Cushings Disease - Labradors Forums
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cushings Disease

Hello

My lab who is 9.5 years is having tests today for Cushings and I have never heard of it before. They think its that but she also has scabs on her tummy that came from no where. We have been to the vets 3 times in the last 3 weeks for blood tests, Metcam etc but they think now its Cushings.

Has anyone else had a lab with this problem? I dont know if this means the end or if it can be treatable. I dont want her to be in a pain. It so sad as I love her so much.

Please can anyone offer advice?

Thank you
Felicity and Dilly
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Cushing's disease. Quite nasty, you need your wits about you, but treatable. My old Anna developed it at about the same age, and finally died at 13.5 from a totally unconnected problem.

Cushing's can have one of two possible causes, the most common being a tumour on the Pituitary. The other is an Adrenal problem. But the end result is the same, an over production of the hormone Cortisol.

The test for Cushing's is the ACTH Stimulation test. What happens is your vet takes a blood sample and analyses the cortisol level. He then injects some of the hormone ACTH into the dog, and an hour later takes another blood sample to check the difference in cortisol level. (ACTH is normally produced in the Pituitary and acts as a trigger for producing cortisol in the Adrenal.) Treatment is usually with the drug Vetoryl given in tablet form. Dosage is very important and so vets usually carry out ACTH Stimulation tests at regular intervals, initially to establish the dose level, but after to make sure nothing is changing (Which it can and did with my Anna.) Important things are that the Vetoryl is given at exactly the same time each day, that the ACTH Stimulation test is performed at an exact time after the medication and that the time between the two halves of the test is exactly one hour. (The hormone levels fluctuate naturally during the day, so a test at a different time will produce a different result.)

Cushing's is the exact opposite to Addisons disease, (Addisons being an under production of cortisol.) and untreated both are killers! But the problem is that too much medication for one will push the dog into the other. That's why dosage is so important. My Anna went into an Addisonian Crisis several times, so that eventually I got to recognise the symptoms and took the necessary action (reduction of dose) without waiting for my vet.

Yes, Cushing's is hard, but it is something which with care you can live with.

Regards, John
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Thank you

Hello John

Thank you for your advice and really appreciate it.

It is such a strange disease and one I have never heard of but I suppose it might be quite commone in Dogs. Hopefully we will get on a plan with the vets and everything will be sorted and she wont be in pain. Its good news that your dog lived until 13.5 which is a fantastic age so hopefully Dilly will be a strong girl.

My only problem is it might be something else as they found these scabs that came up on her stomach they think might be cancer. They came from up suddenly in the last 3 days as I never saw them.

Anyway thanks again and its great to have a forum like this to discuss issues. Helps a great deal.

Felicity and Dilly
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hormonal problems such as Cushing's, Diabetes or Thyroid problems normally cause thinning of the coat, particularly the feathering on the hind legs. It can also cause dryness of the skin, which "Could" cause a certain amount of scabbing. (I've also had a diabetic Labrador!)

Both Cushing's and Addisons can also happen in humans. But as to dogs, one friend's bitch also had Cushing's, and another friend's dog died from Addisons. That particular dog contracted Addisons many years ago, before the present day diagnostics, and sadly by the time it was realised what was wrong it was too late to save the dog.

Please let me know how things progress.

John
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Old 20-08-2019, 03:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default cushings .....to Scabs

Hey John

Well she doesnt have Cushings! Hurrah. but I know have another problem. She had scabs on her tummy which they have sent to a be investigated for Ringworm and it isn't. They gave me medicated shampoo and the scabs went away but are now back again. I have now idea what they are. I can pick them off and it doesnt seem to be hurt her. But today she was sick (that could be nothing to do with it). She has been sooooo happy and back to her self but today it has all started again. I am going to the vets as a planned appointment to look at where we go from here. She has had cancer about 2.5 years ago on her left hind leg where they removed the cancer ( it was a huge amount) and she has been fine. I know the vet is going to ask me to take a biopy for the scabs.. had anyone had anything like this? I have tried to google it but have come up with skin sensitivty to skin cancer,

any comments gratefully recieved. This is a roller coaster ride and i was so happy for her over the weekend.

Felicity and Dilly
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Old 20-08-2019, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Glad it's not Cushing's.

But the scabs. . . . . On her tummy points towards maybe something she is laying on?? Something she is brushing through when going for a walk??

Let me tell you a little story. This happened to me many years ago before Labradors walked into my life.

At that time I had a male Dalmatian, and every evening he developed spots on his tummy and sides, almost like a heat rash. By a couple of hours later they were gone, only to return around the same time the next day. It was then that I started linking the spots to going out for a walk. His walk consisted of about 300 yds along the road to a footpath. The footpath was around a quarter of a mile then into a field. Although on lead along the road he was off lead once on the footpath and fields. So I watched him and where he went. He enjoyed a good sniff in the undergrowth along the footpath, including pushing into some stinging nettles. Sure enough, we had not been home long when the spots appeared again. So the next night I took a walking stick with me and knocked the stinging nettles down, and that was the end of his spots!

OK' I'm not saying it's nettles, but you may spot something. The photo below was my Dalmatian, seen here with my father. I'd guess around 1970. (I was taking the photo.)
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Old 20-08-2019, 06:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What a lovely Dalmation! yeah it could be that I dont know. She rolls all the time and I live by the sea so it could something like that. Will keep you informed and thank you for all your help.
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