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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29012
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 11 year old has had a 'possible' diagnoses of Cushings,

Customer Question

My 11 year old ***** ***** has had a 'possible' diagnoses of Cushings, but he really doesn't have the symptoms. He has issues with his hind leg being weak and kind of walking funky. He also is rubbing his face on the floor a lot and has bouts of panting. We took him to the Vet, he was looking pretty bad, as soon as they did the blood tests and X-rays the vet gave him a steroid shot and in five minutes was back to normal. They put him on oral steroids and pain killers and he did really well. One week later we had to take him to the ER and they also did X-rays and blood tests, along with a urinalysis on him. They also said the X-rays were clean but he had a Urinery tract infection and Gabe him oral Antibiotics and enough Steroids to taper him off. I took him back to his primary Vet and she doesn't think that it's Cushings... he's been off the steroids for 5 days and his symptoms are returning. We have scheduled for a Cushings test in two days, bit Bet seems to think it could be Neurological. I'm terrified.. Thanks,
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: they gave him a good looking over and didn't mention it
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Chico
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Chico?
Customer: He's been going to this vet since we got him at 8 weeks old, they're pretty up to date on him
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Chico. It's important to note that unless my patient is eating himself out of house and home, drinking like a fish, and urinating up a storm, he isn't cushingoid. In addition, Chico's response to a steroid and decline as the steroid has been tapered isn't consistent with Cushing's (hyperadrenocorticsm) but, instead, the "opposite" - Addison's disease (hypoadrenocorticism). Addison's is tested for with the ACTH stim test which can also be used to test for Cushing's (which shouldn't be a serious consideration in Chico.)

A hind leg being weak and walking funky (ataxia/"drunken sailor") can indicate a neurological disorder - most often a myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) such as degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") which would be steroid responsive because it reduces inflammation in the spinal cord caused by a herniating or ruptured disk.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks you Dr. Saulkin for your quick response and insight. Chico had a pretty good day yesterday, ate, drank and was seemingly doing better. Today he is very tired, won't eat and his breathing is heavy, but not panting. We have a Cushings test scheduled for Thursday. After doing some quick reading on Addison's He does seem to fit in that category. I am hopping and praying that he will be oaky until Thursday, Vet is off tomorrow and everytime we have to go to the ER it's a so expensive. Is there anything that I can do to make him comfortable while we wait?
Thanks so much,
Toby
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

You're quite welcome. As long as the "Cushing's test" is an ACTH stim, I'm onboard because that also tests for Addison's. Keep stress to a minimum in case he is Addisonian. If you believe he's deteriorating don't hesitate to give him 5 mg of prednisone and let his vet know you did you so. It can confound the results of an ACTH stim test. Otherwise, spoil him rotten.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin