Trilostane Day 48

… sorta’. We skipped a dose early on because she was being weird. We skipped 2-3 doses (once daily) in the last week because of her trip to the emergency vet. She binged Thursday with the help of our co-workers, so I didn’t worry when she was very tired and not as hungry on Friday, but as Saturday ticked on, she lost mobility and moved into lethargic levels, to the point she wouldn’t/couldn’t walk. I didn’t feel like it was Addison’s, but I knew with her Cushing’s diagnosis, everyone (read: urgent or emergency vet) would have to rule that out first.

She had a little “ruffle” on her left hip, right at her lump of scar tissue from that dog bite long ago, and I thought nothing of it until I actually touched it. Turns out once the vet focused on that too, we found the problem; a NASTY, under the skin infection. We will likely never know what caused it, but a week of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory pain killer our regular vet added on Monday, and she’s back to normal, her new fussy about how I take my meds aside.

This little crisis has shown me how blessed we are. We have great veterinary care, and my co-workers are the most amazing, kind, supportive, animal loving people ever. Gg HATES the cone (e-collar, or whatever you know it by), and she’s been a good girl minus two nights, but work has been quite easy, thanks to a pack ‘n play we’ve been loaned indefinitely. It’s kept her clean and safe, and she seems to like it! She gets even more pets and attention than she gets wandering around on her own.

She doesn’t know she’s fourteen years old. Most of the time, she doesn’t act like it, but she is a very senior dog. She is slowing down, she sleeps more, she takes more medications, but she’s still my spunky, sweet, utterly devoted sidekick. I miss our runs and wogs, but I’m hoping as the temperatures cool, she’ll want to trot down the road a bit now and again. It’s truly an honor and a privilege to be her person, and I’m a better person because of Lady Gretchen Greer. Here’s to many, many more years together!

Trilostane Day 7

Or is it Day 6, since we skipped Friday, Day 5? Gretchen wouldn’t eat her breakfast, so I called the vet and they advised that I skip her dose for that day, as the side effects we’re monitoring her for include decreased appetite and lethargy.

Her tribe concurs that it’s likely heat and long work days that caused her behaviors, but there’s no denying the girl is off her game. She didn’t go to Ladies Group (workout) yesterday morning. Her humans had decided she wasn’t going because she hadn’t eaten, but she also made no effort to come with me until I was basically out the door, so she somewhat opted out; she didn’t know we had decided she wasn’t going.

She always sleeps a lot on Sundays, so it’s hard to judge what’s going on today. It’s also hard to say whether we’re seeing positive changes, because her routine is so far out of whack, but that’s necessary because she needs constant supervision for the first couple of weeks on this medication.

This is hard. I trust our veterinary team explicitly, but in the end, it’s up to me to figure out what’s working and what gives Gretchen Greer the best quality of life. We’re waiting for the next round of testing to see what the labs say, because Gg’s Cushing’s journey is so muddy and muddled because the symptoms are so very similar to the anxiety issues she’s had her whole life.

Trilostane Day 1

Have I even blogged about Gretchen’s Cushing’s diagnosis? (I mentioned it, but barely.) So, let’s recap:

The week after Thanksgiving, Gretchen had a binge bender than brought me home mid-day to figure out why the puppy cam was upside down. She did some impressive at any age table-surfing and found her “headed out the door”dog treats, AND an old powerlifting meet gift bag that included some (non-chocolate, thankfully) KIND bars in various stages of all gone and what was left was in shredded plastic! She repeated that feat again on Saturday morning (but with no nommies found), and then came absolutely unglued when she was crated (rare, but she was crate-trained) while we went to the work holiday fete that night.

To the vet we went, and we were all surprised when this healthy-looking gal tested positive for Cushing’s Disease. (I’ll probably add her results here at some point so they’re all in one place.) At the vet’s recommendation, we went holistic, in part because she was back to being all but symptom free by then AND because our vets are friends and they KNOW I’m resistant to certain big pharma medications. That went really well for several weeks, and again, I’ll almost assuredly create a Cushing’s page here to track it all, but then in late April, she began having acute anxiety again. On May 31, our holistic vet broke up with us. (No, not really, but I try to keep things light, and when the holistic vet tells you it’s time to use conventional pharmacology, it’s sobering.)

And somewhere in the midst of all of that, baby girl was also diagnosed with high blood pressure. She’s on a microscopic dose of Amlodipine (2.5 mg tab QUARTERED, and one of those pieces twice daily), and while it dropped her BP a bit, it remains a little higher than desired. With everything else going on, we’re going to re-evaluate THAT when the vet tells me it’s time… I think in September?

So, today is day one on Trilostane. She’s on a whopping 15mg compounded into a chicken flavored chewable tablet that the princess rejected as a “treat” but thankfully, she did gobble it down with her breakfast. Yes, that’s a high-maintenance, home-made meal, which I’ll also include on the Cushing’s page. She loved it at first and seems bored with it at this point. I know there’s plenty of room for discussion; my dogs have put me in camp “we like variety when a slow switch is done”. They definitely seem to get tired of the same flavors day after day, week after week.

So far, so good. She’ll be at my side for the next 10 days, until we do her first monitoring bloodwork to assure this is the right dose for her. Despite what I’ve read, I’m still insisting she’s going to live to be 20, and have a happy, healthy life until then.