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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

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 - 15 of 65
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Date: Feb 22, 2020
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: ALP level 900

Question:My 6 year old dog's ALP level was 800 last month, this month it is 900. We did the steroid cushings test and it came back negative, his platelet count is also increased, what could be causing this, he did have 3 types of bacteria growing in his eyes and 1 year ago had cryptosporidium could that have caused this problem. Please help!!

Answer:Cushing's disease is still possible. Liver disease is as well. Ask your veterinarian if a product like Denamarin might be a good idea to try to lower his ALP phos levels. Here is a link to read about it: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Denamarin+Tablets+-prod11008.html

Date: Feb 20, 2020
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Special Diet for Cushing's Disease

Question:My 8 year old lab has had Cushing's Disease for several years. The medication is helping but is there any special diet that would help ease his symptoms?

Answer:There are no specific dietary concerns, in general, for Cushingoid dogs, as long as they aren't diabetic or have other issues at the same time, so any good, quality diet is usually fine.

Date: Feb 18, 2020
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: multiple medical issues

Question:my Havanese is nearly 11, 2 years ago she had some dire medical issues - she is diebetic with two shots daily, has Cushings Disease and is blind from cateracts - and has few teeth left. Recently she has symptoms that appear to be Vestibule Syndrome. How do I know when it is the right time?

Answer:I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's the hardest part of pet ownership! Your veterinarian is definitely the best one to answer these type of questions because s/he knows your dog and her entire medical history much better than I do and can examine your dog directly. Geriartic vestibular syndrome can look really bad and then they can potentially recover from it fully.

Date: Jan 19, 2020
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Drug interactions

Question:Is it safe to give heart guard to a dog on Vetoryl .

Answer:Yes.

Date: Jan 16, 2020
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: medication

Question:My dog is 8lbs.. she has been on Vetoryl 5mg twice a day for 6 to 8 months. There really is no change in her appearance. Pot belly, loss of hair, dark skin, boney areas, Her personality is curious interested in everything...pees and poops regularly. Becomes very frightened when I bring her to the Vet. have not since September.. She does shake and have tremors about one hour after she is medicated..I believe it is caused by the med she is getting.. I have tried to shield her from stressful situations. Vet..Groomers

Answer:I don't see an actual question here but I probably couldn't answer it anyway without access to her old blood work so her veterinarian is probably the best one to ask.

Date: Jan 11, 2020
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hair falling out

Question:My older dog 14,with Cushings, is losing hair. Im small clumps with brown skin pieces. Almost like my previous dog who was passing from cancer. Ive tried dinovite, shampoos, fish oil... Do you think this is end of life type issue or cushings impact.

Answer:Hard to say, but probably Cushings - have your veterinarian recheck his/her blood levels and you will know for sure.

Date: Dec 3, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: ACTH TESTING

Question: My dog diagnosed with Cushings disease. y question is My vet started him on Vetoryl . We did bllod work 4 weeks later to see if this is the proper amount of medication. Well 3 blood test later still working on medication . I think they are doing ACTH wrong and thinl they have been doing ot wrong. They have my dog fast and give his medcation in morning about 7 am and his blood work is at 8:30 is this right

Answer:All of that sounds exactly right. (Cushing's disease can be very hard to regulate, even when you and your veterinarian are doing everything right.) Here is a good article about Lab Tests for Cushing's disease, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951511

Date: Nov 26, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Diet

Question:Is there a diet that will help with Cushings

Answer:Not really. Here is a good article about Cushing's disease, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951983

Date: Nov 15, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Vetoryl (Trilostane)

