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View Full Version : Hello, I am new here, Kallie just diagnosed


Kallie'smom
04-22-2009, 03:34 PM
Hello to all,

I have never done this before so bear with me. My name is Tammy and my almost 14 year old 9 pound mini dachshund Kallie will be starting treatment on Saturday. (My vet likes to start on Saturdays so it gives an extra day during the week in case it takes a little longer to load.) She has the pituitary tumor. I dont have any of the test results because I did all that before I found this site and didnt think to ask for it. She first had a ACTH Low Dose test, then the ACTH Endogenous test. I guess her tests came out kind of odd so he consulted with the lab to diagnose her. I might be able to get a copy when I pick up her meds. I learned sooooo much from all of you, he seemed surprised that he didnt have to explaiin it all to me. He is even having me just pick up the medicine without a visit, he must have confidence that I know what I am doing. This is making me nervous because he is giving me lysodren (or mitotane) in a gel or liquid form? I haven't picked it up yet, so I don't know the dosing yet. The vet assistant who called me thought it was 1ml. I haven't heard anyone mention this on the forum and wondering if anyone has used this before. I was all studied up on the tablets and then this thru me for a loop.

I did print out the Lysodren loading instructions so I feel fairly comfortable with what to watch for.

Thanks so much,

Tammy and Kallie

Rusty's Mom
04-22-2009, 04:30 PM
Tammy and Kallie,

Welcome to the site. Soon you'll be hearing from a few who really understand the disease and symptoms. This is a great support site. You'll be glad you did the posting.

I just put Rusty down 3 weeks ago. I had only started on this site 2 weeks prior to his passing, so I'm not a wealth of info, but I surely wanted to give you some support.

Blessings and best of luck,

MJ

frijole
04-22-2009, 04:46 PM
Hi! I'm a lysodren mom and my Haley has been on it for almost 3 yrs now. I've never used the gel/liquid version so I can't help you with that. Glad you have the loading instructions book.

I recommend you start monitoring the water intake now so you can track to see if it is reduced. I also watched my dog eat so I could look for changes. I also logged it daily along with any comments throughout the loading process so I could accurately recall things.

Can you share with us your dogs' weight and the daily dosing amount that is being prescribed? I sure wish you had the test results. Did they do the acth test? That is your baseline/starting point as you work your way to a goal of 1 to 5.

Keep us posted! Good luck - you will be just fine.

Kim

Lulusmom
04-22-2009, 05:10 PM
Hi Tammy and welcome to you and Kallie.

I lose my place a lot so in order to make things easier for myself, I've placed my comments in blue into the body of your post. This makes more sense for me and anybody else that get addled easily. :D

I have never done this before so bear with me. My name is Tammy and my almost 14 year old 9 pound mini dachshund Kallie will be starting treatment on Saturday. (My vet likes to start on Saturdays so it gives an extra day during the week in case it takes a little longer to load.)

Your vet is a wise man. The vast majority of dogs will load in 5 to 8 days so starting on a Saturday or Sunday does give you a bit of insurance that your vet will be in the office when you to get Kallie there.

She has the pituitary tumor. I dont have any of the test results because I did all that before I found this site and didnt think to ask for it. She first had a ACTH Low Dose test, then the ACTH Endogenous test. I guess her tests came out kind of odd so he consulted with the lab to diagnose her. I might be able to get a copy when I pick up her meds.

Please do get copies of all of Kallie's test results and post them here. The more information you can give us, the easier it is to put all the pieces together and provide you with more meaningful feedback.

I learned sooooo much from all of you, he seemed surprised that he didnt have to explaiin it all to me. He is even having me just pick up the medicine without a visit, he must have confidence that I know what I am doing. This is making me nervous because he is giving me lysodren (or mitotane) in a gel or liquid form? I haven't picked it up yet, so I don't know the dosing yet. The vet assistant who called me thought it was 1ml. I haven't heard anyone mention this on the forum and wondering if anyone has used this before. I was all studied up on the tablets and then this thru me for a loop.

I used liquid lysodren the first time I loaded my second cushdog, Jojo. It did the job but it got gunked up near the bottom of the vial. That made me uncomfortable so when it came time for a refill, we switched to a compounded capsule.

I believe the 1ml the vet tech was referring to is a syringe measurement. For instance, Jojo loaded on 100mg twice daily. In his case 1ml (full syringe) was 100mg so he would get .5ml twice a day with meals. Can you verify with your vet as to the actual mg dose?

I did print out the Lysodren loading instructions so I feel fairly comfortable with what to watch for.

Good for you. Those instructions came in real handy for me more than once. When loading with lysodren, prednisone is an absolute necessity so do not start loading without it.

We'll be here to help you in any way we can.


Glynda

P.S. I see that Kim posted well before I did. I'm at work and get interrupted frequently. Sorry for any duplication.

ventilate
04-22-2009, 05:34 PM
Hi, I wanted to welcome you as well. Sounds like you did your homework, a couple things I want to mention is first the loading instructions are excellent but what I do want to reinterate is that anything that makes you go "ummmm" and think thats odd could be the sign of loading, it can be very subtle, just a hesitation while eating instead of just going head down butt up and eating, a pause, not grabbing a treat out of your hand but sniffing it first things like that, my dog left a few kibble for her boyfriend and didnt wake me up that night to go out to pee.
As well when you go to pick up the meds, if it not written on the bottle be sure to ask what the concentration is how much lysodren in the 1 cc of liquid. it will not be pure lysodren it will be for example 15 mg in 1 cc we need to know the mg of lysodren as well as the ccs you are giving and the wt of your dog. As well be sure the vet gives you prednisone in case of inadvertant overload you want to have some on hand just in case, you know the old saying if you have it you will not need it.
Good luck and please do post the results when you get them
Sharon

Kallie'smom
04-23-2009, 08:13 AM
Thank you for the welcome and words of encouragement.

MJ - Thanks for saying hi and so sorry to hear about Rusty.

Kim - I have 2 other (medium sized dogs) and they all drink out of the same 2water bowls!! I do usually pay attention to how much Kallie is drinking anyway so I will probably be able to tell if she goes to the bowl less or spends less time actually drinking. Sometimes she drinks what seems like a full minute! She gets up every night around midnight for a drink too. The vet is having me give Kallie melatonin, to help her sleep and maybe help grow some hair back? Does anyone know if that is okay to give her? So far I haven't read anything bad about it.

Glynda - I will get the test results this afternoon - I will be picking up the medicine and speaking to the vet. Hopefully I will understand the numbers to be able to post them correctly.

Sharon - Kallie has always coked her food down as fast as she can so hopefully that will be the first thing I notice is her hesitation. She acts like there are 10 dogs behind her trying to get her food!! I even divide her food up (during each meal) and don't give it to her all at once because she cokes on it otherwise. Since the drinking will be harder to monitor I'm hoping the food will be my indicator.

Thank you all so much - I'll post the results as soon as I can and probably compare with other results posted here so I can learn what all the numbers mean.

Tammy

Harley PoMMom
04-23-2009, 08:30 AM
Hi Tammy,
Although I can't give you much advice, b/c I am a newbie here, I can offer lots of support.:) But you are at the right place for advice, there are alot of people here with a wealth of knowledge that are willing to share it with you, I know that for a fact b/c they have been doing that for me. Thank God :):eek: and God Bless Them :D:D:D

Take Care, Harley and Lori

Squirt's Mom
04-23-2009, 10:07 AM
Hi Tammy! :) Welcome to you and Kallie! :)

I'm glad you are here and decided to post. As you can see, we ask lots of questions at first but that's so we can get to know Kallie and her story better, then be able to offer more meaningful feedback. And I have a few more to add. :p

How much does Kallie weigh? Does she have any other conditions/illnesses? Is she on any other meds, supplements or herbs at the moment? What prompted you to take her to the vet in the first place when Cushing's was initially suspected? Are the drinking and appetite behaviors you see now something new for her? Has she had an ultrasound? Don't you wish we would stop asking questions? :p I promise not to get too nosy til I get to know you a bit better! :D

The most important thing you can do for Kallie is to educate yourself on Cushing's. To help you get started, there will be a list of links following this post. Please ask any questions you may have and we will do our best to help you understand. If we don't know the answer, we will work together to find it. We are all here to learn, share and care. There are some really knowledgeable folks here with lots of experience to share. We are also very good hand-holders! :) My palms have been sweaty more than once with all the love and support from my family here and I'm sure you will find the same to be true for you.

Getting copies of all Kallie's test results to keep in a file at home is a good idea. You never know when you will need to see a different vet and you will have all her info in hand. Plus, you will be able to answer all these questions we throw at you. :p Another thing some of us do is to keep a journal of our babies day to day doings - water intake, appetite, mood, pee and poop history, meds/supplements and their schedules, anything odd or different we observe, etc. That way you don't have to try to remember when she pooped that weird purple stuff last month! :eek::p My vet finds Squirt's journal to be very valuable as I can answer just about anything she asks plus it gives a good time line on her progress. They just love seeing me come with all my notebooks and files! :D

Melatonin is one of the treatments for Atypical Cushing's, which involves intermediate and/or sex hormones with or without elevated cortisol. Flax lignans are also used with the melatonin. This is the treatment protocol my Squirt is on at the moment and doing quite well! Melatonin will help Kallie rest at nite plus it has properties that can lower cortisol as well, so I think your vet was on the mark to recommend it for her. Squirt weighs 14 lbs and she takes 3mg 2X/day. Be sure you get the plain melatonin, not the time released, extended, etc. How much is Kallie supposed to take and how often?

I am just so happy you made it here! :D I hope you find you feel like family in no time. There just isn't a better bunch of folks than those here! Of course, I'm just a wee bit prejudiced! ;)

Hang in there! You are doing a great job already!
Hugs,
Leslie and the girls (Squirt, Ruby, Goldie and Crystal)

:eek::eek: the links :D:D

Cushing's in general:

Kate Connick*
http://www.kateconnick.com/library/cushingsdisease.html

Long Beach Animal Hospital*
http://www.lbah.com/canine/cushings.htm

Drs. Foster and Smith*
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2097&aid=416

Newman Veterinary*
http://www.newmanveterinary.com/CushingDiag.html

Cushing’s signs and pics*
http://www.newmanveterinary.com/CushSignFrame.html

BMD Health Library*
http://www.bestbeau.ca/bmd_health_links_4.htm
(scroll down to see Endocrine Diseases)

Mar Vista Animal Medical Center*
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/cushing_s_disease.html

Vetstream*
http://www.vetstreamcanis.com/ACI/February08/VMD2/FactSheet052.asp


Atypical Cushing’s*
http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=485128&sk=&date=&pageID=1

http://www.vetcontact.com/en/art.php?a=132&t=

frijole
04-23-2009, 11:06 AM
Tammi, I can help you with the water situation because many of us, including myself, have more than one critter.

Before you start loading measure all water at the beginning of a day. Then measure it at the end of the day. You'll have the net total. Then you can compare throughout loading.

Since Kallie is an eater that might be an easier way to tell. My Haley was the same way. No breathing or chewing between bites. INHALE. Just pay close attention as sometimes as Sharon said it is a MINOR change that indicates loading. (ex. a slight pause between bites)

We are here to help. Kim

Kallie'smom
04-23-2009, 02:21 PM
Kallie's story:

She weighs 9 pounds, up til last year she weighed about 14. 11 or 12 would be an ideal weight for her. Me and my husband want to do before and after treatment pictures. I'll figure out how to post them when we do.

