I can't remember the name of the place where I ordered her medicine from, but I'm going to look in her file and see if I can find the name of the place for you.  

Best of luck to you and your pet.  I remember being extremely upset when my dog first received this diagnosis, but it really was quite manageable.  I wish you well.


 

@HappyDaze, if your dog has Cushings I'm very sorry.  I don't have any experience with this disease.  I just wanted to comment about the best places to order meds.  I've had to order mostly heart meds for my dogs for years.  Thankfully I only have one dog now, and she isn't taking any medicine.  I always found the best prices to be found at KVSupply.com.  I always checked there and Drs. Foster & Smith, but KVSupply was usually the cheapest.  That's where I order my Heartguard and Nexgard, too.


The Bluebird Carries The Sky On His Back"
-Henry David Thoreau





Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,948
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

HappyDaze, the place I ordered the vetoryl from was SmartPak Equine.  Yes, it's a horse supply store but they sell dog products and medicines.  

Please tell us more about your dog -- breed, age, etc.  

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,261
Registered: ‎06-02-2014

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

Yes!

I was thinking of starting this topic myself.

Our fourteen year old yellow lab was diagnosed with Cushings in Aug. 2014.

He has the added disease of diabetes, and because of this he is only on

insulin twice a day.  It is complicated with him.

We are used to taking care of him, but we feel that every day is a gift.

I have met several people who have horses with Cushings, and they

are on a specific medication.  Our vet is very knowledgeable, and in

our dog's case, all we can do is deal with the diabetes and periodically

have his blood sugar checked at the vet's.

Because of our dog's advanced age, we are dealing with old age issues

that even a healthy dog would face.

I am happy to say, Cushings is not a death sentence.  We never expected

to have our dog 14 months after diagnosis, and he is still enjoying life,

and has not given us any sign that he has had enough.

The symptoms which sent us to the vet:  thirst, urination indoors and a tremor.

He has lost a little hair on his tail, but generally looks good.

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,361
Registered: ‎03-30-2014

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

I rescued a little old stray that no one would take because of this illness.  However when I took her to my vet instead we discovered that she merely had massive food allergies from the poor food.  So it was an easy fix for me and she eventually died of cancer instead.  Please be very sure of the types of test your baby has had for a correct diagnisis.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,743
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

I have had Scotties with both Typical and Atypical Cushing's.  The Typical cases were diagnosed before Vetoryl was FDA approved here in the US, so they were treated with Lysodren.  Both Atypicals were more recent cases, and were successfully managed with HMR lignans and melatonin.  Depending on what kind of Cushing's your pet has will dictate the treatment.  If it's Typical Adrenal, then Lysodren may be the drug of choice, and the prognosis is more guarded, depending on the nature of the adrenal tumor.  If it's Typical Pituitary, then Vetoryl is very successful at managing the cortisol production to reduce damage and manage symptoms.  Atypical Cushing's is in some ways easiest to manage, but hardest to diagnose and gauge the success of the treatment, since you are trying to control several different hormones that are not cortisol.  All types of Cushing's require regular monitoring by a vet to titrate the doseages of medication to maintain the control of the hormones that were being overproduced and causing damage and symptoms.  What kind of Cushing's does your dog have, HappyDaze?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,570
Registered: ‎06-13-2012

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

@NickNack @Citrine1 @Susan in California @CamilleP Thank you all so much. I really appreciate it.

 

@CamilleP I am not sure yet, still in the testing stages. He has had cushings type symptoms for a few years now but didn't test positive. Well when we did blood tests this week, he came back with an alarmingly high number (cant remember the name of it at the moment) that had shot up from 500 (high for this particular thing already) to over 2000 in just 6 months. We went in because he was drinking more than usual. I will let you know when I get the final verdict. We aren't even 100% sure it is but all signs lead to it, although all signs led to it a few years back and it wasn't so who knows. I will talk to my vet of course but can you tell me how they determine the difference between the two types? Is it an ultrasound or mri or?

 

@NickNack too funny- I've always used Kv supply or Drs. foster and smith for my pet meds too! Have for many years now= I always compare the prices. However, some  meds are cheaper through Costco or other local pharmacy so I now check those as well. Now Costco even has a program that you can sign up for that gives you even greater discounts on your pet meds besides the normal member discount.

 

@Still Raining my dogs are all fed extremely well - it is definitely not poor food.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,743
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Anyone dealt with Cushings in their dogs?

HappyDaze, the way they used to do it was the combination of results of low and high dose dexamethasone suppression tests at four and eight hour intervals, but I don't know if they still do it that way or not.  One generality is that large-breed dogs are slightly more apt to have adrenal Cushing's and small-breed dogs are slightly more apt to have pituitary Cushing's, but that is just a generality, not a guarantee.  That said, it's also true that pituitary Cushing's is far more common than adrenal Cushing's, so odds are that your dog has the more common and far more successfully treatable form.  An ultrasound is not uncommon to check the status of the adrenal glands if the adrenal form of the disease is diagnosed with bloodwork, to see if the adrenal tumor has invaded the associated kidney or not, but it isn't diagnostic for one or the other source of the cortisol excess.  An MRI would diagnose a pituitary tumor if it were a macroadenoma, but most pituitary tumors are microadenoma, and I don't know if an MRI would find that or not.  I've never had an MRI on a dog of mine, so I have no idea of how detailed they are in the images that scan produces.  From the numbers you are quoting, my guess is that what your vet is talking about is actually liver enzymes.  I hope that what jumped from 500 to 2,000 is his ALP, not his ALT, that would be indicative of very severe liver failure indeed.  I hope you and your vet can get a good protocol laid out to diagnose what kind of Cushing's your dog has, so he can be successfully treated, and I look forward to hearing back from you when you know more about what's going on.