Guest blog post Roscoe: Living with Addison’s Disease

 

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Hi my name is Roscoe and I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife. My story?

I have a life threatening condition called Addison’s Disease.

It started out a couple of years ago where I just was not feeling well.  My mom took me to the emergency vet and they did blood tests.  Nothing.  I was at the regular vet several times over the next couple of weeks for more tests including blood tests. Nothing.

Mom was really worried about me.  She would wake up and check on me constantly. One morning she checked on me about 6am.  She was exhausted and fell back to sleep but my brother Monty woke her up barking a little after 7am.  He ran down the hall and led her to me.  I was unconscious.  Affectionately known as an Addisonian Crisis!

Mom is not much bigger than me but she picked me up (90lbs of loving fur) and carried me to the car and rushed me to the emergency vet.  The vet that was on duty took one look at me and said “I know what is wrong with him, I’ve seen this before, he needs a shot immediately, if we wait for test results you are going to lose him.  Its not cheap.”

Mom said without batting an eye “Give him the shot. I am not worried about the cost.”  Within an hour of the shot and after being put on intravenous fluids I was starting to come out of the coma and that was when I learned I had Addison’s Disease.

Addison’s disease is caused by a lower than normal production of hormones, such as cortisol, by the adrenal glands. Adrenal hormones are necessary to control salt, sugar and water balance in the body.  I had all the classic symptoms of weakness, no appetite, diarrhea, depression and anxiousness but I was atypical and every blood test came back normal.

It is not known what happens to the adrenal glands, perhaps it is auto immune or a tumor.  I have had an ultrasound and the tumor was ruled out.

Whats my prognosis?  A happy and healthy life if the Addison’s is kept under control.  I get a shot of mineralocorticoid or hormones every 28 days.  I also get a small amount of prednisone each morning.  If a lot of excitement is going on around me Mom will give me an additional dose of prednisone in the evening.

I don’t want to think about what would happen if I didn’t get my regular medication, like the emergency vet said, Mom would lose me.

At first I had regular blood tests to monitor electrolytes and gradually reduce the dosage of my shot each month.  When I first was getting the shot it must have been way too much as I was always thirsty and extremely hungry.  The dosage has been reduced quite a bit and now I am just regular hungry!

The cost of my monthly shot used to be over $110 but since my vet and my Mom have been gradually reducing the dosage I am now at about $75 per month.  The prednisone is about $20 per month.  Mom says I am worth every penny, she gave up Starbucks and doesn’t eat out as often to cover my medications.

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I really owe my life to Monty though.  How did he know that he needed to wake Mom up immediately?  Although he is a stinker and pesters me to play with him every chance he gets I always remember that he saved my life and usually relent and give him the attention he deserves.  (Sometimes if Mom is not paying attention I let him have some of my meal, just a bite or two because I love him!)

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5 thoughts on “Guest blog post Roscoe: Living with Addison’s Disease”

  1. This is so sweet! Our furry kids are so special and so much smarter than we give them credit for. Monty deserves a medal and Roscoe needs his own daily blog.

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