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Dr. Whitehead
Dr. Whitehead, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4055
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, internship trained, with 5 years of experience in high quality practice treating dogs, cats, and some exotics.
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My 6 year old cairn has had 6 superchems since January. She

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My 6 year old cairn has had 6 superchems since January. She has increasing ALP now ovr 800, low blood glucose, is hypothyroid (diagnosed 4 months ago), has seizures that started in late pregnancy (she was a mill breeder dog) in Nov. She is spayed. The last superchem showed high ALT for the first time and increased AST as well as high amalyse. She just had a LDDS - inconclusive. Urinalysis last week had a specific gravity of 0.3. My vet suspect Cushings but the pieces don't quite fit but something is going on. I am measuring and monitoring water intake for 3-4 days. She was having gastro issues even on home cooked mealss - now on I/D low fat. Any ideas?
Hello there. My name isXXXXX and I am sorry to hear about your poor girl. The blood work definitely is pointing towards cushings although the pieces may not be fitting completely. There are some types of cushings called "atypical cushings" disease. At this point and time with so much going on I strongly recommend having an ultra sound done by a specialist. They will look at the liver and determine if this is a priXXXXX XXXXXver problem or secondary to something else. They will also be able to look at the adrenal glands and tell you if they are enlarged or not which would rule in or out cushings disease. They will also be able to look at the kidneys and make sure they are functioning properly since the specific gravity is low. The specialist then will be able to make the best suggestions to treat this. If cushings confirmed then medications can be started and you should see a resolution of most of the clinical signs. If its a priXXXXX XXXXXver issue then suggestions can be made on medications to help treat the liver and improve the clinical signs. I have seen many cases of cushings and most of them did not exactly fit the book so i never rule it out completely until an ultrasound is done. They will also evaluate the GI issues. . . these could be related to cushings disease or liver disease also though. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns. I would be happy to help. Please do not forget to rate my response so I receive credit for my time. Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I did mention atypical cushings to my vet tonight as well as doing an ultrasound. He mentioned an ACH test could be done also (sorry if I don't have the name exactly right). The urinalysis done 5 days ago was the first with a low specific gravity - the others were just about the low normal.

She is a rescue dog so prior info is limited. Her weight in Jan. was 18.2 lbs. - she was obese & had just weaned pups that were delivered by c-section due to mom's seizures in last weeks of pregnancy) and is now 14.6 lbs. - still chubby. Even with the weight loss her belly is pudgy (yes - typical pot belly- but she needed to lose weight). She does have a healthy appetite and will eat grass non-stop if given a chance.


I'm leaning toward an ultrasound before doing the ACH test, what would you suggest?

If i had to chose between a ACTH or an ultrasound I would start with an ultrasound this would give the most bang for your buck if you will. I agree with you completely on that. ACTH may tell you some info but not nearly as much as the ultrasound will.
Dr. Whitehead and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Carolynne,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Whitehead
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I've been monitoring her water intake since Tues. evening. She's drinking just over 4 cups of water in a 24 hr. period - she weighs 14.6 pounds. She had a moderate seizure this morning. My vet called tonight - wants fluid monitored through the weekend and we'll talk on Monday & determine next step - ultrasound or ACTH. She's waking up at 3 a.m. every night panting and her belly is hot to the touch. Her appetite is good. Also concerned about her low blood glucose. She's doing well in spite of her problems.

Sounds like a reasonable plan. Still highly recommend ultrasound in this case. Please let me know you have any further questions.