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  • Adrenalectomy


    My name is Joann and my dog's name is Trooper. We were members of

    I'm so glad I found this site and these members again.

    My boy "Trooper" had a successful adrenalectomy on Friday (I give all the credit to God for the success of this operation,) and we brought him home on Monday (05-04-09).

    However, he's snubbing some of his food. I know low cortisol levels can make a dog have funny eating habits, such as not wanting to eat. He eats, just not like he did before surgery. Before surgery, he would gobble all of his food down immediately. Now, he eats his dog food but leaves some of it behind. But, he excitedly bites my fingers to get his thyroid pill and prednisone pill, which are wrapped in chicken.

    On his first night home I tried opening a capsule of his antibiotic and mixing it in with his food, hoping to avoid a struggle to get him to swallow the capsule. I could tell he smelled the antibiotic and didn't like the taste. Could this be why he's snubbing some of his food now, because he's afraid it will taste yucky?

    He's 58 lbs. and takes 5 mg of prednisone a day.

    Anyone familiar with prednisone dosages? Does he need more?

    I called the doctor this morning, but haven't heard from them yet.

    Please, please, please - any advice?

  • #2
    Re: Adrenalectomy

    Hello Joann,

    Congratulations on Trooper's successful adrenalectomy surgery! (and so glad you found your way here to this site!)

    I am especially excited to hear of Trooper's success as this surgery may be in the future for my dog Joe as well and its great to hear about a positive outcome. I don't have any specific insight into post-adrenalectomy appetite issues, but I know someone will be along shortly who can speak from experience on that.

    I can tell you that prior to my dog's Lysodren loading his appetite was ravenous and pretty indiscriminate- he'd go for anything edible and wolf it down in a second. Now that he is on Lysodren maintenance and his cortisol is lower, he's a lot more picky- that canned food that he seemed so fond of (and that I just bought a whole case of ) isn't so appealing to him any more and he often leaves some in his bowl (unthinkable a month ago!)

    I'm wondering if that's what you're seeing with Trooper- just a more picky appetite. And I think definitely anything that might make his food taste 'funny' or just different (like the antibiotics) could put him off his feed.

    Anyway, so glad you have come here to tell us Trooper's good news- would love to hear more about the surgery (if you want to talk about it) and the diagnostics which led up to it.

    Give Trooper a big hug for us!
    Karen & Joe


    • #3
      Re: Adrenalectomy

      Hi Joann,

      Glad to see you and Trooper made it here! Welcome!

      Good news about the surgery! Ken (Buffalo) will along shortly to give his invaluable input I'm sure. You may remember him from the old site - his Shiloh is in her second year after surgery and is doing wonderfully. I know he will have some insight for you during the recovery period.

      When Squirt had her splenic tumor removed, she didn't have much of an appetite for a few days. When they go into the abdominal cavity for surgery, so many things get moved and touched that the pup is really sore for a while. I had a 20# ovarian tumor removed several years ago and I can tell you nothing feels right in there for some time after. As long as he is eating some and drinking well I wouldn't worry overly much just now. Leaving some in his bowl is something most of us look forward to since cush pups are such chow hounds! So maybe that is just an indication that his urge to eat constantly is gone. And that's a good thing!

      He may well have decided that the food he loved so much now has a funky taste after the antibiotics were added. They taste awful! Try putting something in it or on it that smells really good to him like a little Parmesan cheese. Let him know the food is still good and that the bad taste is gone. It is also possible that the anesthesia is effecting his taste. That is some weird stuff and everyone seems to react differently.

      Again, I am so glad you are here!
      I hope Trooper continues to improve and you have your baby back in full form soon.

      Leslie and the girls
      "May you know that absence is full of tender presence
      and that nothing is ever lost or forgotten." Anne, a Corgi mom


      • #4
        Re: Adrenalectomy

        Hi Joann,

        My boy "Trooper" had a successful adrenalectomy on Friday (I give all the credit to God for the success of this operation,) and we brought him home on Monday (05-04-09).
        GREAT NEWS about the surgery. Hoping he continues to improve each day. Hugs to the two of you.

        Lynne and Angel Lady 7/98-3/09 Forever in my heart


        • #5
          Re: Adrenalectomy

          Thank you ALL for your support.

          When this forum disappeared, I thought I would lose my mind.

          If any of you are familiar with our story, you know I was not in a good state, mentally. I lost 10 lbs. and cried non-stop.

          I'm still worried about my boy, but I thank and praise GOD every day.

          - Joann


          • #6
            Re: Adrenalectomy


            I will give Trooper's details. I'm at work right now, so I'll compose them and post them ASAP.

            Ken and Shiloh were also soooooo helpful. Whether they knew it or not, in my heart I clung to their success, and I prayed ("And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." Matthew 21:22).

            Prayer DOES work.

            - Joann


            • #7
              Re: Adrenalectomy

              Hi Joann,

              I'm glad you found your way back to us I am over-joyed to hear that Trooper had such a successful adrenalectomy. I agree with you 100%, all of the glory goes to God. I KNOW he completely took care of Shiloh and I KNOW he continues to take great care of my Partner. She is well over two and a half years post-adrenalectomy and I thank Him multiple times every day. She is a very happy and healthy 14 1/2 year old senior girl.

              I looked up Shiloh's dismissal instructions:

              Vitamin A: Give 40,000 IU by mouth once daily. This will help Shiloh heal faster.
              Aspirin 81 mg: Give 1 tablet by mouth daily. This will prevent blood clots from forming.
              Prednisone: Give 1/2 tablet by mouth (10 mg.) twice daily for 7 days, then once daily (10 mg. in the morning) for an additional 7 days.

