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Old 05-09-2009, 07:49 PM
DeAnna2 DeAnna2 is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

Frijole said (milkthistle ... I just buy it from GNC in capsules. I pour 1/2 of a capsule in her food in the am and the other 1/2 at night.)

What strength of Milkthistle?

(Are there any other cushings symptoms like ravenous appetite, drinking tons of water, peeing in the RV, hind leg weakness/shaking, hairloss, etc? )

Yes all of the above now for about 2 or 3 weeks, as to hairloss i have just noticed his coat looks thinner, tommy the most. He also doesn't have the stamina he had 6 months ago.

No testing for Cushing has been done so far. We just found all this out on May 6th. Because we will NOT be treating the Cushing, we will not be doing any testing.

The only treating for Cushing we will do is by Herbs, as soon as we find out what is best.

Both Vets are telling us, from the blood work done, that he has Cushings. What kind... didn't know there were kinds....

is he on anti-histamine

No not at this time. We are able to help with the upset tommy by feeding him twice a day and in between feeding him "dried Liver Treats, by Dr. Foster & Smith co"

It seems the Cushing is helping tooo with histamine.. Good/bad news.

(I ask because atypical cushings is treated with flax, lignans and melatonin - all natural.)

Now this is interesting, All three would not harm him if he does not have Cushing.... Can you tell me Please... how much of each would i give?

What is Lignans?

Melatonin????? i used to take this to help me sleep... how does it help a dog with Cushing???

Hope i didn't miss any questions.. if so please let me know... As for VETS.... because we are full time RVers and traveling it's very hard to impossible to work with a specialty Vet.

The Vet (Cal) we work the closest with, is our friend from Wis. Been with him for close to 50 years, first the father and now one of his sons. Cal, told us he will be willing to work with other Vets as we travel around.. Problem is, Vets are different then human Drs. They can't practiced bewteen states...

Today we tested his blood every 2 hours, here are the results:

8:am = 427 before feeding and shot of 6 units
10: am = 364
12: pm = 282
2: pm = 312
5: pm = supper and shot of 3 units, no blood test
7: pm = 284

We decided to give him 3 units at supper because we saw his blood glucose was rising at 2. Our Vet, Cal said to start with 6 units in morning and if we see it's needed, do 3 units at supper. We may have to increase the supper shot to 6 units.. not sure???

I see from the post that he should be getting his shot 12 hours apart... we did bad today as we gave him his second shot 8 hours after the first...

If i understand correctly, we should feed him around 7 am, wait 30 minutes, give shot of 6 units, then feed again at 7:PM, wait 30 minutes and give shot of 3 or 6 units.. is that right?

What happens if one gets up late or gets home later then 7 pm at night???

How serious is the 12 hour thing?

What happens like today, when the shots were only 8 hours apart?

My DH (dear "darn" Husband) doesn't see it a problem as to, when we give him his shots. But i do, from what i read on this form, it seems very important to keep them 12 hours apart.

Please forgive so many questions..
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:56 PM
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BestBuddy BestBuddy is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

Injections should be fairly close to 12 hours apart with food. You only gave 3iu at the 8 hour mark so it should be ok but if you are giving a full dose (6iu) it could cause problems. The reason you are waiting 30. minutes after food to inject (guessing) is that you need to make sure the food stays down.

Regulation is much easier when the amount of food/insulin and times stay the same but you can vary then 1-2 hours in an emergency and still be ok.

Cushings can make it extremely hard to get good regulation with diabetes but until you give the 2 injections daily for a few days you won't know how this will affect Tee Jay.

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Old 05-09-2009, 08:04 PM
stardeb55 stardeb55 is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

DeAnna, my 1st Cushpup, Barkley, had been successfully treated for Cushing's for about 6 years when he developed lymphoma, so I really do know what a fine line you are having to tread. I was working with 3 specialists to take care of Barkley & all of us made the decision that the cancer would kill him, long before the Cushing's would. In your case, as others have indicated, your priorit is going to have to be the diabetes, as I'm sure you know diabetic complications can be life-threatening.