She has always acted like she is starving as far back as I can remember. When my parents dogsit her (she is their grandchild) my mom always commented on how much she drinks. She seemed really healthy so I just thought I'd keep that in mind. Then it just got gradually worse as time went on so I didn't think too much about it. She started to pee alot more (every 2 hours or less). Then she got a UTI. I wanted to get her teeth cleaned but wanted her to get a blood test first to make sure she didnt have kidney disease or something else.. Her teeth are really nasty and thought maybe that was causing symptoms. That all came back good but - the BUN was high (45) and also her blood sugar (157) but not high like she had diabetes. High phosphates too. Second test her phosphates came back down. In the meantime she was also losing hair on her ears. Even after the UTI was cleared up she was peeing it seemed like every hour or less. I had started to do research on her symptoms which led me to Cushings, everything matched up except she was losing weight not 'gaining'. She was loosing so much muscle mass and weight she can't jump up on the stool we had for her to get on the couch. She has every symptom except 'weight gain' and panting. She shakes all the time and her hind legs are really weak. If the other dogs bump into her she falls down. Good thing she is only inches off the ground! She does have back issues but my vet is trained in chiropractic medicine (it works wonders) Not sure if the weak back legs and shaking is Cushings or back related, maybe both. (Hope she doesn't have arthritis - which would show up after cotisol level go down) She seems to have OCD - she licks everything, mostly the floor for 1/2 hour at a time and I can't get her to stop, if I pick her up she just licks my hands. Don't know if that is related to Cushing but it sure would be nice if she stopped that too! She kind of seems in her own little world, not overly excited to see us when we come home, that kind of made me sad. She has started going deaf since last spring, but she seems okay with that. She can hear me if i talk really loud. She seems healthy otherwise. Oh and she takes 3mg per night of melatonin the plain kind. I did buy her some minerals with milk thistle in it. And she also is taking probiotics because she seemed to be pooping all the food i gave her, like she was not absorbing anything. I thought that was why she was losing so much weight. She pooped about every 4 hours. That seems to have slowed down a bit now its 2 or 3 times a day.

Tests done were:

LDD
4 hr cort 12.0
8 hr cort 7.5
baseline 2.3
(Vet said results seemed kind of odd to him) He had them run them twice and same result. (3/16/09)

Endogenous ACTH 11.1
(Vet called the endocronologist because he was kind of stumped)
They said "significant magnitude to indicate pituitary-based disease when hyperadrenocorticism has been confirmed." Univ of Michigan

I picked up the mitosone gel and he showed me how to do it so I feel much better about it. She gets 1ml of the gel which is 200mg. Does that seem right? Got my prednisone!!! But had to ask for it - you've trained me well!!

Did I forget anything??

Tammy

Kallie'smom
04-23-2009, 02:21 PM
Kim - thanks for the water tip!!

ventilate
04-23-2009, 02:46 PM
Tammy; I have no experience with the gel either, please tell us how you give it. GOOD GIRL asking for the pred, your are being a great doggie advocate, we have to and believe me it gets easier and easier. Do you give that gel once per day? after eating? IF it is once per day 200 mg is right at 9 lbs that is about 4 kg, and we normally dose at 50 mg per kg so that would be 200 mg. right on the money...
Please tell us how the vet wants you to administer the med.
Great job so far sister.
Sharon

Kallie'smom
04-23-2009, 02:55 PM
He said once a day. Its in a dropper so he said just put it down the back of the mouth. If that doesnt work I will maybe put it in a pill pocket or something. He said just make sure its the same time everyday. Preferably (i need a spell checker on here) in the morning. I think I'll give it to her after she eats?? That way if she doesn't eat I will know probably not to give her any more. If I give it first then she doesn't eat I will be afraid I overloaded her. Someone on the forum mentioned that tip and i thougt that sounded like an excellent idea - if I was understanding it correctly.

Tammy

Lulusmom
04-23-2009, 03:54 PM
Hi Tammy.

You should always dose after a meal not only because of the reason you stated but because it is tough on the tummy so you want food in there. Plus, I think food helps with absorption.

If your Mitotane/Lysodren is suspended in a beef or chicken broth, the chances are that Kallie will love it and you won't have to worry about how you are going to get it down her throat. My Jojo would have sucked it out of the syringe if I hadn't pushed the plunger. :D

Glynda

P.S. Just noticed that your vet prescribed something called Mitosone gel. I've never heard of it. :confused:

ventilate
04-23-2009, 04:10 PM
Tammy;
I think it was me and that is excellent advice:D:D about not meding before the meal and Glenda had a great thought as wel about being hard on the tummy as well.
Good luck and watch and you will see;)
Sharon

Kallie'smom
04-23-2009, 05:18 PM
Sorry I meant mitotane, my mistake.:o Glad to hear it tastes good, at least to a dog!

Tammy

Kallie'smom
04-24-2009, 06:05 PM
Mod note:
Moved from another thread started by Tammy (threads merged)

Does anyone that knows what these test results mean think they look out of the ordinary to you?? My vet seemed to have a hard time figuring them out. He did consult with the lab to come up with the conclusion. I don't know what the range should be. I would look up old posts from the old site to compare but they aren't there!

Tests done were:

LDD
4 hr cort 12.0
8 hr cort 7.5
baseline 2.3
(Vet said results seemed kind of odd to him) He had them run them twice and same result. (3/16/09)

Endogenous ACTH 11.1
(Vet called the endocrinologist because he was kind of stumped)
They said "significant magnitude to indicate pituitary-based disease when hyperadrenocorticism has been confirmed." Univ of Michigan

I am just hoping they are in the ranges of a dog with Pituitary Cushings, since she starts treatment tomorrow.

Thanks!!!!

Tammy

Kallie'smom
04-25-2009, 06:54 AM
Glynda - I just gave her the first dose of (beef flavored gel) this morning and she loved it! lol. Thanks for letting me know your Jojo liked it. I slept good last night - if you hadn't told me I probably would have been awake all night worrying about this morning, wondering if I could get her to take it. Hopefully by this time next week she will be all done loading and I'll be moved on to the next phase.

Thank you everyone. I was leaning towards not treating Kallie when I first found out she had Cushings, because I thought the treatment sounded too harsh. I only knew it was a really strong medicine and didn't want to put her thru that at her age (almost 14). But after reading all your experiences and information. it's not so scary to me anymore.

Tammy

Kallie'smom
04-30-2009, 06:54 AM
Hope I did the right thing - I always second guess myself. Kallie is on Dose #6 today. The vet originally had her scheduled to come in for a ACTH test this morning, he likes the 5 day mark. I called yesterday and said she didn't show any signs of loading yet. Still strong appetite, drink, pee etc. So he rescheduled her for tomorrow morning. Last night her stool was a little softer than normal, so I am watching that too. This morning I gave her Dose 6 after she readily ate. But the rest of the morning she seems kinda quiet and just went back to bed. She didn't poop yet, I was kinda waiting to see. She does have up and down days anyway, I am just always paranoid when it comes to her. I go home for lunch everyday so I'll get to see how she is eating then. If she shows any signs of hesitation or has softer stool again do I just wait til tomorrow's appointment? Do you ususally wait til the next morning so you can do a test without eating? Or do you take your dogs right away for the test even if she has eaten??

