Blue Tongue Talk
Welcome, Guest. Please Login
  HomeHelpSearchLogin NetChows.com  
 
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism (Read 24172 times)
lucille
Senior Member
****
Offline


I love Chows!

Posts: 279
South Africa
Gender: female
Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Oct 1st, 2010 at 5:39pm
 
Hello everyone.

It's been a while since I wrote.  Leo and Chelsea are doing alright.  Chelsea is about 5 years old and Leo entering 7.

Chelsea still has a bouncy ball of coat, but Leo, unfortunately not.

Leo had been shedding alot of fur last year, and the vet advised us to take it all off, yes right to the skin, because his undercoat was coming out in clumps right against the skin, and the rake/matt splitter would get stuck and cause him too much pain, so I had to shave it all off.

It has been almost a year, and only the hair on his mane, shoulder blades, and a small section on either side of his body has grown.

The hair on his entire back section of this body - tail, hind legs are completely bald, as well as the sides of his body toward the front.  His diet is Hills Science Diet, we also put him on Hill z/d prescription diet, but it's not the food.

His hair growth/loss is very symmetrical.
He does not scratch or itch at all.

We have taken him to a specialist, and have done blood tests as well as hormone tests to check the cortizone levels.

The blood test revealed that his overall health looks good, except a slightly medium to high reading on the liver.

The vet also took a skin biopsy, and we are awaiting the results of that together with the hormone test results.

He suspects it could be Cushings Disease / Hyperadrenocortism.

Leo's appetite has increased, although he's not sluggish or tired and usually Hyperthyroidism cases show very tired dogs, so the vet suspected that he may not have a thyroid problem.

Has anyone on the forum experienced a similar situation with their Chow, where the dog shed alot and after complete shaving, the hair grows back in patches with some completely bald spots even after a year?

I've heard of Post-clipping Alopecia in certain Nordic breeds like Chows, Keeshond, Pomeranians, were the hair growth is stunted after shaving to the skin.

Did anyone experience this?
What treatment was given, and did the hair eventually fully grow? How long did it take?

Poor Leo, I just want him to have a full coat again Sad


Back to top
 

Regards,
Lucille
 
IP Logged
 
lucille
Senior Member
****
Offline


I love Chows!

Posts: 279
South Africa
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #1 - Oct 8th, 2010 at 6:32pm
 
Hello everyone.

Leo has received his results from the Vet, and he has been diagnosed with Cushings Disease with concurrent Alopecia X.  Cushings disease is an over production of the cortizone hormone, and left untreated can cause kidney/liver/heart/neurological failures.

It occurs mostly with dogs from 5-7 years and older.

Unfortunately, there is no cure but it thankfully can be treated and will be life-long though.

He will be administered with a drug called Trilostane
It's the most recent drug for the treatment of this disease, as it has very little side-effects.

Hopefully all goes well with Leo and he lives a normal, healthier life until his golden years  Smiley

I will keep everyone posted on his progress, in the event of other Chow owners that may have also experienced clinical symptoms quite like Leo's.


Back to top
 

Regards,
Lucille
 
IP Logged
 
Ef_Deal
BlueTongueTalker
*****
Offline


By Shadow and by Moonlight!

Posts: 1499
New Jersey, USA
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #2 - Oct 8th, 2010 at 7:32pm
 
Best wishes for Leo's recovery and in dealing with his problem!  Poor boy!   Undecided Undecided
Back to top
 

Ef
By Shadow and by Moonlight
WWW GwynnaL  
IP Logged
 
DutchChow
Master Moderator
*****
Offline


Let's Flavour The World
With Chows

Posts: 2622
Netherlands
Gender: male
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #3 - Oct 11th, 2010 at 12:41pm
 
Hi Lucille,

Many thanks for your extended reporting on the health issue of your Leo. Cushing Disease it is.
Yes, it isn't hopeless and with the proper medication (like the one you mentioned) and regular tests (vet!) a long life is still feasible.

Hugs for Leo!

Peter
Back to top
 

--
DutchChow
"While My Blue Tongue Gently Whispers: 'Chow Chow' "
WWW  
IP Logged
 
lucille
Senior Member
****
Offline


I love Chows!

Posts: 279
South Africa
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #4 - Oct 11th, 2010 at 11:53pm
 
Thanks so much guys for your support.

I just want to add to the symptoms that Leo was experiencing over the past 2 years, as alot of owners do misinterpret it as being old-age, but Cushing's can be treated if diagnosed early:

- Very first symptom - abnormal amount of hair being shed throughout the entire body including the snout.

- Hair never grows back in the shedded spots and skin will darken very quickly. Hair gets very dry.

- Hind limbs have weakened and struggles to climb up stairs / get up and jump into the car.  We have to lift his back legs everytime.

- Area underneath his body behind the front legs - I think the liver region, protrudes slightly

- Begs for food throughout the day and wants to eat all the time.

- Drinks alot of water

- In some cases the dog will want to urinate alot, but Leo seemed normal in this regard.

