Our little lass & Cushings disease…

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  • #61567
    hidehi
    Member

    Hello all
    I haven’t posted much recently due to all sorts of things, but I do check in from time to time. 

    We are in a dilemma at the moment because our 14yr old westie has been having a few problems.  This week the vet has taken urine & blood samples and he suspects that she may be suffering with either Cushings disease or hyperthyroidism, although he’s leaning towards Cushings.  The next test is for her to spend a day at the vets having 2hourly bloods taken to monitor her natural steroid levels.  He has said that even after this, the results could still be inconclusive.  However, IF it is Cushings, he will need to determine which type because one can be treated with medication, the other requires surgery. 

    Because of her age, we agreed to rule out surgery, but I still question whether it is fair for us to subject her to the next round of tests.  I should mention also that Lucy is almost blind due to a dry eye condition she has had for a number of years and her hearing is poor. 

    I hope I don’t sound cold when I say this, but I’m not sure how far we should go with this.  THe vet has not advised us either way, other than to say if we decide not to proceed, then we will have a tough decision to make.  ANy kind thoughts & advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    #81330
    kizkiznobite
    Member

    it sure is hard when they get old – all i can say is that i believe they should go over the bridge with dignity and 14 is a brilliant age and you have done her proud to now – only you can decide if the quality of life she has would /have is worth putting her through all this at her age – we are lucky – we have a brill vet that will say things like – well we could do this and this and this but to be honest at her age would you really want to – which makes it clear where his thought are and that helps to relieve the doubts – we lost our holliesocks a couple of weeks back – she was 16 so i know what you are going through…

    my thoughts are with you

    #81331
    hidehi
    Member

    Thank you Kiz for your kind words and I am very sorry to hear about Holliesocks…I can’t stop my eyes filling up as I type this.

    The vet would like me to ring him next week either with a decision or for more info, so he is being good about it…

    #81332
    Anonymous
    Guest

    If the outcome of the test is cushings and it was the type that needed surgery then your mind is already made up,  as Bev says 14 is a great age for any dog, if I was in your position I would let her go now 🙁
    Thinking of you :-*

    #81333
    kizkiznobite
    Member

    what symptoms is she showing hidehi ? is she distressed ?

    #81334
    kizkiznobite
    Member

    re the dry eye? has she been getting steroid treatment – drops/cream etc over any period of time ? long term use?

    #81335
    hidehi
    Member

    Thanks Jaydex, that was my thought too.  If we knew for sure that she had the type of Cushings that needed surgery, the decision would be made for us…

    Kiz, no I don’t think overall she is distressed, although she does flinch & shudder to things she’s not expecting but I suspect that is due to her lack of eyesight rather than anything else. 

    The main reason I took her to see the vet, was because of her frequent weeing round the house for no apparent reason.  Even with both back doors open she forgets to go outside.  Sometimes she gets it the wrong way round too ie. will wee first and then wait at the door to go out, which made me wonder whether she had dementia.  The urine is also very dilute and she is drinking heavily. We tried Propalin syrup to start with, but this didn’t help. Also, I’ve noticed her coat has thinned over recent months and even others have mentioned it.  She’s not missing clumps, its just that you can see pink skin through her coat. 

    The dry eye treatments she has had over the years are optimmune and viscotears, so no steroids.  We used optimmune on and off rather than continually and have stopped altogether now. Viscotears is what we use all the time now, several times a day.

    #81336
    kizkiznobite
    Member

    to be honest hun – i would not be considering surgery at all – the likelihood is that she has a tumour and that will have spread by now…also at her age then subjecting her to a GA and invasive treatment would have it’s own risks

    enjoy what time you have left and then let her go is my advice

    hugs

    #81337
    hidehi
    Member

    We are not considering surgery at all Kiz.  What I meant was that if we knew for sure that it is the type of Cushings that needed surgery, then the decision to say goodbye would be made for us…

    #81338
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi,

    If it were me – I would think about how much stress this 24hrs monitoring will cause her.  e.g. how do you think she’ll handle the kennel environment, and the tests themselves.  From what you say she’s already part blind, a good age and showing some signs of confusion – will it be stressful and disorientating ? 

    Also, bearing in mind you could put her through all that and still not know any more, or find she needs operating on and you’ve already decided thats too much for her, or its treated with medication – there are bound to be side effects, will she have a happy good quality of life on long term medication anyway – maybe read up what the chemicals do etc… ?

    I think I would let her go, tough on you but fair to her.

    Claire x

    #81339

    On the other side of the coin here-  I know a 15 year old collie get diagnosed and she lived for another two years with medication, only you know whether its worth having the tests done – but if it can be controlled with medication then it doesnt spell the end for her.

    YOu have to decide if shes well enough to cope with the tests etc which will follow.  :-*

    #81340
    hidehi
    Member

    Thanks everyone, you’ve all helped me to focus a little better.  We will continue to think about over the next few days…

    #81341
    travis
    Member

    Good luck with your decision hidehi

    #81342
    GSPmad
    Member

    I had a little google and thought these links might be of some help:

    http://www.kateconnick.com/library/cushingsdisease.html

    http://www.vetstreamcanis.com/ACI/February08/VMD2/FactSheet052.asp

    It does say in the first one about it sometimes causing neurological problems under the pituitary dependent section, and about those sometimes getting worse after treatment under the prognosis bit.  🙁

    Good luck with your decision.  :-*

    #81343

    I think it can be hard to treat – with the tablets, i know a customers dog took a good year if not more to get her stable, at one point they consider pts as it got so bad, wouldnt know anything was wrong now  🙂

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