When To Put A Dog Down With Cushing’s Disease

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When To Put A Dog Down With Cushing’s Disease

My Smily Riley. At 13 years old she was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease.

Euthanizing her was not an option for me even though she was pretty far along in the disease.

Thankfully, we spent 1.5 more wonderful years together even after her condition was discovered.

Below is everything I learned from my veterinarian about Cushing’s disease. I hope it helps you.

So, how do you know when to put a dog down with Cushing’s disease?

My story of failing as a dog mom.

I did not see the signs she was sending letting me know it was time, or maybe I did and just chose to ignore them.

Knowing that pit bulls can live to be about 12-14 years old, I knew we were right there.

I did not want to think we were at the end of her life.

One day I got up to go to the bathroom, she followed behind me and collapsed in the kitchen.

She convulsed, she urinated and began frothing at the mouth.

MY dog, who had battled Cushing’s disease for so long was leaving me…….

I was numb and felt horrible that I let her go this way.

I knew her life was nearing the end and my last minutes with her were gut wrenching, not only for me but for her sister Ginger who saw it all.

While I knew she was going downhill fast and her quality of life was diminishing, I did not hear her signals that it was time.

She was never a clingy dog but those last few weeks she was EXTRA clingy, like she was trying to get my attention to tell me something.

I wish I had listened so she could go with dignity and under a more controlled environment.

RIP Riley and I am sorry I did not listen better girl!

Below are what I have learned about Cushing’s disease in dogs and my thoughts on when it is time to put them down to prevent suffering.

If you have an amazing bond with your dog, you will be able to tell when his mood, behavior or physical characteristics change.

When these changes happen it may be a sign that they are ready, whether you are or not.

Early treatment of Cushing’s disease in dogs may also increase the time you have with your pet, so be sure to get those annual exams and be aware of changes that can be signs of the disease!

What is Cushing’s Disease In Dogs?

Any time you hear a vet or other dog expert using the words hypercortisolism or hyperadrenocorticism, don’t be scared.

These are just the scientific names for Cushing’s disease in dogs.

It is caused by the overproduction or excessive amounts of a hormone known as cortisol.

The cortisol level plays a vital role in a dog’s body.

Some of these include fighting infections, maintaining a healthy weight, and dealing with high levels of stress

Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease In Dogs

The symptoms of Cushing’s disease are:

  • Increased appetite and thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Abdominal distention
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle loss
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Mild to severe loss of hair

Whenever you notice any of these symptoms of Cushing’s, notify your vet immediately.

You can also check in with a virtual vet to get some feedback before making an in-person appointment.

Have questions about Cushing’s disease?

Get your questions answered by a licensed veterinarian from the comfort of your home!

What Are The Symptoms Of A Dog Dying With Cushing’s?

The symptoms of a dog dying of Cushing’s may be different in each dog.

While my Riley had every symptom listed above, there were a couple that became much more frequent before she passed.

Her muscle loss became more extreme in that last week or two and her abdomen was definitely much larger than ever.

A few days before she passed she actually became VERY clingy, which was not her by nature.

She wanted to be with me every minute she could.

I guess she knew her time was coming and I chose to ignore her signs.

My biggest regret ever.

A few people have asked about their dog vomiting and having diarrhea as signs.

My Riley showed neither of those.

I followed up with my vet who advised those are not typical signs to look for.

Speaking of vets, this can be a costly disease.

Especially when your dog can live a few years with it.

Check out our article on options for getting some help with the vet bills if you need it.

Diagnosing And Treating A Dog With Cushing’s Disease

A visit to your veterinarian should be the first thing you do if you think your dog may have Cushing’s disease.

While there is no one test that will be able to give a proper diagnosis, the vet will use a physical exam and some blood and urine tests to properly diagnose whether Cushing’s is present.

One thing I wish I had done was keep track of all of her tests and medications that we tried in some kind of pet planner.

One thing you will find is that there is a lot going on when trying to make a diagnosis and it can be overwhelming.

You will want to keep track of what is happening!

Commonly used testing procedures:

  • ACTH stimulation test
  • Urine cortisol
  • Low dose dexamethasone suppression
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood work tests
  • Blood pressure

You should know that once the vet diagnoses this disease, there is no permanent cure.

These tests will help your veterinarian determine whether Cushing’s disease is present and what type they may have.

Typically there are 2 kinds of Cushing’s disease, pituitary dependent and adrenal dependent.

when to euthanize a dog with cushings disease
my Smily Riley in her younger days – RIP pretty girl

Adrenal Dependent Cushing’s

This type of Cushing’s usually signifies there is a tumor on the adrenal gland.

If your dog has an adrenal tumor growing on the adrenal glands, your vet may suggest abdominal surgery to remove it.

Adrenal tumors as a cause of the disease is rare and affects only about 10% of the dogs treated for the disease.

Pituitary Dependent Cushing’s

This one is the more common type of Cushing’s disease which arises from a growth in the pituitary gland part of the brain.

Pituitary tumors cause an overproduction of the ACTH hormone which then triggers an overabundance of the stress hormone cortisol.

Too much of this stress hormone can weaken the immune system of your dog.

It has been estimated that as many as 90% of dogs with this disease have pituitary tumors.

With early intervention and proper treatment, this type of disease can have a good prognosis with a good quality of life for several more years.

Treatments For Cushing’s Disease

Depending on the type of Cushing’s your dog has been diagnosed with will determine the treatment your vet prescribes.

Unfortunately, the treatments for Cushing’s may not increase the life span of your dog.

Lysodren

This is one of the prescriptions that vets administer to pets with the disease.

It is common and has been in the market since the 1970’s.

You may be interested to know what the drug does, and here it is.

It destroys the adrenal gland up to a level where it ceases to overproduce cortisol.

You should be careful when the vet administers this drug as a treatment of Cushings disease.

If there is an overdose from the drug, it may completely wipe out the adrenal glands, and this may eventually lead to death, which is just one of the serious side effects this drug has.

Trilostane (Can Also Be Known As Vetoryl)

This is a newer treatment that is less risky than Lysodren but more expensive.

Instead of killing the adrenal glands, Trilostane inhibits the production of cortisol.

However, this does not mean that it does not have side effects.

Like any other medication, wrong administration of the drug may cause severe effects including death.

This option has much less serious side effects, but your dog may show some lethargy or a lower appetite while on this drug.

There are also many who swear a change in diet helped their dog with Cushing’s.

When I did my research I found some had tested out fresh dog foods as an option and said their was a difference in the energy level of their dog and some swear it prolonged their lives.

I tried to find research on this, but was unable to come up with anything concrete.

It is recommended to feed your dog a higher protein diet as well as foods that are low in fiber and fat, which can help reduce your dog’s symptoms.

I personally did not do any of this, not because I did not love my dog, but she always had major issues when we changed her diet.

She was 14 years old and already passed her expected life expectancy, I did not want her to have to deal with the discomfort of a new diet.

Frequent trips to the vet after she was diagnosed were part of our plan so she could get check ups and various screening tests so we can see how the disease was progressing.

Is My Dog In Pain If They Have Cushing’s?

Pit bull with Foster Kitten
Riley with our foster kitten.

Personally speaking my girl did not seem to have any pain or discomfort from Cushing’s and the vet also stated that he does not see my girl in pain at all.

Typically dogs do not experience pain from Cushing’s, so that is a bit of good news.

Her quality of life really stayed good right until the end.

If you do feel like your dog is in pain, maybe they are whining or uncomfortable there are a few things you can try to reduce your dogs pain or stress.

But again, quality of life is everything, so keep on eye on them to look for changes in behavior which can signal some type of pain.

How Long Does A Dog Live With Cushing’s Disease?

There is no definitive answer for how long a dog can live with Cushing’s.

My girl survived for a bit under 2 years after her diagnosis with no treatments.

It will depend on your dogs age, how early you caught it and the general overall health of your pet.

What Are The Final Stages Of Cushing’s Disease In Dogs?

As Cushing’s disease advances, you may notice your dog becoming very weak and lethargic.

They may start to have skin lesions, stop eating and drinking and become less social.

These were all signs that I noticed in my own dog’s final stages before I decided to euthanize, but was too late.

Final Thoughts

Smiley Riley passed from Cushing;s disease
RIP baby girl.

No doubt, this is one of the hardest things you and your canine companion may ever have to deal with.

Losing a family member is an emotional experience and knowing if you are putting them down at the right time, that is even harder.

I hope my story helps you understand better when to put down a dog with Cushing’s disease.

If you are dealing with this my heart and thoughts are with you.

Hug your baby tight, make those last days amazing and let them go with dignity and grace and hugs

Jill Caren CharityPaws

Jill Caren

Jill is an avid animal lover who spends her time helping animal rescues by photographing homeless pets and through her work on CharityPaws.

She is currently owned by Cleo, an American Pit Bull Terrier and Snoopy Cat. Her inspiration comes from her girls Ginger and Riley (RIP) – pit mix sisters who were loved family members for almost 15 years.

You can find her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Leave a Comment

 

162 thoughts on “When To Put A Dog Down With Cushing’s Disease”

  1. My heart is broken. I joined this group in March as my Jack Russell was diagnosed with Cushings. She passed away last Saturday after being on Vetoryl for 3 weeks. The past 3 weeks were good, she was happy, jumping around and her belly went down, less drinking and urination. The vet said that the Vetoryl had made the tumor in her pituitary grow, causing her body to shut down. I feel angry as it was the Vetoryl that took her too early.

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  2. Thank you for taking time to write this. My Annie was diagnosed today with Cushings disease. Just getting started with treatment. It’s tough to watch someone you love suffer in such a way. My heart is breaking. Your information was very helpful.

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  3. Thank you for your story. It helps a little with the struggle we are in. Very hard knowing what is the right thing, and when.
    Sincerely.
    Edie and Bub

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Today, my dogs results came back positive for Cushings. I feel physically sick and very sad. Her quality of life is paramount. She is 14 in a couple of months. I don’t want to end her life too soon. Such a hard decision.

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    • I’m so sorry Teresa. I can feel your pain. I still miss my dog every single day. About two years ago, I had to let him go just 3 weeks before his 14 years old birthday. I guess our dogs have the same birth month which is May. I’ll keep you and your dog in my prayers.