Tammy

Kallie'smom
04-30-2009, 07:00 AM
Oh and she pee's yellow again!! Haven't seen that in a long time. Usually its clear.

Squirt's Mom
04-30-2009, 07:32 AM
Hi Tammy,

The optimal time for a stim with Lyso is 36-48 hours after the last dose. Based on your description of her behavior, you might not want to give the dose tonite but the experts will be along to tell you for sure. If you get home at lunch and she has had diarrhea or vomited or seems lethargic, then I know you don't want to dose her again tonite.

I think I would keep the appt. tomorrow for the stim. If she is loaded, then you are ready for maintenance soon; if she is not loaded, then you simply resume loading til she is. So you won't lose any ground by testing tomorrow.

Yellow pee!! :D:D That is always good to see in a cush pup! :D It's amazing what cush moms and dads get excited about! Yellow pee, solid poops, whoopie! :p

Keep up the good work!
Hugs,
Leslie and the girls

Kallie'smom
04-30-2009, 07:39 AM
Hi Leslie and girls,

Thanks for the encouragement! Vet was only having me give her a full dose once a day in the morning after breakfast. She seemed fine that way.

So my question is - she will only be at 24 hours tomorrow morning (since last dose). Will that be okay for her test around 8am?? Does anyone ever do testing later in the day?

Tammy

frijole
04-30-2009, 12:17 PM
Hi. I think I'm answering 2 questions you had.

First off as Leslie mentioned lysodren continues to work for a few days after giving it. The test results will be for where Kallie is when you test her tomorrow. Whatever cortisol reading you get (you are shooting for 1 to 5) might go down a bit as the lysodren is still working. Don't worry - you can still do the test.

Also you asked about eating - you should fast her prior to the test so only water after midnight... skip breakfast and bring her in. No lysodren either!

Hope this helps Kim

Kallie'smom
04-30-2009, 12:59 PM
Thanks - good to know. When I got home for lunch she was all perky again and ate like a piggy as usual. Poop was good! lol. My friends laughed at me the other day when my husband took her outside and I asked how her poop looked. Can't wait to have her tested to see if she's done yet.

Squirt's Mom
05-05-2009, 11:15 AM
Hi Tammy,

How are things with you and Kallie today? Hope all is well.

Hugs,
Leslie and the girls

Kallie'smom
05-05-2009, 12:51 PM
Kallie did 6 days of mitotane (is that generic for lysodren??) and we (the vet and I) thought it might be good to check her. She did pee a little less and stool softened a bit, but no decrease in hunger. I should find out the results today or tomorrow (of the ACTH test). They had to send out the sample. Do other vets do it in their offices?

I've been around here everyday but I've been busy reading threads, lots of stuff going on!! I still have lots to learn.

Tammy

frijole
05-05-2009, 02:51 PM
Hi! Mitotane and lysodren are the same drug. And yes, most vets do not have a testing lab in their offices for the ACTH. Typical turnaround is a couple days depending on the distance from your vets office. Don't forget to GET A COPY of the results so you can keep in the file. Trust me, you'll be glad you did up the road. Good luck!! Kim

Squirt's Mom
05-05-2009, 03:02 PM
Hi Tammy,

Can't wait to hear the results!

Yes, Mitotane is the generic of Lysodren. You may also see o,p’-DDD in reference to Lyso.

Few, if any, vets have the capacity to do the testing in their offices so every lab work I know of is sent out to labs who do the testing. This is all they do, testing of one kind or the other, they do not see patients. My vets office is now able to run a much broader chem panel than they did a year ago but they still have to send most of their samples out for testing. This way, they can make us play the WAITING game, one we all hate with a passion! :mad::(:rolleyes::p:D But we have all managed to survive and I know you will, too! :)

I am waiting with you!
Hugs,
Leslie and the girls

Kallie'smom
05-06-2009, 03:48 PM
Just a quick note - Kallie's test results came back. She is at 15, so we need to keep going with the loading process. The first test (pre level?) was 3. Not sure what that it means but I know the 2nd one should fall between 1 and 5. Thanks again for all I am learning from all of you.

Tammy

frijole
05-06-2009, 04:46 PM
Thanks for the update. Don't worry about having to continue loading - not all dogs are the same and there really is no way of knowing how long it will take. I won't tell you how long my dog took because she holds the record. However, I can tell you I understand it's stressful.... just keep doing what you are and before long the tough part will be over.

I've had mine on the same dosage since loading and it's almost been 3 years. Much easier. Oh, and the first number is really not meaningful so don't worry about that one. Just the last one and yes, 1-5 is the goal.

Kim

Kallie'smom
05-14-2009, 07:38 AM
Hello All,

Just an update on Kallie. She is now on DAY 14 of loading!! Seems like this is going forever! (Kim maybe i will beat your record of most days loading!) No change in her yet, still acts like a cushdog. My vet seems a little worried since he is on vacation now til Monday. He left me a message yesterday with his home phone number, I thought that was very nice. I guess I'm not as worried as he is. The other vet in his office has delt with cushings alot more, I might be one of his first ones??, but he consults with her, everything is going smoothly. Kallie was tested after 6 days (15) and started back up again a week later (by the time the test came back with a weekend in there). So still at the waiting game.

Hope everyone has a good day.

Tammy and Kallie (and Rosie and Pepper and Sage{kittycat}, lol)

frijole
05-14-2009, 11:03 AM
Tammy,

You aren't even CLOSE to the load record so don't you fret one little bit. I'm not sharing what the record is because it would upset you unnecessarily. :) Just keep watching. Remind me is your dog's biggest issue drinking water or the ravenous food eater? In other words what are you looking for to determine whether Kallie is loaded.

Keep posting. Hugs, Kim

Kallie'smom
05-14-2009, 01:11 PM
I guess mostly how she eats. She eats so fast she almost chokes. I have to almost hand feed her. The water amount is hard since there are 3 more mouths drinking. And when the bigger dogs play they drink more than usual. I kind of figure if she isn't acting like a dog with cushings then she must be done! Don't worry, I am putting more thought into it than that, but, the initial freaking out every day and staring at her to see if she looks different is over, lol. She got up twice last night to pee. So when she sleeps thru a night I'll get suspicious and watch how she eats too. I feed her 3 times a day so I have good opportunities to see how she is doing with that.

