Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

The Miniature Schnauzer is a smallest dog in the Schnauzer breed and originated in the mid-to-late 19th Century from Germany. The Miniature Schnauzer is a cross between the Standard Schnauzer and other smaller breeds such as the Poodle. A miniature Schnauzer is a spunky, but aloof dog who does things their own way. They tend to be good guard dogs without the tendency to bite.
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Vickyssm
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Dog #1: Milly
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 30 Jan 2007
Location: Nth yorks

Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Vickyssm » 13 Sep 2018, 08:41

Hi, I wonder if someone could offer me advice.

My 11yr old mini schnauzer was diagnosed with cushings disease in may, following various tests. Dry skin and hair loss was her only symptom. Over 7 weeks she was tested and re tested and was given vetoryl, nutramed liver supplement and hills prescription diet. 2 months later, after constant repeated blood tests, she was taken off the vetoryl as she was diagnosed with unrelated liver disease. During the last call from the vet, one of the enzymes was in the 2000 and the other in the 3000. They basically said her liver was so bad that there was nothing more they could do. I should continue with the diet and supplement. She now has multiple symptoms and 2 weeks ago was rushed to the vets with blood in her urine and vomiting. She was put onto antibiotics and is much better now. But since then she has been refusing the hepatic diet. She hasn’t ate the dry since her last vet visit and is now refusing the wet. I don’t know what to do. She had always been 10kg and was down to 7.8kg in may. She’s looking bigger now tho I suspect it’s fluid and not true weight gain. My vets are useless and if I ring for advice they will advise I take her in. She hates them and gets too stressed out. I would be very grateful if anyone can offer any advice re the diet, as well as anything else relating to her condition. Thank you.

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Schnauzer Sam
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Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 13 Sep 2018, 11:09

Vicky,

I know that I'm asking the obvious and apologies for that. Have you considered going to another veterinary practice for an alternative opinion?
You're never alone when you own a schnauzer

Vickyssm
Puppy
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Sep 2018, 08:35
First Name: Vicky
Dog #1: Milly
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 30 Jan 2007
Location: Nth yorks

Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Vickyssm » 13 Sep 2018, 11:30

Hi,

Yes, we have thought about taking her back to her original vet but it’s a 20-30 min drive and we can’t get her in the car. She shakes and salivates immediately, and any more than 5 mins and she vomits. Everywhere she goes now is on foot only.

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zeta1454
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Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by zeta1454 » 13 Sep 2018, 12:01

Hi Vicky - I am sorry to hear about your mini and her diagnosis and especially the issues you have had since then. The nutramed supplement is based on plant extracts including milk thistle which is a herb with centuries of use as a liver support. Unfortunately many pharmaceutical drugs can have a damaging effect on the liver, as can other products such as chemical parasite treatments so you probably need to be looking for a gentler approach to treatment. You may be able to get some advice on herbal supplements from the veterinary herbal supplier Dorwest Herbs- they are very helpful and also have a Facebook page where people can ask questions re their dog's health issues.

https://www.dorwest.com/category/shop-b ... ion/liver/

Regarding diet, I have no experience of this illness with any of our dogs but my choice would be to try and tempt your mini to eat some lightly cooked fish or chicken rather than persist with the Hills. Many of the big brand name animal feeds are promoted by vets as they have a beneficial relationship with the manufacturer and, if you check the ingredients, they often use low quality protein sources. I don't know whether these are the ingredients in the hepatic diet food you have but I would question the vet as to the specific benefits of any of these (or whatever else is in the food you have been "prescribed" for your mini's health issue:

"Ingredients:
Grains, oils and fats, vegetable protein extracts, eggs and egg products, seeds, vegetable by-products, minerals, meat and animal by-products.
Protein sources: soya bean meal, dried whole egg, protein hydrolysate, maize gluten."

There are no named meat sources and by-products could be anything.

As suggested above, a change of vet really would be the best option and preferably to a holistic vet who will take an in-depth look at your mini's condition and may offer a broader range of options and advice regarding diet. Even the best advice on the Forum is not really going to be a good substitute for professional veterinary guidance. Sadly too many vet practices nowadays are not friendly and supportive places for dogs and very few offer a relaxed, comforting environment to meet and discuss your dog's problems.

Is it possible for you to get a vet that you trust to do a home visit?

My preference, in this kind of situation would be to find a holistic vet. There is a link here to a list of nationwide vets who do offer complementary therapies as well as "conventional" treatments. All vets are fully qualified through the usual veterinary colleges as only professionally qualified vets are allowed to treat animals in the UK.

https://www.bahvs.com/find-a-vet-2/

Other than that, hopefully a Forum member with personal experience of managing Cushings disease in dogs may be able to help.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

Vickyssm
Puppy
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Sep 2018, 08:35
First Name: Vicky
Dog #1: Milly
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 30 Jan 2007
Location: Nth yorks

Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Vickyssm » 13 Sep 2018, 12:27

Thank you for that information.

A couple of weeks ago we were considering taking her back to our original, excellent vet but now feel that time has passed. We think she’s too poorly to put her thru further tests. She’s had extensive blood work done over the last 4 months or so, and a liver scan which showed nothing untoward. We were told 6 weeks ago that there was no medical treatment left to try as her liver was at crisis point. I want to make whatever time she has left, as comfortable as possible, and feel at this stage, getting her to eat something is better than eating nothing at all.