      Chintana

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  5. I just read several comments from other owners and it just breaks my heart. And I can so identify with everyone of them. I think every symptom that I read from everyone my little furbaby his had or is experiencing. My little NC is still eating and drinking. Although he’s changed the way that he’s eating and drinking so that he is waiting until after I eat and then he goes to his dish instead of eating before. He still gets very excited for treats and really any food that I will share with him. He has had several accidents inside the house although some days he goes outside and we have no problems. I know he feels bad that he can’t jump up very well anymore and I am 90% of the time lifting him up onto the sofa and a chair. I let him try to jump up on his own to keep his strength and sometimes he will be able to do it but most of the time I have to assist. He doesn’t take any medicine. And I’m thinking it was probably about I think it was almost 2 years ago now that he was diagnosed. The vet told me that he wasn’t in pain and didn’t seem to really encourage me to go forth with surgery or medication for that matter. He has been blind for well I guess the same two years and that is very very difficult to deal with. Although he is very smart I find it more and more difficult each day as he bumps into things and he seems to get so confused and doesn’t seem able to listen to me when I try to guide him anymore. I think it’s because he gets so upset and add himself for making a mistake and bumping into something that he can’t even hear me. Some days he’s very clingy and I can hardly walk and move my legs without bumping into him. And he does occasionally pace but overall not too often. Loves to go with me anywhere in the car and will never turn down a chance to ride and go for a ride. But playing with his toys and playing outdoors any of those things stop probably a year or so ago. He was always such an active and intelligent boy. It’s so sad and painful. But because he does still eat and he does love to ride in the car and go with me and he still shows an interest for treats and getting brushed I just don’t feel ready to do anything final. I guess I pray that I won’t have to make that decision. That is fine thank everyone for fighting with it going through because it makes me feel like I’m not quite so alone and it seems like we should all have something in common with our little fur babies.

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  6. I’m hoping to get some advice without judgment. My little Dexter is a 12 year old terrier mix. He was diagnosed with diabetes one year ago. His insulin is at the highest dose for his weight but it is no longer effective. The doctor believes he has Cushing’s disease and the start of cataracts from the diabetes. He’s also becoming increasingly snippy with our other dog (a lab mix).

    I love my little Dexter and he is part of the family. Unfortunately, the cost of diagnostic testing, medicine, more testing to check dosage, etc. could cost over $1,000 for the first 6 months. This is in addition to his diabetic syringes and insulin. I’m struggling with the question of at what point do you stop spending the money. We aren’t poor but we aren’t rich either. I feel terrible even considering not treating the Cushing’s :'(

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  7. God bless you im going through this with my 13yr old staffie (my babie) my heart is dying inside knowing hes either going to die in hes sleep or im going to put him down prob in a matter of weeks/months and not being able to explain anything to hes sister theve never been apart since i got them as pups the most painful gut wrenching heart breaking thing in the world. Thank you for your story.x

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  8. Our 12yr old pit bull was just diagnosed with Cushings. Breaks my heart because she IS our baby and I know we only have a few years left with her (hopefully). Thank you for your article…it did give me some comfort.

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  9. Hello Jill, I wrote to you in December bout my Ollie and he was due for blood test. The results showed his count had gone up to 174 so his medication has increased to 30grams a day. Since being on meds he has developed a strange behaviour while eating his food. His hearing has also taken a nose dive but I don’t know if temporary or not.. Have you heard of that happening to anyone elses dog?? He turned 12 this month so may be coincidence.

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  10. Thanks Jill for the post
    I had been looking everywhere for this type of article and am really grateful to you for sharing your experience with your girl Riley and for other posters for doing the same.

    My Brittany’s back end strength is waning and he spent Friday snuggled into my sister. Although a cuddly dog, that is not their relationship so your explanation above makes sense.

    Pretty guy wrenching stuff. I knew the stats on longevity particularly in relation to Cushings but it’s so hard

    Thanks again for your awareness. Like all posters I don’t want him to leave but even more so don’t want him to suffer unduly so will tune in more.

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  11. Dear Jill…thankyou for your Reply on Riley not being on vetoryl…..I have been researching on what happen to my Harleygirl in her last 2 months when she was diagnosed with cushings disease……she was put on vetoryl the last month 1/2 before having seizures and it did seem to help her a lot but I feel she was on in her final stages of cushings and that her sudden onset of seizures was caused not from the vetoryl but from the pituary tumor she had in her brain….thankyou again for sharing your story of Riley….she sounded like a wonderful dog just like my Harleygirl…you have been a great help in understanding this disease..God Bless and keep helping other who have also lost their dog to this disease or are learning to help their dog keep the disease under control.

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  12. Hi Jill….My Harleygirl was put on vetoryl when she was diagnoised with Cushings disease and diabetes in March of 2021…March13…after many vet visits we decided to leave her on the vetoryl 20mg a day….she seemed to be doing good until May of 2021 when I noticed her whining a lot…not being able to jump up on things and also seemed somewhat confused and disoriented ……on May9th we came home from our trailer and she started having seizures when we got back to our apt. and also started crying and rapid breathing …..during her 2nd seizure she was confused and banging into things….we then took her to the ER Vet where they monitored her …..she had another seizure while there and the vet on duty stated that My Harleygirl was confused…whining and seem to have pressure of some sort on her brain…we held her and said are goodbyes because we chose to have no more testing….Was your Riley on Vetoryl when he had seizures…..that was the 1st time our Harleygirl had seizures and it was horrible…..after 7 months I still am so sad but glad I was with her when she died….she did kiss us before she died which did help us a lot.

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  13. My 10 year old miniature foxie is showing all the signs of cushings. She was traumatized by the vet about 6 years ago and ever since stresses when I have to take her. So I chose not to put her through all the tests etc. I read that she will not suffer at all without treatment so have decided to give her her best life for however long we have her. She has always been my shadow but last few days she has been staying in the house, it is horrendously hot here at present so that could be the reason I suppose. But she is very thin now. Thanks for your article, I’ve read others comments too. I believe I am making the right decision for her. Thats what I have to hang on to.

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  14. My Yorkie, Dolce, was diagnosed with Cushings about 3 to 3 1/2 years ago (I think he had it longer probably). He began chewing his skin open but after he got on Veteroyl he stopped doing that. I took him for a second opinion before putting him on the Veteroyl and the 2nd vet diagnosed him with Cushings as well. A year or so later, he became a diabetic (around April 2020) and I have been giving him insulin twice a day and two Veteroyl pills twice a day since then. My furniture and carpets are a mess. Shortly, after the diabetes diagnosis, I noticed that he seemed to be bumping into things and sure enough he went blind and it happened very quickly. He goes through bouts of vomiting, diarrhea loss of appetite, panting and accidents in the house. He now sometimes breathes heavily while sleeping and coughs a lot. I noticed over the last month, he is doing the pacing thing. I thought he was hot so I would turn on a fan but I don’t think that is why he is pacing, especially after reading about other Cushings dogs pacing. Dolce will sit next to me for two minutes on the couch and then jump up and get off the couch and go lay on the floor and he is doing it repeatedly and it goes on for hours in the evening especially. I am going to call the vet on Monday to report this, but I think it is just another symptom that he is in the end stages of Cushings. Dolce is 12 years 8 months old. About 6 months ago, I actually had him on the list to be euthanized because he kept pooping/peeing in the house even after I took him out to potty. I decided to take him off the list because he seemed to improve 2 days later. I don’t want him to suffer. I see him deteriorating even though he eats pretty well most of the time and drinks his water. It is difficult to know when I should let him go. This pacing that he is doing regularly now, especially at night, and getting lost in corners in the house and under tables is very difficult to watch. I don’t think I’m doing him any favors by letting this go on much longer. I don’t think he has much quality of life anymore. He hasn’t played with anything in a long time. I’m surprised he is still hanging in there. I didn’t think he would still be here at the end of 2021, but maybe he is hanging on for me. It really is sad and I don’t know how long I’ll keep this going but I really have a hard time thinking of actually having him euthanized even though I had to do that with my first yorkie (she was much easier to decide because she had kidney failure and stopped eating and drinking). It really has been a long, expensive and difficult road with Dolce but I love the little guy and I don’t want to put him down too soon or too late (crying). I just want to say that this article and comments have helped me and it helps to know that we have been going through the same thing. Heart breaking. Thanks.

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    • I am so sorry Lisa….glad you found some solace in this post. We have all been there….and it is hard as hell. The pacing was a big sign that I chose to ignore with Riley – she just never seemed comfortable. I just kept thinking it would pass, but it never did. It is the hardest decision in the world — but please, listen to your HEAD and not your heart – your heart will never let them go. Sending you hugs…..Jill

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    • Hi Lisa,

      My Yorkie, Coconut gone through the same things with your Dolce. Yes, it is very hard to watch his suffering. My Coconut would jump off the bed and slept on the tiles which it was cooler to him. Later, he developed seizures which I learned after he passed that warm weather would trigger seizures. I have two other Yorkie now. One of them is having kidney disease. I’m still grieving for my Coconut everyday. He is a very special dog for me. My heart and sorrow go to you and your Dolce. I pray that strength is with you today and hope for miracles that Dolce can have some more time with you. 😔

      Chintana

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  15. Our sweet little girl was diagnosed with Cushings 3 weeks ago. She’s 10 years old and chihuahua. We started noticing around Halloween she was drinking large amounts of water and having to go out more often/started having accidents. We had our regular vet come out and did a whole blood work/urine panel. He referred us to an animal hospital for an ultrasound the ultrasound showed several things including both her adrenal glands enlarged. She went back to the vet for the low dex 8 hr test. December 17th she had minor sores appearing on her body, they’ve now turned into huge lesions in her armpits and both of her entire legs. We’ve been soaking her in oatmeal water and rubbing her down I coconut oil ???? we’ve been waiting her on medication but have been told it’s in shipping. To see our girl decline so rapidly has me so emotional over it. Overall her personality has remained the same, that I’m thankful for. I just hope it’s not too late when we finally get her medicine. Such a horrible thing to watch your baby go through

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    • I am so sorry to hear about your girl. That is horrible that they did not have any medications available so you can get started treating her! It is not an easy road that is for sure – but fingers crossed the meds bring some relief and you caught it early enough that you have much more time with her. {{hugs}} Jill

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  16. Ali, my 13 year old miniature pinscher, has been recently diagnosed with Cushing’s. Has been on medication since July. She has all the symptoms. Excessive thirst, increased appetite, weak and shaky hind legs, loss of muscle tone, increased urination, cough, pot belly abdomen. This past week she started gaging and choking while she eats her kibble dry dog food. She will throw up copious amount of phlegm. After she catches her breath, she goes back to eating. She now started to choke and gag after drinking water. Is this a normal symptom with Cushings?

