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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Addison's Disease

Short and Sweet
Who has experience with Addison's disease and what would be good for me to know?




Longer Story
I did a quick search for posts on this and only found one from multiple years ago.

I arrived home from a trip to find that my parents had taken Dreizehn to the emergency vet. He had been acting strange - standing hunched over, lethargic, weak, unexcited by treats or play, not himself. They think he had thrown up his meal but didn't see, so it could have been Ruthless. The vet did numerous tests and found that he had a 104 fever, high potassium levels, high white blood cell levels, elevated liver enzymes, and a thickened gallbladder. She has rule out obstructions and poisoning (we have a plant in the back that is poisoness, though he doesn't usually mess with it). The vet suspects Addison's disease but they are unable to run the test for it so they are keeping him on fluids until we can bring him into his regular vet on Tuesday morning to get tested.

I've been visiting him multiple times daily and while he is not completely himself, he is still himself - if that makes sense. My parent's and the vet say that he looks much better than he did when he was brought in. I see my dog in him still but something is off... I imagine that being hooked up to an IV while being kept in a strange place would put him off a little. The vet says that his levels read as normal now and she has no reason to suspect that things will suddenly go poorly. I can't wait for him to come home.

Anyways, I had never heard of Addison's disease so I've been doing some research but basic websites don't give the same information as personal experiences do. I've joined a few FB groups but the majority of the posts that I saw were people whose dogs had just been diagnosed so they're in the same boat as I am. I also did this late at night after a day full of travel so I didn't pursue too heavily - I need to go look again. I reached out to Dreizehn's breeder but she's never had a dog with Addison's so she's researching as well. From what I've read, he will have to take medication for this for the rest of his life but should be able to live a long, normal life as long as I keep up with his medications. It sounds like it's not a death sentence and, for that, I am endlessly grateful. I know that it's not a common diagnosis for this breed but I thought I'd check in here just in case... Does anybody here have experience with Addison's disease and what would be good for me to know?



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Last edited by PatchworkRobot; 05-24-2015 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Forgive any errors, it's been a long few days.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 11:31 PM
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My first Dobe was Addisonian for 9 1/2 yrs (lived to be 14 1/2 yrs) and I have treated several clients' dogs with Addison's over the years.

Addison's disease is very treatable, but expensive.
Most dogs are treated with a combination of injectable medication (Percorten/DOCP) given every 21-30 days and daily prednisone. Prednisone is also supplemented at times of stress.
An ACTH stimulation test is done to confirm the diagnosis.

Here are some links you may find helpful:

http://www.percorten.novartis.us/pdf..._Monograph.pdf

Hypoadrenocorticism | AKC Canine Health Foundation

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 12:57 AM
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We had an addisons westie at the clinic, (funny part is it was a westie on the medicine bottle too!)

A scheduled shot and prescription food (i'm sure you could find a better way to cater to him diet wise but he was owned by older ladies) plus yearly testing ( been awhile but I believe it was a fasted blood draw with repeat after a fatty food meal) kept him well managed.

Good luck! If it is addison's it could be much worse, it (to me) is as manageable as thyroid or other afflictions of that nature. Hugs to Driezhen!

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 07:39 AM
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Nothing to add but sending lots of good thoughts and hugs for your sweet boy.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the links, reddobes! They are wonderful! I've started a folder for information (just in case) and have printed both and added them. The first story I ran across was about a dog who was diagnosed and died 2 years later so I am very relieved hearing about your dobe who lived 9+ years past the diagnosis. I'm definitely not ready to give my boy up <3


Thank you, Sam! I plan to ask the vet for her recommendations on diet and I'm willing to change if needed but definitely not to any of the general prescription foods, lol! Luckily his vet doesn't use Hills as her bible so I'm sure that we'll be able to come up with something that I'm comfortable with feeding.
It's weird how the idea of "worse" has us grateful that he is afflicted with this (still an "if," if being technical, but the vet is pretty positive in her tentative diagnosis). If he is going to be sick, it could be so much worse - especially given what the breed is known for.

Dax, thank you :]
I'll tell him that you all say hello when I visit him this morning. Visiting hours start in 30 minutes!



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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 11:37 AM
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I groomed a maltese that had it. And she lived to be 14. Caught it early at CSU and was on medication the rest of her life but had a very active and productive life.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1491 View Post
We had an addisons westie at the clinic, (funny part is it was a westie on the medicine bottle too!)

A scheduled shot and prescription food (i'm sure you could find a better way to cater to him diet wise but he was owned by older ladies) plus yearly testing ( been awhile but I believe it was a fasted blood draw with repeat after a fatty food meal) kept him well managed.

Good luck! If it is addison's it could be much worse, it (to me) is as manageable as thyroid or other afflictions of that nature. Hugs to Driezhen!
Sounds like this westie may have had some liver issues as well (Rx food and the test you are describing sounds like a bile acids test) which are not uncommon in Westies.

