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I have a 13 years old husky/lab mix. I raised her since she was 4 months old. I fixed her during her puppy age. She always has been a high energetic dog and suddenly around 3 years ago (around age 10) I noticed she is having urinate situations. First this started with a little wet spot under her (every time she got up) and then it got to a point that her urinate was running under her while she was lying down. This got to a level that she would urinate as she was walking around or getting up. She was drinking lots of water during this time. After running many tests including senior tests, ACTH tests, Ultra Sound test, different Urine tests, etc. the outcome from all these tests showed that she has a possible Cushing disease and/or brain tumor. Her vet put her on Lysodren 500mg, Prion 50mg, Melatonin 6mg, and Flax Seed Lignan Extract 40mg and increased the Lysodren little by little. We continued with these medicines for about 8 months and she got weaker and weaker. She got enough week that she couldn’t walk comfortably and would fall down. Finally the last ACTH result came with good values so her vet decided to stop on lysodren for a while. Immediately after stopping the lysodren she started getting stronger and younger but her urination situation never got under control buy I would say 10% better. Now it is about 2 months that she is off Lysodren and energy-wise she is doing a lot better but now for the past month she has stopped eating – she basically doesn’t want to eat any food so per her vet I started feeding her myself. She lost about 5 pounds in one month. In addition, over the past 2-3 weeks she lost 70 percent of her hair but her vet wasn’t too concerned about that. Her vet said the situation with my dog losing hair is related to possible bacteria in my neighbor which will eventually go away and for meanwhile she gave me a special shampoo to use on my dog weekly. Last time around 2 weeks ago when I took her to see the vet in regards for losing hair, her vet gave her Tri-Otic Ointment for her ear since her ears didn’t look normal so I started using Tri-Otic on her ears. After few days I noticed she is not hearing well so I called her vet and she said don’t use the Tri-Otic any longer and she should get her hearing back within the next couple weeks. Now for the past 1.5 weeks she seems to not hearing at all.

As of now she is not eating well, losing hairs, not hearing well, urinating but not as much, drinking water at normal rate, and not too weak.

I really don’t know what’s going on with this poor dog and I want to help but don’t know what else I can do for her. I’m also running out of money; are there any places that I can go and save money on her medical bills? or are there any institutions that can help me with some extra money toward her medical expenses?
 

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Talk to the doc about switching from Flax seed to a high quality Salmon or Krill oil, the Omega's in Salmon and Krill are MUCH more useable by carnivores like dogs than Flax seed (which has to be converted to the proper forms). I'd also talk to your vet about holistic treatments, I have friend whose horse has cushings, she's treating holistically and it's working MUCH better than the Lysodrene was. Another cause of cushings that many vets overlook is Thyroid, or the lack there-of so make sure the vet has run a Thyroid panel and supplement the hormone as needed (which is very low cost).

Some reading you might be interested in, just make sure you work with your vet, or if your vet is't willing to work homeopathically, you might seek out one who is.

http://www.alternativepethealth.com/cushings-disease.html

http://ezinearticles.com/?Cushings-Disease-in-Dogs---Effective-Natural-Treatment&id=2037134

http://www.everythinggolden.com/new_page_8.htm
 

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Also, talk to your Vet about stopping the Proin to see what happens, because it can cause appetite loss, and it sounds like it may not be helping with incontinence.

Could you put a diaper on the dog or try men's underwear with a hole cut for her tail?

As far as helping with costs, sometimes the Humane Society will know about local clinics or organizations that may help.
 

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Cushing's is the most difficult canine disease to diagnose which puts it at the top of the list for most misdiagnosed. One must question the diagnosis if the dog does not have a voracious appetite when diagnosed. If a dog is correctly diagnosed and has stopped eating any time after treatment, the first order of business is determining if cortisol is too low. If not, then there is a good possibility that there is another problem going on. Pancreatitis is common in cushdogs so this should be ruled out as should kidney issues. Melatonin and flaxseed lignans are standard treatment regimen for atypical cushing's. The hallmark of typical cushing's is high cortisol whereas with atypical cushing's, cortisol is normal and it is the other adrenal sex/intermediate hormones that are causing the problem. If after three or four months on melatonin and flaxseed lignans no improvements are noted, a maintenance dose of lysodren is added. It is very rare that a dog with typical cushing's be treated with Lysodren and melatonin and lignans so I'm personally curious to know if your dog has typical or atypical cushing's.

If your dog has pituitary or adrenal dependent cushing's, there is no holistic or natural treatment that effectively reduces cortisol. If there were, thousands of us pet owners would not be giving our dogs Trilostane or Lysodren. I've researched the disease for six years and I have yet to find any sanctioned, peer reviewed studies or clinical trials for any holistic treatments showing effective reduction of cortisol evidenced by acth stimulation tests, low dose dex tests or urine cortisol:creatinine ratios. That is not to say that holistic medicine should be dismissed because a lot of people choose to compliment conventional treatment with holistic.

If you've shared your life with dogs and have never heard of cushing's, you are very lucky. It's a difficult disease to wrap your head around but it's a lot easier if you have the help and support of people who have walked in your shoes. Please consider becoming a member at www.k9cushings.com New members are usually at their wit's end, frustrated beyond belief and really, really scared for their dogs. I know because I was one of those people. I owe my sanity and a good deal of my education to the members there and I've chosen to stay on to pay it forward. There is a wealth of information in the library, including links to possible financial resources. There is also a whole lot of knowledgable and experienced people who can help guide you and help you understand the various causes of the disease and how the various conventional treatments work. Hope to see you there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thank you so much everyone - I'll report my progress here as soon as I have any update for you.
 
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