Tammy

frijole
05-14-2009, 05:15 PM
Tammy,

I have 2 dogs so I understand. My dog was a little pig too. I noticed that she didn't eat as fast. Remember it doesn't have to be a HUGE change, they say "mom's know" so always go with your intuition and if you have ANY doubt do NOT give the lysodren ok? Better safe than sorry.

Another thing to watch if the poop. Yep you got it. Diarrhea is a sign of too much lysodren so you don't want to get to that point. Since my dog was loading for sooooooo long I went out with her every time she had to go potty to be sure she didn't have the big D. And there was snow on the ground too. Flashlight, slippers, robe, and a poking stick. :D

I figured out what normal consistency was and watched it slowly get softer. When it was to the point 1/2 way between normal and D I scheduled the acth. She was at 1.8 I believe. It was the only way I would have known.

So you are doing the right thing by keeping the eyes on the lookout for change. Hang in there and we are here for ya. Hugs Kim

AlisonandMia
05-14-2009, 05:35 PM
I really sympathize with you. My Mia was an incredibly slow loader too! Took the best part of a month! Twice! (we had to reload once). Nearly killed me but she breezed through without a worry in the world - except that she was soooooo hungry, of course all the time her cortisol was too high.

Kallie was tested after 6 days (15) and started back up again a week later (by the time the test came back with a weekend in there). So still at the waiting game.

I wonder with that 6 day delay (weekends can be a real pain!) whether you didn't lose a bit of ground. Some dogs have adrenals that regenerate very fast once they don't have any Lysodren in their system. I doubt very much you went back to square one but she may have been somewhat higher after 6 days than she was on the day of the stim - I know my dog would have been.

Can you remind us again how big is Kallie and what is her daily dose of Lysodren? Also what food is she eating when she has her Lysodren and what is it's fat content?

The food sign can be very subtle - just not eating like they are trying to dig a hole in the bottom of the bowl with their jaws or even just being less grabby with treats - I recall a couple of people seeing that and having it be sign that the dog was loaded.

Good luck and hope you get "there" soon!

Alison

Kallie'smom
05-15-2009, 09:09 AM
Kallie weighs 9 lbs. She used to weigh 14 a year ago!!! She looks like skin and bones with a big round tummy. She is taking 200mg of mitotane/lysodren - its the liquid kind, boy does she love that. Its beef flavored. She takes 1ml of that because only 200mg's is actually the drug. (200mg/1ml)

I have been following her around when she goes out to go poty. He poop is still the same. It did soften up a little last time (the first week before testing) but not liquid. I will be watching that closely though. Thanks for the reminders and support!!

She is eating Wellness Senior food. Protien is 18% Fat is 10% and fiber is 5%. She was on the grain free Wellness Core with high protein, (34% protien and higher phospherous) but me and the vet wondered if thats why her phospherous levels were so high, and she got UTI problems??? The food was great but not for her. Now that I look back does Cushings cause the high phospherous? and high protien in her urine? Levels went down the second time he tested her, and that time she was on the senior food. At first he thought kidney problems but ruled that out with the second test because everything went back to normal levels, before we tested her for cushings.

I read in someone elses post that higher fat might help it absorb better? I could mix a little of the other dogs food in - they are eating Wysong maintenance (24% protien and 12% fat) or do you think that might mess up her system with the urinary tract infections, etc.

Thanks so much,

Tammy

Squirt's Mom
05-15-2009, 09:38 AM
Hi Tammy,

You really don't want to increase the fat content in her diet as cush pups are prone to pancreatitis and the fats can cause this to flare up sometimes.

Alison is the expert on the oil w/Lyso but if my memory serves me correctly, you can use something like cream cheese (full fat version) or peanut butter to give the dose with, or even some warmed oil like olive oil (I personally am wary of corn products for pups but some use corn oil, too). Since you are using a liquid form, there may enough fat/oils in that to help with absorption but I'm not real sure about that. Alison will be on later this afternoon or tonite as she is in Australia and I'm sure she will have some input.

Wellness is a good feed and one of mine, Goldie, eats it, too. But they have outsourced their production to Diamond, I think it is, so now I worry about the quality of Wellness. But so far, I haven't seen any ingredient changes, analysis changes, or changes in Goldie. This commercial dog food stuff drives me batty! I will be so glad when I am comfortable enough with what I am learning to start cooking for all of them. Squirt has done so well on her home cooking that I am sold on this method of feeding! ;)

Take care and give Kallie a hug from me!
Hugs,
Leslie and the girls

Kallie'smom
05-15-2009, 09:45 AM
Leslie,

Thanks for information about Wellness food. I'll keep an eye on that. I researched for a week before deciding on Wellness - then they go and do that!! Thats a bummer, oh well.

Tammy

Kallie'smom
05-15-2009, 08:38 PM
I just have a question - Kallie seems to be getting weaker - she lost so much weight in the last 6 months. Her muscles seem almost gone. Would the Lysodren be making that worse? Could that be a sign of being loaded? Or is that just caused by the disease. Seems worse since yesterday (even like she is kind of down-sad). She does have up and down days. (watch, I'll wake up tomorrow and she'll be having an up day and all this worry for nothing!) She is still very hungry, drinking and peeing enough, poop seems normal. I think I will call the vet in the morning and see if they should do an acth test???? She's been back loading since last Thursday, May 7th. First time it was 6 days, then test (a week off), now 9 more days. The vet is open Saturdays til noon.

After she has been on maintenance for a while will she get some strength and muscle back? I was going to try to make her exercise little bit. Maybe even swim. We had to do hydro therapy with our other dog. You have to be careful how long they swim - only minutes at a time. (it equals quite a long distance). She has a bad back so I thought that might be more gentle on her.

Sorry I am rambling, I am just in a worry mode, I get like that sometimes at night, seems to get worse, like the whole day just fell on me.


Tammy

Kallie'smom
05-16-2009, 01:43 PM
Kallie is still really tired and weak. Should I stop the lysodren tomorrow (Sunday) and take her in Monday for the acth test? I talked to the vet this morning and she seemed a little perkier, (figured she'd be good til Monday) but as the day goes on she just has no energy at all and is wanting to sleep most of the day. She has been kind of coughing/weezing a little too.

