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One of my sister's dogs, Chichi the Obese Rebel Chihuahua. has been diagnosed with Cushing's Disease. It's affecting her adrenal glands.

My sister's vet is wanting to take fairly aggressive action against the Cushing's, but my sister is pretty hesitant. Chichi is no spring chicken - she's at least 13 and possibly 14 years old, and her health isn't the best.

So surgery is definitely out, but my sister is having some doubts about whether treating it with drugs is even a good option --- i.e., what kinds of side effects are they looking at, etc. If possible, she'd just like to leave Chichi be and not treat, but she's concerned that might be an even worse decision that treating.

?

Has anyone here ever dealt with Cushing's? Any sage advice for my sister or comments on the kinds of drug therapies available and the side effects they might be looking at (if any)?
 

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Hi Biscuit- Hansel, our 16 year old dachshund, has been on Lysodren for 3 years for Cushings. It supresses his over-active adrenal gland, and has helped with his symptoms of drinking huge amounts of water and constant urination. We have to have him tested yearly to adjust the dosage. The medicine is expensive, about $90.00 for 6 months, and the blood work is up there too; I think it was $150.00 the last time we had it done. He has done really well on this up to now. He has always been a cranky not-very-nice dog, and now we think he may live another 3 or 4 years: "Only the Good Die Young".

[ January 21, 2005, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: murraysmom ]
 

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\"Only the Good Die Young\".  
LOL! That definitely describes Chichi --- she's a whooper!

But it doesn't sound like Hansel has had any problem with negative side effects. That was my sister's concern, that the cure might be worse than the disease. So thanks! That's good to know. :)
 

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I've not had personal experience with Cushings though have known bassets with it. If you google Cushings there's a lot of information and I'll try to come up with some decent links. But in my searching I can across Dr. Mike's site and I've always been pretty impressed with his advice. In his opinion the medications don't prolong the life of the dog. Whether to treat or not would depend on the severity of the symptoms. What are Chichi's symptoms?

See the first post here for a discussion of the meds. Dr Mike-Cushings

[ January 17, 2005, 09:05 PM: Message edited by: Barbara Winters ]
 

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Like Hansel, Chichi is a cranky old broad :D . She drinks excessively and pees way too much, although she isn't a flooder. ?. Her weight is distributed oddly, not so much pot-bellied but more that too much is around her shoulder area --- not sure how to describe --- she doesn't really have the shape of a dog anymore, but more of a tiny wrestler.

The thing is, she's had these symptoms for as long as we can remember. Chichi was a spur of the moment pound doggie that my sister got maybe 5 years ago? But the vet has only now diagnosed Cushing's, which I find kind of peculiar, even though her symptoms seem to fit.

The Dr. Mike articles reflect my sister's thinking pretty much. I think her main concern is whether the progression of the disease would be worse than the treatment, or vice versa. It sounds like it might be a bit of a toss up.
 

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Here's an excellent e-mail list for owners of pets with Cushings.

CUSHINGS-PETS Mailing List

[ January 18, 2005, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 

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Thanks, Betsy --- great resource. From the bit of reading I did there, it looks like my sister's going to have to really think this over. No clearcut answers, IOW, but a fair tilt toward treatment. Maybe the e-list will help clarify things a bit.

Poor Chichi! :(
 

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My 12 year old Barney Basset has started drinking huge quantities of water. My vet thinks it may be Cushings although he does not appear to have any of the other symptoms--huge appetite, coat loss, muscle wastage, not wanting walks etc. He has had blood tests, Xrays, ultrasound scan and an ADHC (not sure if thats right!) test which was inconclusive. I do not want to have invasive surgery. He is most precious to me. Can anyone help please. Thankyou
 

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Has the vet tested for diabetes insipidis? They will drink massive amount of water and produce lots of urine if they have this. It is rare but may be worth considering?
 

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I'm so sorry about your Barney. I have no experience with this disease.

But I think loopylou is right some how you have to find out what he has before you can treat it.
 

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The most common reason for Cushing's syndrome is exogenous administration of glucocorticoids determined by a healthcare practitioner to deal with other diseases. This is often an effect of steroid treating a number of disorders for example asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, or even in immunosuppression after a body organ transplant.
 

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The most common reason for Cushing's syndrome is exogenous administration of glucocorticoids determined by a healthcare practitioner to deal with other diseases
debateable in humans not the case in Dogs. in which the vast majority of cases is the result of tumor of the pituitary 80% or aderenal gland.
 
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