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    • I am so sorry about the diagnosis Linda. Hugs to you both…..I would definitely check with your veterinarian on that one as I do not recall my dog every doing that – and have not seen that as a symptom. Please call your vet! Sending good vibes your way….Jill

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  17. Just found out my hound mix Fiona has Cushing’s. I am glad I at least know what is wrong with her but I gotta be honest, it has been a struggle for the last probably 6-8 months. It is literally a full time job. She has to wear a diaper due to the excessive urinating. But she won’t leave her diaper alone, she tries to take it off, so we have to put little pants on to cover the diaper, then we have to put a washable diaper on to keep the pants on. It also helps catch any extra pee that the disposable diaper didn’t get. It’s a whole process. The vet did warn me about seizures toward the end. I just don’t know if I can go through seeing her have a seizure. It has been in the back of my mind to put her down but I also think maybe that makes me a bad person because she isn’t completely there yet. She could still have another year left. It’s so hard.

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    • Hi Kris, please first know you are not alone, we have all been there. Guilt and all. I remember being prescribed something for the leaking and urination issues, I cannot remember the name of it – I am going to see if I can find the old medical records, but I think it was like Proin or something? But if you have not – definitely ask your vet, whatever was given to Riley really helped for a while. Hopefully she will get used to the diaper in time…..but for now, just hang in there. enjoy every minute you can — whatever decision you make, Fiona knows you love her! {{{hugs}}} Jill

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  18. Dear Jill,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you. I have had many dachshunds, but Zola was our first experience with Cushings. She was ill but undiagnosed when we adopted her 3 years ago. She did well on trilestane, and was a wonderful dog. She collapsed suddenly on Sunday and we took her to the emergency vet, where she was so poorly we had to end her suffering. Such a sudden end was very tragic. The only change in her that I noticed was an increase in her affection and clingy-ness. I had no idea that this was a symptom, and I feel a lot of guilt about this. However, I am grateful for the time we had and the memories we shared.

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    • I am so sorry Pamela! It is the hardest thing in the world to lose them that way. That is EXACTLY what happened with Riley – she just collapsed. I still have regret for not listening to her sooner. My heart goes out to you — and definitely keep those happy memories alive in your mind to ease the pain…..{{{hugs}}} Jill

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  19. Thankyou for your story. My only contact with anyone about Cushings is the vet, so I have found your story comforting. My Ollie, who is 12 in January, has only been in my life for 2 years and I love him to bits. Before being with me, he had a very stressful time. This is the end of his first month on medication and one or two things he has done in the last week are not usual and your comment about being clingy and out of character rang a bell with me. We go to the Vets on Monday for first post diagnosis blood tests. So I’ll be discussing the differences and take things from there. Knowing the right time to let go is always difficult and hindsight is a wonderful thing. As long as we love them to the end.

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    • Hi Mary, I am so glad you found some comfort in my experiences. Thank you for loving on Ollie…and I hope the vet brings some good news. Sending good vibes your way. Jill

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  20. Thank you for sharing. Sending you & your family love & support. We have finally decided to take our Tinker 14/15year old Jack Russell to the vet. She has live with Cushings her whole life, since we rescued her in 2009. She lived her best life, time to go to the rainbow ???? road. Precious baby girl we love you always. You Pitty will be there too, both chasing all the squeaky balls & eating all the treats. ????????

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    • Aww Koren I am so sorry about Tinker, but to live with it her whole life is pretty amazing! You sound like amazing pet parents! Our thoughts are with your family…..{{{HUGS}}} Jill

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  21. Thank you for this article. We are dealing with this now with our 14.5 year old Pomeranian mix. Diagnosed with Cushings about 1.5 years ago. Now she’s at a stage where she pants and paces for hours at night. Sometimes up to 3 hours before she can settle down. She’s going blind and deaf. Has arthritis and some other joint problems and we’re trying to figure out if it’s time. She sleeps most of the day but at night it’s like Sundowners in people. She pees a ton and can’t last overnight so we put pee pads down. Just not sure if she’s suffering at night when she’s the worst. Such a hard decision.

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    • Hi Caroline – I am so sorry you are going through this. You are at what I feel is the hardest time…..it is a decision that is almost impossible to make and it is the one time I wished our dogs could talk. I remember the pacing well – it was heartbreaking (and annoying if I am going to be honest). Whatever you decide…we are here for you – and are wishing you the best. Hugs to your family…..J

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  22. Well today was the day I finally made the decision to put my Abby down to rest the look in eyes this morning were screaming help me mommy she couldn’t even stand n refused to eat this morning I have been crying all day but I know I did the right thing for my baby girl n I have given her the best life I could possibly give her I will miss her dearly but she is no longer suffering ride high to that rainbow ???? in the sky my sweet girl, my home won’t be the same without you ????????????

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    • Denise, I am so sorry for your loss. But, please be at peace knowing she left this world loved and that her mom loved her enough to let her go before things got worse. It is not easy to make that choice – please never second guess your decision. Abby knows you loved her! {{hugs}}. Jill

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    • Denise, try taking some comfort in knowing you acted in Abby’s best interests; she was depending on you and is now on her rainbow, no longer in pain. Our thoughts are with you realising the awful anguish this day has brought you.
      Take good care of yourself in the days and weeks to come.
      Beryl

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  23. Thank you so very much. First for sharing yours and Smily Reilly’s story. The lessons taught here with your input into what you learned is a major value to I and my dog Holly now 10years an 6months old. Holly, is a puggle mostly beagle and just diagnosed with Chushing’s. I’m looking at any treatments that might be available that are not invasive. I only want what’s best with side effects Reduced and most safe treatment out there. I value what you have taken time to write an I am sure it will indeed be a huge help.
    Thank you again, Sincerely, Kim and Holly Girl

    Reply
    • Hi Kim — sorry about the diagnose, I do hope you have found it in the early stages! As you can see in some of the comments a few people noted that their pups went on to live a few more healthy happy years after the right treatment was found! Sending you and Holly Girl nothing but positive thoughts for the right treatment – and many more years together! Jill

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  24. First of all I would like to thank you for writing this article. It gave us the courage to make the call to have our precious Indie euthanised. For sometime we had been struggling to make the decision but knew our greatest fear was leaving it too late. Our Indie left us peacefully at home 2 days ago and while it was excruciatingly painful for us and still feel numb from it all we were able to have the help from the most loving vet in the comfort of our home – I would definitely recommend this service if you have someone in your area. The whole process was loving and dignified and there was no stress for Indie. Indie was diagnosed with Cushings about 3 years ago during a routine blood test before dental work, she immediately began taking Vetoryl, I believe this helped her. As she aged she was also diagnosed with a heart murmur and congenital heart disease and more recently geriatric vestibular disease. As far as Cushings symptoms go, it took a while but we noticed skin lesions, hair thinning, increased thirst and hunger- in the end these became more apparent but more recently she had muscle wasting, particularly in her hind legs, this led to unsteadiness which made toileting difficult for her, she would fall down and find it difficult to get up, she started pacing at night and seemed distressed, panting a lot more, she lost her sight and most of her hearing and voice, she became very clingy, she never lost her appetite! Our vet’s advice was to not make these things Indie’s new normal. As difficult as the decision was we knew it was best for her. Thank you again for this support when we needed it most ????

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your story Nicole and I am so sorry about Indie. I am glad to see though that you had 3 more years after her diagnosis though! That is a good amount of time for this disease as I understand it. It is hard to watch them deteriorate, but it sounds like you did all the right things – and she is thanking you for it I am sure. Sending thoughts your way — while the pain never leaves, it will diminish. Just think of all the happy days! Jill

      Reply
  25. I have read all the comments on here. I to have a 16 year old mini schnauzer that was diagnosed with Cushings disease a couple months ago. She started out on 3m of trilostane and they just increased it to 5m. Her levels are still really high. I think she probably had it longer than a couple months. She suddenly started peeing everywhere and drinking lots of water. She has always had skin issues vet 1st said it was dermatitis which I Treated for yrs then they said it was probably from allergies which she is on daily meds for after a battery of test. She still pees all the time drinks massive amounts of water. She eats way to much. Her legs and body shakes uncontrollably. Her bark sounds funny and she makes these heavy breathing noises. I can’t hardly go out of the room without her panicking. And now they want to test her again. I don’t know what to do. I’m sad and sometimes mad at her. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. And sometimes I feel like I should just put her down. Don’t get me wrong I love this dog I just don’t know when enough is enough. The money I’ve spent is astronomical. Help

    Reply
    • First, take a deep breathe Tami! You are doing everything you can – and trust me when I say many of us feel your frustration. Being frustrated and stressed is normal – it is hard as hell to watch those we love the most age and fall ill. The financial burden can be stressful too. You have to look at all angles – how much can you afford, how is her quality of life, what outcome can be expected with any additional testing or treatment for a dog that is 16! This is the hardest decision you will ever have to make — and sadly only you can make it. But, I always recommend make it with your head – not your heart. Your baby knows you love them, no matter what you decide. {{{hugs}}} Jill….

      Reply
      • Dear Tami

        I would echo what Jill has written. This is the most terrible of times for you but you have cared for your little dog so very well to achieve for her a very long life. Being frustrated with her at this stage of ill health is a reaction many of us have experienced with our own dogs. I still regret feeling cross and irritated with one of my dogs when her behaviour became strange toward her end of life. Under normal circumstances our dogs are a blessing and relief to our everyday emotions but when they are seriously ill themselves they become unable to help us as they need help themselves. I would say as Jill has said, and to think with your head and give all the the help you can to your little dog who now seems in so much need of you. She knows you’re a loving mum and is relying on you as she always has done.

        Reply
    • You are doing the best you can everything you said I could of said. Mad and sad, it so stressful and hard to witness. I’m scared of how bad it can get before the decision has to be made.

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  26. I’m so sorry for you loss.
    My bichon Percy has just be diagnosed although now I see it’s be gradual over the last year. He is such a sweet loving boy I’m gutted. My question is did your baby suffer with shaking/trembling fits?

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  27. My little Jack Russell has had cushings for 7 years approximately. Sebastian been on veteral for years. She has regular blood tests. Often appears uncomfortable. My vet is brilliant and believes that Tia is not ready to leave us yet but I constantly worry wether we are leaving it too late.

