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Could It Be Cushings?


Guest Amy_Bee
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Guest Amy_Bee

Hi there everyone. I haven't posted in a long time, but I hope you can help me.

 

My grey, Gretchen, is 12 and has developed symptoms that could be old age or something else. She seemed to have some rear leg weakness-- she limps on pavement (but I don't see corns, which she had in the past) and occasionally almost seems to "trip" over her back legs. Yet, she doesn't seem to have trouble getting up after lying down. She has also had a couple of "falls" where her back legs gave out on her, but she sprang back up right away on her own. The vet checked her blood and said it's fine and we plan to start her on Rimadyl. If that doesn't work, then it's off to a specialist for possible neurological problems. In terms of corns, she used to wear boots when she had flare-ups, but last time, she suddenly became extremely upset and began desperately trying to take them off.

 

Gretchen also has other symptoms. She had a period where she was having pee accidents (after NEVER having an accident ever). The vet thought it was a UTI (though he didn't test her because she was already so nervous and he didn't feel he wanted to stress her trying to get a urine sample) and put her on antibiotics. The accidents stopped...for a short while. Lately she's been drinking a lot of water, and the accidents have started again, despite going for walks every few hours. A few minutes ago she drank a lot of water and then immeditately went into the office to pee on the rug. She has also started obsessively licking her bed while lying on it. She didn't do this in the past. Also, she has some small clumps of fur coming out of her back, which I had put down to seasonal shedding, but it's not usually this bad. No bald spots, but little clumps sticking up/coming out.

 

She doesn't seem to have symptoms like low energy (she loves her walks) or weight gain (her weight is around the same as always--64-66 pounds). Her appetite has always been pretty "enthusiastic," so I haven't noticed changes there.

 

So I'm going to the vet's office to pick up the Rimadyl. Should I ask about Cushing's? Any other ideas?

Edited by Amy_Bee
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She may indeed still have a uti. Without running a culture it's really just a stab in the dark choosing the appropriate antibotic. Running another urinalysis and culturing the urine would be my first step. Second would be to palpate that thyroid gland--my girl had a thyroidcarcinoma and the only single symptom she had was excessive drinking and leaking urine. Another really worthy diagnostic test is scheduling an abdominal ultrasound (after doing rads). The ultrasound will be able to look at the adrenals-if there's a concern there specifc bloods will need to be run.

Edited by tbhounds
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I would run a urinalysis, urine culture and full blood panel. You can take a free catch urine sample in to avoid stress. Its ideal to have a sterile sample but if she's that stressed take the sample in. Just let her start to pee, then stick a clean container under her. If you can't take it right in, refrigerate it until your appt.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest Amy_Bee

Thanks for your responses. I didn't get to talk to the vet today because the office was so crowded, but I'm going to call on Monday and see if I can discuss this with him.

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Guest Amy_Bee

I took Gretchen to the vet today. I asked about Cushings and he said he saw a dog recently whose only symptom was thirst and he had Cushing's, so it's a possibility.

 

In his preliminary exam, when he felt her bladder, she yelped, so he decided to take an x-ray. Unfortunately it was difficult to see her bladder on the x-ray. The vet said this could indicate that there's an abnormality, like a tumor. First, though, I'm going to drop a urine sample at the office tomorrow morning (first pee of the day) to test for UTI and for indicators of Cushing's. Depending on the results of the urine tests, he may do an ultrasound of her bladder. I did ask about thyroid and he said the tests he did two weeks ago (blood) were clean and did not indicate a thyroid abnormality.

 

Gretchen has not had an accident in several days (although I have been watching her vigilantly and taking her out if she seems to need to go), but her excessive thirst continues. Her weight is normal, and her appetite continues to be strong.

 

Boy, is it heartbreaking when they get older!

Edited by Amy_Bee
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