Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. I use a combination of melatonin and lignans to treat naturally. It usually does not work as well but is better tolerated.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

According to the American Kennel Club the average survival time for a dog with Cushing`s is about two years, with only 10 percent living beyond the four-year mark. That said, it`s important to remember that most cases of Cushing`s disease are diagnosed in elderly dogs.
Cushing`s disease in elderly dogs doesn`t mean they can`t continue to lead a quality life even after diagnosis. Since there is no known cure for the disease, the best a pet parent can do is care for their pooch through managing and lessening symptoms and pouring out affection for their long-time best friend.
Once on treatment, most patients will require Vetoryl for the rest of their lives. Therefore unless you are instructed to do so by your veterinary surgeon, you should continue to give Vetoryl at the dose and frequency recommended by your vet.
There are two medications commonly used in the management of pituitary dependent Cushing`s disease: Lysodren® (also called Mitotane or o,p`-DDD), Trilostane (brand name Vetoryl®).
The ultimate age for a dog to survive with Cushing`s is approximately three years. However, in some cases, there is a survival rate of two years.
The disease causes extreme thirst, so a dog with CD tends to drink tremendous amounts of water and urinate frequently. As the disease progresses, dogs lose muscle and become weak. Owners might notice a thinning of the skin, lesions on the skin, and hair loss on the flanks, neck, and perineum.
Items like beef and pork liver and kidney as well as sardines and some fishes should be avoided. “ “Moderate purine foods include chicken, beef (non-organ meat), turkey, tripe, rabbit, pork and lamb.
While dogs with surgery to remove adrenal tumors need to rest for up to two weeks post operation, Cushing`s dogs without severe joint problems can benefit from regular walks or playtime once symptoms are managed.
If your dog`s appetite, hydration, hygiene, skin health, and sleep are all affected, the quality of life has dramatically decreased due to Cushing`s disease. At that point (or even before) it may be time to consider euthanasia as the kindest decision.
If the pet is clinically not responding and the ACTH stimulation test indicates inadequate adrenal suppression, the dose and/or frequency of administration of trilostane may need to be adjusted.
Although neither medical treatment can cure a dog with Cushing`s disease, control is possible for many years if the tumor is small. If the tumor is large and affects the brain, the pet has a less favorable prognosis. The prognosis for patients diagnosed with malignant adrenal tumors is guarded to poor.
Cushing`s disease progresses slowly. Without treatment, dogs develop higher risks of high blood pressure; pulmonary thromboembolism, which can result in sudden death; congestive heart failure; neurological symptoms; blindness; and myopathy.
Look for the following side effects that may indicate your dog is having a problem with VETORYL Capsules or may have another medical problem: • Depression, lethargy or decrease in activity • Change in bowel movements (such as diarrhea or loose stools) • Vomiting • Stops eating or loses all interest in food • Weakness
Cortisol may also impact on signaling within the brain, leading to your dog sleeping more and being less willing to exercise. Hair loss can be common in dogs with Cushing`s and you may find that your dog is losing their fur along both sides of their body, over their belly and / or along their tail.
Although the earliest studies of Cushing syndrome reported a median survival of 4.6 years and five-year survival of only 50%, with recent advances in treatment, the standard mortality ratio is similar to the age-matched population.
Although Cushing`s is typically a lifelong condition, the disease usually can be managed with medications. “It`s important for a veterinarian to see the dog regularly and do blood tests,” Stohlman says.
About 20% of dogs with PDH eventually develop an expanding pituitary tumor, clinical signs include lethargy, behaviour changes, nervousness, anorexia, weight loss, circling, ataxia, disorientation, head pressing, seizures, stupor. Those signs may precede, coincide or follow the diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism.
Since a diet of whole foods is known to cut down on inflammation, a common struggle for Cushing`s dogs, it` important to consider supplementing kibble with fresh, unprocessed ingredients. Yogurt, fruits and vegetables, and even sardines can become part of a life-changing diet for your dog.
The symptoms of Cushing`s disease in dogs are similar to some of the side effects human patients experience when taking steroids. Symptoms of Cushing`s disease in dogs may include: Restlessness, which may include senior dog anxiety at night. Panting.
You must continually monitor your dog`s food and water intake. Both should return to a normal level. Water intake should be less than 1 ounce per pound (66 ml per kilogram) of body weight per day, but do not limit the water if your dog needs to drink more.
As the disease progresses the dog may pant more often or have difficulty breathing. Severe cases can lead to congestive heart failure or develop diabetes.
Your dog may have Cushing`s disease or Hyperadrenocorticism, in which his adrenal gland produces excessive glutocortisoid which can harm or affect many organs in the body such as the kidney and liver. It is also known to cause the excessive floor licking. Liver failure also causes this weird licking habit.
In order for Trilostane to be most effective, it is important to give it on a regular schedule. This means giving it every day at the same time of day (usually in the morning). However, sometimes accidents happen and you might forget a dose of Trilostane.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Our 13 year old Doxie/Chihuahua mix has been diagnosed with Cushings. She has all the symptoms, could not tolerate Veteryl medication. Options?
ANSWER : A. I use a combination of melatonin and lignans to treat naturally. It usually does not work as well but is better tolerated.