    Reply
    • I am so sorry about your baby Sue. I know my own vet would not tell me when it was time, many vets do not want to influence that decision since you know your pet best. Just look for those signs that she is giving that show she is not “enjoying” life anymore. If you listen with your head (not your heart!) – you will see them. Your heart will never see the signs because of course we want to keep our babies forever. Sending you positive thoughts…..Jill

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  28. Hi, Jill thank you for sharing your story and experience with us. I know it must’ve been hard writing about it and I thank you for sharing. My little chihuahua has been diagnosed with Cushing’s and I am not too sure whether it was because we kept her on steroid medication after her surgery for too long or whether she was just stressed more and this developed, I am not too sure? What I do want to find out from maybe yourself or others is regarding CBD oil? I have started giving it to her and was wondering if this will help? Also, her behavior has changed massively. She now sometimes walks around and then stops for ages and seems confused. She doesn’t respond to her name and doesn’t even bark anymore. I am wondering if the change of behavior is normal for dogs diagnosed with Cushing’s?

    Reply
    • Hi Gino, thank you so much….it is definitely not easy dealing with Cushing’s that is for sure. I am so sorry about your baby getting the diagnose! I have heard mention of long time steroid use having some part in Cushing’s but have not done any research on that to verify. Definitely something to ask your vet!

      I am not sure if CBD will do anything for Cushing’s. I did not use it on my girls and did not really dig into that at all. Be interesting if anyone else has tried it.

      As for the change of behavior – that can definitely be Cushing’s related. Riley became very confused easily when it got more advanced – even to the point I had to help her get out of “corners”. It was like she forget where everything was in the house. She would also be a little more aggressive with her sister – and they were SUPER CLOSE…and suddenly she was frustrated with her a lot more. My vet did not that this could very well be all Cushing’s related.

      But if you are doing CBD, that can affect their behavior as well…..so you need to determine if maybe it is that causing those issues. Sending the best vibes your way that you do still get a lot more time with your baby……enjoy EVERY minute. Jill

      Reply
  29. Jill, I read most of these comments and you know just what to say. I appreciate all of the comments and reply’s. It is so helpful to make the tough decision to put your pet down or not. The part where you say make the decision from your head not your heart, is so very helpful. Thank you for putting in the time to reply to all these comments. God bless you

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Nancy, this means a ton. I know how hard this decision is, and am glad my own experience was able to help others. If you are in the midst of this decision making, my heart and thoughts are with you. It is not easy! J

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  30. I have asked before about my Beagle Abby after 2 years of being miss diagnosed she tested positive for Cushings n I have been giving her medicine from PRANApets n she has been doing better with that medication but all of the sudden has become worse breathing very heavily n she had a really bad seizure yesterday she seems a little better today but I have been watching her she still wants to eat n drink but I have noticed has not gone poop in two days that is not a good thing for anyone I think it’s that time where I have to think about her instead of myself n take her to be looked at I don’t want to do it because she still walking waging her tail eating drinking but looks terrible n I do not want her to suffer n be In any kind of pain she just turned 12 on the 28th she made it another birthday but I think she is trying to tell me something, I will be calling the vet tomorrow with tears In my eyes ????????????????

    Reply
    • I am so sorry Denise. It is not an easy decision to make, but I am glad you are finding the strength to do what is best for your baby. Our hearts go out to you. We are sorry…….rest easy sweet Abby.

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    • Dear Denise
      You and your lovely Abby have all my caring thoughts for you both. The love you’ve shared for each other over the years cannot be taken away but this is the most difficult of times for you, questioning yourself over and over again, if you will make the right decision, but you will. All of us, who of know the love, loyalty and companionship of own dogs, are thinking, supporting and praying for you from afar.
      Try to take heart if Abby’s time has come from the Rainbow Bridge poem.
      You are caring and will do the best for her. Kindest regards, Beryl

      Reply
        • I am trying to do the right thing I have brand new never opened medicine that I had purchased for Abby that I no longer need ???? but was wondering because I know how expensive vetoryl capsules can be I am willing to send it to someone in need for there dog it’s the 10mg box I am just trying to help another fur baby with their Cushings disease n I also have a full box of denamarin if needed let me know this is what she would want me to do with it ????

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          • Denise, this is so nice of you….these comments are being read, so hopefully someone will take you up on your offer. {{hugs}} Jill

  31. My dog Harleygirl Holl was diagnoised with cushings and diabetes at the sametime in March of 2021….Her vet was wonderful and got Harleygirl in for tests right away and put her on medicine..vetroyl 20mg one time a day and medicine for UTI for the 1st two weeks…after that she again checked Harleygirl for her glucose level and was concerned that the vetroyl and her diet did not bring her glucose level down so she stated either that we start 3units of insulin 2 times a day or up the vetroyl. Because of the side effects vetroyl could cause I went with starting the insulin to get the glucose level down….After 5 weeks of being treated we were to return for a panel reading..on May11th ….during this time we went to our summer trailer for 10 days were we kept her active with walks and golf cart rides around our campground. During those 10 days she started whining a lot and started acting confused and started bumping into things and seemed to be getting very confused on what she was doing or where to go….On May 9th we returned from our trailer and she was crying on the way home…Shortly after we came home she had a seizure and started breathing really deep and slow….She was restless so I had my husband walk her to the car and put in to go for a ride….after she went two blocks in the car she started having a big seizure and started screaming and was very incoherent and could not function…..my husband brought the dog home and while I held her and tried to calm her down we called the emergency vet clinic and took her there…on the way their she continued to scream and cry and seemed very confused….at the clinic they took her out of the car and stated that the seizure had stopped and that they would cath her and check her over to see what was wrong. After 45minutes to an hour the Vet did call and stated that Harleygirl did have another seizure while being observed and was very confused and the Vet felt that something in her brain was wrong such as a tumor..cancer..blood clot and that she needed to have two days of a brain scan to determine what was wrong…she stated that because she was 14 and her prognosis was guarded she felt that the compassionate thing to do for our girl was euthanize her….we went in and held her as she cried and she did kiss us both and then put her head down and died after the vet gave her a shot. I am now wondering if the seizures could of been caused by the vetroyl or were the seizures due to the pituaritary tumor or brain issues?….I continue to struggle if I did the right thing for my sweet Harleygirl…she was our world and I miss her everyday?

    Reply
    • I am so sorry for what you went through but please DO NOT second guess your decision. It sounds like she had multiple issues and you did EVERYTHING you could to help her. We all wonder if we made that right decision at the right time – but the truth is we will never know. But given her seizures – it sounds like you did the right thing for her. Suffering like that is no way for a dog to live. Please remember the good times with her – and that you did all you could……..J

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      • Thankyou so much for your comments…reading your story and other people stories on their cushing dog has helped me realize that my sweet Harleygirl was probably at her final stage of Cushings and that the seizures was her body shutting down from this terrible disease..I miss her everyday but know in my heart that leaving her at the vet for more testing would of only prolonged her suffering from this disease..thankyou for your comment.

        Reply
        • Aww thanks Dorann – and I am so sorry about Harleygirl. To this day I wish I had put down Riley before her first seizure happened. We will miss them forever. Sadly, the hurt never really goes away – but adopting a new friend is the best way to minimize the hurt! I am so glad you found some comfort here thought! {{hugs}} Jill

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        • Jill……I have a question about your sweet Riley…..was he on vetoryl when he passed with the sudden seizures as my Harleygirl did also…..like your Riley my schnoodel like Riley became very clingy in the last week and started whinning a lot before she had her clustered seizures….I think with or without being on medicine my sweet Harleygirl was at the end stages of cushings…as my vet said she covered up her symptoms alot and she had cushings for awhile before we detected it. Again Thankyou for this page you have helped me alot understand this disease.

          Reply
          • Hi Dorann, I am so sorry for your loss. We did not have Riley on Vetoryl at any time during her diagnosis. I cannot remember why we did not use it – but she never did take it. Her seizures started just a couple of days before she passed, the last seizure is what ultimately made is rush her to the vet and ultimately let her go. I know Vetoryl is often said that they it killed an owners dog – but I have not done research to find out if that is in fact true. I may interview a few vets in the future about Vetoryl just to see what they say. But I am truly sorry on your loss of Harleygirl….{{{hugs}}} Jill

  32. My Puggle was diagnosed with cushings and diabetes 1 1/2 yrs ago at the age of 10. It’s been a rough expensive road. She receives insulin for her diabetes twice a day, and Trilostane twice a day for her cushings. She also is on prescription food. Since diagnosis, she has gone blind, I’d say about 4 months into the start of treatment. She has had frequent uti’s along the way. With all the treatment, her symptoms stopped. Now here we are 1 1/2 yrs later and I think we’re nearing the end. She will be 12 in March 2022. Just about all symptoms have returned with some additional urination indoors, and vomiting today. Appointments have been made for today at the vet for a check up now and see where we stand. Best of luck with everyone dealing with this terrible disease. Don’t give up on your pup. Yes it is expensive, but I’ve done it on my own with her. If I can so can you.

    Reply
    • I am so sorry Reyne. I wish I could say something magical, but the truth is it sucks. Having diabetes at the same time is quite an extra challenge too. I am happy to hear you had another year and a half with her though. Good luck at the vet today — sending good thoughts your way. Jill

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  33. Thank you for this insightful information. I am having my dog tested for Cushions this week as he has signs he probably has it. He is only 9 and I thought I’d have him for another 5 years but now it seems this will be shortened considerably. Always a strong muscular happy dog and I thought he’d enjoy a long life.

    Reply
    • Hey Beryl – first, I hope it is NOT Cushing’s — but if it is and you caught it early enough he can still enjoy a long life! Wishing you the best – and hope the test finds something simple is wrong with your baby. Let us know! Jill

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      • Dear Jill

        Thank you for your reply and the kind support you offer on here. Jake has tested negative for Cushings disease and I am overwhelming relieved.
        We don’t know what the cause of his problem is yet and the next step are some biopsies next week. I hope this will show up something that is treatable and not a major problem which would shorten his life. Thank you again for your help, it’s very appreciated. Beryl

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        • That is fantastic news Beryl! I am sending you positive vibes that it is in fact something easy to treat and that your baby will be feeling better in no time! Jill

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  34. Omg my Daisy was just diagnosed with cushings, constant urinating, put her on melatonin as dr. Recommended, due to vet meds and tests are very expensive. My baby is 15, and lets nothing bother her, tail wagging, pees at least 10 times at every walk. I am very sad at what to do. Which way to go with this. What do I do?

