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My Russell/Chihuahua mix got sick nearly a year ago.

My ***** *****/Chihuahua mix got...
My ***** *****/Chihuahua mix got sick nearly a year ago. Ultimately, after numerous rounds of tests, she was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease and has been receiving Vetoryl capsules once per day. Over the past couple months, it seems as though her overall health has declined. She is often trembling as if too cold. Her disposition seems sad. Her appetite/food consumption is down about 30%. I believe she is due to have another round of hormone tests to see if she's getting the therapeutic level of drug prescribed. Other than possibly needing to have that testing done sooner than later, I would appreciate any insights as to what advanced effects of Cushing's may be at play. Thank you, Ron
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3/15/2018
Veterinarian101
Veterinarian101, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,083
Experience: Veterinarian with further qualifications in Animal Behavior. Knowledgable on dog behavior and health.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Luke and I would be happy to help you with your question. I am so sorry about your pet. I have over 19 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Are you available to discuss this situation online at this time? (if you get a phone call prompt from the system, please disregard as I am unable to do a phone call at this time).
***************

Give me a minute to type a response please.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I'm here, very interested in your thoughts about my Betty.

Cushing's disease is an unfortunate disease which causes an overproduction of cortisol in the body. Overproduction of cortisone has many bad effects on the body - ultimately it is know to shorten a dog's lifespan - that is why we treat the Cushings with the Vetoryl.

The other effects of cortisone are that it makes dogs VERY lively and often VERY hungry. So often when we treat a dog their appetite and liveliness comes back to a 'normal' level because the cortisol is at a normal level now. This is why they may decrease their appetite and seem a little quieter

Also older dogs often have some arthritis in their joints (even if they do not show it), cortisol is a very good anti-inflammatory and so helps this. When the cortisol decreases the inflammation can return and sometimes the arthritis is a little uncomfrtable and makes us appear slower as well.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The symptoms you listed ARE in keeping with what I've observed with Betty. Arthritis is definitely bothering her--she's slowed WAY down. Any thoughts on her nearly constant trembling? Also, it appears she's lost thickness in her coat and her underlying skin looks very pink and possibly irritated. She's been getting Metacam for a couple years for arthritis. Can that be increased or have another Rx added so she's more comfortable? And, how often does the amount of Vetoryl need to be adjusted to insure a therapeutic level?

Ok. A lot of extra questions! give me a minute to respond

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Trembling: This could be the arthritis. BUT it also could be a side effect of an overdose of the Vetoryl.

Arthritis: Metacam is great. You may find adding in abother medication called gabapentin will provide further releif. Your vet will need to prescribe this.

Loss of coat and irritated skin: This may be a separate issue. Usually the coat thickens up once Cushings is under control. I would worry about a secondary problem like an infection. Or even allergies. Again when cortisol is lowered skin allergies often appear too!

Therapeutic level: This is very individual and depends on the test results each time. It can be very costly with monthly testing intially and also re-tsting every time the dose is changed.

Given what you have written I think you need to have them retested now and some of the signs could be caused by having poor therapeutic levels

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Questions asked--questions answered. Thank you! I feel better about my little girl and will seek further consult with her Vet. I have found getting second opinions on this very service INVALUABLE. Good night, Doc!

my pleasure. I hope you get Betty sorted out soon!

Veterinarian101
Veterinarian101, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,083
Experience: Veterinarian with further qualifications in Animal Behavior. Knowledgable on dog behavior and health.
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Hi,

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

Veterinarian101
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Experience: Veterinarian with further qualifications in Animal Behavior. Knowledgable on dog behavior and health.

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