How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Louis Gotthelf Your Own Question

Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Dr. Louis Gotthelf, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2436
Experience:  35 years as a small animal veterinarian in a clinical practice and a skin and ear clinic
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Louis Gotthelf is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How exactly does Cushings cause lameness

Resolved Question:

How exactly does Cushing's cause lameness?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Cushing's disease does not cause lameness, but in advanced stages, it will result in profound weakness.

Customer :

some sources list shifting lameness as one of the symptoms ... would that be just lameness from the muscle weakness then?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Probably. Cushing's causes increased secretion of cortisol. Too much cortisol in the blood weakens the collagen fibers that are in all muscles, ligaments and tendons. The skin sags and the belly gets rotund.

Customer :

e.g. in here http://www.suite101.com/content/cushings-disease-in-dog-a27376

Customer :

too much cortisol messes with collagen fibers?

Customer :

I see

Customer :

so that's very interesting, the cortisol - collagen connection

Customer :

how does it do that?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

That's only one of the things that the excess cortisol does. It also messes up glucose metabolism, sodium and potassium balance, kidney function, blood pressure changes, etc. It is not a fun disease to have and it is often hard to manage over a long period of time. It is actually caused by a small pituitary gland tumor in the brain.

Customer :

yes, it's a nasty one

Customer :

could is also cause repeated muscle injuries/sore muscles? (particular ones)

Customer :

or, asked differently, what else could mess with collagen and have similar related symptoms?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

There are many diseases that can affect collagen. Any disease that interferes with the blood supply to muscles, tendons, or ligaments cause stretching of collagen. Many hormonal conditions also affect collagen, especially the female hormones.

Customer :

any list of such conditions?

Customer :

would hypothyroid to that even though within normal range 20 (13-51 normal)

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Almost every disease affects collagen in some way because it is found in almost every tissue in the body. I don't think that there would be a list of diseases affecting collagen that would be of reasonable length.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Is there something specific you are looking for?

Customer :

seems that many believe that large breed dogs should have their levels somewhere mid normal at least

Customer :

I see

Customer :

we are struggling with repeated muscle injuries and sore muscles, skin infections, funny hair quality, soft nails, (both ACLs went in the past), unexplained pacing/panting episodes ...

Customer :

but nothing is 'really' pointing to adrenals

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

That thyroid level seems normal. I don't worry about normal thyroids. What I worry about is low thyroids accurately reflecting the thyroid function. In other words, is a low thyroid really a thyroid problem or is it low for some other reason.

Customer :

drinking/urinating normal, good energy level (full of P and V) ...

Customer :

low thyroid you mean pituitary or auto immune or something else also?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

For the symptoms you are describing, the way to help diagnose problems is by biopsy. If there are repeated muscle injury, then a muscle biopsy may show why.

Customer :

muscle biopsy would show why? cool

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Low thyroid in the dog is almost always the result of a thyroiditis causing scarring of the thyroid resulting in a small fibrous gland.

Customer :

so that's an autoimmune issue?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Muscle biopsies will show if there is a problem with the collagen, the muscle fibers, inflammation, parasites, blood vessel problems, etc. If this is a continuous problem, it may be worth a look.

Customer :

she also has IBD

Customer :

parasites in muscles?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

In most cases of hypothyroidism in dogs it is an autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease)

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

We see that all the time in the Southeast US.

Customer :

really? wow

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Parasites, that is.

Customer :

we're South Ontario

Customer :

what kind of parasites get into muscles?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

I don't know what muscle parasites if any you may have there. A call to the vet school in Guelph may help you know if that is a possibility.

Customer :

ok, thank you

Dr. Louis Gotthelf, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2436
Experience: 35 years as a small animal veterinarian in a clinical practice and a skin and ear clinic
Dr. Louis Gotthelf and 6 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.