    Reply
    • Hi Elsie,

      I am sorry to hear about Daisy being diagnosed. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you which what to go or what to do, but follow your head (not your heart!). If she as active normal and not exhibiting signs of pain or discomfort then let her enjoy her days for as long as she wants!Make a plan that works for your financial situation. My Riley was 13 when she was diagnosed, which is already longer than a normal life span of a pit bull. This was part of the reason I did not do anything extreme to try and save her and we just took meds to keep her comfortable. She lived for quite a long time after her diagnosis, just with the meds. So – you just have to find what is a comfortable choice for you! Wishing you the best – and enjoy every moment with Daisy that you can. Jill

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  35. I am feeling so torn I don’t know what to do. My12 1/2 year old schnoodle 12 1/2 years old who became blind was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease. I researched everything I could about the disease and came to the conclusion after talking with the vet that there was really nothing I could do medically. Unless I was able to pay the pricey treatment or surgery that it would involve. He had all the classical symptoms thrust, blindness the potbelly everything that I’ve read about. It Has been gut wrenching to watch. He was always such an active little guy loving to play ball walk agility,he loved at all. Since then he spends most of his life sleeping, drinking or begging for food. His little legs tremble when we go outside to urinate. And he constantly pants. Couple of months now he’s been pooping inside the house during the day and at night something he never did before. Honestly it is exhausting because two months ago I got diagnosed with cancer and have been going through treatment myself. And two years ago my son died of cancer did he fought for three years. I wonder if my dog picked up all the stress from the situation and this increased his cortisol to rise. Probably the last thing that he seems happy about is when I put him in the car and let him ride with me over to where my son used to live. Which I try to do I find a regular basis but during treatment wasn’t able to do. But now in two weeks I’m facing five weeks of radiation and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pick him up and put them in the car and take him for rides again during treatment. It’s very difficult for me to watch him bump into things and keep on going like he never complains. 11 years he slept on my bed but that can’t happen anymore because he falls off. So night time is a nightmare. I can’t bear the thought of putting him to sleep. I know he would fight to the end and never give up on me if it was reversed. What do I do? Your input is so welcomed. Thx.

    Reply
    • Linda I am so sorry for all you have been through and what your baby is dealing with. While I cannot tell you what to do – all I can say is think about his quality of life. Is he still eating? Does he still find pleasure every day? Or is he just moping, pacing and seem anxious and is not eating? The thing with dogs is they will fight for us….I truly believe they try to stay with us as long as they can – even with pain because they think we need them with us. All I know is when my Riley dropped in the kitchen – I knew I had waited too long……which is why when my Ginger got sick I made the decision to put her down before she suffered. Sounds like your baby had a wonderful life with you — he knows he is loved……and in the end that is what matters! I hope your treatment goes well – and whatever decision you make — that you can find peace with it. {{ hugs }} Jill

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  36. Jill, Thank you so much for this. I could feel your love for Riley through your words. My 11.5 yr old Bichon was just diagnosed with Cushings. I’m devastated but am starting her meds and will be watching her closely. She’s my life as Riley was yours.

    Reply
    • Awwww, thanks Carolyn – Riley was my bestie for sure. I am so sorry about your diagnosis, but hopefully you caught it early! My girl had almost 2 years after her diagnosis……so hoping you get as much. Enjoy every moment……and thanks for being a great dog mom! Jill

      Reply
    • My dog had Cushings. Had to let him go today at age13 almost 14.
      He lived like 3 to 4 years with it. He was taking Vetoryl. I also gave him CBD oil which helped tremendously. It also helped with seizures.
      His heart was strong but his breathing had gotten very labored by the time we reached the Vet. Somehow when the time comes you know.

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  37. Thank you for your story. My Annie is a Chiweenie and will be 12 years old in November. She was diagnosed with diabetes in May of 2019. I have always cooked fresh food for her and we have stayed as healthy as possible all this time. A couple of weeks ago she refused to eat her meals and was having diarrhea so I took her to the vet. Tests showed an enlarged liver so we test for Cushings. Bingo. I have revamped her food recipe and we started Vetoryl today. So far it is going well and her sugar has been stable so far today. I don’t want her to ever suffer and pray I will listen to what she tells me when the time comes. Thank you again for your story and I am so sorry for your baby’s passing…She was beautiful!

    Reply
    • Thank you Tina for the kind words. I am so sorry about Annie, but it sounds like she is in the best of hands! Please, enjoy every moment with her and give her hugs from me! Jill

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  38. My dog was missed diagnosed n treated for the wrong disease for two years I finally got the right diagnosis n she has Cushings so has been treated vide 2 years with the wrong medication n I think maybe now it might be too late for her she is 11 year old beagle n list a lot of hair n her breathing is very labored I did the retesting n the change of medicine but didn’t see much if a difference excepting that she was more lethargic n didn’t move much so I stopped the medicine they told me about the side effects with this medicine n that if I saw blood in her stool to stop it immediately that it could kill her so hearing that with her age I stopped the medicine n started her on a natural medicine n she wasn’t even on it two days n I think from stopping the other medicine it is making her stool now bloody I am heart broken n do not know what to do I think this diagnosis was to late after the miss diagnosis for two years she still eats n drinks very well so I think I will just wait a few days n see how she is I just don’t want her to be in any pain n seeing her like this is not fun n killing me inside …do you have any other suggestions that would maybe ease my mind or am I doing the right thing by waiting a few more days or does that seem I am being selfish n making her suffer for her just to be here I would really like any suggestion or thought that you might have thank you so much for your story it’s helped a little ????????????

    Reply
    • Hi Denise, first – I am so sorry about what you are going through. Not having the right diagnosis for so long really does affect how far the Cushing’s has advanced. It is hard to tell how far along she is with the Cushing’s so it is hard to say what the right thing to do is. If I were you I would focus less on what you are seeing and focus more on how your dog is acting. Does she still do some things she loves? Is she still moving around and enjoying light play? If so, then it sounds like it is not time yet. I promise your baby will give you signs she is ready…….just make sure you are keeping your heart open to those signs. {{{{hugs}}} Jill

      Reply
      • She still eats but with labored breathing while trying to eat like maybe it’s gone into her lungs n drinks n just not herself n been coming up into my bed at night which she never has done she has lost a lot of her fur n sleeps on n off with her eyes open a lot n just the blood in her stool makes me very nervous I also just noticed on my blanket that there is also a spot of blood on it from her , I think I will wait a couple of days to see if that goes away n if it doesn’t or gets worse then there is more going on inside of her than I know n thank you for getting back to me ????

        Reply
        • It is a good sign she is still eating….but the blood is concerning. My vet said they are not in pain with Cushing’s in most cases – but the decline in health can make them moody and clingy. My girl became EXTRA clingy in the end – and she was never a clingy dog. That was the sign I think she was giving me that I did not hear. Just enjoy every minute you have with her……I know how hard this all is. Sending positive vibes. J

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    • This is so hard but I think dogs are amazing and can heal. I wont give up as long as mine eats, drinks, and goes and stares at me, I will help him until he stops doing all those things. Even if the dog doesnt heal, death is natural too and if there is little sufferings, let the dog live. Thats me anyway.

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  39. Your story helped me alot, so much that I would love to talk to you on the phone one day if thats okay with you please email me and let me know and THANK U AND GOD BLESS YOUR FUR BABY IN HEAVEN

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  40. Thank you. Our Daisy was finally diagnosed with Cushings after several months of treating her for other illnesses. She has some lung issues and her digestion is crazy like an EPI dog. We were shocked at the cost of treatment and cannot afford it. We think she is at the end of her life. She cannot sleep for long. Her eyes are always open. Her breathing is labored and she had a two hour seizure the night after our vet visit where he kept her all days to run tests. I appreciate your words so much. It is hard to see with only your mind. She is ready to go and our hearts aren’t ready to say goodbye. We are taking her next week after spoiling her this week. Tgankbyou

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    • Hi Cynthia – I am so sorry about Daisy. I know how hard it is and it sounds like she may be telling you she is ready….my thoughts are with you. {{hugs}}

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  41. My little girl is going through this now it’s absolutely heartbreaking thank you so much for your story!

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  42. Thank you Jill, for sharing your story, your heart ~ your Riley with us. I can only imagine how hard that was for you.
    I have my own story just as many do, with my babies and have been torn ~ heartbroken and undecided.
    Cushings
    Diabetes
    SARDS
    Hyperthyroid
    Seizures
    Thank you for adding useful insight into the life of the parent watching their baby endure this and for being the voice of our babies as we desperately want to hold on to them ~ just one more second.
    RIP sweet Riley.
    Stay strong Jill ~ hugs and prayers as you learn to live with the loss your your boy.

    Reply
    • Hi MarieAnne, thank you so much for the kind words. It is definitely one of the most difficult things I have personally been through. Knowing when the right time is – well it is just plain hard. You just wish they can tell you when the are ready! I am sorry about all you are going through……and hope when the time comes you are at peace with it. {{hugs}} Jill

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  43. Our 10 year old husky/shepherd mix is nearing the end. Severe diabetic, almost blind…has all the end stage symptoms. We have been holding on…because there are times that she is her old self. Tonight she scared us. She was barking at nothing and seemed completely confused. It is so hard, but I know we are needing to make the hard choice.

    Reply
    • I am so sorry Estrella. The confusion they seem to get is one of the hardest things to deal with. Sending hugs your way. Jill

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  44. My 11 year old girl, Sophie, just had bloodwork and from the results her Vet is sure she has Cushing’s. She said there are more tests we can do and treatment options, but that there is no cure. It will just stop the symptoms. So far Sophie’s symptoms are very manageable, and after reading your article I’m considering not treating Sophie and letting her live her life as long as she wants to. I know when she is ready she’ll tell me. ❤️

    Reply
    • Hi Nicole, I am sorry Sophie has this diagnosis. She will definitely let you know – your heart just has to listen, even if it is hard to hear! Sending good vibes for your both. Jill

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      • Jill- my 5yr old silver Labrador has had Addison’s disease for about 6 months. We’ve been treating Charlie for over a year for an enlarged heart and abnormal rhythm. They said he could live a very long time with that. Today I’m told he has Cushings. I’m at a loss because with Charlie ball is life and his frisbee. I swear he’ll cross over with both in his mouth at the same time. He’s on several meds and tramadol for pain twice a day. So all of that said he’s happy. He eats like he’s starving. I cook real healthy food for him 4x a day and he gets 3 snacks because he keeps losing weight. But he’s happy. Happy to go outside. Happy to play with his sister albeit he’s laying down and playing with her. He’s most happy running across the yard after the ball several times a day. But after those bursts of excitement I see the symptoms return. All of them on the list. Other than loss of appetite. He’s very good motivated. As long as he’s happy it’s ok to keep going, right?

