Roscoe’s Update on Living with Addison’s Disease

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When I had my Addisonian Crisis in late 2013 it was after years of being a sickly dog.  I was skinny, nervous, my coat was thin, my muscles were weak, I had a bad appetite and I often had no energy.  My mom thought it was just because I was found as a stray about 5 weeks old and I just was never going to be healthy.  The vets couldn’t ever find anything specific.  Addison’s Disease is a great pretender of lots of other ailments.

Well after over 2 years of monthly injections I can tell you I am a different dog.  I am chunky with good muscle tone, my coat is thick, my appetite and energy are overwhelming.  Hey, she never had to brush me because I had no fur before diagnosis and medication, so now I fight her when I see the brush or fur rake come out!

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Here I am helping Lexi today accessing my records.  No mom does not make me wear a purple leash, at least I don’t think it’s purple but I am color blind they say.

The shot?  It just hurts a little.  The staff at my vets’ office really spoils me with the treats so I don’t mind.

The alternative?  A final crisis and my mom would miss me too much so we don’t even mess with my shot schedule.

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Here I am thanking mom for my monthly shot and for a trip to the pet store.

My prognosis?  A long, happy and healthy life so long as I get my shot every 28 days!

Remember guys if you have a chronic condition be kind to yourself and take care.

 

Guest blog post Roscoe: Addison’s Disease Update

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Hi my name is Roscoe and I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife with an update on living with Addison’s disease.

When my mom rescued me from Colorado Puppy Rescue they told her that I had been found on the streets alone, at less than six weeks old.

I was skin and bones, you could see my backbones even though they had been feeding me for several days so I must’ve been really in bad shape when they found me.   Thank goodness I don’t remember much of it.

I’ve been sick a lot.  Even before my diagnosis of Addison’s disease. One thing that was strange was I never had much fur and Mom never needed to brush me.

Since I have been on my hormone replacement injections every month I’ve been feeling much better and my fur has been growing like crazy!

I haven’t let her brush me since my fur started to thicken and after over a year I was really scruffy. Because of my delicate temperament from being a stray as a young puppy mom has a soft spot and if I put my paw down she relents.

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Finally she was able to talk me into a partial grooming (she let me sit in her chair while she sat on the footstool) and I let her do about one third of my body  before I got bored and put my paw  down.  She  got enough fur to make a whole new puppy  – a mini me  – a mini Roscoe!

Don’t tell mom but it actually kind of felt good until I got anxious and had to put a stop to it. I’ll probably let her do it again but  she’ll have to give me another premium treat.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to hold out for, I have pretty heavy paws  and mom is a pretty big wimp so I can get a premium treat of some kind if I keep patient.

I’ll keep you posted dear readers.

Oh by the way that’s just part of a snack on my nose not another disease!

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!)

Make My Day Roscoe and Monty’s Story

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Monty is our most recent rescue. He is a Dalmation mix (possibly mixed with Jack Russell terrier – heavy sigh) and a real handful.

He had been with us for about a year and had been keeping the whole household busy with his boisterous activity.

My other dogs, Rommy who is a German Shepherd and Roscoe who is a German Shepherd mix, are extremely dog friendly but were losing patience with Monty as was I.  (We would never let him go we were just finding his personality a bit of a trial.)

Rommy and Roscoe understood each other and I understood them as German Shepherds.  None of us understood Monty, he was out of our realm.  We loved him, well I loved him, Rommy and Roscoe tolerated him because they love me.

Roscoe had not been feeling well for awhile and was getting worse.  He had been to the emergency vet and his regular vet  three times in one week with weird symptoms.  They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him and blood tests were inconclusive.

I was really worried about him.  That night I woke up and checked on him at least every hour. I checked on him around 6am and he seemed alert and okay, this made me feel a little better about him and I was able to fall sound asleep.

An hour later at about 7am Monty, who was sleeping with me on the bed, suddenly jumped up and started barking.  He leapt off the bed and ran down the hall.  I was so sound asleep, if Monty hadn’t woke me up I wouldn’t have woke up to check on Roscoe that hour……

Monty had gone directly to Roscoe and was obviously destressed and worried about him.  Roscoe was unconscious and unresponsive.   I somehow I picked Roscoe up (90 pounds of limp dog) and carried him to my car – then racing him back to the emergency vet.

A different vet was on duty.  She took one look at Roscoe and said: “I’ve seen this before I know whats wrong with him, we don’t have time for the results of the blood test I need to give him a shot now or he won’t make it!”

He got the shot and he was soon regaining consciousness.  The vet told me that if I hadn’t brought him in when I did he would not have survived.

Roscoe has a disease called Addison’s which is hard to diagnose in dogs (people get this disease also) but it is realatively easy to control once you have the diagnosis and figure a treatment plan.

Roscoe has made a full recovery. Amazing things are happening, he is much more confident and his fur is truly annoying (before thin and sickly now has a really thick  coat of fur and sheds like a healthy German Shepherd double heavy sigh).

Monty still creates great havoc  in our house, his favorite target is Roscoe.

When Monty is up to his “special” antics I remind Roscoe who is usually his “special” target that Monty did save his life.

Roscoe lets out a triple heavy sigh and in the true noble German Shepherd fashion moves on with his journey.