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  #1  
Old 05-05-2009, 04:22 PM
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haf549 haf549 is offline
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Location: Toronto Canada
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Talking Update on Kira

Hi everyone:

I wanted to let you know that Kira had another ACTH test last week and the results were very good. Her clinical symptoms have also all but disappeared (except for the panting).

Cortisol (0) 32
Cortisol (1hr) 84
Cortisol (2hr) 109

There is also a new vet at the clinic that Kira goes to and Kira's regular vet is getting the new vet up to speed. I spent some time talking to her and found out that she has treated over 100 Cush pups. That is also a good thing to know. She is very knowledgeable about the disease and it's treatment. She has mostly used Lysodren on the dogs she has treated, but says she is also very impressed with the results from Trilostane.

I just have a bit of an issue with the amount of panting that Kira is recently doing. However, she is a husky and it has gotten quite a bit warmer lately. She could also stand to lose a couple of pounds. She's not excessively over-weight, but if she dropped about 5lb it wouldn't hurt. I think between the heat, weight and arthritis, the panting is accounted for. The vet told me to note any unusual changes in her breathing. So far, so good but it is a bit annoying (especially at night, when she wakes up and starts panting).

Her blood work at the beginning of April was also good so I am just going to continue monitoring her. The vet said, that barring any unusual symptoms (lethargy - NOT... she caught and killed a bunny a few weeks ago; stopping eating; vomiting, etc) she doesn't have to come back for another ACTH for another 6 months. That's good news for the pocketbook too. The vet was also able to find a pet pharmacy that would produce 40mg tablets, so that cost is down somewhat too.

Heidi & Kira
  #2  
Old 05-05-2009, 05:33 PM
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Lulusmom Lulusmom is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

Hi Heidi,

I'm glad to see you posting an update here and am really glad to hear that Kira is doing so well. Those are some great stim numbers you posted.

I am cutting and pasting one of your prior posts (2/7/09) on cc.net that had a lot of information that will help members recall a bit of Kira's history.

Quote:
I only feed her the chicken in very small doses. Just enough to spike her dog food and get her hunting for the pieces. She's not walking away from her food; she just doesn't want to eat her 'dog' food. Put 'people' food down and it's gone very quickly. She spoiled! She'll also eat her dog food if I hold the bowl for her and believe it or not, if I feed her her food with a fork, she'll eat it that way too. That's what I mean about spoiled. She's just a real people person and that includes meal-time.

Yes, I have prednisone and on 2 occasions have used it. I'm not sure if it was really necessary at the time, but from everything I've read, they say if in doubt, give the prednisone. I only ever had to give her 1 pill and she rallied. Of course I took her to the vet the next day ASAP. Each time, everything was as normal as could be for a cush pup, so I might have over-reacted, but better safe than sorry.

Yes, she did have an ultra sound at the very beginning. Everything was normal. That's when we started doing all the other tests.

I watch her like a hawk and have seen steady improvement over the past 3 months. It was a rough start though because I don't think we got the dosage right (it was a lot of trial and error). We started with 120mg once a day. The symptoms didn't go away and she got really lethargic. Then the vet suggested giving her 120mg twice a day but I vetoed that because of what I read here on the forum. The vet had checked with a specialist who suggested that we give her the medicine twice a day. My vet misunderstood and thought the specialist meant doubling the dosage. When I balked at doubling it and suggest that we actual give her 60mg twice a day, she re-checked with the specialist who said yes, that is what he meant. So she had misunderstood what the specialist meant. Thanks to this forum and my standing my ground we didn't run into the possibility of an overdose. However, she was still pretty lethargic and still drank a lot of water. Late in December, I gave her prednisone again because of the way she was behaving (panting, laboured breathing, etc). This time when I took her to the vet the next day, her regular vet (who had been on medical leave) was back. Though not particularly well versed on Cushings, he was the voice of reason. He got out the calculator and determined that the 120mg a day she was getting was the high-end of the dosage scale for a dog her size (80lb). He then calculated what the low-end dosage would be, which worked out to 75mg per day. Since I have 20mg tablets, we decided to put her on 40mg in the morning; 40mg in the evening. Since the change in dosage I've notice that all her symptoms have disappeared and she is almost her old self again (except for the arthritis). Her ACTH numbers are also right where they should be.