Read Full Q/A … :

Q. My dog has been tested for Cushing’s. Her test came back affirming possible Cushing’s but she doesn’t have symptoms, only panting. What if untreated?
ANSWER : A. Cushing’s Disease can result in a wide range of symptoms from panting, changes in thirst and urination, hair loss along the flanks, and even skin and body changes. If it hasn’t been done already, there are more specific blood tests that can be done to confirm a Cushing’s diagnosis if your dog’s previous bloodwork was on the fence regarding it. Urine cortisol tests, Dex-suppression tests and ACTH stimulation tests are all specific tests that can confirm a Cushing’s diagnosis.

There are also two forms of Cushing’s, one based on a pituitary problem and one caused by prolonged use of corticosteroids. If your dog has been on a long-term steroid medication, your vet may wish to discontinue or test again after a period to confirm the diagnosis.

Not treating Cushing’s can result in permanent changes to the skin and coat, and may also cause problems with the bladder and kidneys. As it is a metabolic disease, leaving it untreated may also cause other metabolic issues further in the future. Treatment is usually just a daily medication to bring the hormones in the body back to normal.

Q. I have a 13 1/2 year old Shih Tzu. How old is he in dog years?
ANSWER : A. It’s used to be that dog years were 7 years to every 1. Now it normally around 5 years to every year as long as your dog is healthy and kept up with vaccines. So he’s about 68ish in dog years.

Read Full Q/A … : Shih Tzu Age

Q. Does an indoor cat need to be vaccinated every year?
ANSWER : A. In practice, I recommend a feline combo vaccine every year, but will generally start administering every 3 years once they have had their kitten vaccines and 2 additional yearly vaccines. Rabies, is required yearly by law, and if kept up to date can be good for up to three years also. Based on the age of your cat I would give a yearly feline combo and rabies, and then boost the combo again next year.

Q. We have a 3 yr old Weiner dog, she is having pus in her eyes, I took her to the vet he gave me derma vet ointment, used it as the doctor prescribed
ANSWER : A. If the pus really isn’t all that bad, and it’s just some discharge, your pup may benefit from a diet change. It could be that the food you’re feeding just isn’t right for your dog, and that’s okay! Dogs grow and change over time, and now that your dog is fully matured, a diet change may be in order. Try something like Taste of the Wild, maybe a grain free dog food, Orijen, or Ziwipeak. These are all really great food options.

If the pus is really bad, and continues to get worse, see your vet again and let them know what’s going on. Maybe you could try a diet change, and then see if there are any improvements.

Remember, you should always gradually change a dogs diet. By gradually, I mean you put a tiny bit of new kibble in with a bowl of the old kibble. Reduce the old kibble by just a few bits of kibble. Throughout the course of at least two weeks (or as long as you want depending on whether or not you want to finish off the old food) you slowly add more of the new kibble while removing some of the old kibble. This makes the process gradual, and won’t cause any tummy-upset in your dog.

Q. My 4 year old Chihuahua mix began having a series shaking/panting episodes (last 15m- 1hr) out of the blue. Vet’s tests say its not physical.
ANSWER : A. There are many causes for shaking/panting. The shaking and panting are both signs of stress, and your dog may be dealing with anxiety, or stress, related to an event that happened, or is happening. I realize you cannot answer questions on this, however, I will ask some questions that you can ask yourself. Have you recently moved? Have you ever hit or yelled at your dog? Has the weather been bad lately (storms)? Have you had any new guests stay over recently? Have you had any dogs come to your home recently? Have you had any dogs or cats in your yard recently? Was your dog frightened by something initially (a falling pot/pan; a loud bang from the washing machine; a gunshot; a backfiring car/truck; someone screaming in your home/a fight)?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, it could definitely be that. Dogs don’t typically hang on to something for very long, but if it really frightened your pup, then she/he could be feeling serious anxiety related to that specific event, and relating other events to that one.

Do not yell, or hit your dog. I’m not assuming you do, but if you do, please stop doing that right away. It could be that your dog is afraid of you specifically, and you notice the shaking/panting when you are near, because that is the only time your dog is doing it.

If you’d like to purchase a consultation with me (I know, it’s a lot to ask, but I really feel like I could help) I’d be more than happy to ask you many questions, and together we can figure out what the heck is going on here. It’s important that your dog is comfortable, and if your pup is always feeling anxious/uneasy, then his/her quality of life is in jeopardy.

Q. my 7 year old gsd has had ibd for 7 months and not responding to any meds from my vet or change of food. today he is bleeding when he goes a poo
ANSWER : A. Hello, could you please specify what medications he is on and what food as well? if he is having a crisis at the moment he needs to go to the vet in order to treat the rectal bleeding, he will need antibiotics and possibly some other medications as well.

It is very frustrating when a dog does not respond to IBD treatment but there are several medications options so he might need a tweak in the dosage or medication type.

Read Full Q/A … : Dog Food Protein

Q. My cat was recently diagnosed with hypathyroid.He was put on methimazole and after about 2.5 wks he stopped eating. I’m reading this is not agreat med
ANSWER : A. This medication can be very effective in controlling the symptoms of hyperthyroidism by lowering the thyroid hormone level. However, it commonly causes gastrointestinal side effects such as inappetance, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The medication does come in an enteric coated tablet formulation which can cause less GI issues. You can also have the medication compounded into a transdermal gel or cream which is applied to the inner portion of the ear and the medication is absorbed through the blood stream instead of being ingested, thereby reducing GI upset. I would discuss your issues with your vet and go over other forms of the medication. There is also the possibility of surgically removing the enlarged thyroid which eliminates the need for medication. The best treatment available for this condition is radioactive iodine treatment. If your veterinarian does not offer this service, which most do not, they may be able to refer you to a facility that does.