        Reply
        • Hi Amanda! I am sorry to hear about Charlie, but he sounds like my Riley — and will probably live every day to the fullest for as long as he can! He sounds like he is living his best life and not ready yet……trust me, you will know —- he will change….and the signs may be subtle in the beginning, but they will be there. The hard part about Cushing’s is they can survive for years – or just months….so please, don’t stress – and enjoy EVERY moment with that sweet boy. Sending positive vibes your way! Jill

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  45. When my yorkshire terrier “Coconut” was about 11 years old, I noticed that he ate a lot and drank a lot of water. Later, he started coughing which it got worst. I took him to see the vet at least three times with different vets. None of them .showed any concerns about his coughing and peeing. Until he was about 13 years old, his coughing got really bad. The vet found that he had enlarged livers (Cushing Disease). He had to be at the animal hospital at 8:00 a.m. then I picked him up around 7:15 p.m. to find the right dose of Vetoryl. When he arrived home, he drank all the water in 3 bowls. I added more water for him; he emptied all 3 bowls again. The next day, I thought how come my dog behalf very well. He didn’t bark or whine at all until later of that day, he just made a little sound like “uhh”. So I realized that he lost his voice. I called the hospital to see whether Coconut barked a lot when he was there yesterday. They said that he didn’t bark at all. It took him 4 days to have his voice back. Right after that, his health declined very quickly. He was skinny, weak and didn’t want to go for a walk. Later, he started having seizers. I took him to the vet again and found that he had type 1 diabetes. I gave him insulin shots twice a day. Less than a week, he refused to eat. I had to put the food into his mouth so I could give him the insulin shot. I was so sad to see him suffer but I also had hope that we could have time together for awhile. Then his blood test showed that he started having problem with his kidneys. My heart was breaking to know that. He collapsed while he was trying to release in the backyard. I also noticed that he started blinding and the healed scar on his nose became fresh and swollen. It looked like he had running nose all the time. I am so sorry for my poor boy. He was my son. He always wanted to please me. I had to let him go on April 26, 2020. After he passed, I found that dehydration will shut down all internal organs of animals. I feel like I wanted to help my dog by taking him to see his vet for Cushing Disease but it turned to hurt him, instead. It likes a torture as he needed to drink a lot of water because of the Cushing Disease already; which it was more dangerous for his health not having enough water.
    Since he passed away, I cry everyday. Somedays it was like a heavy rain pouring on my face; somedays it was like drizzling rain. I wish I could hug and kiss him one more time. I’m crying while I’m typing this. He died 3 weeks before his 14 birthday. He and I have the same birthday. We celebrated our birthday together all those years. I sang Happy Birthday song to him every year. Our birthday cakes had his name and my name on them. It will be like this for the rest of my life. Oh Coconut…mama is missing you so much.

    Reply
    • I am so sorry for your loss and all you had to go through with Coconut. Sounds like a special bond. I hope you can find the room in your heart to save another pup which may very well help your pain. I lost both my dogs within 6 months and bringing Cleo into our house a few months later did help with the pain. Sending you my thoughts…..and thanks for being a great dog mom! Jill

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  46. Reading this I am angry at my Vet I’ve been going to for 50 years. My female Cairn Sammy has had symptoms of Cushings for 9 months. Getting worse all the time. We lost her brother Buddy in March. It was just before the pandemic started. My husband was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer at that same time. There was so much going on, and the Vet wouldn’t listen to me that Sammy was really sick with something. Finally in November she was tested. We’re on disability and don’t have alot of money. The tests were $600.00. Now we ordered meds from a compound pharmacy. Less money but still more than we can really afford.
    I’m not saying I wouldn’t give up my own food to help my Sammy, but she’s clearly suffering.
    I may actually change Vets. We got a new puppy, and we’ll try the drug for Sammy. If I had read this before I would have put her down instead of putting her through this. She’s hungry all the time. Never wants to go for the long daily walks we used to go on. She gets up 3 times a night to pee. She hates the new pup Dakotah. She’s mad, and tired and just not the cute little thing we got 12 years ago.
    I’m afraid it’s time. We’ll see how the meds go.
    Thanks for enlightening me.
    Janis

    Reply
    • Hi Janis, I am so sorry for all you are going through and hope that Sammy reacts well to the drugs! Sending positive thoughts. Jill

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  47. Thank you so much for this. This is exactly what we’re going through with our 14 yo Shepherd Mix and it’s comforting to read your experience. She’s been with me 13 years since I picked her up from the rescue shelter. That’s longer than I’ve known my husband. Her symptoms and deterioration came on fast (3 months). On top of Cushing’s, she has bad dementia, incontinence, and is now completely blind. She panics when she forgets where the walls and obstacles are and I cannot image how scary it must be. Today she collapsed at my feet and seemed utterly over it. We’ve decided to help her pass here at home so she can be comfortable. Our Vet is coming by tomorrow evening. My heart is breaking but I know we’re doing the right thing.

    Reply
    • Hi Chelley, I am so sorry about your girl – my thoughts are with you today. Please enjoy those last hours, and take solace in knowing she has an amazing life and you are doing the best thing you can for her. {{hugs}} Jill

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  48. I cannot take it. My sweet cocker spaniel (that was my seizure dog) lost his sight to glaucoma. He has had a heart murmur all his life so I wasn’t wiring about that. The vet keeps a check on it. Quincey is 12.5 years old. He was diagnosed with Cushing’s about 6 months ago. He is on trilostane but I see him becoming weaker everyday. His little legs tremble when he walks, he doesn’t run out go up and down the stairs anymore either. I thought he was cold and that was causing his trembling for the last few weeks. It’s cold here. I am simply devastated. I can’t bear the thought of losing him. He has problems with skin and ear infections so we are the vet really often. He goes crazy barking and wagging his tail when I come downstairs. I hope he isn’t hurting, I want to keep him, happy, safe and comfortable as long as I can. I am sure there will come a day when he doesn’t wag his tail or bark his happy little yip. When that day comes I don’t know if I can let him go. He has been the only stable part of my life for years. I know Cushing’s is hard him and me. I just feel so inept when it comes to making decisions about his life and the inevitable end.

    Reply
    • I am so terribly sorry Sherry and 100% understand your pain. Just be sure to “listen” to the signs Quincey is giving you and let your head make the decision not your heart. That was my mistake. Hang in there and love on him every minute you have! {{hugs}} Jill

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  49. I want to thank you for this article. Yogi, now 13, became blind and diagnosed with cushings 8 months ago. 5 days ago she stopped eating still drinking , but sleeping and clingy all the time. I have an appointment to put her to sleep in 1 hour. I know it is time and finding this article confirms it.
    I will miss my little long hair chihuahua more than I ever thought!
    Thank you for the guide.

    Reply
    • I am so terribly sorry about Yogi! It is so hard to go through this……my thoughts are with you. {{hugs}} Jill

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  50. My baby, Kyra, is a Jack Russell and is 15 1/2 years old. We took her in a year ago for a dental cleaning. After they checked her bloodwork, they said she had markers for Cushing’s and asked if she was having any symptoms. At that time, she wasn’t. We looked up the symptoms so we could keep an eye on her. About June/July of this year, she started drinking, peeing, and constantly starving. She couldn’t get enough food. We took her into the vet and had her tested. She was then diagnosed with Cushing’s and put on meds. About a month ago, I noticed I could hear and feel her heart. Something didn’t seem right. We took her back in to see a specialist and was told she has an enlarged heart on the left and now also has a heart murmur.

    This weekend has been very tough! I got up yesterday (Saturday) and brought her downstairs to eat. She normally barks and barks for her meds. We put them in peanut butter. She loves her peanut butter. She wasn’t too interested but ate it anyway. When I put her food down she wouldn’t eat. I decided to put some in my hand and she ate every bite. I went ahead and continued putting more and more of her food in my hand while she continued to eat every drop. Later in the afternoon she threw up her food. I couldn’t get her to even look at her dinner. She hasn’t eaten this morning so of course, I can’t give her the meds on an empty stomach. She’s been laying on the floor and now just outside of my reach on a pillow on the couch. Her 3 month check up for Cushing’s is in 2 days. As I write this, I’m crying fear the time may be here to call my sons for one last visit with her and to say goodbye! We lost our Chihuahua last year and our other Jack Russell the year before. Kyra is the only one we have now. 🙁

    Reply
    • I am so sorry Julie. {{hugs}} I remember the hand feeding towards the end, it was the only way Riley would eat. I would see if you could get her in for a emergency visit – every day counts with this disease! I know the pain you are feeling all too well. Just love Kyra lets —- and enjoy every minute. Sending good vibes your way! Jill

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  51. Hello, my 10.5 year old pit mix was recently diagnosed with Cushings. She has alot of the symptoms, (panting, excessive thirst, ravenous hunger, only 2 potty accidents, pot bellied, and lose of hair). We are starting her on Vetoryl 120mg today. Any recommendations or things we should be watching for. Ive done so much research on Cushings and the medicine that she will be taking. Just wanted some personal experiance suggestions on things google may not tell me. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Samantha – sorry about the diagnosis! Outside of what I have written here, there is not much more I can offer. Just keep an eye on her to look for changes in behavior so you can keep her as healthy as possible. Sadly, outside of meds there is not much more you can do other than keep her comfortable. My girl was diagnosed at an older age and lived for a while with it – so praying the same for your girl. {{hugs}}

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  52. Harley died yesterday at 4:45 pm. He had Cushings and slow growing bladder cancer. He ate in the morning, had his treats. Started shaking. Then breaking bad. Heart beating way to fast. I just wonder if this was the Cushings. His tests came back inconclusive, He was still peeing fine, just more. What cld have killed him this fast?

    Reply
    • I am so sorry Marilyn! That is how my Riley went. She passed at home – ate breakfast, went outside that morning to do her thing and a few hours later collapsed in the kitchen and passed when we got to the vet. Unfortunately we will never know the “true” reason they passed, but their bodies just could not take anymore. I know it is hard – but he is not in pain any more and you should take solace in that. Sending you thoughts – and I am truly sorry for your loss. Jill

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  53. Hi, my gorgeous beagle was diagnosed with Cushings 18 months ago. She was treated with trilostane with dosage increasing after most blood tests every 6 weeks until her sweet spot was found 6 months ago. Her energy picked up, excessive panting and thirst declined until about 2 weeks ago. I noticed her energy decline, urine increased etc. but still enjoyed her food and a stroll. However last Tuesday I rushed her to the vets as she declined so rapidly. I did bring her home for one more night but sadly and joyously the vet administered her final goodbye while I was nursing her outside in the sun. I say joyously because of the love and quality she bought to my life. My pain is still so raw at her passing but I wouldn’t trade it. She was 12.4 years old. I will miss her all the days of my life. I know eventually it will only be with a smile.

