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Old 04-15-2009, 08:57 AM
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Squirt's Mom Squirt's Mom is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bauxite, AR
Posts: 175
Default Re: Jesse just diagnosed with Cushings

Hi Patti!

I am so glad to see that you and Jesse made it here! Kim is an angel, huh? And so is Natalie for giving us this spot.

First, some questions....whoopie! Is the test you posted the low dose dex? Is this the only test Jesse has had? (If so, you do not want to start treatment just yet!) Does Jesse have any other health issues beside the Pancreatitis? Is he on any other meds, supplements or herbs at the moment and if so what for? What diet/feed is he on? What signs does Jesse exhibit? What prompted you have him tested in the first place?

Cushing's is a difficult condition to diagnose and it takes a series of tests to get a definitive diagnosis. The tests that are used are the LDDS (low dose dex), HDDS (high dose dex), and ultrasound. We also strongly suggest the full adrenal panel from the Uni of Tn in Knoxville (UTK) especially if one is planning to use Trilostane. Trilostane always elevates one or more of the intermediate or sex hormones. Pups can have these other hormones elevated, which is a condition called Atypical Cushing's, and the Trilo will probably make things worse instead of better as it will increase instead of decrease these hormones. Atypical presents with the same signs as conventional Cushing's but is treated differently.

As for being scared of the meds. I understand that as they are powerful drugs. But it isn't the drug that needs to be feared; it is inexperienced vets, or those who don't follow the established protocols for diagnosing the disease, and/or administering and monitoring the meds. When you hear of something going wrong with treatment the cause can usually be traced back to the vet or the lack of diligence on the parents part, which is usually because they weren't told what to look for by their vet. If handled correctly, the treatments are no more dangerous than aspirin, which can be deadly, too, if misused.

One thing you need to understand is that Trilo is no safer or less toxic than Lysodren even tho many vets and parents seem to think so. Trilo has not been around as long as Lyso and therefore does not have the track record that Lyso does and fewer vets are familiar with it. As Trilo is used more and more, I feel you will hear more and more horror stories about it. Trilostane had its own peculiarities, too. Both drugs are life savers in the hands of an experienced vet and diligent parent, but do not be mislead into thinking Trilo can't cause the same issues that Lyso can.

I understand fully how distressed you are over this whole thing with Jesse. I was a total basket case when my Squirt was diagnosed! For weeks on end all I could do was cry, then for months I cried off and on as I tried to understand what was happening to my Sweet Bebe. But my head was so frazzled I couldn't understand a thing that was being said or that I read. It was all GREEK and scared the crap out of me! Then I finally found and these wonderful folks took me in and gently led me along until I started to understand a tiny bit. They have continued to lead me, teach me, and hold my hand to this very day, 13 mos. later. The pros here (which I ain't! ) are simply amazing and are more than happy to share their experiences, knowledge and support with any who ask. We are here to learn, share and care together, and I am glad you and Jesse have joined our little family.

The most important thing you can do for Jesse is to educate yourself on Cushing's. You are his first and last defense, his only voice, his advocate, and the more you know, the stronger you will be in these roles. There will be a list of links at the end of this post to get you started. Please ask any questions you have and we will do our best to help you understand. There is no such thing as a "dumb" question! That is how we learn.

Again, I am so happy you found us and I really look forward to learning more about you and Jesse in the future.

Hang in there!
Leslie and the girls

the links

General Cushing's info:

Kate Connick*

Long Beach Animal Hospital*

Drs. Foster and Smith*

Newman Veterinary*

Cushing’s signs and pics*

BMD Health Library*
(scroll down to see Endocrine Diseases)

Mar Vista Animal Medical Center*


Atypical Cushing’s*

UT Panel