Concerning your question about the high cortisol making the diabetes more difficult to control, I really like the way Natalie (k9diabetes) describes the problem:

High cortisol means, high blood glucose.
There is one suggestion I would like to make when it comes to Cushing's treatment, which is a drug called Anipryl. Anipryl is normally used to treat canine cognitive disorder, & is really not considered to be a first choice of medicine to treat Cushing's as it usually does nothing to lower the high levels of cortisol. Where it might be helpful for you & TeeJay is with symptoms, as it is known to help ease some of the symptoms such as the excessive drinking & urination which usually helps improve the pups quality of life.

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Old 05-09-2009, 08:49 PM
frijole frijole is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

Hi - I see you have 2 threads going. I answered here instead of the cushings one since getting the diabetes under control is more important and the diabetes "experts" are over here.

Milk thistle is an herbal supplement said to support liver function. I read about it and alot of cush parents use it. I didn't even try it til my dog had been on regular medication for quite a while. On blood panels the ALK PHOS levels in cush dogs are elevated. Mine was still quite high so I decided to give the herbs a try and they went down significantly (50%) so I have stuck with them. Its hard to know but I don't consider it a coincidence.

Dogs that have atypical cushings are the ones that take melatonin, flaxseed/lignans. Here is a link :


I have not used them as my dog has pituitary cushings. I HAVE used melatonin with my dog. I'm not sure if it serves additional purposes with atypical dogs but I have used it when she is restless at night (very common with cush dogs) and it calms her just enough to sleep and quick pacing/walking on my head!

From your response there was no specific test done for cushings. (?) It sounds as if the vet did a blood panel and ASSUMES cushings. If this is the case I wouldn't be so sure the dog has cushings. Natalie who has alot of experience with diabetic dogs said the same thing (earlier post here) so I think we focus on the diabetes for now.

I'm glad you found us.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:59 PM
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eyelostit eyelostit is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

Hi DeAnne,

I'm sorry your doggie is going thru all of this and how worried you must be.

Ditto on the 2 meals a day and 2 injections, usually the injections are the same dose. I would ask your vet in CA about the vetsulin dose 2x day and usually a 2x day dose is less than a once a day dosing.

Its good you are testing the bg

This is a link to a holistic recipe some have used for cancer.


I'm glad you found us.
Dolly & Niki passed 2010, 45 lb Border Collie Mix 8 yrs as diabetic, 13yrs old. Blind N 10.5 U 2 X * Dog is God spelled backwards*If there are no dogs in Heaven then when I die I want to go where they went. Niki's food Orijen & Turkey & Gr. Beans, See you at the bridge my beloved & cherished Niki, I miss you everyday
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:31 AM
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rhodesian46 rhodesian46 is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

Hi and welcome,
I have a boxer named Kahlua who has had mast cell cancer. Noticed growths under the skin and some were on the. I immediately had them cut out and sent to a pathologist. They came back Stage 1 and Stage 2 mast cell. Stage 3 and 4 are not so good. Kahlua has had 3 surgeries so far. Last 2 wasn't cancer. SO is there no hope in treating this cancer? Has it spread to the rest of his organs? Has the lumps been removed with good margins? Have you considered radiation? I do a full body check on her and check her lymph nodes every 2 weeks

I also had a Siberian Husky named Pebbles who had Cushings,diabetes and hypothyroidism. She went to Texas A & M Vet School and was treated by some of the best Vets in the country. Nat had mentioned them as well. The IMS said that the diabetes would not be under control until the cushings is. I see that you haven't had any Cushings testing done. Was he tested for hypothyroidism( Free T4 or T4) THis test is added to the blood work. Also another enzyme ( Alt) was not listed on your post. Was that normal? Does the vet think that the liver enzymes are elevated because of the cancer? Sorry to ask so many questions.

