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Ask the Vet About Cushing's Disease in Dogs & Cats

Cushing's Disease
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Cushing's Disease in Dogs and Cats
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 13 of 13
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Showing 1 - 13 of 13
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Date: May 20, 2017
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Treatment

Question:Our 11 year old miniature poodle starting losing weight. Took him to the vet and she suspected Cushings. Had him in for 2 blood tests and they were not conclusive but he has all the symptoms - weight loss, excessive drinking and urination, panting, skin dryness but he is still as happy and active as ever. The vet won't prescribe medication so she told us to give him milkthestle which we have for the past month but there is no change. He continues to lose weight - he was only 12 pounds to begin with . Do you have any suggestions for over the counter treatment?

Answer:I don't know of anything over-the-counter that helps Cushing's Disease. Now would be a good time for your veterinarian to recheck her and see if the milk thistle has helped at all and make a plan going forward for her. You and your veterinarian will need to evaluate many things like her entire blood panel, side effects of the medications, cost, etc.

Date: May 19, 2017
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Re: dosage

Question:Hello, my dog has been diagnosed as having Cushing's and has been recommended Vetoryl. Unfortunately I cannot afford it every month. Is it OK to give her the medication every other day, as opposed to none at all? At least she would be getting some of the medication...

Answer:Definitely discuss this with your veterinarian - it really depends on how severe her Cushing's disease is and what dosage they started her on (like was it already a really small dosage for her size and severity).

Date: Apr 4, 2017
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: I think my dog has Cushings Disease

Question:I have a 6 year old beagle and her hair is falling out rapidly and her skin is super flaky. I've taken her to the vet before, but nothing changed. Is there any at home remedies I can try?

Answer:You really need a diagnosis before you start treating. Blood work needs to be done to definitively diagnose Cushings disease. You would treat other causes of hair loss (hypothyroidism, allergies, demodectic mange, etc) entirely differently. A good medicated shampoo like Malaseb is usually a good idea with any of these conditions. Here is a link if you want to read about it: http://www.1800petmeds.com/Malaseb+Shampoo-prod10667.html

Date: Mar 22, 2017
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Skin issues - scaling, hardening

Question:Hello, my now 11 year old dog (Rott/pit mix) was diagnosed with Cushings disease last year. He was on Trilostane briefly but the vet found it was not working well enough to warrant keeping him on the drug. Plus he was starting to exhibit neurological distress (restlessness, insomnia, excessive pacing, etc...) which Dr. said could be from Trilostane reducing hormone production, but the excess hormone also happens to reduce swelling in the brain? or something to that effect. moving on, we took him off Trilostane and decided to just treat the symptoms of cushings to make him more comfortable, which meant doing the exact opposite of what would seem like the 'right' thing and placed him on a steroid. (.75 mg dexamethasone 2x daily; dog is 83 lbs) He has been on Dex for about 5 months. and knowing this isn't a long-term solution it did help the neurologically distressing symptoms. I've only had him for about 2 years, and he's always had dandruff, scaly skin. more recently about 2 months i've noticed his skin getting cuts more easily. is this possibly from thinning? also the healing process has been slow for said cuts, and his fur is thinning and patchy in places, with yellowing crusty bumps, and most concerning is actual hardening of the skin in large patches along his back, like calluses. i was scouring the net for answers and Cushings came up as a possible cause of skin issues, Not so much the hardening (unless this is considered calcification?) but i haven't seen any treatment for it beside trilostane which i mentioned wasn't helpful for him. Do you think it would be beneficial to try some other treatments for Keratinization disorders on him like Omega 3 or Zinc supplements? BTW, the dog doesn't seem to be bothered by his skin affliction, just me. Thanks in advance for any advice/recommendation.

Answer:Those plaques sound like calcinosis cutis (the calcification you were thinking) so Omega 3 Fatty Acids probably won't help them but I would definitely try it for his flaky skin. Omega 3s seem to help a lot of other older dog issues like arthritis and heart disease.