    Reply
    • I am so sorry Theresa. There are no words to bring comfort – but it sounds like your baby had a good and loving life! My heart goes out to you — and just focus on all those good moments with her. {{{hugs}}} Jill

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  54. Thank you all for your insight on cushings I. Dogs, my 12yr old terrier mix was recently diagnosed with possible cushings after her yearly blood work, the vet wanted to do an ultra sound to see if she has a tumor on her pituitary glad or adrenal gland. I opted not to do the test because if she does have a tumor, I would not put her through chemo treatments and nasty drug side effects. Vet wants to re do blood work in a month to see her levels. I have been giving her Denamarin tables daily (at the advice of my vet) and also started her on CBD oil daily. She seems fine and I didn’t see any signs of cushings except for the bloodwork. She has always been a water drinker since bladder stone removal in 2013. She’s on a Urinary SO dog food for life. I am now noticing her fur is changing color on her feet, around her mouth and private area. In looking it up, I saw it could be a yeast condition that can occur with cushings. I will bring it up when I take her back for more bloodwork. Just taking one step at a time. Cloey is a Rescue from Georgia that I adopted when she was 12 weeks old. She’s my sweet, sketchy girl and the thought of having to loose her to Cushing breaks my heart.
    I know you, Felt guilty for not having seen the sign and putting you baby down before she passed on her own.., but don’t. I’ve never had a pet “go on their own” and always had to make the heart wrenching decision on my own. I always wished if it’s time, they just close there eyes and head for the rainbow bridge. My heart goes out to you all that are dealing with Cushing along with me., ❤️

    Reply
    • Cindy – thank you for sharing your story! I am sorry about Cloey – but it sounds like you are doing everything you can to make her comfortable and happy! And thank you for the comforting words about my girl – it was hard to see her go the way she did. Thankfully when it was her sisters time I was a little more proactive so there was no suffering. It is hard to watch them decline that is for sure! Wishing you much more amazing time with your girl — {{hugs}}. Jill

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  55. I don’t understand how people could give their dogs these harsh, toxic medications from the vet, when we have so many natural alternatives that work just as good and sometimes even better.! That Yorkie story BROKE my heart….My sheba will lasted an extra two years on natural Med Cushings killer online. I would never, ever give her those meds with the side effects they have

    Reply
    • Thank you Deborah for your comments! I have never heard of Cushings Killer and will look into that. I know many of us never really consider alternative meds because we have faith in our vets but do think it is something to be considered! Jill

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  56. CUSHINGS KILLER trio online gave Sheba another 2 yrs, WONDERFUL HOLISTIC PRODUCT from a family who went through it. I am an RN and know that medical errors (& med errors, side effects) is top reason people die, & after reading side effects of those 2 drugs, I went holistic & it have my Sheba 2 more yrs! Broke my heart as well, reading about the woman who can’t get over the fact that she put her dog down and it’s been a year. As a psychiatric nurse I think you should go to the doctor and maybe get on some antidepressants and then go down to the pound and RESCUE. another dog! I did AND IT WORKED! Rescues KNOW YOU rescued them and won’t take their eyes off of you…. they will be so GRATEFUL!!! This good ACT OF LOVE should erase any guilt you have & realize you did your very best !!! good luck

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  57. This was so helpful, soon I will have to put our beloved rescue down. Roxie is part boxer and Doxie. I know strange sounding. She actually rescued me and has been a great companion. Thanks for sharing your article!

    Reply
    • I love the “she rescued me” part! I am so sorry that she is not well — if only we could keep them forever! Sending good thoughts your way. Jill

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  58. Mine was Applehead chihuahua I did not know anything about Cushing I never understood y she wanted so much water constantly peed blood was hospitalized had other opinions on vets she had so many things wrong it would be way to much to put I CANNOT get over her death I did put her down almost a year ago and I cannot get passed the guilt! In my heart I feel like she’s not suffering now but I also feel so guilty for it her heart was bad for so many years she literally lived on antibiotics off no more than 2 weeks peeing blood again spent fortune on her but just couldn’t fix her I ache for her so bad I cry constantly I just can’t describe it it’s so painful anyways now I’m learning bout this Cushing but too late she would drink enormous bowls of water omg I just can’t talk about her I never knew what that was no diabetes she was always being checked more than a human ty for letting me talk to someone! Terri

    Reply
    • Hi Terri! I would not put so much guilt on yourself. It sounds like you did everything you could – and she knows that. {{hugs}} Jill

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  59. My dear sweet little Ziggy, 12 yr old terrier rescue, was diagnosed with diabetes in June. I was heartbroken…having to have him in and out of vet’s office adjusting insulin. He lost his sight overnight, didn’t think my heart could break anymore. Now vet thinks he may have Cushings. I can’t stand the thought of him having to go thru the testing and to be put on more meds. I love this little dog so so much, crying as I’m typing this. I’m dreading the day that I may have to make the choice…I’m hoping he makes the decision for me.

    Reply
    • I am so sorry Glenda. It is definitely the hardest part of being a pet parent! He will let you know when it is time, I believe they all do after losing my girls – you just have to keep your eyes and ears open to see the signs he gives. Sending hugs…..Jill

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  60. My nearly 16 year old Jack Russell has had Cushing’s for six years so I think it remarkable that she is still with me. Recently she has been shedding enormous amounts of fur and today I had the awful realisation that her fur is so scant it is easy to see her skin. She has become very clingy and we even have cuddles, which she has never wanted. I am sure she is not in pain and is having her quarterly Cushing’s test ACTH on Wednesday. Should I be preparing myself that I may not have her much longer? I am going to be devastated when the time comes but I will not let her suffer.

    Reply
    • Hi Joan! 6 years is a long time for a dog with Cushing’s! My Riley too became VERY clingy in the lost couple of weeks – and she was always the aloof one who did not need attention. It is said that is a sign – like they know and want to get as much time in as possible before they go. I know how heartbreaking it is, but it sounds like she has had a great life filled with love – and you should cherish those happy moments. {{hugs}} Jill

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  61. My Silky has been diagnosed with cushings along with living with a liver mass. I believe the prednisone she was on after becoming anemic a year ago. She’s 15 and has lived a long healthy life. She has been on vetroryl for two days and seems more tired. I read that she shouldn’t be on this drug with liver disease. I’ll call her vet tomorrow. I said goodbye to my golden three months ago and not looking forward to saying goodbye so soon to another love of my life.
    I appreciate any feed back.

    Reply
    • HI Jayne, I am so sorry about your Silky – but it sounds like she had a great life. Sadly we cannot keep them forever, I wish we could. My Riley passed of Cushing’s in August -the following February I had to put down her sister Ginger so I can relate to that as well. It is tough – but I got through it by remembering that I gave them the best life possible and was there when they both took their last breathes. Then I rescued another dog in their honor…..hang in there, sending good vibes your way. Jill

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  62. My 12 year old Charlie boy has Cushings disease, how do I know when to treat him with medication. He doesn’t have all the signs only a few symptoms.?should I treat now?

    Reply
    • Hi Charlotte – these would really be questions for your vet. I would take him asap to make sure he is on the proper treatment plan to make him as comfortable as possible! Wishing you the best.

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  63. Hello I have a very old geriatric 19 years old half staff and in May he had a convulsion for about 5 mins and when he started coming out of it he was foaming at the mouth and up to this day touch wood he has been fine , well I say fine yes he has had no more thankfully . My real concern is that he is drinking a lot and he loves food still , his fur comes out in little bits and his abdomen seems bloated when he lays down and I am concerned that he may have cushions , I know I have got to make a big decision but I look at him and think that he is ok but he is not really . I can’t carry him up stairs to give him baths so I have to rinse him down with out in garden quite a lot as he wee in him bed and constantly washing the towels , so any suggestions would be good please thank you . Jill Smithers

    Reply
    • Hi Jill, sorry about your baby, but 19 is a heck of a great number of years to have with your pet! I would take him to the vet asap to get a formal diagnose so you can make a more informed decision. I am not a vet so would not be able to give advice. Wishing you and your boy the best….{{hugs}}.

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  64. Hi ,
    My little rescue was a chihuahua mix, about 13 to 14 lbs. I had him for 10. 1/2 years. He first was diagnosed with a heart murmur of 3 when I first adopted him, which didn’t need medication til it progressed about 5 years ago. Dodger was diagnosed with diabetes a year after that . Within 6 months that dose did not seem to help his symptoms and glucose level so hiS insulin dose was increased. This has been a roller coaster so my timeline may be a little off ( endrocine nightmare). Then we had an episode of just excessive urinating and panting so I took him back to vet group and this particular vet suspected Cushing’s and ran the blood work and it was confirmed. My dog was on Vetmedin, enalipril and Ladin for his but had to decrease enalipril due to starting on Vetoryl for Cushing’s due to causing due these two drugs reacting and causing potassium to go up and cause irregular heartbeat. At one point he would just pee on floor right after being taken out a short while, so would take him in, his insulin would. Be doubled., He had back to back corneal Uclers which are very painful. He was receiving insulin shots in am and pm , vetmidin, vetoryl , enalipril, 1/2 lasix in am and pm. At one point go very sick and vet kept him, took off all meds, then just back on insulin, vetoryl and lasix twice a day.!then had to add a 1/4 of cerenia for congestive cough. Then the last 6 lonths added uradisol for gall bladder buildup. Last 3 months had to add lasix to whole pill twice a day and add enalipril back. 6 pills in morning, 5 pills at nigh, insulin am pm and eye drops twice a week to help with cloudiness.
    Three weeks ago took him in because he seemed to act as if he just came out of anesthesia. Vet kept and observe but she felt he was ok and no adjustment needed. He came home and I felt he started acting similar again, my mom agreed . I sort of wondered if I was overreacting but he wasn’t improving so took him back and then thought he must have had some type of bleed or stroke. After xrays, his heart was so enlarged to a 6, blood was pooling and they think that he would need to go on blood thinners. Told me to just go home and see how he does and I asked that I needed to know if this was time for me stop. She said let’s just see. After a a day and half , I said this is enough, he is laying around, half eating, weak legged, so this Friday Aug 7 and she asked me to schedule Monday Aug 10th to help him cross the rainbow bridge.. my choice was to be Sat before they closed because I didn’t want him to suffer but my husband was away and on his way back but could not make it before they closed. I called after hours and vet on call said first thing Sunday after church. So my little Dodger crossed the bridge Sunday. The vet could not have been any nicer, the whole staff, I had him cremated individually got his ashes. In a small cherry box. He was a trooper. My only regret is I wish I had maybe would have done it a few days earlier but he decline so fast and I was trying to wait on family members .
    I feel blessed to have had him in my life , always in my heart, was able to afford the expense of medicine, the void is heartbreaking now and hope I never have another rescue with Cushing’s but if I die I will know the signs but it won’t make it easier. I am glad he found his way to me, he had been mistreated and I saw him on a news program up for adoption. He had two owners before me but we rescued each other ????❤️

    Reply
    • Hi Ramona, Thank you for sharing your story and Dodger sounded like quite the fighter. It sounds like you did everything you could and letting him go in peace was the right thing. Thank you for giving him what sounds one amazing home – and life. My thoughts go out to you and your family on your loss. Jill

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  65. My dog Motley is a rescue and is “about” 11 years old. He too has Cushings. He has a great appetite, a little active, but has become unable to hold himself at night & wont wake me up. He is ruining my carpets. He does fine during the day, but I’m here with him & awake. I dont know what to do? Any suggestions? Please dont tell me this is a sign it’s time to put him down!

