Cushing's parents

Discussion in 'Acromegaly / IAA / Cushings Cats' started by Rardito, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Rardito

    Rardito Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Hi everyone,
    I remember reading that there was a Cushing's parent on here that had a cat that didn't get treatment for it. I would really like to have a conversation with that person but I can't remember who it was! Could someone point me in the right direction?
    Thank you!
     
  2. Rardito

    Rardito Member

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    Jul 20, 2018
    Ana & Frosty (GA) likes this.
  3. Ana & Frosty (GA)

    Ana & Frosty (GA) Member

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    Jan 19, 2018
    Yes! It’s @Tuxedo Mom . Her name is Mary Ann. She’s great, very informative.

    How is little Mitsy doing?
     
  4. Rardito

    Rardito Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Not so good. She got shakier and now is having black loose stools :(
     
  5. Ana & Frosty (GA)

    Ana & Frosty (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2018
    Sounds like she might have gastritis or stomach bleeding. It’s possible with excess cortisol. How long has it been going on? Have you contacted the vet?
     
  6. Rardito

    Rardito Member

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    Jul 20, 2018
    Only 2 times. I haven't contacted them yet but I'm hoping to after work

    The good news is she's always in the mood to eat and drink!
     
  7. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    I got your PM and thought I would post the information here so that others can read and ask questions if needed:

    "Hi

    Sorry to hear that your Mitsy has Cushing's. How was it diagnosed?? Was it definitely diagnosed as PDH (pituitary based as opposed to adrenal based)?

    Muscle weakness and wasting is common with FD kitties and even more pronounced with Cushing's kitties. Excess cortisol produced with Cushing's can cause quicker muscle wasting. I gave my boy B12 Methylcobalamin form every day to help with the muscle wasting and although it did not 'cure' it, it certainly helped with him.

    Tuxie had several small seizures over the 2 1/2 years after he was diagnosed with Cushing's. One was minor and involved unsteadniess and uneven pupil dilation. The other one was a bit more severe and involved circling and stumbling and fixed eye dilation. I thought initially that it might be a hypo but his numbers were in the higher range. This lasted about 1/2 hour and then the seizures never happened again. The thought is that the tumour on the pituitary gland may have been pressing on another part of the brain which caused the seizure. There is no firm data on this however.

    PDH Cushing's can be treated with trilostane (also called vetoryl) Anna & Frosty are using this approach. I see you have talked with her already on the forums.

    Because of the Cushing's Tuxie had chronic pancreatitis, liver disease and kidney issues. When he would have a flare up I would have to deal with those issues as need be. He was also prone to constipation so I would give him pumpkin...which he thought was a treat..lol...every day to keep things running smoothly. For pain control I would use burenorphine injectable...my vet prefilled syringes for me. However this was usually only used during pancreatitis attacks.

    As far as the lifespan it is hard to judge. It depends on how far along the Cushing's is and how rapidly it progresses. Tuxie had 2 1/2 years with no treatment other than supplemental support. In the end it appeared that he may have had cancer, but he was too sick and too weak for further testing and after 'talking' with him, it was decided that the best thing for him was to release him from his poor broken body. ( I still cry for him) Once Cushing's gets to the point where the skin is tearing on its own, the disease is very advanced and without treatment it is hard to judge how much quality of time a kitty will have.

    Looking at your spreadsheet, Mitsy does not show the usual big swings that are common with Cushings kitties. I started on Lantus and changed to Levemir both of which are long lasting insulins, but his numbers would go up and down like a roller-coaster. He could go from a black number to a lime green in the same cycle. He was never even close to regulated at any time. Cushing's effects can often wax and wane....sometimes the body produces more cortisol and other times it produces less. Considering that you are using vetsulin which is a faster acting and often tends to wear off quicker, Mitsy's numbers are not overly bad.

    I don't know if I have answered your questions, but if I can be of any other help please ask.

    :bighug::bighug::bighug:"
     
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  8. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    I posted some information above but wanted to address this issue. My Tuxie would have loose, black smelly stools when he was having a pancreatic attack or when his liver was acting up. Have you ever had Mitsy's fPLI done to see where her pancreas numbers are? Cushing's kitties are even more prone to pancreatitis than 'regular' FD kitties. Also because the liver is working overtime with Cushing's liver issues often arise. I gave Tuxie milk thistle powder every day as a supplement for liver functions.
     
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  9. Rardito

    Rardito Member

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    Jul 20, 2018
    Thank you so much for all of the information! When she had the Cushing's test, they told me she was positive for Cushing's so they did an abdominal ultrasound, and her organs were fine. So he determined that the tumor was pituitary (which I expected due to her neurological symptoms).

    I am still waiting on them to mail me the actual report (they said they couldn't email it).