Hmmmm, stumped.

Tammy and Kallie

frijole
05-16-2009, 02:07 PM
Tammy

Being lethargic and sleeping alot is common during loading because lysodren is a strong drug. I know my dog tends to sleep more on the days she gets it even after having been on it 3 yrs. So just being tired would not have me worried.

Signs of loading are reduced appetite and/or water consumption. Have there been any changes there yet?

Refresh my memory if you don't mind. What was her original ACTH number? Her first round of loading was for how many days? and then what was the next ACTH number? I'm trying to get a feel for how long it has been and how her body is reacting to the dosage.

When you started loading the 2nd time did you increase the dosage at all or did you stick with the same dosage?

Thanks.
Kim

Kallie'smom
05-16-2009, 02:17 PM
Hi Kim,

No changes with the food and water/peeing. No diarrhea.

She first started loading and on the 6th day he tested her and it was 15. Took almost a week because the test was shipped out on a Friday and we didnt get the test back til Wednesday. We started her back up again same dose of 200mg per day Thursday. That was May 7th (that we started back up) so its been a week and 2 days. I just wanted to make sure being weak and tired wasn't one of the signs. I have to feed her tonight yet before bed so I will have another chance to monitor her eating. Would I give her prednisone in this instance or is that for only when the lysodren went too far?

Thanks for responding so quick.

Tammy

stardeb55
05-16-2009, 02:48 PM
Tammy, you only want to give pred, if Kallie has one or more of the following symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or extreme lethargy. If you give pred, you must wait at least 24 hours after the pred before doing a stim, as the pred will read as cortisol, & give you a falsely elevated result. One last thing about the timing of a stim, lyso reaches it peak in the body at about 48 hours after the dose, so ideally, you would want to stim as close to the 48 hr. mark as possible.

Debbie

Kallie'smom
05-16-2009, 02:56 PM
Thanks Debbie!

Go to know. I didn't know that about the prednisone and the stim test. I think her last test was only 24 hours later.

Is extreme lethargy when they don't seem like they want to wake up or can't really walk?? Kallie is just sleepy, but if I get her up she walks around and gets a drink, goes poty and goes back to bed. She does seem a little sick - real warm and shakey, but she gets up to do the necessary.

Thanks so much, I feel a little better about the situation.

Tammy and Kallie

frijole
05-16-2009, 02:57 PM
Tammy,

No problem... it was luck as I was out of town all day today and just got home and checked in.

Prednisone during the loading phase is for use in emergency namely too much lysodren. (vomiting and diarrhea) Prednisone mimics cortisol so I would NOT give during loading. Some vets actually recommend it but I personally do not prefer this approach because it makes spotting signs of loading HARDER.

Being tired, stomach growling and awful GAS are all typical during loading just so you know. :p

I am not sure where you started (cortisol level) but after 6 days 15 is still not close to being loaded so it does not surprise me that you are still loading. Some dogs require higher dosages than others. My dog took almost 3 months to load (that does NOT include the days when we were waiting for the results) and each time we INCREASED the dosage. She is WAY over the recommended amount but all dogs are different and heck she has HELD that level without reloading for 3 yrs so it was worth the wait and getting it right.

My point is just to let you know there are lots of dogs that take longer than a week so don't fret. You might consider after 14 days (of 2nd load you are currently doing) retesting just to see how you are doing. It very well could be that you need a tad higher dosage. Remember you want to not only reach a cortisol level of between 1 and 5 but you also want to maintain that level so you never have to load again. ;):D

I think you are probably getting close so keep up the great work and keep asking questions. Been there and I know it is stressful. This group saved my sanity so I'm happy to pay it forward.

Hugs
Kim

Kallie'smom
05-16-2009, 06:57 PM
Wow Kim that's quite the record for loading!!! That must have taken so much out of you. Thanks for sharing all you know with us new ones.

Thanks for everyones input. I feel much better. I was out to eat for a couple hours and was afraid of how Kallie might be when I got home but she was barking and tail up - she's almost acting normal (licking my husband - she'll do that for half an hour). Don't know if she has OCD or might that be another symptom of Cushings? Does anyone elses dog do that? She licks the floor if she can't like him. Drive's us up the wall!!!

Everyone have a good night!! And I'll be praying for all the doggies out there that need help tonight so they can have a good day tomorrow.

Tammy

frijole
05-17-2009, 07:34 AM
Tammy

I forgot about the licking thing. :) I cannot speak to any scientific reason - or tie it to cushings - perhaps others can? I can only tell you that my gal was always a licker, however, after being treated I remember posting about how she was like a canine vacuum cleaner licking the carpet while walking thru the house. I remember others had the same experience but I can't for the life of me remember if we concluded why this happened. :confused:

Kim

forscooter
05-17-2009, 03:49 PM
Hi Tammy....

Kim is right....we have had quite a few lickers...especially carpet lickers...I don't think we ever did narrow it down.:confused: I think some dogs had allergy issues which sometimes can present with a lot of licking....and others we just never could figure it out.

Tammy, I had two dogs with Cushing's....Bailey is still with me. During loading, they were quieter than usual. And even after we started maintenance in the beginning, they would get what we scientifically termed "yuckies" anywhere from 24-36 hours after being given the dose. Lysodren loading causes, usually, a rapid decrease in cortisol. Cortisol can make a dog feel better in some respects, and in others, not so good. But a rapid decrease can just throw things off balance a bit for them....don't worry though bc they adjust much better than we do watching them!!:p

As for the lethargy...you will know it. It is more than just being tired...more than just sleepy. It is a weakness like you haven't seen before. Scooter went low on me a few times and I'll never forget the first. It was like it happened yesterday. That morning he wasn't eating well, seemed very tired, really not too interested in much of anything. I thought well, I guess he is just having an "off" day and I went to work. When I came home, 8 hours later, he met me at the door as always. BUT, then he sat right down. And then laid down. Not the usual barking greeting I always got. I stopped and looked at him. It was like someone sucked the life out of his eyes. There was nothing there. I was suspicious and I offered him cheese.....no dice. I offered him peanut butter....nothing. He stayed on the floor and just had this dull look.

So, I took some pred, smeared cream cheese on my finger and wiped it all on the back of his tongue. It took about 30-45 minutes, but he was up running around the house and ate all his dinner.

