Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Concern

   This is hard to say. I have strong reason to believe my dear Taylor, who is 10 years old, has Cushing's Syndrome. I will get blood work from the vet to diagnose, but he has all the symptoms (they could also point to diabetes, and kidney failure). Scary stuff!
   Taylor is obsessed with water and drinks excessively—and has had accidents in the house regularly for the past few weeks. Plus excessive appetite, panting, and some muscle weakness (legs shivering after a walk). He has a ton of energy for an older dog. 9 times out of 10, when people ask me how old he is and I answer, "Ten," their follow up question is, "Months?" He looks—and acts—like a young dog.
   I'm very upset and concerned for my boy. I don't have any experience with Cushing's, and I know learning about it will help ease my worry, so… if anyone reading this has had a dog with Cushing's, could you please share medications, diet, or other tips that can help control symptoms? Learning more about the prognosis is helping me not freak out, and I still have a few hours before that vet appointment to diagnose.
   PS: Yes, that's an acorn on his head. During a 9 mile walk last weekend. I love my MSIR dogs to pieces and hope he will be OK for many more years. I enjoy them so much that I rarely think about losing them, focusing on the everyday joy. Unfortunately loss comes with the territory too. And this faithful guy is my daily walking companion—there will be a HUGE piece of my heart that goes with him, someday. I pray that day is a long way off!

   4/6 update: A little good news... urine test ruled out diabetes & kidney failure. Blood results by tomorrow morning. Cushing's and liver trouble are my biggest worries now. (Diabetes insipidus and psychogenic drinking possible, but uncommon.)
   SO grateful that my guy is in great spirits -- no pain apparent. 
   4/7 update:  Blood work was normal. Vet said he'd be thrilled if his 10-year-old dog had blood work like this. But that does mean we still don't have an answer. 
   Could be leptospirosis, diabetes insipidus, psychogenic drinking, or a small chance it could still be Cushing's. 
   Over the next few days I'm going to measure exactly how much water he's drinking, so I have to separate him from my other dog. Then we will try a water deprivation experiment.    
   So very thankful for all the things we now know it isn't!