I would try to make your appointments with an Internal Med Dr as they are more experienced than a regular vet. I know that you want the best care that is available for your baby. I am glad to red that you are home testing. Pebbles wasn't on Vetsulin but was on Wal Mart human insulin(Novolin N) I do know that Vetsulin's protocol is injecting 2x a day. 12 hours apart. When you have a diabetic dog your schedule revolves around the dog. I would make sure I was home. My life revolved around her. my husband did know how to inject just in case I couldn't be home.
Marianne and canines: Jasmine( diabetic since 4/10) Puma,Harley,Sebastian,Sophie and cats: Yoda,Sabrina and Cleo. Also Baby Boy (my cockatiel) & Angel Pebbles
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:51 AM
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Squirt's Mom Squirt's Mom is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

Hi DeAnne,

Welcome to you and Tee Jay!

I can't help with the diabetes at all but you are in the best hands for that here!

My Squirt is on melatonin and lignans for now. She weighs about 14 lbs and takes 3mg/day of melatonin (recent change from 3mg twice/day) and 40 mg a day of purified lignans. You want to use the plain melatonin that is not time released, extended, etc. It is usually available in several dose sizes but I would think the 3 mg is what Tee Jay would need. The usual dose is 3 mg twice a day.

Lignans can be used as purified in capsules, in an oil base, or as crushed flax hulls. The oil base, FSO w/lignans, is given at 1000mg/day; some dogs don't handle the oil very well and to me I wasn't comfortable with not knowing the exact amount of lignans she would get via the oil. The crushed hulls are a new option and I am not very familiar with them but I understand they are given at close to the same dose as the purified lignans we use, 40 mg a day.

Squirt is also on these herbs: Burdock glycerite 4-5 drops/day, milk thistle glycerite 2-3 drops/day, astagalus tincture 2-3 drops a day.

Melatonin is something I would suggest you research in depth. I had some links saved about it then restored my system and lost all that. But it seems melatonin had some benefit in certain cancers....this is from my faulty memory bank, tho, so don't take it as fact just yet. I will research some more as well and see if I can find that info for you.

Of course, do talk to a vet before you start anything with Tee Jay to be sure it won't worsen the diabetes or other problems he already has.

I have some links to give you on what I have talked about above as well as some others you might find interesting or helpful. I will also include a couple of links to ladies who design diets holistically and have had successes with cancer clients.

I hope Tee Jay does ok and is able to enjoy his days on the road. What an exciting life that must be!

Leslie and the girls

lignans as flax hulls:

Purified lignans:

Catherine Lane

Catís discussion group

Monica Segal

Monicaís discussion group

Diet/Recipes for Cancer in dogs
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:39 PM
DeAnna2 DeAnna2 is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

Thank you, Leslie, the girls, and rhodesian46

We will pick up some Milk Thistle today, Burdock glycerite and astagalus tincture i have never heard of.. are they teatments for Cushing?

We are giving him 6 iu twice a day now for the Diabetes... His blood count is down to 337 in morning and about the same at night. We tried to draw blood from his ears.. but he said it hurts... So now drawing it from inside his lip... He doesn't seem to even feel it... good news for both of us...

Tee Jay still doesn't feel good.. sleeps most of the time. when we walk him, his ears are back and turned.. not the normal way he carries his ears... He doesn't seem to want to take a walk any longer then 15 to 20 minutes then he heads home. We are trying to walk him twice a day.

As for the Mass Cell Cancer, surgeries are not an option. The main Cancer is on top of his back just over his Kidneys. It would have been too dangerous to remove the amount of tissue needed.

We are doing no treatments other then what he eats... we make sure he gets no Rice, Wheat or corn and no Carbs of any kind... if you read up on Mass Cell Cancer you will find that "some" Vets believe the four listed can cause Cancer... and for sure, with Mass Cell, will cause it to grow faster.

As for radiation, our Wis. Vet, Dr. Cal, felt it would be to hard on him.. we agreed and would not want to put Tee Jay though that... Plus we are retired and living on a fixed income... The cost is beyond our means.

We only want to make his remaining life with us as comfortable as possible..

Our other Cairn Terrier who had Mass Cell, she was only 5 years old... we didn't want to let go, did the surgeries, but they did no good, by the end we put her on morphine for the pain.. She lived only 2 years after being diagnosed, Vet didn't think she would live that long.. Karrie, her name, only wanted to die... and we didn't let her, till she told me in plain terms.. it was now... i will not do that again to a loved pet... as soon as we see Tee Jay's quality of life can no longer be maintained, or he is in pain, we will put him to sleep. I love him too much to see him suffer.

