Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cushings Disease

I had heard of Cushings Disease in humans, but never knew that animals could be diagnosed with it in till Bolo. Come to find out it is the third most common disease in canines. 
(Horses seem to get it a lot also)  
I just wanted to put out Bolo issues and symptoms just in case it rings a bell with anyone else whose *best friend* isn't feeling so great.  
<I noticed about a year and a half ago that Bolo energy level dropped quickly. I am talking one week compared to the next. This was the big sign that something wasn't right. He had always been such a crazy dog. High energy! When we weren't being greeted at the door something was definitely wrong.  
<He would drink an excessive amount of water 10 times a day. I was constantly filling up his bowl and it was still never enough. 
<At this time is when he started to not be able to hold his bladder. He doesn't have accidents in the house but he does have urine drip out unknowingly to him. If he is laying on his side and his leg is underneath his man parts, his leg will be wet. Or if he gets up after a little nap there will be drops on the floor. 
Usually once the bladder muscles have weakened they usually don't seem to repair themselves so this problem only gets worse. 
<Bolo also put on a good 20 pounds. He was never a dog to eat a lot. There would be food in his bowl all day long and would only really eat when we sat down for dinner.  When the symptoms started his eating changed. He was always hungry and the bowl was always empty.
<He almost looked swollen and not just from the gaining of weight. It was like there was a puffiness to him.
<His skin became a little more pinker then usual.

If you followed my journey on all of the vet appointments you will remember that I had went to several before I brought up giving him a Cushings test (thanks to someone telling me about it).
In the beginning I was thinking that it might have been diabetes. A lot of the symptoms coincide with one another. 
 The Cushing test that is given is specifically for Cushings Disease. You don't just draw blood and have answers. It is a test that takes the time frame of 6-8 hours.
I wish we would have had answers when I first noticed him not feeling great. Him suffering for that year of tests but no answers breaks my heart.   

He has now been on his medication around 6 months. 
He has had 3 of the Cushings tests to makes sure his levels are OK.  He will now need these tests ever 6 months to make sure the dosage is correct. 
He still is a sleepy guy that doesn't want to take walks or greet us at the door. If it were up to him he would sleep all day...but the mean mommy I am doesn't let him do that. 
He has lost the 20lbs that he had gained. 
He no longer drinks as much as he used to. I am still taking him outside at least every 2 hours to go potty though.  I cant be gone from my house for a extended amount of time. I wake up at least once a night to take him outside. I wash his blankets 3-4 times a week. His belly and hind legs get a bath once a week. This problem I don't see getting better. Like I said once the muscles go they don't seem to come back.

Lets talk about money.
Like any disease....ITS NOT CHEAP!
I asked the vet how some people that don't have the means to pay for these tests and expensive pills do it. He told me that they have no other option then to put their dog down.
These tests run $350-$450 each time.
The pills that he gets twice a day are $200 for 30 days.
That was the best price I have found. If anyone is looking for medication I highly recommend checking out California Pet Pharmacy.
Its just like 1800 petmeds but cheaper!
*I am not just talking about Cushings medication...they have whatever you would need

 I think that all of this could be a lot worse. I am hoping that we have a few more years with this guy so I am just going to keep at it.

Hopefully something here has helped someone with finding out answers with their sick pet.


  1. He is such a precious boy and is so lucky that you guys are taking such amazing care of him. Sending lots of love your way.

  2. I hope Bolo finds the comfort he deserves. What a LUCKY dog to have owners who refuse to give up on him!

  3. I was reading an article yesterday about the toxic soil on the base in Hawaii. I know you were stationed there for awhile. People are getting sick and pets are getting sick or dying, because of the chemicals in the soil on base. I'm not sure but maybe Bolo's health is related to that. Here is the article if you are interested... Just thought you might want to be aware!