She's due for her next ACTH in March and at that time I plan on asking the vet to do what they call a 'geriatric blood test'. That will list all these important numbers. When she had it done back in October, when all this started it was pretty normal. Only the ALP (ast 3388) and the ALT (AT 785) were elevated; the rest of her numbers were all normal. Anyway, this test is due in March again. I'll also mention the electrolyte test to the vet and get that done at the same time. That way she's only traumatized once going to the vet. They love her there, but she's just not thrilled at being there.

So once again, thank you for all the info. Huskies are a wonderful breed. Good natured and definitely people oriented. I love her to pieces. I've had her since she was 6 months old (got her from the pound) and she's just the most wonderful family pet. She'll be 12 in May.

Heidi
  #3  
Old 05-05-2009, 05:58 PM
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haf549 haf549 is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

Thanks for posting the old info

Heidi
  #4  
Old 05-05-2009, 06:44 PM
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Dollydog Dollydog is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

Hi Heidi,
It's good to see you here...I was hoping that you'd find this spot as I had no way to get ahold of you!
It's great to see a good update on Kira. And I was glad to see the previous info on her...it's so frustrating to not be able to go back in our stories to remind us of what has gone on before now.
I've sent you a PM,
Jo-Ann & Lady
  #5  
Old 05-06-2009, 08:13 AM
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Squirt's Mom Squirt's Mom is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

Hi Heidi,

Glad to hear from you and Kira. And such good news, too! That is something we all love to hear!

Did you have rabbit stew? I cooked squirrel once...or tried to anyway. Supposedly, squirrel dumplings are really good to some folks. All I know is they were so nasty cooking in the pot that I gave up and had my husband carry pot and all out to the woods and leave it! It took ages before the smell left the house. I decided if he wanted squirrel dumplings, he would have to go to his mom's for that, I refused! UCK UCK UCK

Hope Kira continues to do well!
Hugs,
Leslie and the girls
  #6  
Old 05-06-2009, 08:20 AM
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jrepac jrepac is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

Squirrel dumplings? Oh my, oh my!

Rabbit stew, ok....but don't know about squirrel.

However, my Aussie would love to have a chipmunk or two for lunch....as she chases them thru the yard...

LOL!

Jeff
  #7  
Old 05-06-2009, 04:39 PM
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haf549 haf549 is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

Squirrel dumplings???? Yuck!!

No, I didn't cook the rabbit. It was late at night, so I bagged it and placed it outside the gate to the backyard. I didn't want Kira going after it again, if I had to let her out during the night. When I went to retrieve it the next morning, it was gone; bag and all. Probably a coyote or fox.

I felt really bad about the bunny and considered telling Kira off. But then I thought... she's got Cushings, arthritis, etc. Good Girl!!! That she had the initiative and the wherewithall to catch the bunny made me happy.

Heidi
  #8  
Old 05-06-2009, 07:14 PM
maggiebeagle maggiebeagle is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

My Maggie prefers possum.
Hasn't bagged one lately though.


Virginia and Maggie
  #9  
Old 05-07-2009, 06:23 AM
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jrepac jrepac is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

LOL! A few years back, my Aussie (Mandy) went outside and came back with a "surprise" for me.....she dropped a small bird at my feet (it was DOA)....Ick!!!!!

The stuff they can get into is amazing at times...I have some adorable baby bunnies nesting in my yard and I'm keeping Mandy away from their little nest....otherwise she might bring me another little "prize"

Jeff
  #10  
Old 05-07-2009, 04:06 PM
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haf549 haf549 is offline
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Default Re: Update on Kira

Kira has brought me a few birds in the past years. And of course, she's been skunked 2 times. Now that's really awful!!! I also worry about her going after a racoon, because the critters will face down anything. I found one sleeping on my lawn chairs a couple of months ago. When I tried to shoo it off, it just looked at me like "what's your problem lady??" It didn't move until a smacked it on the rear with a broom. Even then, it moved verrrrry slowly.

Heidi
 

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