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zeta1454
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Born: 21 Feb 2014
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Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by zeta1454 » 13 Sep 2018, 12:34

I do feel for you Vicky having gone through a devastating diagnosis of a different kind with a mini schnauzer in the past. Like you we decided to just make his last months ( or however long he was going to have) as stress free and happy as we could. Take care and sending hugs to you and your little one xx
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

Vickyssm
Puppy
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Sep 2018, 08:35
First Name: Vicky
Dog #1: Milly
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 30 Jan 2007
Location: Nth yorks

Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Vickyssm » 13 Sep 2018, 13:16

Thank you. It really is devasting. She’s never suffered ill health, other than an issue with anal glands about 6 years ago, that put her off vets for life! When we took her in April with poor skin and hair loss, we presumed it was related to constant hair cuts and the products they use. Within a week she was diagnosed with cushings disease. 2 months later she was diagnosed with unrelated liver disease/failure. Then a few more weeks later, we were being prepared/advised to put her to sleep. We don’t feel we are at that stage yet tho know we have to get her to eat something. I’m researching a home cooked diet as she’s always favoured real food over pet food. It’s just awful and incredibly upsetting to see her deteriorate, especially in such a short space of time.

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Schnauzer Sam
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Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 13 Sep 2018, 20:14

Hi Vicky,

My heart goes out to you when I read the news in your updates. It must be a very difficult time for you and Milly. If things are as you've described, I think you're right to try and ensure that she appreciates how much love you have for her for however long you have left together.

When mine was off her food I found that she would eat some home cooked tit bits such as flakes of white fish, boiled chicken or scrambled egg.

I hope you can find something to tempt her to eat as I know how worrying it is when they seem disinterested.
You're never alone when you own a schnauzer

Oscar 12345
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Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Oscar 12345 » 13 Sep 2018, 20:41

Vicky sending big hugs to you and Milly...
Every snack you make
Every meal you bake
Every bite you take
He'll be watching you......

Vickyssm
Puppy
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Sep 2018, 08:35
First Name: Vicky
Dog #1: Milly
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 30 Jan 2007
Location: Nth yorks

Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Vickyssm » 14 Sep 2018, 07:35

Thank you. Last night we tried her on a fresh chicken breast, cooked in the oven (I intend to steam everything in future) and she ate it like she was starving and licked the bowl for the first time in ages. It confirmed that her appetite is still there, she just doesn’t like the hepatic food. I’ve been researching what’s best to give her, white fish, chicken, some veg, rice etc she also loves scrambled egg but I’ve read conflicting views about giving her egg so will have to check that out. She seems quite bright this morn. I’ve also ordered her a new milk thistle supplement that I can give her twice a day. The one she has is morning only tho I think she will benefit from it more often.

Vickyssm
Puppy
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Sep 2018, 08:35
First Name: Vicky
Dog #1: Milly
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 30 Jan 2007
Location: Nth yorks

Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Vickyssm » 14 Sep 2018, 07:52

Before I forget, I wondered if anyone had advice on annual boosters and worming - she’s due her annual booster next month and hasn’t been wormed since March. She doesn’t mix with other animals and only manages a 10 min walk a day, always on the lead. From what I’ve read over the last few months about cushings and liver disease, I don’t think it’s wise to subject her liver to any more so I’m considering not bothering with either.

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Schnauzer Sam
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Born: 11 Jun 2018
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Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 14 Sep 2018, 10:31

Vickyssm wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 07:52
Before I forget, I wondered if anyone had advice on annual boosters and worming - she’s due her annual booster next month and hasn’t been wormed since March. She doesn’t mix with other animals and only manages a 10 min walk a day, always on the lead. From what I’ve read over the last few months about cushings and liver disease, I don’t think it’s wise to subject her liver to any more so I’m considering not bothering with either.
Vicky, If you were wanting to be certain you could have a titre test done instead of the booster and send a sample off to wormcount rather than worming her regularly. That said, I wouldn't bother with either and would do exactly what you're intending to do.

Great to hear that she enjoyed her dinner last night. I'm sure you were delighted.
You're never alone when you own a schnauzer

Oscar 12345
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Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Oscar 12345 » 14 Sep 2018, 10:40

Vicky, I completely agree with Sam considering your dogs condition, age and exercise regime I would not give any further vacs. If you ever get worried about worms then as Sam says Wormcount will put your mind at rest.
Every snack you make
Every meal you bake
Every bite you take
He'll be watching you......

Vickyssm
Puppy
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Sep 2018, 08:35
First Name: Vicky
Dog #1: Milly
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 30 Jan 2007
Location: Nth yorks

Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Vickyssm » 14 Sep 2018, 11:04

Thank you both. I’m not gonna worm or vaccinate any more. Infact, I’m not gonna give her any more toxins of any kind. I will speak to the vets next month and inform them. I recall a conversation with the breeder when we got her and they warned about over exposure of toxins, and claimed they stopped vaccinating at 7 years. They had been breeding for over 30 years and said they had never lost a dog to disease. I’ve read extensively over the summer about her condition and it’s quite possible that everything she’s had has caused this. Worming every 3 months, annual vaccinations inc rabies, flea and tic treatments monthly every summer. Poor thing, we have subjected her little body to so much to try and keep her well. How ironic!

Vickyssm
Puppy
Posts: 10
Joined: 13 Sep 2018, 08:35
First Name: Vicky
Dog #1: Milly
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 30 Jan 2007
Location: Nth yorks

Re: Cushings and liver disease diagnosis

Post by Vickyssm » 14 Sep 2018, 13:39

I’ve read quite a bit over the last few days about burns dog food. Some have called it the original prescription diet! Anyway, as I was looking at the protein content of the various products, a lady messaged me on their ap and we discussed my dogs needs and diagnosis. They’re gonna send me free samples of all their lowest protein products to try. I said I was willing to try anything/everything and she said, not to buy more foods she may not eat. What a wonderful website! She said I should expect them Monday.

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