    I remember when she was diagnosed with diabetes he had said possible pancreatitis, but then he never mentioned it again. I did a post with her blood work a little while ago. I am attaching the pictures to this post - I'm not sure if it has the pancreas information on it or not. I don't really know how to read the labs sadly.

    But he did say her organs looked great when he did the abdominal ultrasound. She just seems to be very weak and I'm not sure if her quality of life is good at this point. All she does is lay on the hard floor unless it's time to eat (she always has an appetite). I don't remember if I mentioned that she hasn't consistently used the litterbox since June; she usually pees on the floor. And then she walks or lays in her urine :( she hasn't groomed in months. I'm thinking that her tumor must be pretty advanced at this point.

    I also attached a photo of how she leans her head to the same side every time she's sitting down. The one symptom she doesn't have is skin tearing which I'm thankful for.

    Screenshot_20180731-184838_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20180731-184846_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20180731-184857_Chrome.jpg 20180730_170553.jpg 20180804_221336.jpg
     
  10. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Thank you for the information. If you had the U/S done and both adrenal glands are normal size then that would rule out ADH. Sorry I am not able to read the labs...the panel is too small and I am still recovering from cataract surgery. However to check for pancreatitis it requires a separate test which is not included on regular bloodwork. The specific fPLI is sent to an outside lab such as IDEXX in order to get a numerical reading. The vet can do a snap fPL in the office, but it only says yes or no and does not give a numerical reading. Tuxie had sveral fPLI tests done and his readings were always high end or off the chart. He only had a couple of pancreatic attacks that required intervention..sub Q, cerenia and buprenorphine. I always knew when there was a problem since he was a food pig and if he did not eat every scrap of food in sight there was a problem.

    Mitsy has the tell-tale enlarged belly that Cushing's kitties usually have. He had 2 ultrasounds done and the hair they shaved never grew back. Another tell-tale sign of Cushing's. Tuxie had difficulty getting to his litterbox so I moved it upstairs near the blanket he always lay on. As time went along he had more accidents, but usually his glucose levels were high. There was a point where he peed and just lay in the pee. This was about 2 weeks before the decision was made to allow him to go to the Bridge...but as I said...we were also suspicious of cancer being in the mix as well. Tuxie did not get around much but did enjoy his love-times and being gently brushed and patted. He never did get to the bad tearing skin stage, but his skin was paper thin so I was always very careful with brushing and the such.

    Whether to try vetoryl (trilostane) is a tricky question because of the 'decent' glucose readings you are getting. Unfortunately with Cushing's there is very little that can be used with kitties. Dogs have a better assortment of drugs available for them, but these other drugs can be toxic to kitties.

    You could look at supplementing with B12 Methylcobalamin, possibly using milk thistle, a good fish oil, B complex, and vitamin E. The excess cortisol tends to deplete nutrients even more so than FD does.
     
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  11. Rardito

    Rardito Member

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    Jul 20, 2018
    Yeah, when I got home from work she was literally lying in her urine puddle. Her hair from her ultrasound also did not grow back.

    Sorry about the labs being small. I don't believe he sent any out for additional pancreas testing. And that is exactly why he said he didn't want to start her on vetoryl - because her sugar wasn't erratic. He thought it would hurt more than help.

    I do give her zobaline and egg white powder. And she also doesn't care to cuddle anymore - she was the most cuddly cat ever, always in my lap. Now she doesn't even care to be touched really. She prefers to lie in the kitchen away from everyone :(

    Does anyone know, is the actual tumor painful? I would feel awful if she's been in a lot of pain.
     
  12. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 2, 2014
    I have no answer for whether a pituitary tumour is painful. In a human the pituitary gland is about the size of a pea, so obviously it is much smaller in a kitty. My thought is that it would depend on the size and positioning of the tumour. The eye problems Mitsy is having are quite likely due to the tumour pressing on or around the optic nerve. What other effects the tumour can have on the brain are hard to judge without having an MRI and knowing exactly where it is and how large it is.

    Tuxie also quit being the cuddler that he had always been. He was my night time, sleep on the pillow and clean my hands and face for an hour kitty and over time he quit coming to my room. Part of that was from the leg weakness and muscle wasting, but part of it was a general lethargy. Although he still enjoyed my interactions and gentle brushing, his skin was highly sensitive so I had to be very careful to be extra gentle. He did enjoy when I laid on the floor with him on his fluffy blanket and just put my arm around him. His eyes would stare at me with such shining love and he would give my hands a few licks..just like the old days. It is always hard to make an objective opinion of QOL. My decision to help Tuxie across the Bridge came when he would no longer eat and couldn't walk the few feet to the litter box and we had our 'talk' about what he needed. Every kitty is different and every caregiver is different, but personally I feel that if we 'listen' hard enough our kitties can tell us what they need. As long as there is a decent QOL then we continue to do the best we can for our kitties.
     
  13. Rardito

    Rardito Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Thank you for all of the information. I really do appreciate it.
     
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