Posts tagged "health"

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 3

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 3

November 19, 2018 Posted by Cushing's Syndrome, Diagnosis, Dogs, Pet Health, water intake 0 thoughts on “Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 3”

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 3

This is part 3 of our in-depth look at Cushing’s Syndrome, a condition that affects many dogs around the world and is caused by an excess of cortisol in the system. For an explanation of what Cushing’s Syndrome actually is and how the condition can affect your dog you should check out part 1 of this series, published a couple of weeks ago.

Last week we talked about the various steps and tests your vet may use to diagnose Cushing’s. If you suspect that your dog has Cushing’s be sure to read the post to learn about the diagnostic process. This week we’re keen to talk about life after diagnosis, the treatments that are available and what kind of life your dog can enjoy.

The Outlook For Dogs with Cushing’s

Having Cushing’s isn’t ideal, but it isn’t the end of the world either.

Medication

Most dogs with Cushing’s syndrome are recommended lifelong medical treatment with Trilostan. It can take time to find the correct dose, which can vary greatly between dogs.

If you suspect your dog has Cushing’s, or if he/she has already been diagnosed with it, you need to be aware that your vet will need to take blood samples regularly to monitor the effect of the medication and avoid any side effects.

Pro Tip! It is common practice to perform an ACTH stimulation test to control the dose. However, studies have shown that measuring cortisol levels before administering the Trilostan, or three hours thereafter, are potentially better monitoring methods than the ACTH stimulation tests.

Too high a dose of the medicine may cause symptoms like:

  • – vomiting/diarrhea
  • – fatigue
  • – nausea
  • – decreased appetite

If you notice any of these symptoms during treatment, consult your veterinarian immediately.
It may indicate that the dose is too high and there is a risk that your dog might end up in an “Addison crisis” if it’s ignored.

Surgery

If the tumor is located in one of the adrenal glands, it may be removed surgically, however, this is an advanced surgery that carries a high risk of complications.

If the tumor is found in the pituitary gland, surgery may be considered if the tumor is pressing on the brain and causing problems. Operations for this type of condition are currently carried out only in the Netherlands. After surgery, medication will still be required throughout the life of your dog, and there will remain a risk of relapse.

Too high a dose of the medicine may cause symptoms like:

  • – vomiting/diarrhea
  • – fatigue
  • – nausea
  • – decreased appetite

If you notice any of these symptoms during treatment, consult your veterinarian immediately.
It may indicate that the dose is too high and there is a risk that your dog might end up in an “Addison crisis” if it’s ignored.

Iatrogenic Cushing’s

Iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome, caused by medication containing cortisone, usually resolves itself when the cortisone is discontinued.

What if I just ignore it?

If you love your pet this is not advised. If Cushing’s syndrome goes untreated it will gradually cause more severe symptoms, seriously affecting your dog’s quality of life in the process.

Available medical treatment will improve your dog’s symptoms, and with the correct dose the dog can go on to have a good quality of life. If the tumor is malignant, it can unfortunately spread to other organs to shorten the dog’s life.

Don’t forget to share this blog post with anyone you think will benefit from it. We publish a new blog post each week so follow us on social media for our updates and you’ll know as soon as a new one is available.

Until next time…

I’m a veterinarian with almost 10 years experience in small animal practice. I’m originally from Sweden but moved to Copenhagen to fulfill my dream of becoming a vet. I’ve been working in Denmark, United Kingdom and back home in Sweden. Animals, especially dogs, has always been a big part of my life. Being a vet and helping animals and their owners, feels more like a privilege than a job.
Alvin, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel follows me anywhere I go.

Caroline Edvinsson

DVM, GPCertSAM, CEO @ TERST
Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 2

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 2

November 13, 2018 Posted by Cushing's Syndrome, Dogs, Pet Health, water intake 0 thoughts on “Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 2”

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 2

Our blog post last week began discussing Cushing’s Syndrome and how it isn’t just for people as it can also affect dogs. If you missed it last week you can find the blog post here where we went over the symptoms of Cushing’s, how it affects dogs and how the condition comes about in the first place.

Do you suspect Cushing’s?

If after reading through our list of symptoms you suspect your pet has Cushing’s syndrome, it would be handy to comb through your pet’s disease history, as well as any clinical examinations, for any clues. Blood and urine samples will also give you and your vet more information and help to shed light.

Blood tests will highlight changes such as:

  • – increased levels of the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • – increased white blood cells
  • – platelets
  • – blood sugar
  • – cholesterol

 

These would all indicate excessive cortisol levels. A urine sample will reveal further data which may indicate Cushing’s. There also exist some tests specifically designed to confirm the diagnosis of Cushing’s. These include:

  • – examining the urine cortisol/creatinine ratio
  • – the low dose dexamethasone suppression test
  • – the high dose dexamethasone suppression test
  • – the ACTH stimulation test

Some of these tests takes several hours to complete, so your dog will need to remain at your vet’s through the day. It is also common practice to perform an ultrasound to check the liver and adrenal glands.

If you know someone whose dog is affected by Cushing’s be sure to share this blog post with them. The 3rd part of our discussion of Cushing’s Syndrome will follow next week.

Just follow us on social media for our updates on when the next part has been posted. We’re very active there and it would be great to connect with you!

I’m a veterinarian with almost 10 years experience in small animal practice. I’m originally from Sweden but moved to Copenhagen to fulfill my dream of becoming a vet. I’ve been working in Denmark, United Kingdom and back home in Sweden. Animals, especially dogs, has always been a big part of my life. Being a vet and helping animals and their owners, feels more like a privilege than a job.
Alvin, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel follows me anywhere I go.

Caroline Edvinsson

DVM, GPCertSAM, CEO @ TERST

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