Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bark For Life - 4/30/2011

Ivy enjoyed the Bark for Life event this morning! She bobbed for kitties (toy), tried out the obstacle course (fail), met other dogs (fun), watched the frisbee dogs, competed in the treat eating contest, got lots of pets from strangers, and rode in the car. Best day ever!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Update on Baby-Day 8

Baby appears to have a better appetite in the evening versus the morning. She does eat her food very slowly and she tends to leave a little in the bowl. This morning I had to wet it down for her and get her interested. She seems to prefer her treats to actual dog food and has no hesitation in eating them. Maybe she’s being temperamental?

Activity Level:
We walked around the block last night with no problem; she seems to have the best energy level in the early evening. In the morning she seems lethargic. She readily gets up to go outside and eliminate, but after eating she lies down and somewhat hesitates to rise when called. As I said, evenings are much better.

I have also noticed she has some weakness in her hindquarters. She’s having some minor issues when jumping up onto furniture. She also has some intermittent trembling. Drinking and elimination are normal, although she has been having 2 BMs in the evening.

Should we skip an evening dose and see if that improves her morning appetite?

All things considered, we’re happy with her progress. She seems so much more at ease now.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


This morning brought a significant change in Baby's appetite. She did not immediately eat her food when it was presented, it took a minute or so for her to get started and when she did it was slowly and she only ate half of it.

Last night LacubriousToo took her out in the yard and she wandered around actively. She's still playing with her toys when prompted.

Stools are normal.

Water input/output is reduced as well.

The ACTH stim is scheduled for May 3rd.

-- Post From My iPhone

***Vet's response***

"This could be potentially worrisome, meaning that the medicine does not usually have that dramatic of an effest that quickly, however it is posssible that Baby's Trilostane dose is too high. I would like you to monitor Baby for 24-36 hours. If her appetite and water intake do not improve or continue to decrease, then give us a call tomorrow and we will reschedule her stim for this Friday to make sure that her Trilostane dose is not too high."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4 Doses and all is well...

Another update...Baby has had 4 doses. She had one loose stool but all others are ok. Appetite and water intake seem closer to normal, still excessive but not as intense as before. The panting is completely gone! I'm hopeful she continues to progress on this treatment.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Baby got her first dose tonight of the Trilostane! Fingers & paws crossed!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The results are...

LDDS Test Results on Baby confirm that she has Cushing's. Most likely PDH, Pituitary Dependent Hyperandrenalcorticism. Meds are on order from Roadrunner Pharmacy and should be arriving tomorrow!

Dex Suppression (3 Samples)
Time 815
Time 1215
Time 415
Cortisol Sample 1 5.6 Range: 1.0-5.0 μg/dL HIGH
Cortisol Sample 2 Dex 4.3 Range: 0.0-1.4 μg/dL HIGH
Cortisol Sample 3 Dex 5.2 Range: 0.0-1.4 μg/dL HIGH
Low-dose dexamethasone suppression test:
Normal: Cortisol level less than 1.4 ug/dl 8hrs post-dex.
Hyperadrenocorticism: Cortisol level greater than 1.4 ug/dl 8hrs
If the 8hr post dex. cortisol level is greater than 1.4 ug/dl,
the following can be used to differentiate pituitary dependent
hyperadrenocorticism (PDH) from an adrenal tumor:
1. Cortisol level less than 1.4 ug/dl 4hrs post-dex is
consistent with PDH.
2. Cortisol level less than half the baseline level at either 4 or 8
hours post-dex is consistent with PDH.
(Samples taken at 2 or 6hrs are interpreted the same way as a 4hr
If neither of these criteria is met, further testing is needed to
differentiate PDH from adrenal tumor Cushings.
NOTE: Approx. 5% of dogs with PDH have normal results.
False positives may occur with stress/nonadrenal illness.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Article on

Still waiting to hear back on Baby's LDDS Test!

In the meantime, I found this short article about spending trends for pet medical expenses.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Appointment & Info

Baby's LDDS Test is scheduled for Friday, April 15th.

I also found this link to some miraculous before and after pictures of a Cushing Dog.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Trilostane AKA: Vetoryl

The drug recommended by our Vet for the treatment of Baby's Hyperadrenocorticism is called Trilostane, AKA: Vetoryl.

I found a detailed article that discusses how the drug works, how to monitor its effectiveness, and possible adverse reactions.

We are still trying to work out the appointment for the LDDS, Low Dose Dexamethasone Test for next week. It's a busy work week and fitting in a full day at the vet is challenging but I really feel that the sooner we get Baby oon the treatment the better she will feel.

Today she's a bit lethargic again and her belly appears bloated. It seems like these symptoms wax and wane every few days and I'm not sure why. I also wonder if she is having any pain. I understand that cortisol is a steroid and as such should mitigate any inflammatory response, but does that mean the dog is not in any discomfort? Also in my research, the added cortisol can affect the GI tract and so giving NSAIDS to an untreated cushingoid dog can cause GI bleeding.

Do they have doggy narcotics? Those are probably metabolized by the liver which is not a good option either.

I guess she's just going to have feel better from having a good meal and maybe a full body massage...doggy spa style!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mutt Census...

Just read this interesting article on a national mutt census.

If you go to the referenced Mutt Census site, you can click on your state and view detailed information, including Most Popular Breed and Most Unique Breed.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cushing's Anyone?

Originally uploaded by dehmystic

Well, I just got the call from the Vet Specialist. Baby's test results were as follows:

ALP: 2800
Cholesterol: High
Platelets: High
Thyroid: Normal
Urine: Dilute
Blood Pressure: High
Liver Aspiration: VH - Vascular Hepatopathy (typical in cushings, NOT CANCER!)
Spleen: EMH - extramedullary hematopoiesis (not typically treated, NOT CANCER!)

So the Vet (as was I) is leaning towards Cushings. Next step is a Low Dose Dex test, probably next week sometime. It's an 8 hour test where they will do 3 blood draws after they administer Dexamethasone. They will be testing for cortisol suppression, if there is any, then no Cushiings, most likely there will be none and she'll be diagnosed Cushingoid. Their recommended treatment is with a drug called Trilostane. On going follow-up by ACTH testing every 3 months for monitoring dosage.

So, as always, we're keeping it real...real interesting!

Dog Obedience Class #2

Originally uploaded by dehmystic

As usual, I was in a rush to get home and get to my evening commitment! Doggy Obedience / Owner Training class!

I gave Ivy just a tidbit for dinner so she'd be hungry for treats in class. Then we loaded up our doggy bag, water, treats, etc. and headed to city hall.

As expected, it was a bit trying but the new pinch collar makes her so much more controllable. She was the noisy one in class, barking and whining. She did eventually calm down and since the class was small (only 4 dogs/handlers, plus the instructor and her 2 dogs) Ivy got on with the training pretty quickly.

We basically, worked on heeling, turns, and leash pressure work.

It went by fairly quickly and I think Ivy enjoyed the stimulation!

We played in the backyard when we got home...that dog LOVES to retrieve!