14th April 2007, 12:07 PM
Chester has Cushing's Disease
I gave Chester a haircut at the beginning of last year and within 3 months all his hair grew back then i gave him another haircut september of last year and by december it hadn't grown back on the top of his neck all the way to his tail, so i took him to our vet that we'd been taking him to for 6 years and i asked if there could be any medical reason why it hadn't grown back on top when all the rest of his body was growing back and he said that it was probably just old age and that it would eventually grow back. (Chester is 9 and a half).
Fast forward about 6 weeks, we moved house down on the south coast and i took him to a new vet to get him checked over and the vet asked me if i had given chester a hair cut recently and i told her the situation so she suggested he may have Cushing's Disease. Well, my heart started racing because at that time i had no idea what it meant, so she explained that the lack of hair re-growth on chester's back was a symptom so she gave him a good look over and checked his heart - New News - he has a mild heart murmur. Then she explained all the information about Cushing's Disease and gave me a little booklet on it. Apparently, it only occurs in about 7% of all older dogs so naturally chester had to get something fairly rare! He He!
At this point i was extremely angry that my previous vet didn't pick up either of these things!
So, now came an ultrasound to check the size of his heart and blood & urine tests to confirm Cushings. On a funny note, i had no idea how that got a urine sample from a male dog and my dad asked the vet if they just followed the dog around with a little plastic cup waiting for the dog to pee and they said exactly right! Ha Ha! Duh! I felt a bit sheepish!
Blood tests came back - no sign of Cushings, but the vet was still pretty sure that he had it so she said he needed another diagnostic test where they give him a small dose of cortisone and take samples just before, 1 hour and 2 hours after the dose and his levels should have dropped, i can't remember the exact technical details but to cut a long story short, the test finally confirmed that he had Cushing's Disease.
We had to put him on a trial of 5 Lysodren tablets over 5 days, have 2 days rest then go back for another blood test to check his levels and determine how many tabs he'll be on each week for the rest of his life.
So now chester is on 1 and a half tablets per week for three months and then another blood test then check his levels again, then another three months and another blood test etc for the rest of his life.
I'm not worried about the new changes, i love chester so much and would do absolutely anything for him. Because we caught the cushing's early he won't suffer any adverse affects of the disease whilst he's on the medication thank goodness and the ultrasound of his heart showed that his heart isn't enlarged yet, but as soon as it starts to increase he'll be on heart tabs but we'll check it again in about 9 months time (the vet said in a year but i don't want to wait that long to check it just in case).
Sorry everyone for the long post but i just needed to share it with people who understand how precious our cavvie babies are to us.
He has been on the tablets for about 8 weeks now and his hair is 95% grown back on his back so he's looking like his old gorgeous self, and he's been on a diet for the past three months and he looks much slimmer than he did. We had to put him in kennels for three weeks whilst we moved so he put on a bit of weight!
He's happy as can be now and i'm glad he's going to be okay, i couldn't bare to lose him if we hadn't picked up the disease early.
Again, sorry for the long post!