    Reply
    • Hi Kathy! I am sorry about the diagnose but am glad he is doing OK so far that is great! The leaking and peeing is a big issue. The only thing you can really do is go the doggie diaper route at night. I would not recommend the crate since you do not want him sleeping in it. Honestly the peeing for us was the biggest issue! I am actually going to be reviewing some products I was just sent for pet urine stains – which may help you too! But doggie diapers are the option I wish I had taken because my hardwood floors are a mess.

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  66. Thank you for your article; it’s very clear and direct. My Golden is 11.5 yrs old and was diagnosed w a tumor in his anal gland 17 months ago. My vet has said in prior visits that he doesn’t “look like a Cushings dog”. From his current symptoms and what I’ve been learning, I believe he most likely does have Cushings at this point.
    I’ve decided not to take him to the vet for bloodwork etc. I love my boy dearly, I have PTSD and he is my emotional support animal. And, he and I have been through a lot the last 3 years; pneumonia twice, a pseudomonas infection that led to the surgical removal of his ear drum and then the tumor. He is afraid of the vet now and honestly I am in debt over 20k. Had his cancer been curable, I might have opted for chemo when this first started, I have had all this extra, relatively good quality time w him. What worries me though is that he will suddenly start seizing and he will leave this life uncomfortably. I Know what signs to look for as far as the tumor goes, but what signs would I see w Cushings that would signal its time, before we get to something awful?
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hi Maddy – I am so sorry about all you have been through but am glad you had your boy by your side. Cushing’s signs can vary greatly with each dog. For me – it was not necessarily a Cushing’s related signal – but I had noticed my not so clingy girl was super clingy that last week. Like she was trying to tell me something – that I sadly chose to ignore. The panting was the other biggie – which would be Cushing’s related. It is hard to know what those signs are – but in retrospect I knew it was time – she was telling me, and I ignored it because I could not let her go. Your boy will change, you will see it and you will know. Wishing you both the best! {{hugs}}

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  67. I am so glad I came across your story. I have an 11.5 year old boxer who was just diagnosed with Cushing’s disease a month ago. I took my handsome boy in for his annual check up and then two days later got the call about his blood work. I took him back to do the testing and it was confirmed that he had Cushing’s. But to my devastation the medication was going to cost about $200 a month plus every two weeks taking him back for retesting at about $250 each time… I have unfortunately decided to not treat this disease and instead give my boy all the love and attention that he wants. He too is having hair loss and sores that are not healing well, I spend extra time cleaning his sores. He still has the excessive thirst and peeing but his appetite has gone down, he is not so interested in food unless I put something off my plate in his bowl. Also the panting isn’t as bad as it use to be, most likely because he lays on his bed and watches my every move. I know that time is coming and I will have to make that tough decision for us both so between now and then I will pamper him and keep him comfortable!!

    Reply
    • Hi Shelby, I am so sorry! I cannot imagine how hard of a decision that was for you. 11.5 is a long life for a Boxer – and there is no doubt he knows how much you love him…….my heart goes out to you. Enjoy every minute with him…….Jill

      Reply
      • I’m so sorry you & your fur baby are facing this. Have you checked the price of medicine with Chewy, Petco, or one of those pet supply companies? I saved over $50 buying from one of them opposed to buying from my vet. It’s just a suggestion. I wish you luck & prayers.

        Reply
    • Hi,
      You can buy an amazing herbal product form Amazon called Cushex S and Cushex M.I improved my little boys quality of life and symptoms using these drops.They are so easy to give directly or in food and very cost effective with no horrible side effects.

      Wishing you all the very best,xx

      Reply
  68. Hi,
    Your article was very helpful for me. Our family dog is 13 years old (3 years more than his breed usually last) and he has Cushing’s. He’s getting to the point where he’s tired all the time, and will only get up to pee, or eat or drink. He’s having accidents too, without knowing it. He appointment to be put down is tomorrow. My heart is breaking but I know it’s the right thing because we know it’s not fair to keep him here anymore when he has no quality to his life. We will be taking his ashes and getting them made into pendants and he will be with us always

    Reply
    • Hi Sidney,

      I am so terribly sorry about your baby – and I know the pain is huge right now. Sending virtual hugs —- and lots of thoughts your way. Jill

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  69. So here goes nothing…. my husband and I rescued our girl from an abusive situation. Shes had one surgery so far and it was right after we got her, because she wasn’t fixed and went septic. After the surgery, she started gaining weight, i knew that was normal. About 4 months ago I noticed she was drinking a ton of water and it was getting harder for her to get up. As soon as she drinks, she has to go to the bathroom. I took her to our vet, they tested her urine and said she had a UTI, but her liver and kidney function was low. While on the antibiotics she started doing better, but a week after the antibiotics were gone she went right back to it again. We are going back to the vet on Friday to do blood work, they are checking for Cushing any advice would be great.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Tiffany – first thank you for saving her! Sounds like you and your husband are her angels. You will need to find out the type of Cushing’s she has which will determine the course of action you will need to take. My girl had a pituitary tumor which could not be removed so we knew we were on limited time and just gave her the best life possible. I have no advice — other than love her – spoil her – keep her comfortable and embrace every minute! Wishing you the best outcome! Jill

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  70. Hi,

    I took over care of my fathers boston terrier after he passes. The dog is 12 1/2 years old. He is blind and constantly has an ulcerated cornea. One eye had to be removed because it became so infected. This was after 4 days of taking the dog in. He started trilostane about 2 weeks ago. He still drinks a ton of water, eats ravenously, paces, whines endlessly at night, he sleeps all day. He cannot get in and out of the house on his own so i carry him. He paces and goes in circles and whines. He is starting to develop skin issues, mostly peeling skin and some hair loss. Endless diarrhea even with the mediation that should help that The last few days he has pooping and peeing in the house. I feel i should let him go with his dignity but am so unsure. I have spoken to a lot of dog people ( I am not one, only have this dog by default) and they all say they regret no putting their dogs down earlier. I am taking him to the vet this week for a blood test to see if the trilostane has done anything. I will make a decision after that appointment. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated, I’ve learned from the other comments to this post.

    Reply
    • Hi Tina, I am so sorry to hear your baby is not feeling well. Of course I cannot make such an important decision for you – but like I noted in this post, I wish I had let my baby go before she had that last miserable day. Seeing them suffer or be uncomfortable is hard – and not the way I would want them to go. It sounds like your dog has so many issues, some which may be uncomfortable for him. That is the biggest take away on this decision in my opinion? Is the discomfort limiting his enjoyment of life? We of course cannot know for sure – but think about how you would feel with the issues he has……whatever you decide – he knows he is love – and in the end, that is what matters. Sending good vibes…..and a hug….{{hug}}. Jill

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  71. I’m crying as I read this because my 10 year old boxer was diagnosed with Cushings about 6 months ago and the disease has hit him like a mack truck. My poor dog started developing skin issues that only got progressively worse. The lethargy, excessive thirst and appetite came on so fast. And now he’s showing signs that he is going blind. He already has to be carried up and down the stairs to go out. He’s been on vetoryl and every other hoilstic adrenal treatment I can spend my money on. I feel very selfish. Like I’m prolonging the enevetable. I know I have to make a decision, I would hate to imagine how scary it would be for him to lose sight completely. My heart is breaking.????

    Reply
    • I am so sorry Natasha. It is the hardest decision you will ever make – Cushings was tough on my girl, she was strong and stubborn and watching her weaken so quickly was horrible so I get what you are going through. You will or may already know if it is the right time – just try and listen so your sweet boy does not suffer. {{hugs}}

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  72. Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been up with my Yorkie for a couple of hours trying to keep her calm and watching as she coughs and snorts so badly she sounds like she will choke to death. She is nearly 18. She was diagnosed with Cushings about 2 years ago. She’s been on trilostane just for a couple of months now. The vet was hesitant due to her age. I thought it was helping and then it seems like a switch went off and she’s not doing well at all. Increased urination (didn’t even think that was possible given that she was already going literally every hour). Vision and hearing has been worse. She’s getting lost in strange places in the house. She is pacing uncontrollably. I’ve struggled for a week trying to decide what to do. Your article has confirmed my thoughts that she needs to go with dignity and grace instead of suffering. It is just very hard. Thank you again for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle, I am so sorry to hear about your baby! The pacing – that was one of the worst issues Riley had at the end – which I have heard means they are just uncomfortable. I know this is a horrible decision to have to make – but almost 18 years is an AMAZING life! Keep those happy days in your mind – and know she understands you are doing what you think is right. I wish I had made that choice for Riley because her passing was not at all peaceful and I still regret it. Sending you hugs and good thoughts……

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      • My little Maltese COOKIE is 12 years old. During this pandemic she became ill with keto acidosis. We took her to the vet and after a short hospitalization, she rebounded, was diagnosed with diabetes. After coming to the right dosage of insulin, she developed Cushing disease and alopecia. She is on a special diabetes prescription food. She has become so skinny. Her bones are visible. Especially because she has so little hair. She does seem weak.

        Reply
        • I am so sorry Lyndee. It has never easy watching them get older! Just enjoy EVERY minute you have with her and keep on eye on the signs she gives you letting you know she is ready. Even if you may not be……sending positive vibes to you and Cookie. Jill

          Reply