So, a low, should there be one, will come on over hours...you will see an increase in symptoms....and you will KNOW it bc you know Kallie better than anyone else.

The only other thing I can tell you is if in doubt, if something just seems wrong for Kallie, you can't hurt to test. You won't lose much ground and it is always safer to be safe than sorry. I know you don't want to stim all the time, but if your gut tells you to check, you probably should. No one can really tell without testing the numbers. As I said, you know Kallie better than anyone so listen to your gut. And we'll help your gut as much as possible!:)

Hang in there....it DOES get better!!! Beth, Bailey and always Scooter

Kallie'smom
05-18-2009, 07:51 AM
Hi Beth - Wow you had two with cushings, that must have been stressful. Did that just happen by chance? Sorry to hear you lost Scooter. How long did they have cushings?

Kallie sure has been having the "yuckies" the past 3 days. Hopefully that means she's done soon. She did eat a little slower today, but she has been coughing a little and kind of choking on her food so maybe that slowed her down. I'll see again at lunch. I will be talking to the vet this afternoon. I hope there isnt something else wrong with her. Her breath has been extra nasty lately. And with her kind of gagging/choking. Her teeth have been really bad the last few years. We were going to get them cleaned, but then my husband lost his job and out of work for 5 months! We looked back into it when he got a new job and did the blood tests and thats when we started checking into cushings. Hopefully if all goes well we will get her teeth cleaned after she is on maintenance. I am very worried about her mouth. I am scared to even look in there.

Thanks for the example of Scooter when he was lethargic. That really helped me realize/picture what it should be like.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Tammy and Kallie

Roxee'sDad
05-18-2009, 02:40 PM
Hi Tammy,
My Roxee was a floor licker too. She would just lay down and start licking the floor:( I thought she was liking the flavor. Seemed to have stopped when her stim results came back in the desired range.:)

Hope all continues to improve with Kallie.

John (Roxee's Dad)

Kallie'smom
05-18-2009, 02:57 PM
It would be so great if she quit after she is done loading and has normal levels. Seems like it got worse since last year. She always did lick my husband - more like the submissive lick the alpha male thing. The other dogs do it too but she is obnoxious!!

Tammy and Kallie

forscooter
05-18-2009, 03:17 PM
Hi Tammy,

I just got lucky I guess having two! Scooter was diagnosed first and then Bailey 6 weeks later. Scooter was so sick at the time that it was so obvious something was really wrong with him. Bailey not so much. So by the time I got done loading and stabilizing Scooter, I noticed Bailey drinking and peeing more and thought hhmmmm....they aren't related except through our hearts so it wasn't a genetic thing.

Scooter would have made his two-year mark this past February with Cushing's. I had to make the final decision the day after Christmas when he collapsed after a morning bath. Rushed him to the vet and found out his heart was very enlarged. He had multiple issues, severe allergies, severe arthritis, and this huge heart....and was really not having the best quality to his life. And I didn't want him to collapse like that when he would be all alone if I was at work and so I made the decision to let him go.

Bailey just celebrated his two-year anniversary. He is having some issues now but mostly related to his arthritis and hip dysplasia. So we just make every day special and I count my blessings!

If you see the slow down eating, that may be your sign. Both boys just hesitated for a millisecond which for them was unusual. My gut thought uh-oh. They loaded very very quickly and the vet thought I was nuts. But they were loaded! I was right. You don't want to go until Kallie is sick so if she hesitates again or seems to have a problem eating, I would take her to be checked. The teeth thing can sure complicate matters and I feel for you!!! I understand about balancing the expenses of all of this. We do the best we can. I am limited on what and how much I can do, so truly I understand. :)

Hang in there....loading is the pits but I know you can both do it!!!
Hugs, Beth, Bailey and always Scooter

Kallie'smom
05-19-2009, 06:09 AM
Kallie ate slower yesterday, and last night at 2:30 am she woke up trying to vomit. Nothing came out. She tried 3 times in about an hour. I gave her some tagament (previously prescribed for her when she had a back injury when on steriods, so I thought it would be okay). I thought maybe she'd feel better this morning but it's the same or worse. I did call the vet little after 7 and he said give her the prednisone. That was around 7:40am. I'm waiting for it to kick in. Hopefully that's what the problem is. He said he will test her tomorrow morning. She didn't even want it smeared in moist cat food (her favorite). We had to put it down the back of her throat. My husband was freaking out a little bit but I knew just what to do because of all of you. He seems scared to see her like this but I am being really calm. Thank you all so much - i would have been freaking out right now.

Tammy and Kallie

Kallie'smom
05-19-2009, 06:20 AM
Does anyone know the dosage amount of prednisone for a 9 lb dog? He told me to give her one pill - it is 2.5mg.

Thanks,

Tammy

Kallie'smom
05-19-2009, 09:37 AM
She had no reaction to the 2.5 mg of prednisone so the vet had me bring her in right away. They did an x-ray because she seemed to be having a hard time breathing and one of her lungs is filled up. They don't know if she has pneumonia or a mass in there. They kept her for a couple hours to give her a water pill to clear it up to see if they can see anything in there and also to give her a stim test - they want to know how far along she is loading. She might be done. We are hoping for little high right now (instead of too low) since she needs antibiotics and i guess if she is low it would be harder to treat?? They don't think the two are related but its hard to know. Wow what a crazy night and morning. My poor husband is so upset so I have to be the strong one.

They think if all goes well she will be feeling fine this afternoon, if they can get some water out of her lung. Hopefully it's not more. I can pick her up at 2pm.

Tammy and Kallie

Roxee'sDad
05-19-2009, 09:55 AM
Hi Tammy,
Just wanted to drop in and let you know I (we) are keeping Kallie in our thought's and prayers. Hope she recovers soon and it's nothing too serious.

Please keep us updated.

John (Roxee's Dad)

LuvMyMunchie
05-19-2009, 10:45 AM
Hi Tammy,

Just read your post about Kallie's difficulties. Hoping that your vet will have some definite answers for your soon and that Kallie will be back home and on the road to recovery.

Thinking positive thoughts for Kallie. Give her some extra pets from me!

