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Old 12-01-2008, 07:59 PM
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Default Cushing's Disease? =\

I have a 6 (will be 7 in March) year old Papillion mix. A few months ago, he started shedding his coat in clumps. I started worrying, but my vet said as long as there were no bald spots (which there weren't) he was fine; my dad suggested it was with the stress of moving (he lived with my parents his whole life and moved into my apartment a few months prior, but this didn't start until a few months later), and with the changing seasons (it was cold then hot then cold then hot). A few days later, I saw a bald spot near his haunches, and then a bald spot right on his butt. He gained a lot of weight, even though his diet didn't change (other than not getting nearly as many treats/extra scrap food) and his exercise stayed the same. He's always had really bad allergies, and they got a lot worse recently, which they normally do in the fall. I had been giving him one Benedryl every morning, then I upped it to two, and then he got a cortisone shot almost a week ago(no fleas). He's still itching. The shot normally does the trick, but it is a new environment and I embarrassingly enough don't keep my apartment as clean as my mom keeps her house, and the outside isn't as clean, so it could be different environmental allergies with all the dust, etc. His coat is really drab now; it used to be really fluffy and full, but his tail is about 1/3 the thickness, and his whole coat is just...icky now. But that could be the allergies; I haven't been around for the past couple of falls, but according to my parents his tail normally thins in the fall and thickens in the spring. He wont' go up the stairs anymore (but he'll go down), and he doesn't jump nearly as much, but he has gained weight and he is slowing down big time, so that could be a cause of that. He doesn't play, run, or walk as fast as he used to. He sleeps a lot more.

To top it off, over Thanksgiving he peed in both of my grandparents' houses (which he's been to dozens of times before and never done), and the first time he had just been out 20 minutes prior. He hasn't peed in the house in years.

As far as the increased appetite, that's hard to tell because he's always been a pig. His skull and muscles look the same.

My parents and fiancée keep telling me that I'm reading into it too much and that he's just getting old and fat and not to worry about it. I keep worried that if I let it go too long that it'll turn out to be Cushing's, but I don't want to jump the gun.

If he were yours, would you take him? I suppose since I'm the only one I know who wants to take him that I'm starting to doubt myself, and I just need someone else to say "take him now" to give me that extra shove.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:02 PM
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Take him to the vet, even if its nothing, or even if it IS something, it will ease your mind

and I would rather take him, and it be nothing serious, than to sit around and it could be serious, because if it is serious, the sooner you catch it, the better chance you'll have
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:15 PM
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The best way of being sure is to get him tested.

I have a 6 year old with Cushings. He started showing signs a couple years ago. It first started with his hair getting thinner in the torso area, to eventually getting completely bald in the same area, it didn't start in patches. His legs and head part were fine. He wasn't itchy in the least, but did have sores that looked like pimples that ruptured into open wounds. The other significant symptoms where his thirst and needing to urinate, especially at night (sometimes 4 times a night) and a constant need to eat. And that constant was very obvious then just begging for food, he would get into the garbage constantly. He didn't have weight gain, he's still very skinny. He didn't seem to be lethargic prior to his med but after being on his meds I did notice a difference when he started acting his usual energetic ways....it just didn't seem obvious at the moment.

Some symptoms may be similar but not all dogs show the same symptoms. If you notice anything different with your dogs health it's best to see your vet. It could be many other factors such as diabetes or thyroid issues.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:48 PM
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I didn't even think of diabetes. After my fiancée mentioned tonight about how med students start diagnosing themselves and family members and it's never anything, just them over analyzing it, I started wondering if I was over analyzing (I am a known worry wart/over analyzer), but through talking to people, they're giving me the little shove I need.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:58 PM
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I would deffinatly get it checked out! It does sound very suspiciously like cushings. Either way i would make a vet appt.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:59 PM
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Good news! It shouldn't be Cushing's. He just had an allergy shot a few weeks ago, so she couldn't do the Cushing's test since the cortisone would interfere, but turns out he has a urinary tract infection and a borderline low thyroid. She said normal is 1.1-1.4, and he's at 1.2, so he has an appointment in a month to get his thyroid rechecked and to check for Cushing's just in case.

But he's been on his antibiotic since Friday, and the proportion of the higher quality food vs. Iams has been upped, and he's doing beautifully! He's back to his old hyper self with that glint in his eye, he's jumping again, has lost another 1.5 pounds, and his coat is softer, smoother, shinier, and whiter than it ever has been.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:43 AM
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Great to hear !!
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