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Discussion Starter #1
Copper had to go back to the specialist (oncologist) for his lump. it is still diagnosed as an abcess/infection. She is keeping him on antibiotics (clindamycin 300mg 2X daily) for another 2 weeks and wants to recheck in 3 weeks. sooner if it recurs after he finishes the antibiotics.

She checked his thyroid last week and it is normal. Now she thinks he might have Cushings disease.
His ALP is elevated (300) and he had a dilute urine specific gravity (excessive drinking?). they recommend a ACTH test and abdominal ultrasound to check for cushings. I didn't even ask what that would cost. Right now I have to get his abcess healed and get him off the antibiotics. then I will see what other tests I can afford.

He also has a skin infection and needs to be bathed with chlorhexadine shampoo. I'll pick that up tomorrow.

On an up note - he loved going there and really enjoyed himself. They even reaspirated the lump and his tail just slowed down for a minute.

Does anyone else know anything about cushings? They keep hitting me with new stuff!!!!!!!
 

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where the tails wag
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I cannot tell you about Cushing's but I can say that my Casey needs to have his urine samples taken first thing in the morning or they come back with a low specific gravity ... but his last check came back perfect from a 1st thing sample.

Good luck with your Cooper
 

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I don't know anything about Cushings in dogs, but I used to show a pony who developed Cushing's in his older years, and was eventually put down because of it. I just wanted to say my thoughts are with you. I did a quick google search, and it does sound very managable in dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have also heard of this in horses, but not dogs until today. When I asked the vet about the severity of the disease in dogs, she said it is not nearly as bad as horses and it does sound probably manageable.

Copper has had so many issues though that the treatment would even scare me, but I'd have to agree if it would give him a better quality of life.

She says that Deramax or Rimadyl are not a good idea due to his propensity to pancreatitis. She did think the GlycoFlex is a good supplement and I will get that for him. She did prescribe Tramadol for pain if he is having a bad day since he has tolerated that well before.

He also has a skin infection and I need to wash him in Chlorhexadine shampoo. That happened earlier this summer too and that is one symptom that is making her think he might have cushings.
 

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IKE- Canine Blood Donor
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I knew a Golden with Cushing's many years ago. I thought it was a type of cancer, but I just googled it and it's not, thank goodness.

Here's a bit of the info on the page:
Cushing's disease is also known as hyperadrenocorticism, or an increased level of glucocorticoid hormones (cortisol, or hormones similar to cortisone) in your dog's body. This is caused by an over-production of cortisol by the adrenal glands. This over-production, in turn, can be caused by a hormone known as ACTH, which is secreted by the pituitary gland (in order to instruct the adrenal glands to produce cortisol). In addition to this, the high levels of cortisol may be caused by a defect in the adrenal glands themselves, though it is much more common for Cushing's disease to be related to problems with the pituitary gland (and its subsequent secretion of ACTH).

Dogs with Cushing's disease don't always show definitive symptoms right away. It's been suggested that a dog may show symptoms of this disease up to six years before a positive diagnosis for Cushing's disease is received. Also, many of the symptoms of Cushing's disease resemble the symptoms of aging in dogs (hair loss, muscle weakness, loss of bladder control), so might not provide an immediate cause for veterinary attention.

http://www.cushingsdiseaseindogs.org/
Here's the site with more info.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Paula. I looked at that site, but still don't know what I think.
Incorrect treatment of cushings can cause Addison's disease.
Copper has trouble with many medicines now because of whatever........

He also has a poor hair coat, pants a lot, has lost a lot of muscle in his hind legs and probably drinks a lot. To be honest, how much is a lot????
These could be age issues or due to his other health issues this year.

I guess I'll find out how much the ACTH test is once this abcess/infection is healed.
the internal specialist gives him a big break on abdominal ultrasound, but it is still about $120.:doh:

I know where my christmas money will be going.:);):p: He is worth it.
 

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Missing Tasha, Sky, & Ral
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I do not know anything about Cushings Disease but wanted you to know that you and Copper are in our thoughts and prayers. Please let us know how he is doing. Give Copper a big hug!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I keep thinking I sound like a crybaby whiner with all of these issues. It was terrible last week when I thought he had a mast cell tumor and even the oncologist was convinced of that until she did the aspiration.

BUT - Copper is a happy boy who gets around pretty well. He is still enjoying life and I am loving having him. I do not want to give the impression that he isn't just a truly happy dog who asks for nothing other than some chest rubbing and snuggling. thank goodness he actually likes going to the vet since he is there a lot. It mostly has hurt my wallet - not him.:p:

When he had his spleen and a stomach tumor removed last February, he was up and moving quite well 4 days later and went on a 3ish mile trail ride 2.5 weeks later. Just nothing gets him down and that is wonderful!!!!!

THESE PICTURES FROM LAST FEBRUARY - NOT NOW. It just shows how how nothing gets him down. This was only 3 days after his surgery.
 

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My vet has thrown out "early stage cushings" for Toby, too.
If I were you, I'd probably get the blood test for cushings done, and wait on the ultrasound until you get the results of the blood test.
BUT
remember, the antibiotics cause the liver enzymes to go up temporarily in many, if not most, dogs. Toby's ALT goes up 100 points or more when he's on them. And his urine is dilute every now and again, too.
I think you'd be very, very safe to just heal up the current problems, wait a couple of weeks, and then see how you feel about just having the blood test done.
Really really.
They thought that cushings might be why Toby keeps going around with mange. But we haven't tested for it, and probably won't for a while. My vet says it can smolder around at subclinical levels for years.
I do board several dogs with cushings, it's generally treated with anipryl (sp?) and it's quite manageable.
 

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I really do not know much about Cushings. My coworkers little dog had it. (I said past tense but it was not due to Cushings....just his time).

Anyways, I know he was on meds and it was manageable. I am pretty sure the meds were relatively cheap as well.

I sure hope Copper gets better soon! For your sake and his! Keep us posted!
 

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Jester & Piper's Mom
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My first golden was dx'd with Cushings. I believe now that he was in the very early stages of the disease. He was treated with L-Deprenyl (which is a very strong med) and his levels crashed to Addisonian It was a roller coaster ride of tests and med adjustments for about 6 months. It probably could have been managed and I know of dogs who have lived long lives with the disease but we eventually found out that Kody had lymphoma (unrelated) so the Cushings took a backseat.

Here is an informative article on Cushings:
http://www.lbah.com/canine/cushings.htm
 

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Cushing's can be a real pain to diagnose. At one point, several vets were positive that my old Cody boy had Cushing's. They did all the expensive tests, from ACTH stim test to low-dose dexamethasone to ultrasound. I insisted on a six-panel thyroid test, which came back low normal, and again, insisted on soloxine. Lo and behold, all Cushing's symptoms disappeared after about six weeks of thyroid meds. In your shoes, given all of Copper's issues and your pocketbook, I'd just do the ACTH stim test when you are able, and if you haven't had his thyroid checked recently, do that as well. Meantime, please give him a smooch from me and tell him to hang in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He had his thyroid checked last week because of these symptoms. It is normal, but I don't know the number. I'll find out. I had my thyroid removed about 8 years ago so I am familiar with all the weird symptoms an off reading can cause.
 
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