This Thursday we have another appointment with the local "young" Vet...

As for testing for Cushing we feel (along with Wis Vet) with all the health problems Tee Jays has, it would be to no avail... we still would not treat the Cushing, other then by Herbs...

It does sound like we should have him tested for hypothyroidism. Will asked this Young vet.... on Thursday.

Has this Cancer spread... ??? good question. Because of were it's located it very well may have.... With out a UltaSound it's hard to tell... For the life of me i can't understand why NO VET in this 150 mile area doesn't see a need to have a UltaSound Machine.... to me that's crazy... The town we are now parked in, is about 28,000 people.. plus a few smaller towns around. If a UltaSound Machine is toooo costly for one Vet... one would think they could go together and share it.. but who am i... just a customer with a very sick dog who could sure use one.

Does the vet think that the liver enzymes are elevated because of the cancer? Both Vets, Local and in Wis. feel Tee Jay, has Cushings, but with out the dreaded UltaSound, checking to see if Cancer has spread to organs.. can't say for sure.

We will be leaving this area next week, maybe... don't want to leave till Tee Jay's Blood sugar levels are better under control... but..... if we do leave, who knows, maybe we will find a better Vet near West Yellowstone.

OH almost forgot... i did asked this "young" Vet about treating with Herbs.. he said he knows nothing about it or has he ever read any thing about Herbs for teatment in dogs... This local Vet.. knows the basics.. Cute and nice guy though.. in his cowboy boots and jeans.. Even though, i'm "over the Hill," being in my mid 60's, i still can look...

This is a wonderfull life, Full Time RVing... unless someone gets sick.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:43 PM
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BestBuddy BestBuddy is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

To get a better idea on how the insulin is working you will need to test a couple of times through the day. A curve every 2 hours would be the ideal but even a couple of tests though out the day will help to see what those BG numbers are doing.

Diabetes (and cushings) are hard on the immune system so infections happen really quickly. I wonder if the ears need a bit of attention because of the way you describe him holding them? Also watch out for urinary infections.

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Old 05-12-2009, 08:43 AM
DeAnna2 DeAnna2 is offline
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Default Re: New, help, cancer, diabetes, cushing

Originally Posted by BestBuddy View Post
To get a better idea on how the insulin is working you will need to test a couple of times through the day. A curve every 2 hours would be the ideal but even a couple of tests though out the day will help to see what those BG numbers are doing.

Diabetes (and cushings) are hard on the immune system so infections happen really quickly. I wonder if the ears need a bit of attention because of the way you describe him holding them? Also watch out for urinary infections.

We did a curve a few days ago... will do another tomorrow the day before we see Vet on Thursday. As for his ears.. Tee Jay didn't feel good, hence his ears were not up and alert. This was at his morning walk. Last night we walked him again... and he was almost his old bouncy self.. ears on the alert.. doing his cute "i'm a proud Terrier, walk". his BG levels were 282 last night..

This morning he is back to "i don't feel good" and BG were 387 before feeding and shot.. interesting how it jumbs around even on shots twice a day.

We were able to find Milk Thistle at local health store. It's 175 mg Milk Thistle seed Extract capsules with Turmeric Root extract powder 50 mg and Artichoke Leaf extract powder 20 mg. We are giving him 1/2 capsule with each meal.

Hope this mix is OK? Could not find just pure Milk Thistle. the folks at health food store could not get over that we were spending so much money on our dog... Thought the comment was funny.... they must never see people buying herbs for pets.

Also picked up Echinacea/Goldenseal= Alcohol free, 1 fluid oz. we are giving him 4 Drops out of the serving size of 40 drops.

Today we are going for a all day ride to do some sight seeing.. as always, he comes with... we also are going to carry Honey with, just in case he needs it.

The Local Vet talked about not stressing him... wonder how we can do that with our lifestyle. He is used to how we travel around.. so at what point does it become stress to him..??

We hope we are doing the right things for Tee Jay.. right now we feel

Thank you all for your carring and help. It means so much to us.
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