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Hi Ashley, thanks for your question.It sounds like you're very concerned about Riley and rightfully so. Cushing's can be a very rough thing to go through, both as a pet parent and also for the pet.There's a pretty comprehensive page both here: http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/cushings.aspx and here: http://www.kateconnick.com/library/cushingsdisease.htmlIt's been my experience that a vast number of owners who have cushingoid dogs avoid treatment due to cost and concurrent health issues. Assuming he doesn't have an adrenal tumor (which could be removed) or any other concerning health issues, it wouldn't hurt to try him on these medications and see how he feels.The idea behind treatment is to improve their quality of life, not so much the lifespan. Unfortunately, dogs with Cushings aren't usually long lived and the dogs can have problems with the treatment medications (another factor in not treating the dogs). The dog I recall living the longest with treatment received an additional 3 years of time with his owner and was pampered along, as other medical issues were also present.The distended abdomen, panting and excessive water consumption are all normal for a cushingoid dog, but with treatment these symptoms usually clear within a few weeks to a few months (most dogs, assuming they respond well to treatment, see fast improvements in the first 2 months).If you choose not to treat, symptoms will persist and likely worsen with time. If you choose to treat, you're helping to stave off the progression of the illness but not "cure it", per se.If my answer has helped you, please take the time to leave positive feedback. This is how experts are compensated for their time with each customer. If questions remain, please reply and I will help you further.