Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cushing's Disease update

Its been nearly a year since I wrote the first post about Velvet having Cushing's Disease, and wanted to share what's going on with her now.

What ended up happening last year after that post was that one Vet said it was Cushing's Disease, another Vet said it was Kidney Disease, and a third Vet said the tests were inconclusive. (There are 3 vets at the office where I take her.  I imagine if there had been a 4th one, I would have had a 4th different opinion.  The last vet wanted me to take her to Cincinnati for an ultrasound that would hopefully be more conclusive (the other 2 vets weren't 100% what was wrong with Velvet either, so still, no medicine).  I told him, that was just too much.  I'm not taking a 15 year old dog, on an hour+ drive to have a $200 test that may or may not give me a conclusive answer.  Velvet sheds like a I-don't-know-what just going from here to the vet.  By the time we would get to Cincinnati, she would probably be bald.

So, I did my own research.  I found that she has a lot of the symptoms of Cushing's Disease, and not so many of Kidney Disease.  She has the distended stomach, diluted urine, unable to control it sometimes, going often, losing a lot of fur, and drinking a lot of water.  More recently she has developed weak muscles, is panting a lot and seems more hungry (if that's even possible, haha).

What I did last year was change her food and treats to ones for older dogs, and with fewer ingredients.  Once she had finished her antibiotics (ended up being about 6 weeks worth), she was like a new (but still old) dog.  So, for a year, everything has been been fine, or at least manageable.  We taught her to use pee pads for when we're not home, and take her out more often.  She always has water available and I try to keep an idea of how much she drinks each day.  Some days she doesn't drink at all, so I add water to her food.

A few weeks ago, I woke up on a Saturday morning to a very sick dog.  She was panting non-stop, very shaky, and very lethargic.  So I took her to the vet, thinking "this is it."  It turned out to be an infection, and the Dr. said "due to her unresolved kidney disease."  I know he just said that to explain why she had the infection, but I couldn't help but feel that he disagrees with my choices.

More on that later.
To be continued...

*Note: these are just our own experiences and what we have learned.  Please don't take it to mean that I am knowledgeable about this subject, only how it affects my dog.

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