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Discussion Starter #1
in doing a Cushings Disease test? Is there anything envasive or is it something simple like a bloodtest. Kelly will need another one soon, but he's had serious problems with envasive procedures recently so I want to find out more information about the test before talking to his vet.

Thanks for an information you can give me.
 

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My recollection is that it is a blood test.

dd

from Vet Info:
The diagnosis of Cushing's can be done with several blood tests. A general hint of Cushing's can be obtained by a blood panel. To confirm it, a test known as a low dose dexamethasone test is done. A baseline blood sample is drawn in the morning, an injection of dexamethasone given and a follow-up blood test done 8 hours later. In a normal dog, the dexamethasone should suppress cortisol levels in the blood stream. In Cushing's disease this effect does not occur. Once the disease is diagnosed, it is possible to differentiate between the adrenal tumors and pituitary gland tumors using a second test, a high dose dexamethasone suppression test. Most dogs with pituitary tumors will have cortisol suppression on this test. There are other tests used, including ACTH response tests and urine cortisol/creatinine ratios to diagnose this disease. X-rays and ultrasonography can help determine if an adrenal gland tumor is present.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks so much for the information. If he tests positive for it, is there anything short of surgery that can be done for him?
 

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One of the dogs I grew up with had Cushing's and it was treated by very expensive pills given daily. I believe she must have had a pituitary gland tumour - she lived for a number of years with Cushing's and eventually died of DM. Glancing at the Vet Info comments it seems treatment will vary according to the type of tumour.

Here is the full Vet Info link for you:
http://www.vetinfo.com/dencyclopedia/decushings.html

Hope this helps.

dd
 

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Way back then - and this is some 20 years ago - the pills were $1 each.

Edited to say - yes! about the tail hair loss Shawneeshep talks about. It was sad and pathetic, very ratty looking. A heart-breaking tail.

dd
 

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Honey will be at the vet all day for the ACTH test. It's a serious of blood tests. They take a baseline test, then inject him with hormone, then take another test, then inject him again. It's a hassle, but not particularly painful. Unless Kelly just HATES getting blood drawn, or injections.

The urine cortisol/creatinine test simply sent us in that direction. It told us that my dogs liver levels were off. I don't see how a reputable vet would ever diagnose Cushings off a urine test.

You can *conclusively* confirm the existence of the tumor with an MRI. Since my girl's ACTH tests kept coming back inconclusive, then negative, then inconclusive (oh, yeah, it was fun...we did a quite a few of these!), I would have gone this route before starting the meds. The most commonly used medicine, Lysodren, is a really strong drug and can have severe side effects. I wouldn't have put my girl on it until I was convinced it was necessary. Sometimes, vets are pretty cavalier about Lysodren. But when I read about the "crash" that can happen, I got pretty concerned.

If my dog definitively had Cushings, I would have used it. Surgery has its own risks. But I was going to be positive that this med was necessary. Turns out, we got a couple negative ACTH test results in a row, so we just stood back and retested every year til, well, she passed away from heart disease at 12.


I like this website for accurate info on Cushings: http://www.kateconnick.com/library/cushingsdisease.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, thanks everyone for the information.
None of Hooligans ever get anything that requires cheap drugs, the more expensive the better!!! Keep Mom broke is their motto!!!

I called the vet today and wanted to make an appointment for his next test, but the new receptionist couldn't figure out his records. I'll call back in the AM.

I was hoping the test would produce a result and he could take a pill to correct the problem. But it sounds much more complicated tracking down where the problem is originating.
 

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Originally Posted By: ArycrestI was hoping the test would produce a result and he could take a pill to correct the problem. But it sounds much more complicated tracking down where the problem is originating.
Gayle, you're kidding, right?

A simple test and a simple pill?


My dogs always come up with the funkiest set of symptoms; require a ton of bizarre (not to mention expensive) tests, and the result? Always? Never anything other than? "Inconclusive."

I can't imagine that the Hooligans would let you have it any easier than my Kids give me. That's what makes them so lovable. They make our lives fascinating. We could, after all, be getting manicures and playing golf at the country club with all that spare money and extra time. But no! We're at the vet, and researching weird symptoms on the internet.


But the friends on the internet are MUCH nicer than country club "friends" would be!


Let us know what his test results are.
 

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Gayle, I am sending positive, healing, liver-flavored vibes to Kelly. May the testing go well-- wishing the best for Kelly!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone!!!


I made his appointment for Tuesday - 8AM - YUCK - I hate having to get up early to have to go somewhere!!! Then I'll pick him up at 5:30 - I made Mac an appointment for then to have his ankle rechecked.

I read a link someone posted in another thread. So far Kelly doesn't have any symptoms of Cushings Disease except for sparse spots of hair and the liver problems that point to the fact there's a chance it may be Cushings.
 

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Oops, just seeing this thread. Good luck tomorrow.

The vet suspected Chama might have had Cushings so she this test done:

Urine Cortisol:Creatinine Ratio: In this test, the owner generally collects a urine sample at home (where the animal is not stressed). The sample is sent by the veterinarian to a special laboratory for testing. Most dogs with Cushing's disease have an abnormal result. However, there are other diseases that can also cause abnormal results. So if this test is abnormal, further diagnostic testing should be performed.


Her score was high but not high enough to indicate Cushings so no further testing was done. The symptoms she had at the time have gone away.
 

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i have to agree with everyone, my dogs also will only come down with the things that cost me a arm and 12 legs to mend. i ahve taken to offering my youngest daughters current boyfriend in exchange for vet care now, lol for some reason the vet keeps telling me that she is getting jipped if she does that. oh well, lol
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, today was a good day for the Hooligans!!!


Before they started Kel's Cushings test they did the full liver panel AND his ALT is holding at about 230, everything else was normal. So with that information, his doctor cancelled the test.
He'll continue taking the amoxicillin.

When we were talking I asked her to run the Michigan thyroid panel because of the sparse hair, he looks moth eaten.

And Mac's ankle is LOOKING GOOD. She feels the bone will never go down to normal. I'm taking him in next week for an x-ray so they can double check to make sure the infection is gone. But so far ... so good!!!
 

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Good news Gayle! So relieved to hear it!

And cedar is really good for getting rid of moths.
Try hanging those little strips from Kelly's collar!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom...
And cedar is really good for getting rid of moths.
Try hanging those little strips from Kelly's collar!
 
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