Addisonian dogs can eat their regular food.

The ACTH stim test is 2 samples drawn 1-2 hrs apart (depending on the type of drug used to stim), but it is not necessary to repeat it once initial diagnosis is achieved. Typically, chemistry panels including electrolytes are monitored (especially in the beginning to determine the correct dose and frequency of the percorten).

Most of my clients have learned how to administer the injection themselves and just gave it at home.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 12:20 PM
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my girl Mysti, had Addison's. It is treatable, but as mentioned it is costly. We paid abut $160 a month for her percortin injection, and we had to have prednisone on hand at all times. While she did not take it daily, she did take it any time we knew she would be in a stressful situation such as boarding. It is also used to treat the addisonian episodes triggered by too much stress or when their blood levels drop. Mysti had 3 such episodes where she had to go to the vet, the last one took her life, I feel very responsible for that, even 4 1/2 years later. But I digress. As long as she had her meds, she was fine. I should note she also had hypothyroid with it, so possibly test for that as well. It can be managed but you need to readjust the lifestyle to eliminate as much stress as possible. We fed her Wellness, a very good quality all natural food, and diet is important, we had to watch her because of her thyroid problem as well so she did not gain too much. She was half European so she was slightly bigger .. she weighed about 85 lbs or so. We took her to the vet once a month for her injection (ours did not offer to let us do it at hime, and I dont think I could anyway ) and I think every 6 months to 1 year they rechecked her blood levels.

I would be happy to try to answer any questions you have, she was I think 4 or 5 when she was daignosed, possibly younger, I would have to check vet records to be sure.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Starlight, I may take you up on that if any questions arise. I'm not looking forward to the added cost of meds but it's doable. He has insurance which should cover some of it too.

I was able to take Dreizehn home today! I arrived at the clinic for my afternoon visit and they asked if I wanted to take him home. Of course I said yes! They took him off of fluids early this morning and they said he had been doing just fine. They sent home meds and he'll still be going to his regular vet tomorrow for the ATCH test. It's so good to have him here though.



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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 09:54 PM
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Sending good vibes for Dreizehn.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2015, 01:45 PM
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Any update?

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Update: His Stimulation test results came back normal so they've rulled out Addison's. The vet suspects a anaphylactic reaction (the radiologist who did his ultrasound at the emergency clinic suspects this too) but to what, we don't know. Her best guess is that given all of the rain water there's just some toxins moving around. We've scanned the yard and picked anything growing that wasn't supposed to be. There was something odd with his gallbladder that they saw in his ultrasound so they want to do a recheck in a couple of weeks.

We are all very relieved and incredibly grateful that the situation didn't turn out worse than it did.



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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 02:51 PM
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So happy to hear it!


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 02:53 PM
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Glad to hear this news. Good Luck I wish him the best of the health
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:09 PM
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Just saw this now. So GLAD Dreizehn is OK.


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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOX View Post
Just saw this now. So GLAD Dreizehn is OK.
I'm just now seeing it as well.

Hoping he's still doing well, PWR. Can you update us? Did you ever get anything further as far as a diagnosis?




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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 12:29 PM
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Good news that they ruled out the Addison's! Give him a hug from us. Let us hope this is a one time thing, and that whatever caused it is long gone!

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R.I.P. Mysti 1/25/02-10/21/10
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 05:37 PM
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So glad he is ok!



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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFawnRising View Post
I'm just now seeing it as well.

Hoping he's still doing well, PWR. Can you update us? Did you ever get anything further as far as a diagnosis?
I definitely can when I have one!
Both the vet and the radiologist want to redo his ultrasound in a few weeks. When he had it done at the emergency clinic they sad some abnormality in his gallbladder. She doesn't think it's anything dire but does want to recheck once his body has had a chance to calm/heal from whatever caused the big scare. I think she said that the worry was an eventual blockage. Checking it again will let them see what, if anything, has changed and then react proactively if they do see something there. Until then he remains on Denamarin that the vet at the emergency clinic prescribed.

He's doing well and is definitely back to himself. I recently got a new job and moved back in with my parents. My mom works from home so they get to lounge around in her company all day long. Dreizehn has taken to laying by the window and watching for squirrels. Ruthie is just happy, of course. Especially since she can sit on the cool tile and watch the world outside without having to be in the heat.





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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 11:01 AM
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Hello,

We recently just had our 18 month male dobe diagnosed with Addison'd Disease. We are trying to take a step back an better understand long term care, risks, financial cost and life expectancy associated with this disease. Our dobe also has a thyroid condition. I would like to chat with you if you don't mind, to get your insight from a breeder's perspective. I can be reached at [email protected]. Thanks Maurice
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