Date: Jan 23, 2017
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Treatment

Question:Our rescue dog was just diagnosed with Cushing's. Our Vet said he is not the worst she's seen, but his levels are too high to deny. His symptoms so far have been the pot belly, excessive drinking, excessive urinating, excessive panting, rough skin on the "elbows" of his front legs, and larger than normal appetite. His coat is still thick and lush and he can still jump up on some furniture that is lower to the ground. He still enjoys walks and his stamina doesn't seem to have diminished yet. That said, given all of the side effects from the various medications while trying to narrow down an individual dosage, would it be harmful to him to hold off on medicating him until he starts to show more serious symptoms? We want him to have the best quality of life he can have. He had a serious case of heartworms when we got him from the shelter and I'm worried that once we start with the medications it may be more than his heart can take. We will be discussing this with our regular Vet as well, but I wanted to get some objective input also. Thank you.

Answer:Hi, no we recommend following your veterinarian's advice and commencing the medication. It sounds as though the disease is already quite progressed so withholding for any longer would be very bad.

Date: Oct 9, 2013
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cushing Syndrome

Question:Why Pot-belly Condition Occurs In Cushing Syndrome In Dogs?

Answer:This Is Because Excessive Cortisol In Blood Causes Fat Distention Of Abdomen, As Well As Muscle Wasting Over Spine, Leading To Pot Belly Appearance.

Date: Apr 22, 2013
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cushing Disease

Question:Rusty, Cocker Spaniel 17 Years Old...heavy Panting Sounding Like Throat Is Hurting, Excessive Water Drinking And Uncontrollable Urinating. Is This Cushing Disease, he Has Large Belly, Lumps And Skin Knots All Over Especially On His Head. Is Treatment Expensive And Is It Painful For My Dog. What Is The Normal Treatment For This. diabetes Ruled Out By Vet. High Cell Count And 1000 Alkaline Phosphate Level.

Answer:Cushings Disease Is Possible And Can Be Ruled In Or Outr With Blood Tests. Treatment Not Too Bad With Newer Drug Called Vetaryl.

Date: Apr 5, 2011
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cushing

Question:My Dog Is 14yr Old Has Cushing Diease Anything To Make Him Comfortable /

Answer:Ask Your Vet About Treatment With Approved Drugs Lysodren Or Vetaryl(trilostane) To Treat The Condition If Your Pet Is Symptomatic Of The Disease.

Date: Nov 9, 2006
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cushing (pituitary Type)

Question:I Have A Chihuahua With Cushing He Had Testing And Has A Very Good Dr. Who Has Look Into Everything He Can About This For Us. His Appetite Is Ravenous Even, Peeing A Lot Drinking A Lot Pot Bellied, Does Not Sleep Under Cover Any More Hot All The Time. Pants More Then He Use To. He Appears Extremely Uncomfortable With His Belly. He Is Also On Medication For Thyroid Condition, Has A Heart Murmur That Is On A Scale Of 0 To 6 About A 3+. I Am Trying To Find The Symptoms Of The Various Stages. I Realize Not All Cases Are The Same I'm Not Asking For His Life Span, I Know It Is Not Good Already. 1. I Would Like To Know When To Give Medication To Make Him More Comfortable. 2. Is There Anything That Will Help His Ravenous Appetite. He Was Suppose To Start Loosing Weight When The Tyroid Medication Started But We Guess Because Of The Cushing He Has Not. We Try To Cut Down On Food But He Thinks He Is So Hungrey. He Has Had Stones Removed From His Bladder. He Is A Larger Than Usual Chihuahua Anyway Between 10 And 13 Is Not Over Weight For His Size Structure. He Is 18 To 19 Lbs Now. Any Help I'm Sure Were Be Great For Myself And Our Vet

Answer:Additional Medications Would Be Determined By Results Of Cushings Treatment Monitoring Tests. Perhaps Not Getting Right Or Enough Of Medicine To Control Signs Of Cushings.. This In Turn Will Help His Ravenous Appetite. Cushings Control Best Done With Periodic Acth Stim Blood Tests At Your Vet. As Fro Heart Murmur, The Presence And Intensity Of Murmur Has No Correlation With Severity Of Any Heart Condition. Only Echocardiogram Can Determine This. Also Consider Having Your Vet Measure Your Pets Blood Pressure As Many Dogs With Cardiovascular Disease Or Cushings Often Have High Blood Pressure Which Also Needs To Be Addressed.

Date: Mar 18, 2006
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cushing Desease

Question:How Long Will A Dog Live With Cushing Desease?

