a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

Storm has been on his Cushing’s medication (Trilostane) since September 20th. He started on 1 dose of 10mg and then 1 week later moved up to 2 doses per day of 10mg. This is pretty low for his body weight but his doctor said body weight isn’t the only measurement for Cushings’ dogs (so yes husband, we ARE listening to his doctor and not you…)

All this week he has wanted to go on the walks in the mornings. This is a *great* improvement in his energy level! He has been choosing to not go on walks in the mornings for a few months now. This was one of the reasons I originally knew something was wrong and, sure enough, lack of energy is a symptom of Cushing’s. Now, AM walks for us are 1.5 – 2 hours every morning. For the past few months, I would take him out for 20 mins or so but he is a husky…they should have energy – even the lazy, couch-loving ones :) So he is now doing 1.5 hours or so. Not uphill hikes yet but I am hoping we get back there! When he wants to stay home – I take Angelus on those (who just wants to go and go and go….)

He even tried to be alpha with another dog this past week! The fact that he showed any real interest in the other dog’s existence is good. He just hasn’t cared about meeting other dogs lately. Storm has known he is “2nd boss” or the “underboss” since he was about 16-18 months old. He used to try to challenge Angelus but Angelus had none of that. For a couple month period of time we would have to pull them apart on occasion (usually a treat was involved) but this never happens now. They are great pals. Storm knows Angelus is the alpha (under me of course.) However, he views this as a 2nd in command kind of job. Like Chewie :) All other dogs must bow to him. And he has Angelus there to back him up (who has protected his little brother on numerous occasions.) Angelus has beaten up (blood drawn after they attacked Storm) 3 other dogs in defense of his little brother. He is a good big brother…

This cartoon ALWAYS pops up in my head when thinking about their relationship. Angelus is nicer to Storm than Spike is to Chester….but same idea :)

p.s. these old Looney Tunes/WB cartoons rule over anything they produce now IMHO…

Now, Storm has always been the lazier of the huskies but he would go (and go and go) if he was out there. And this week he has wanted to! So I am very happy with this improvement!

He also is drinking a bit less water. Still more than his normal levels, but a bit less than it has been for the last few months. He is still acting like he is starving to death. I hate to think that he feels so, so hungry all the time. Like he is actually starving. But again, a symptom of his disease and he is not starving. But someone at work actually said, in all seriousness, (as she gave the buddies chicken and cheese), that the buds didn’t get fed enough! OMG! They have formulated their plan and put it work for them. It’s called the sad, pathetic, brown-eyed puppy plan. Boogers…

So, all in all, a week or so of improvement for Storm on his medication. He gets his next test on 10/22. This will show us how the medication is doing in his blood, do we up the dosage, etc. They said “oh Storm….he is sooooo sweet….can you pick him up as soon as he is ready?” Ummm….ok :) I guess he makes a bit of a howling fuss…what a buddy :)

Storm had 2 more tests last week. 1 for his thyroid and then a 2nd, more focused, ultrasound for his liver. Both came back negative/OK. Kind of would have been easier/better if his thyroid was the issue. Quick medicinal fix. But I guess I kind of already knew this wasn’t the case. And very happy no liver issues. Before the vet diagnoses Cushing’s (which doesn’t have a positive/negative test), they want to check any other potential issues. Since both his thyroid and liver enzymes came back abnormal in other tests, we ran these tests.

Storm is now completely over going to the vet. He used to like it. Go in, see other dogs in the waiting room, show everyone how awesome he was, howl a little, get a shot, get a treat, out the door. But now…he looks at me with sad eyes. Which kills me. But he is a tough, stoic little guy who has been tested, shaved, poked and prodded. But he still sings when he walks in there and everyone there loves him. He is greeted with a “Hi Storm” just like at our office. He is a character.

After the thyroid and liver tests came back OK, I had Storm’s file sent to his regular doctor (who has been out of the country for a month.) She has been Storm and Angelus’ doctor since they were puppies and she is a senior partner at the vet hospital. Plus, well, frankly, she is really nice and cool. Angelus likes her a lot which speaks volumes. Angelus is very picky about his friends. He’s like his Momma :)

She also treats the majority of Cushing’s patients there. And she agreed with us. She approved of the diligent nature of the additional tests to rule out any other issues. Especially since treatment for Cushing’s is no easy matter. But she said his symptoms do point to it.

So we worked out his meds and the pharmacy is sending them this week. He will start on a low dose and we will monitor his progress. I am very stressed about this. I am not a big believer in drugs. I understand they are created to fix something but I believe the chemicals introduced can generally do more harm than good. But she assures me the low dosage and monitoring will be OK. And I recognize he will not live 100 more years, but I want his life to be happy and for him to feel good. It’s obvious to me that he doesn’t feel good right now. In the end – the most important thing is he is happy and loving every day like he used to.

So fingers are crossed. And I will be a giant stress ball once he is on the medication looking for any signs that he is having a bad reaction to it. And he will have to go for tests every 4-6 weeks to make sure his body is handling it. So I will stress then too. But if he walks around ah-rooing like he used to, waking me up in the mornings and chewing on Angelus again – it will be worth it.

Storm smile

Storm smile