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VetInternist
VetInternist, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1181
Experience:  Staff Internist and Medical Director
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Our siberian husky was diagnosed with cushings disease in May.

Resolved Question:

Our siberian husky was diagnosed with cushings disease in May. He has been taking Veroryl for 9 months. (5 pills daily). His levels are back to normal but his hair loss continues. He is also on thyroid medication. What can we do for his hair loss?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  VetInternist replied 3 years ago.

ResidentVet :

Although Cushing's disease does cause a poor haircoat and thin skin, it may not be the actual problem. This is also usually the last problem to improve, but I would have expected him to improve within 9 months,

ResidentVet :

Vetoryl is often given once per day, but twice daily dosing may be better since the medication can wear off before the next dose. If this is the problem, I would speak to your vet about giving 2.5 pills twice per day instead of 5 pills once per day. I don't recommend changing this before speaking to your vet so they know what is going on and to prevent any worsening in his signs.

ResidentVet :

There are many other causes for hair loss (alopecia). Some of them are associated with itchiness (pruritis) and others are not.

ResidentVet :

I see you have joined me, welcome!

Customer :

Yes, I am here to chat. Thank you. He was misdiagnosed two years ago so he was in the advanced stages of Cushing's disease. This might be the reason for not seeing any improvement in the 9 month period. Have you actually done treatment on dogs with Cushing's? Or have you done research on dogs with Cushing's disease?

ResidentVet :

At the end of our chat I can post some information about other causes for hair loss. Some of them have been addressed and others may not have been. It may give you some more ideas.

ResidentVet :

I have treated many dogs with Cushing's disease. I am specializing in internal medicine. Cushing's disease is something internists have a particular interest and expertise with.

Customer :

Are there any supplemental herbs or vitamins I can give Taku to stimulate hair growth or help his coat?

ResidentVet :

You can try Omega 3 fatty acids. 1000 mg twice per day is reasonable. Try to find some high quality fish oil capsules

Customer :

When would be a reasonable response time to see any type of results?

ResidentVet :

Melatonin supplementation can also be beneficial depending on the underlying problem, but I don't recommend starting this unless you discuss it with your vet first

ResidentVet :

It depends on the cause. If the Omega 3's are going to help I would expect some change in a month or so. Huskies have such a thick coat that a return to "normal" can take a long time

ResidentVet :

Have Taku's other signs of Cushing's disease improved? drinking, appetite, etc?

Customer :

how much experience have you had with Vetoryl and dogs? are there statistics on how long to see results in larger dogs like Taku? (85 lbs.)

Customer :

Taku's other signs show a significant improvement after two weeks.

ResidentVet :

No, there aren't long term studies like this, but if the cortisol levels are well controlled, it shouldn't be different than treatment with other drugs like mitotane

ResidentVet :

If the fur doesn't improve, and we can't find another cause for the problem, it may be worthwhile to try mitotane (Lysodren) instead of Vetoryl. I think mitotane does a better job of treating Cushing's disease. It may be more likely to have side-effects, but the serious side-effects of mitotane can also be seen with Vetoryl. Unfortunately, Vetoryl is often marketed as a "safe" alternative to mitotane, but this isn't true. WIth proper monitoring, it is unlikely that either drug will cause life-threatening problems, but it is possible with either drug.

ResidentVet :

Do you have any other questions?

VetInternist, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1181
Experience: Staff Internist and Medical Director
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