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Michele Higgins

Cushings Disease

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Hi, Michelle:


My older basset was diagnosed with Cushing's a couple of years ago. (Actually, I was the one who diagnosed her: my vet was a little reluctant to do the test, since it's expensive and since her initial CBC didn't indicate a problem. But I was insistent, because I thought her symptoms--excessive water consumption, dry coat, weight loss--pointed to either Cushing's or Addison's, and the test is the same for both of them. I was right, although I obviously would have been happier *not* to have been right in this particular case.)


Anyway, my basset has been doing fine. She was put on Anipryl, a drug that apparently works in about 70 percent of the cases and has no effect on the other 30 percent. Connie is in the lucky 70 percent. Anipryl is a little pricey--I guess I'm paying about $90 a month for it--but it's much less radical than other treatments for Cushings that essentially destroy the pituitary gland and consequently might send the dog crashing into Addison's. (Addison's and Cushing's are sort of mirror image diseases; they affect the pituitary gland in opposite ways.)


Here's a useful link about canine Cushing's disease that you might be interested in reading.


Has one of your dogs been diagnosed with Cushing's, or is it just something that you yourself suspect?

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