As you know Missy is getting on in years. Most dogs don't make it to 17, I know. Over the past few months we have watched her become a frail old lady. The small step over the sliding door frame became a major obstacle. Mats placed either side helped a bit but one too many toilet accidents meant the mats had to be thrown out. She sleeps all day and has put on a lot of weight. She still loves her food. In fact we felt she's got a bit obsessed with food lately. We tried cutting back her food, but she was always hungry even waking up crying for breakfast at 3 am. She developed lumps and bumps all over.
We took her to the vet who reassured us that she is as healthy as can be expected for a dog of her age and this too be expected. Then last week she couldn’t get up from sitting. For the first few times I picked her up and placed her on her feet she just fell over, then she wobbly-walked to her food dish.
An appointment was made with the vet. First available appointment was Saturday. We feared the worst. We have a booking with a pet photographer next weekend (a gift from my son) and I was thinking it may not happen. It may be too late.
The young vet who covers the weekend shift examined her and confidently announced. “I think she has Cushing's Disease. I’ll take some blood and confirm it.” Sure enough. He was right!
He explained that with treatment, even in an old dog, some of her symptoms and her quality of life should improve quickly others may take 3-6 months to improve, but she should recover.
I’m so thankful for this young vet.
Cushing’s disease is often mistaken for old age (even by some vets apparently) but looking on the inernet, Missy has all the symptoms.
The most noticeable signs of Cushing’s syndrome include:
- Excessive urination with possible incontinence ü
- Drinking more (excessive thirst) ü
- Increased appetite ü
- Excessive panting, even at rest ü
- Muscle wastage and weakness ü
- Lethargy ü
- Urinary tract infections (cystitis) ?
- Pot – belly ü
Patchy hair loss, recurrent skin infections ü (from http://www.canine-cushings.co.uk/))
I'll let you know how she gets on and how the photo shoot turns out..