The adventures of Gilly the rescue horse and his side kick and partner in crime, Pokey the donkey.


Being with a horse is a journey that never ends. What they have to teach us is amazing; but we must quiet our mind to hear them. ~ jca


Thursday, June 24, 2010


Our little 5 year old Chihuahua, Laverne was diagnosed with Cushings disease this week. This is a picture of her last spring and she is much chubbier this year. She really doesn't have any of the symptoms except the over weight and some hair shedding.

My vet did a blood test to find this, I thought maybe she had hyperthyroidism. That would have been much easier to treat than Chushings.

I have been doing a lot of reading about this disease and it's not good. The meds, well, I'm not in favor of the most popular one, Lysodren, is a chemo type pill that kills some of the adrenal gland and has some harsh side effects. Lysodren has to be really carefully monitored so the dog doesn't get too much of it which and throw them into Addison's disease.

Laverne would have to stay at the vet's probably overnight, have lots of testing, poking with needles. I would have to take her in several times a week and the bloodwork, medicines and trips to the vet would be very, very costly. Laverne is a very sensitive little dog this would highly traumatize her, she sure doesn't need that! Also a specialist is needed to treat this properly and I don't know of any around here; Ohio State University would be the ideal place, except it's 2 and a half hours drive, one way, from here. Not an option.

From what I can find most of the dogs that have Cushings are older dogs, at least 4 to 6 years older than Laverne. Also the research says that they only live two to three years after being diagnosed. I am going to try an herbal remedy on her that has had good response. I am also going to work on feeding all the dogs better. Yes, I mean cooking meals for them, chicken, beef, vegetables, rice, good stuff; even healthy doggie cookies!

It's been a long week and a mental tiring one for me. No riding been way too hot and humid outside ....Gilly and Pokey won't come out of the barn during the day. Flies are eating them up, we are all miserable, thank goodness for AC and the fan in the barn for the boys.

Hoping that next week will be a better one.


jacksonsgrrl said...

Oh no! Poor little Laverne, she is so super cute! I hope that the current treatment that you have picked out works well. We must remember life quality, which it seems you are. You know that leaving her alone at the vet's would mega traumatize her and was not worth it to you. And if the meds are that bad, what is she going to FEEL like every day? You must do what will work for you and your cute little girl. Making decisions about my pets took so much out of me, but it sounds like you are doing what you can for her! I gave Dakota Science Diet for senior dogs b/c it had the least amount of protein, and the vet had told me her kidney's were losing function due to old age 2 years ago. After awhile, I started making her fresh chicken breast to sprinkle on top, thus defeating the saved protein amts. from the Science Diet. But, boy did she love it! And she didn't leave me due to kidney failure! Good luck. I will think of you often Jane!

Sydney_bitless said...

Poor little girl. I was not aware they called that disease cushings for dogs too. I know we had issues with my dog until we put her on wellness white fish and sweet potato dog food because it has no grains (very bad for dogs because they can't digest them like ruminants do) her coat and allergies improved within three days. They guarantee only to use whole meat parts, no bones, intestines, scales etc.

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

Awww ~ I'm sorry about your doggie! I love her name! Hard decision to make but I agree with you ~ make her life miserable to keep her alive ~ or try a more gentle treatment so she can enjoy her days! If I cooked that good for the dog, I'd have to move!! Take care!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Poor little sweetie. I'm sure it's also hard on you, too.

I hope the herbal remedies help her, along with the fresh foods. I'm not a fan of all the chemicals or "fighting a losing battle", either, with lots of wasted money, time and along with pain and discomfort for our beloved animals.
Probably the best you can do is love on her, and just make her comfortable, while letting her live in peace.
I hope she surprises you though and lives a healthy long time.


jane augenstein said...

Mindy, Thank you for your caring comment. It's hard to know what to do in times like this but I have to do what my heart is telling me and my dog. No heroics; my husband and I both feel this way and for us too.

Sydney, thanks for the info on the Wellness food. Another friend emailed me with the same info on the food! I can get some here, and close to home too, goodie. I am going to get some for all of the dogs.

Alice, thank you, Laverne's sister is, none other than Shirley! LOL
Yes, I think my husband is going to make me cook for him now....ugh! LOL If I can cook for the dogs, well, then I have to cook....what have I done?

Lisa, thanks, I too am hoping the herbal remedies will help her. It's got to be better than the harsh chemicals that are man made, there is a lot to be said about herbs and natural remedies but care must be taken with them also.
Life is full of challenges, that's for sure.

photogchic said...

I have never heard of dogs having Cushings...bizarre. She is a cute little thing, I would try lots of alternatives before giving up.

Desert Rose said...

laverne si so will do the best you can for her, we all know! by the way...i would take sydneys advise one step further...and get that kibble for the hubby too!!!


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