Leo was neutered at 6 months old, and I have heard that higher cases of Cushings were reported in spayed/neutered dogs.  I'm beginning to wonder if neutering possibly tampers with certain hormone production in the long-term....who knows...

As I've mentioned, the drug Trilostane was only available in the UK since 2001 and been very promising with Cushing's and now that it has been FDA approved, its available worldwide.

The previous drug Lysodren was more of a Chemotherapy drug that dissolved layers of the adrenal gland, thus reducing the production of cortisol hormone in the blood but had other side-effects, whereas Trilostane inhibits the function of the enzyme that produces cortisol, and has less damaging effects on the body.

But even with Trilostane, if you do not have follow up tests with the vet, it could also be detrimental.

Too much Trilostane can lower the coritsol level to such an extent, that it could cause the opposite disease - Addisons Disease.

I really have spent hours researching this just to have an idea as to what Leo is going to go through.

I just want him as good as new, and I'm praying that he reacts positively to this drug.

He will start his treatment on Saturday......lets see how it goes......
Back to top
 

Regards,
Lucille
 
IP Logged
 
Merlin
Senior Member
****
Offline


Chow Baby!

Posts: 466
Ontario , Canada
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #5 - Oct 26th, 2010 at 6:35pm
 
Hi Lucille
Sorry to hear the diagnosis.

We lost our MeiMei last year to Cushings. ( please don't get scared). She was unable to follow any protocol like Lysodren because she also had heart disease and Lysodren, and other similar type drugs are not compatible with digitalis.

Don't fool youself though. Leo will not ever be as good as new, and I don't want to sound cynical, but I do want you to be realistic.  If Leo responds well,  the hair will grow back , but it will almost always be in a state of falling out, so expect more shedding than normal. Usually the first sign of response is the excessive drinking stops. That's generally the very first good, solid sign.

He may get a bit plump, and do expect some side effects from the drugs, ( which can be very minimal).

You do know there are two types of Cushings right?

In our case it was a tumour on the pituitary and not on the adrenal

The medication slows the growth of the tumour, it does not eradicate it. ( just so you know), but many dogs can go on to live long lives, especially if it's adrenal, because that can be removed.  Pituitary is almost always not surgically successful.

I'm so happy the  you have drug therapy available that Leo can tolerate. That's the great news!!!!


By the way, the only way to know for sure is to do the Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test , which I hope you did, because if not, then the diagnosis could be speculatory only.

Does Leo also have diabetes? That often goes hand in hand with  HCL.


Very best wishes

Smiley
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Gurkan
Senior Member
****
Offline


Once chow - always chow!

Posts: 316
Härnösand, Sweden
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #6 - Oct 26th, 2010 at 10:34pm
 
I have a bitch that has Cushings. She'll be 9 years of age in February 2011 and she was diagnosed in the spring of 2009. We don't treat her for this, because she also has severe spondylosis, so we decided to let her live as long as she enjoyes life. NOw, 1,5 years later she still enjoys life! When the spondylosis is giving her pain you will see the light in her eyes go out, she will be low and won't eat. For those very rare occassions we have Rimadyl at home to give her, an within 1-2 days she's back on track!

Her symptoms of Cushings are:
• Big big belly
• Very poor coat and black skin where the coat is gone
• Muscle tone is all gone espacially in the rear. She still likes to go for walks now and then and has no problems climbing the stairs in our house
• She's crazy about food and will dance for you when it's time for food.

This bitch was very tiny at birth and has been very tiny thoughout life. Up until she was 7 years she was all healthy. She is still our sunshine and we love her to bits! When she doesn't enjoy life anymore we will help her over the rainbow bridge.
...
...
Back to top
 
WWW 287065334  
IP Logged
 
Merlin
Senior Member
****
Offline


Chow Baby!

Posts: 466
Ontario , Canada
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #7 - Oct 27th, 2010 at 3:06pm
 
What a pretty girl.
Some dogs do ok without the drugs, but again, it really depends on the type of Cushings.

We were not so lucky   Cry

In Memory of MeiMei
http://chowpei.merlinshope.com/archives/00000133.html
...
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Gurkan
Senior Member
****
Offline


Once chow - always chow!

Posts: 316
Härnösand, Sweden
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #8 - Oct 27th, 2010 at 6:35pm
 
Merlin wrote on Oct 27th, 2010 at 3:06pm:
Some dogs do ok without the drugs, but again, it really depends on the type of Cushings.

We were not so lucky   Cry

Because my girl is having a very mild type of Cushings I am curious to know why MeiMei didn't make it despite being on drugs? I just want to know what might happen to my girl in the end...
Back to top
 
WWW 287065334  
IP Logged
 
Merlin
Senior Member
****
Offline


Chow Baby!

Posts: 466
Ontario , Canada
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #9 - Oct 27th, 2010 at 6:39pm
 
Gurkan, MeiMei was unable to take the drugs because she was on Digitalis and the two drugs conflict with each other. Without the digitalis she would go into cardiac arrest , so we made the choice to let her cards play out without the medication for the Cushings as we felt this would give her more time.  If we would have stopped the heart medication her death would have come even sooner.
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
lucille
Senior Member
****
Offline


I love Chows!

