Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 89 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As noted in my intro, we are happy owners of a 14 year old miniature poodle who was happy, active, and relatively healthy. Suddenly last summer our Ricky exhibited signs that things were not right, and eventually the vet diagnosed Cushing's. He is on Trilostane and seemed to be okay.

After his 14th birthday this year, however, he started knuckling, and the vet said he does not have degenerative myelopathy, but instead might have a bulging disc. I won't put him through an MRI. He put him on Meloxicam and that seemed to help a bit.

THEN, his collapsing trachea got worse and the vet took him off the Meloxicam and put him on Prednisone. His horrible hacking cough has diminished and so has his knuckling, but he cannot stay on the prednisone long term, we were told, due to the Cushing's.

He has gained weight, is still coughing some, still knuckling some, and after the prednisone trial, the vet has mentioned a bronchodilator or cough suppressant for his trachea.

Has anyone heard of a situation like this, where three illnesses are conflicting with one another? Is there any hope for the poor guy?

I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,336 Posts
Just wanted to welcome you and say I'm sorry your senior had all these issues going on at once. I have read that bushings can cause lax ligaments but honestly I don't know much about that. Unfortunately many of our pets get over lapping issues as they age. Good thoughts & wishes for your boy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,108 Posts
I have been spending a lot of time (and money) at the vets in the last year or so - unfortunately it tends to come with the territory as our animals get older.

I can't help much with the Cushings or collapsed trachea, but Sophy is prone to spinal problems, and I have found that rest (complete crate rest if there is a chance of the disc bursting and causing paralysis, and reduced exercise and absolutely no jumping or stairs if it is simply a trapped nerve) plus meloxicam or another anti inflammatory keep her reasonably comfortable until I can make her an appointment with her osteopath. An incompetent person can cause major damage, but I was lucky enough to have a very well qualified and highly recommended osteopath locally who not only gets Sophy's back 80% better in one or two treatments but has also shown me how to safely treat her myself. Anyone legit will require a referral from your vet - it may be worth asking them if they know anyone they can recommend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you, mufar. I was taken aback at the suddenness of his decline and the fact that he was suddenly dealing with not one but three issues. It is breaking our hearts.

Thanks fjm, on the osteopath directive. We haven't allowed him stairs for a long time but now the act of lifting him up was causing him the most horrible gagging fits. The prednisone has cut back on those tremendously, but it isn't a solution, unfortunately.

Both the bronchodilator and the cough suppressant have side effects, but it appears we have no choice, given the Cushing's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,108 Posts
When Sophy's back was really bad I carried her on a firm cushion - it seemed to help. A cushioned board may be worth a try?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
When Sophy's back was really bad I carried her on a firm cushion - it seemed to help. A cushioned board may be worth a try?
Worth a thought fjm. We put him on a donut bed when we take him to the vet, if he returns to the violent gagging (insidious condition, collapsing trachea) once off the prednisone, I can ask him to get in his bed before we go out. Didn't even think of that, thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Hello joedesimone,
My heart goes out to you and Ricky.
This is a wonderfully caring group of people whose knowledge and experiences can provide solace and often times keep you going in difficult times.
I will keep Ricky in my thoughts and hope his health improves.
Jcris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hello joedesimone,
My heart goes out to you and Ricky.
This is a wonderfully caring group of people whose knowledge and experiences can provide solace and often times keep you going in difficult times.
I will keep Ricky in my thoughts and hope his health improves.
Jcris
Thank you so much, jcris.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,810 Posts
Welcome to PF! It is heartbreaking to watch a loved pet age and become more and more fragile in health........I'm sorry you are having such a dilemma and hope you can find some answers. Little Ricky is blessed to have such a loving and caring human!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Welcome to PF! It is heartbreaking to watch a loved pet age and become more and more fragile in health........I'm sorry you are having such a dilemma and hope you can find some answers. Little Ricky is blessed to have such a loving and caring human!
Thank you, MollyMuiMa. It is indeed hard to watch.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,489 Posts
Welcome to you and Ricky. I’m sorry he has this trifecta of health issues. Hope he feels more comfortable soon, poor guy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,032 Posts
If it's within financial reach, a possibility would be to consult an Internal Medicine specialty vet. They usually have more experience in managing multiple illnesses concurrently. Or maybe there's a teaching university near you? You wouldn't need to change vets long term. You and your current vet could follow a plan worked out by the IM.

Hoping for some manageable solutions for you and Ricky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I have no good advice but I just wanted to say that I know how you feel right now and I'm so empathetic to your situation. I also have a 14 year old, who is dealing with a whole bunch of stuff that poured down on us at the same time. It's so hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,028 Posts
I’m so sorry and wish I had answers for you. (((Hugs)))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thank you, Skylar, lollipoodle and Mfmst.

Rose n Poos, I had started to do that. He had been to the ASC in Westchester for his toe cancer last year, and when I suggested going back there to Ricky's vet, he said they would start with a neurologist and an MRI, before moving on to the internist.

I didn't want to put him through an MRI, so I did not proceed.

In your opinion, can I go directly to an Internal Medicine vet?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,188 Posts
joedesimone, I would make a direct call to an internal medicine vet, explain what is going on, your concerns and go from there
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,032 Posts
Twyla's right. I can't think of any reason that you can't ask for an IM to review Ricky's records and situation. This is nothing against your current vet, but as things get more complicated in managing health, I'd want all the brain power I can get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, Twyla and Rose, I shall. After he is done with the prednisone, I'll get a specialist to look at him before moving on to something else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Update: Ricky isn't done with the prednisone, but on a 1/4 tablet after 2-1/2 weeks, is back to hacking and having trouble walking. It turns out his vet's specialty is internal medicine and he has suggested an MRI. He thinks it is a disc problem.

I had initially agreed but looking around here, it appears the solution to disc problems is surgery. I don't think Ricky would survive surgery at 14. Also, I don't think he would fare well with the general anesthesia for the MRI with a collapsing trachea.

Any thoughts? Are there any meds for the trachea and the pain from the disc that could be given along with the Trilostane for the Cushing's? My thinking is to ease his pain without extraordinary measures of intervention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,032 Posts
Not all vets will answer this question, but if you haven't already, ask your vet what they would do if Ricky was their own dog. Which of the several conditions needs the most immediate treatment? Which will improve his life?

I'm a bit confused on this part. Is your vet saying that the trachea problem is related to the disc problem? If the disc problem is fixable, will that help with the collapsing trachea?

Your vet should tell you honestly whether Ricky has a good chance of surviving anesthesia for the MRI and surviving surgery. If they say yes, then you can decide if that's something you can pursue. If it's not in your reach financially, then you need to consider his quality of life, which is pretty much where you are now.

It doesn't seem so far that any members here currently active have had this specific set of circumstances so it looks like your vet is your best source for questions on concurrent medications. It sounds like the Cushing's is under control and your unanswered questions are still on what medications may also be given to manage the trachea and disc problems. Another member here is looking into acupuncture and laser treatment for orthopedic issues. That's something to ask your vet about.

I wish I had better ideas for you. Since your current vet is IM, short of seeing another for a second opinion, I can't think of anything else at this moment. I hope someone else will.
 
1 - 20 of 89 Posts
Top