              I strongly believe Trooper needs more prednisone. Shiloh weighs 75 lbs. and took 20 mg. per day for the first 7 days, then 10 mg. per day for an additional 7 days. My surgeon has performed dozens and dozens of adrenalectomies. He told me he has articles published regarding the need for prednisone supplementation, the need for an ACTH test (he says no), etc. after adrenalectomies. Trooper's adrenal gland with the tumor was pumping out lots of excess cortisol for a long time. The other adrenal gland compensated by shutting down, it probably hasn't produced any cortisol for a long, long time. It takes a while for it to get up to speed and start to produce the cortisol Trooper needs. I would think Trooper needs at least 15 mg. of prednisone and probably 20 mg. every day for another few days, then just 10 mg./day for another week.

              My surgeon really believes in the vitamin A to aid the healing process. I bought Shiloh the best vitamin A I could find at the health food store. After I picked Shi up after surgery she took absolutely no pain medications and no antibiotics. All of the surgeons do things a little differently and many do prescribe both pain meds and antibiotics for a while. But, Shi never indicated to me she needed anything for pain. If it were me, I'd definitely give Trooper significantly more prednisone....and some vitamin A sure couldn't hurt.

              It is completely expected that Trooper's appetite is much less than before the surgery. That nasty adrenal tumor is HISTORY. Shiloh ate two large bowls of food every day while she had her tumor and she drank 5.5 quarts of water, every day. After the adrenalectomy her food intake was cut in half and she drank just a bit over a quart of water each day.

              I think you should err on the side of caution in not allowing Trooper to run or jump for another week or so. There is so much healing going on, inner stitches that need to hold, etc.

              Joann, congratulations on Trooper's successful adrenalectomy. You showed alot of courage. Any more questions, fire away.



              • #8
                Re: Adrenalectomy

                Hi Joanne,
                Very happy and relieved that Trooper had a successfull surgery. Will keep him in our prayes that he continues to recover nicely.
                John (Roxee's Dad)


                • #9
                  Re: Adrenalectomy

                  Glad the surgery went well. I no longer put any of Nikes pills in her food just for that reason, i would put her meds in her food, lysodren, tramadol, pred what ever. It got so she would go to her dish sniff it and walk away if pills were in it, even hidden in a piece meat or cheeze and it took a long for her to just go and eat without sniffing. I now use the pill pockets and they work excellent and I give them to her after she eats.
                  I think they do assiciate the bad tasting pills with the food so I would not put them in the food, try pieces of cheeze or sometimes I put peanut butter on a cookie and put the pills in and cover it with peanut butter.

                  Good luck,


                  • #10
                    Re: Adrenalectomy


                    What are pill pockets?


                    • #11
                      Re: Adrenalectomy

                      Hi Jo Ann,

                      It looks like Sharon logged off for the time being. I've used pill pockets too and every dog I've given them to loves them. They aren't cheap and I used to buy mine on ebay and Fuzzy Tummy but there are a ton of online sites that also sell them. Here's a link to Fuzzy Tummy:




                      • #12
                        Re: Adrenalectomy

                        Just wanted to add my congrats on a successful surgery for Trooper. Love to hear great news.
                        I do agree that Trooper probably needs more prednisone, but would caution you to call the vet to get his approval for an increase, incase there is some reason he shouldn't get that much. The quick reduction in cortisol production has probably decreased his appetite and an increase in pred will help that also.
                        Continued prayers for his recovery.
                        ~ Mary Ann


                        • #13
                          Re: Adrenalectomy

                          Big, big congrats on the surgery,

                          Sorry you could not find us at the previous url. K9diabetes has offered us this posting capacity and we are putting up a new site.

                          Best to you and Trooper.



                          • #14
                            Re: Adrenalectomy

                            Glenda gave the link for a distributer for the pill pockets, what they are:
                            they come in 2 sizes, I get the big ones, there are about 30 in each bag and it costs me about $8.50 per bag. they look something like little tiny barrels that you put the pills inside and pinch the tops closed, they are soft but hold their shape unless you pinch them. they come in 2 flavors beef and chicken. If you only have 1 pill the small ones would work but Nike gets 3 and it was to small for all 3. Nike has been smart about finding her pills in everything I have tried to hide them in but has not figured out the pill pockets yet and it has been about long long time.


                            • #15
                              Re: Adrenalectomy


                              The biopsy report says: "adrenocortical carcinoma with intravascular invasion." "Margins are narrow in many places and complete excision cannot be guaranteed." "We are unable to confirm complete excision, and the possibility of vascular dissemination cannot be excluded." His tumor measured 2.5 x 1.5 cm.

                              I was so happy last week because the surgeon thought he got it all. Now this biopsy report says they can't be sure they got it all and mentions "intravascular invasion."

                              Did you get a biopsy report and did it say anything like this?

                              Also, they increased Trooper's predinose to 10 mg per day (5mg in the morning and 5mg at night). I called last night because he had diarrhea and they told me not to give him yogurt (they said dogs are lactose intolerant - although he never had a problem with yogurt before.) I called back this morning because he kept lying down in the grass instead of walking around a little bit and going poop. He wasn't lying in the grass on his side lethargic like, however, he was up and alert, wondering what was going on in the neighborhood.

                              I'm stressed and devastated. My eyelids are all swollen. Any suggestions?