Posts: 279
South Africa
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #10 - Oct 27th, 2010 at 9:03pm
 
Hello.

I'm very sad to hear to hear about Mei Mei, and I pray that your girl, Gurkan, lives many more happy chow years.

With Leo's Cushings, I really don't know what type it is.  I have read about the pituitary tumour and the adrenal gland type.  The vet said that there would have to be a whole set of other tests to establish which one it is.

Usually the pituitary tumour requires surgery in the brain, which most owners don't opt for.  But the end result of both cases, is that there is an over-production of the cortizone hormone, which can be treated by using drugs that can bring it down to the normal levels.

Trilostane acts at the very last stage of the process inhibiting the enzyme that produces cortizone.  Since it's not a chemotherapy drug like Lysodren which eats away layers of the adrenal gland, it has less damaging side-effects.

Whether Leo takes to this well, only time will tell.
So far he has been on the drug for 10 days.
I feed it to him at 7am in the morning with concealed in a piece of chicken.

He did vomit the first day, as well as on the day he had the first ACTH test.  But he was back to normal afterwards.

He still has a very good appetite.  Still his bubbly, energetic self.  No lethargy.  So this was a good sign for me.
However, he was only put on the minimum dosage of 2mg/kg.
His weight is about 27kg.  And each capsule is 60mg.
He doesn't eat as often, but his appetite is still there.

I took him in today for his first ACTH test after his 10 days of treatment, and I will post the results as soon as I receive them.

I have some pics to show you.  Mind the quality.  It was taken at the spur of the moment with a mobile phone.

Here's a picture of Leo at around 4 years old with full coat:

...

Here's how he looked when he started losing alot of his coat:

...

Here's Leo completely shaven by vet's orders to investigate the skin.  Leo wasn't very impressed Sad

...

Here's Leo with first regrowth after the shaving approx. 4 months later.  Notice how certain areas symmetrical areas have grown, whilst other symmetrical areas where his skin has darkened, has not grown at all:

...

Here's how he looks as at 27/10/2010.  Hair on darkened skin areas, have still not grown.

...


I've read that Trilostane has successfully treated Alopecia X in dogs like Pomeranians, Keeshonds, Alaskan Malamutes...
Leo was also diagnosed with this as well through the skin biopsy.

But lets see if it helps with the hair growth as well....if it does, it's a bonus, well at least on his tail.  His tail looks really sad even when it wags when his happy.  Poor boy.
Back to top
 

Regards,
Lucille
 
IP Logged
 
lucille
Senior Member
****
Offline


I love Chows!

Posts: 279
South Africa
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #11 - Oct 27th, 2010 at 9:09pm
 
Merlin wrote on Oct 27th, 2010 at 3:06pm:
What a pretty girl.
Some dogs do ok without the drugs, but again, it really depends on the type of Cushings.

We were not so lucky   Cry

In Memory of MeiMei
http://chowpei.merlinshope.com/archives/00000133.html
chowpei.merlinshope.com/archives/meimei3.jpg


What a gorgeous girl she was.  I'm really saddened by your loss. We can only do the best in our capacity and then let nature take its course.....and keep their memories in our hearts forever.
Back to top
 

Regards,
Lucille
 
IP Logged
 
Merlin
Senior Member
****
Offline


Chow Baby!

Posts: 466
Ontario , Canada
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #12 - Oct 28th, 2010 at 3:13pm
 
Quote:
We can only do the best in our capacity and then let nature take its course.....and keep their memories in our hearts forever.


You're so right! Give hugs to your precious girl!
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
lucille
Senior Member
****
Offline


I love Chows!

Posts: 279
South Africa
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #13 - Nov 1st, 2010 at 9:14pm
 
Hi everyone.

I just got Leo's results from his ACTH stimulation test, which was done 10 days after his first treatment of Trilostane started i.e. he had been taking it once a day for the last 10 days.

The vet said that he had good news, Leo's cortisol levels dropped from 800 nmol/L (nanomoles per litre) to 82(nmol/L).

He said it ideally should be below 150.

He's doing fine on the drug so far, with no side-effects yet....

His eating and drinking has decreased, but still eating nonetheless i.e. not vomiting or showing lethargy....

I will take him for another test in 3 weeks time, to establish if the levels are still maintained on this dosage of a 60mg capsule once a day.

No effect on hair growth just yet......

Will keep you posted.

Ciao 4 Now Smiley

Back to top
 

Regards,
Lucille
 
IP Logged
 
Merlin
Senior Member
****
Offline


Chow Baby!

Posts: 466
Ontario , Canada
Gender: female
Re: Cushings Disease - Hyperadrenocortism
Reply #14 - Nov 1st, 2010 at 9:15pm
 
Wow phenomenal news!
The hair might take a while, but I'm sure you are in no hurry right?  Great news!
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print