Louise

frijole
05-19-2009, 10:53 AM
Tammy,

I missed the excitement as I was out of town yesterday. Hope all is back to normal. Please note that if the vet does an acth test within 48 hrs of having been given prednisone the results might be a little off... the prednisone is mimicking the cortisol so the results would be LOWER. I hope this is making sense. I'm at work and can't chat. I just wanted to send a hug. Hope she is loaded and feeling better soon. Keep us posted.

Kim

Kallie'smom
05-19-2009, 01:57 PM
I'm so sorry to tell everyone that Kallie passed away. I just got home from the vet. They found that her lung was filled up with fluid and were going to give her something to get rid of that and antibiotics and send her home. The medicine didn't work and they don't know why. When I went to pick her up they were going to send her home with me. She wasnt much different from this morning, but not worse. As I was sitting there waiting for the vet to come in she got way worse. They were counting on her getting better in the next couple hours. She didn't even hold her head up anymore. She had a very hard time breathing, and the vet said there was no chance for her at that point, so we figured it would be best to put her to sleep so she could stop suffering. They said she would have died on her own really soon.

This past year because of her age and heath related problems I made sure I did not take her for granted, not one day. Cuz I knew that when this happened I could look back at all those memories.

Thank you everyone for all your help the past month. Everyone is so nice and helpful. I will still be around keeping up on everyones stories.

Tammy

LuvMyMunchie
05-19-2009, 02:05 PM
Oh, Tammy....I am so, so sorry to read that your Kallie has passed away. My heart aches for you. I am at an absolute loss for words.

Peace, sweet Kallie.

With deepest sympathy,

Louise

Roxee'sDad
05-19-2009, 02:27 PM
Dear Tammy,
I am so very sorry for your great loss. No words could ever express how we feel at times like these. I just know Kallie will be watching over you.

John (Roxee's Dad)

Harley PoMMom
05-19-2009, 02:28 PM
Oh Tammy,

I am so, so sorry for the loss of your beloved Kallie. Although words cannot do anything for the pain you are feeling now, know that we are here for you.

With Heartfelt Sympathy,

Lori

4Mikeydog
05-19-2009, 02:59 PM
Dear Tammy,

I am so sorry for your loss. I just finished reading your thread and I am at a loss for words as well.
There is no way to express the depth of one's feelings at a time like this....I wish you peace, comfort, and beautiful memories of your beloved Kallie.

with love,
Dorothy and Mikey

BestBuddy
05-19-2009, 03:46 PM
Tammy,
None of us own our dogs we just get them for a while on loan but boy do we wish it was longer. I am so sorry it was Kallies time to go. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Godspeed Kallie
Jenny

forscooter
05-19-2009, 05:19 PM
Tammy...

I was able to read to keep up this afternoon but not post. I came to see how you made out at the vet and my heart just sank.

I am so very sorry....you did such a wonderful job with Kallie during this whole thing. She was so blessed to have you...as I know you feel about her. You did everything right, everything you could...sometimes, for whatever reason and I am still trying to figure out why :(, love can't save those we love....and if it could, I know you would.

Kallie will always be with you....deep safe within your heart. That's where I keep my Scoobie. I wish you both peace...and I want you to know that I think you did more than all the right things by her.

Lots of hugs, Beth, Bailey and always Scoobie

frijole
05-19-2009, 06:44 PM
Tammy

Sorry, I read your thread earlier and it just hit me hard... I couldn't post. I am so very sorry to hear this. I know this is sudden and certainly has to be hard for you. Please know that we are here for you. When you are up to it, let us know how you are doing. Rest in peace dear Kallie.

Kim

Kallie'smom
05-20-2009, 09:31 AM
Thank you all for your kind words. It really helps to read all of your comments. I was so new here and you still show so much compassion. It was just the craziest thing to happen. So unexpected. I had such high hopes for her, with her treatment, doing everything right to make sure it all went well. Then to have something totally different happen just threw me for a loop. When you take (extra) care of a dog going thru a disease it seems you grow more of an attachment because you are with them, seems every moment, when they eat, drink, pee, poop, sleep (poke them to make sure they are breathing, she really hated that, lol), get up in the middle of the night, etc. Wow did my life revolve around her and taking care of her. When my other dog died a few years back it was different, he just wasnt there anymore, which was very sad but this is sooo different, he just needed to be fed and let outside, wanted couple hugs and kisses and for me to throw the ball. I don't know what to do with all this extra time on my hands, emptyiness, feel like I should be doing something, I thought you guys might know what I mean.

I am really doing okay, I have to, my husband had a total meltdown, so I try to be strong for him.

I am now armed with all this knowledge and will help whoever I can. I'm sure I will run across this disease again someday, I know alot of dogs!! Seems fairly common, and I might be able to spot it early and help them.

Thanks all,

Tammy

Lucygoo
05-20-2009, 10:02 AM
Tammy,
I just read your thread and I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I was so caught up in my own nightmare and you were so nice to me. I know you did everything you could. Rest in peace, Kallie...

Much love,
Gina and Lucy

Lulusmom
05-20-2009, 10:55 AM
Hi Tammy,

You are one strong lady and Kallie was blessed to have been loved and nurtured by you and your hubby. You are part of our family now and I do hope that you will stay with us and continue to post, when you feel up to it, of course. I think it is wonderful that you are ready to share your experience and knowledge with others, whether they be members or pet owners you meet in passing. Bless you.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Glynda

Kwiggles
05-20-2009, 01:53 PM
Dear Tammy,

I was so very sorry to hear that your dear Kallie is gone. I lost my beloved Joe just 3 days ago so I know the pain that you and your family are in. We must believe that time will ease our grief and eventually our feelings of loss will fade and be replaced by memories of the happy times and how much we loved them.

I was so touched by what you said about Kallie's illness bringing you closer- I felt the same way with Joe and after his Cushings diagnosis. I think it is a beautiful thing to be able to say that every one of Kallie's last days were special and that she truly knew she was loved. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Peace and comfort to you and your family and we will keep Kallie in our hearts.
Karen

gpgscott
05-20-2009, 01:59 PM
Hi Tammy,

I am sorry I have not posted to you sooner.

It is so hard to loose one and I think even harder when we are put the the position of deciding the time. But I also know that is what we are put here for and part of why they love and trust us so much.

Blessings to you, your husband and everyone else to whom Kallie was important. Mine will all get special attention tonight in her memory.

Scott