Answer:Dogs Can Live For Years Of Controlled With Medicines Like Lysodren Or Trilostane But Need Frequent Monitoring At Vet For Side Effects, Efficacy, Etc Through Blood Testing. Even With Close Monitoring Some Dogs Still Succomb To Complications Of This Disease Like Diabetes, Infections, Blood Clots, High Blood Pressure, Etc, Which Should Be Monitored For And Treated At Vet

Date: Jan 7, 2006
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cushings Disease

Question:My Male Skipperke Is 9 Years Old And Has Been Diagnosed With Cushing Disease (pituitary Type). 2 Weeks Ago He Had A Grand Mal Seizure. I Took Him To My Vet And She Did Blood Work On Him. The Results Showed Everything Completely Normal, (except For The Cushings). Last Night He Had Another Seizure. Is This A Symptom Of Cushings And What Could I Expect? Will There Be More Seizures? Also Is Cushings A Fatal Disease And What Would Be The Symptomology Of This? I Do Not Want Him To Be In Any Pain At All. I Appreciate Your Help With This.

Answer:Symptoms Of Cushings In Dogs Can Indeed Vary Widely. Most Common Ones Reported(which Dont Have To Be Present In All Dogs) Include Increased Thirst/urination/appetite/panting As Well As Sometimes Pot Bellied Appearance As They Will Lose Muscle Mass Over Spine. Other Dogs Have Recurrent Skin Or Ear Infections With Sometimes Darkening Of Skin. Many Vets I Find Actually Overdiagnose This Disease Based On Simple Blood Tests But Most Important To Use Not Only Blood Tests, But Whether Dog Actually Has Symptoms Of Cushings Disease In Addition To Findings On Ultrasound Of Abdomen Looking At Adrenal Gland Size And Shape, Etc. It Is Theoretically Possible For Some Dogs With Cushings Disease To Have Seizures If Small Tumor In Pituitary Enlarges But Not A First Line Symptom I See In General Practice. Get Second Opinion From Vet Specialist In Internal Medicine In Your Area If Needed

Date: Jan 6, 2006
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cushing Desease

Question:I Took My Male Yorky To The Vet To Get His Teeth Cleaned For The First Time. He Is Going To Be 5 In May.she Had To Draw Blood For The Proceedure. The Results Was A Very High Emzime Level. She Feels It Is Cushing Desease. He Has A Pot Belly And Has Thin Legs And Is Being Treated For A Thyroid Condition. He Is Very Happy Dog And Is Very Active. He Likes To Eat Alot If We Let Him. I'm Not Sure About The Peeing Part. I Guess He Might Pee More That Usual. The Dr Wants Us To Get A Urine Sample From Him. That Will Be A Trick Becuse He Doesn't Lift His Leg.do You Have Any Advise On That And If They Do Find That He Has This.what Will Happen To Him? He Doesn't Have Any Hair Loss Or Any Skin Problems At All. Is This Cushing Desease? Or What?

Answer:I Would Be Careful And Do Indeed Ask Alot Of Questions To Your Vet About His/her Tentative Diagnosis Of Cushings. Many Vets Erroneously Diagnose This Disease Just Based On High Lab Values When Most Important Part Of Diagnosis Is Whether Patient Has Symptoms Of Cushings Disease. Certainly A Urine Sample Is Important Part Of Workup As Most If Not All Dogs With Cushings Have More Dilute Urine. Also Have Blood Pressure Measured At Vet As Many Cushings Dogs Have High Blood Pressure. Also Specific Blood Tests Like Acth Stim Test Or Low Dose Dex Suppression Test Can Be Done In Addition To Ultrasound To Look At Adrenal Gland Size And Shape Before Making Any Sort Of Diagonsis. Want To Be Absolutely Sure In This Young Dog As Treatment Can Have Side Effecs. Urine Sample Can Be Gotten At Vet If Needed.

Date: Dec 30, 2005
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cushing Disease

Question:My Parents Have A Dachsund That Is Ten Years Old And Has Cushing Disease They Have Tried All Kind Of Meds And The Dog Just Keeps Getting Worse. He Won't Eat Anything Accept Turkey. And Now Their Vet Wants Them To Try A Drug Called Trilostane And I Can Find Nothing Anywhere About This Drug. Can You Tell Me Anything About This Drug And If They Are Wasting Their Time And Money

Answer:There Have Been Some Good Reports About Tilostane In The Literature, However It Is Not Available In The U.s.


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