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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2527
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My 6 year old shiatsu has Cushing disease will he eventually

Customer Question

my 6 year old shiatsu has Cushing disease will he eventually die from this He can't walk very good or go out dog door or jump on sofa. Should I put him down?? help
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
Hello,I'm Dr. Jo and I'm a licensed veterinarian with more than twenty years of experience. I'm here to help with your question about Bobo.I'm so sorry you're having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided. I'll do my best to earn your good rating, because that's the only way I receive any compensation for helping you.In order to help me help you better, I'll need a little more information. To start with, please tell me:How long ago was he diagnosed?What medications besides tramadol is he on?What is the source of his pain? I ask because Cushings isn't painful.I'll be standing by and awaiting your reply. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
While I await your reply, I'll offer the following general information about Cushings disease and do my best to answer your questions.First of all, the sad truth is that - yes - if left untreated Cushings disease is eventually but always fatal. That being said, it is generally considered easy to treat. There are options for treatment available, and even though lifelong medication is needed, most dogs with Cushings go on to live a normal life.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
Cushings disease doesn't cause pain, and in the beginning the symptoms are so mild most vets don't even treat it. When the symptoms become more severe (things like excessive thirst and urination, excessive panting, or a pot belly), then treatment is needed to control these symptoms. I'll direct you to some really good websites where you can read accurate information about canine Cushings disease. This one is a good place to start: this is another that goes into more detail:
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
Lysodren and Trilostane are the most commonly used medications for treating Cushings. I would expect your vet to discuss the treatment options with you.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
we think he has had disease for about 3 years he also has staff on his pee pee and he really can't walk very good
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
Glad you're there...Excuse me if I'm misunderstanding something, but is Bobo being treated for Cushings? There are medications for it.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
I also think it's important to clarify that Cushings wouldn't make it so he can't walk well. That's more likely to be due to something else. I understand your vet has prescribed tramadol for Bobo. That's a pain reliever. Seems to me there must be more than just Cushings going on here.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
our vet won't treat him without ultra sound and a very precise blood test, even though they x-rayed him and he had blood test
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
his legs hurt but with X ray they said his back was fine
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
Oh, okay. Now I understand. The reason your vet won't treat him without additional testing is that additional testing is required in order to know what type of Cushings disease Bobo has. There are two different types, and only one of them will respond to medication. The other type has to be treated with surgery. The good news is that the type that responds to medication is more common.I would encourage you to keep the lines of communication open with your vet. The diagnosis and treatment of Cushings disease can be somewhat complicated, but it can be done and it sounds like your vet is very willing and capable of getting Bobo through this.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
To be clear, I agree with your vet. It sounds like he is doing everything correctly and making the best recommendations for trying to help Bobo.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
And the unfortunate truth of the situation is that Bobo will need ongoing treatment in order to live the rest of his life with Cushings disease. It is only managed, not cured. He will need medication for the rest of his life.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
I know it's really difficult struggling with a decision on whether or not to put to sleep a beloved pet. It doesn't get any harder than that. I want you to know that this is a deeply personal decision. It's something that's up to you and no one else.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
With that in mind, the *best* case scenario moving forward is that Bobo has the extra testing done and you find out this is the kind of Cushings that can be treated with medications. It is expensive and you will have to make a lot of trips to the vet for more blood tests and monitoring and will have to keep him on medication for the rest of his life, but the Cushings disease will not be fatal. The odds of successful treatment are overwhelming. That being said, whatever problem is causing him pain will also have to be addressed. Please keep in mind that's the BEST way this could all turn out. If that's not okay with you, or a reasonable and practical option for any reason whatsoever, a decision for humane euthanasia is completely acceptable and really the best option if Bobo's quality of life is poor. Please don't misunderstand. I don't want to sound harsh. I just want to help clarify the decision making process for you.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
The possibilities are wide open outside of the BEST case scenario I described above. The worst case scenarios are really bad. They include things like this is the more rare kind of Cushings that cannot be treated with medicine. In those cases, surgical treatment is sometimes pursued, but the majority of those dogs are put to sleep once their lives are uncomfortable. I know it's really sad and heartbreaking to consider, but the important thing is that they don't suffer.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
Please do take the time to read the websites I provided links to above. It's important that you have all the information you need to make an educated decision about what will be the best thing to do in your unique situation.Does this help to answer your question for now?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
I hope this information was helpful to you. I will be going offline shortly, but will look for a reply from you when I get back. Please also remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss your question until you are satisfied with the answer I've provided. You may return to this page at any time to review this information and/or post more. You may do so even after you've rated my response. I'll be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help you.If you are satisfied with the information I've provided, please take a moment to rate my response. I've done my best to provide you with the most accurate, thorough and up-to-date information that is available, and your positive feedback is important to me. Without it, I receive no compensation for helping you.If you are not satisfied, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.Thank you for using our website.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
Hello,Just checking in to ask how Bobo is doing. I've been worried about you and this difficult situation.Thank you, ***** *****

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