Question:Hello, my dog is on Vetoryl 5mg po qam. The results of her most recent ACTH Stimulation test on 9/28/19 was Pre-ACTH Cortisol: 2.8 and post ACTH Cortisol 5.2. I asked my vet about increasing the dose to 5mg twice a day because I noticed her appetite and thirst start to increase around 3pm to 5pm but my vet wants me to keep her on the AM dose only based on these results. My dog's previous ACTH Stimulation Test on 6/28/19 also on Vetoryl 5mg po qam was Pre-ACTH Cortisol 2.2 and Post ACTH Cortisol 4.1. Back on 1/4/19 (also on Vetoryl 5mg po qam) it was Pre-ACTH Cortisol 0.7 and Post-ACTH Cortisol 1.6. At that time, my vet told me to discontinue Vetoryl. Her symptoms returned so on June 1, 2019 she said to restart the Vetoryl 5mg po qd. What does it mean that the post ACTH Cortisol has been increasing on the same dose? One of the reasons, I wanted to try twice a day dosing in addition to controlling her symptoms, is that I read excess cortisol is immunosuprresive and treatment prolongs the dog's life. I want to prolong her life for a long as I can. When she was first diagnosed in Feb. 2018, her Alkaline Phosphatase was over 4000 and with treatment, it went down to 2, 264 on June 1, 2019 so if I increased the dose to Vetoryl 5mg po bid, would the ALP go down even more and therefore, help prevent or delay any organ damage caused by Cushing's Disease?

Answer:Managing Cushing's patients is really a balancing act. The side effects of the medication can be worse than the disease itself, so it's good that your veterinarian is cautious. You can always ask for a referral to an internal medicine specialist that specializes in Cushings disease to get her very tightly regulated.

Date: Nov 11, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Vetoryl dosage

Question:My dog has been on 5mg of vetoryl once daily for almost a year. His symptoms have been controlled until recently they have returned. My vet wont increase his dosage because they said it goes by weight. He weighs about 15-18 lbs. I thought his dosage goes by response not necessarily by weight but Im not sure. Can you answer my question? Thank you

Answer:His weight, blood work and response to therapy should all be factored in when making a decision to increase. Vetoryl, like many drugs, can have serious side effects so you usually want to use the lowest possible dosage.

Date: Oct 25, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Shih Tzu with pancreatitis

Question:My dog is a 10 year old Shih Tzu. He was diagnosed in 2012 that he can't have penicillin or steroids. He had test done on 10/18 called ACTH Stem Series 2 test checking him for Cushings. They gave him an injection on that day. He started with diarrhea and throwing up on 10/20. Was diagnosed on 10/24 with pancreatitis. Could the test he had done on 10/18 have triggered the pancreatitis???

Answer:Probably not - his underlying problems that they are testing him for probably did.

Date: Oct 15, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Small dog weighs 10 pounds

Question:The dog has cataract which caused by cushings disease. We are debating if the dog should be given eye surgery. If he does have a surgery, will recovery be very slow, or not at all?

Answer:Speak directly to the ophthalmologist that will do his surgery about his prognosis - they will need all of his blood work to see how well-controlled his Cushing's disease (and/or diabetes) is before they will be able to answer you.

Date: Aug 30, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lab Results

Question:I was hoping to speak to someone about my dog's lab results, I am looking for another opinion. My vet seems to put it down to stress and I'm wondering about seeking out a second opinion or if I would be wasting my time. My phone # is 972-390-7923 thank you Karen

Answer:We have no way to do phone consultations on this platform, but there are sites on the internet that have phone consultations with veterinarians for a small fee, like Justanswer.com.

Date: Jun 27, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cortisol levels

Question:Zoe has had 3 sets of normal cortisol levels on her current dose of vetterol and is symptom free with good energy for a 15 yr old dog. Is there really a need to continue checking cortisol levels every 6 months? Is it reasonable given her age to hold getting levels unless she becomes symptomatic?

Answer:I would definitely continue checking her levels, at least every 6 months. They age much faster than we do, so that's like us having blood work run every 3.5 years.

Date: Jun 15, 2019
Category: Cushing's Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Food

Question:My dog got a large liver among other things, that I have to find out when I take her to the specialist. My question;what kind of food I have to give her?, she is mix breed, 23lb and she is 1313 years old.

Answer:It really depends on exactly what is going on with her - just having an enlarged liver doesn't mean it isn't functioning properly but there are specific foods for almost everything now, including liver failure, so work with the specialist who can look at everything (her, her blood work, ultrasound, x-rays, etc) and determine the best food.


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