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My name is Kim. I found your site while trying to learn more about dog food. I have 2 dogs--a basset hound and a cairn terrier. We also have a chinchilla and an eastern fence lizard! My house is a mini zoo, I think. Anyway, my search for a better dog food is a result of my basset hound, Duke, having Addison's Disease. I found many of the posts here very informative, and I hope to learn even more. I certainly need some guidance. Thanks for letting me sign on!
 

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Welcome!

I'm new here too and would like to learn more about Addison's disease....Can you tell us all a bit more about it?
 

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What is Addison's Disease

Whew... I will do my best! Addison's Disease is adrenal insufficiency. It is a disease with symptoms that are common to many other ailments, and that makes it hard to diagnosis But once Addison’s is correctly diagnosed, a properly treated dog can live a normal, active life-- or so I've been told. (People can also have Addison's Disease. President JFK had it.)

The adrenal glands are above the kidneys. They regulate many life functions...blood pressure, mood, heart rate, metabolism, etc.

There are three forms of Addison’s disease, but my Duke has primary/typical. Treatment is specific for each kind. Duke has to take daily Prednisone for the rest of of his life. This med. helps to regulate his mood, appetite, etc. If he is under stress-- company in the house, traveling, visiting the groomer, etc., he may require more than his usual dose to help his body cope. He also has to have Percorten V injections every 25 days. His sodium and potassium have to be checked frequently to make sure they are in the normal range. The Percorten helps to regulate these two things. Without these treatments, Duke would suffer heart problems and renal failure and he would die--no if's, and's, or but's. In fact, we almost lost Duke. This is not unusual with Addison's Disease. When he first 'came down' with it, we did not know something serious was wrong until it was almost too late. This is common, as you will remember I said that Addison's has symptoms similar to many other ailments and the symptoms wax and wane over days or months. Symptoms can be: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, depression, tremors or shaking, loss of appetite. Duke first showed vomiting then lethargy and loss of appetite. He was in Addisonian Crisis when I took him to the vet. He was in ICU for 3 days receiving IV fluids, Prednisone, etc. His sodium/potassium or lytes were totally messed up.

A special test has to be performed to diagnosis Addison's. It is an ACTH test. Basically, the adrenal glands are stimulated to see what they are doing. Duke's were doing absolutely nothing!

He was diagnosed March 24, 2008 and is now doing very well. We have recently started having some trouble with skin staph infections. We (the vet and I) are working on his Pred dose. You want the lowest dose possible that will keep your dog acting and eating like normal. We are going from 5 mg. to 2.5 daily. We just started this, so I am worried. I have to watch him closely for any changes in behavior. I am also working on his diet to help his skin and coat. Primary/Typical is thought to be an autoimmune disease--which means his body is attacking itself--just like a person who has lupus, diabetes, etc. Therefore, he is more vulnerable to things since his immune system is already somewhat compromised. The search for a food to help with his staph is what lead me to this group.

Addison's is very scary. It requires constant monitoring. It is expensive. Duke's hospital stay, tests, etc. cost about $1700.00. His prednisone runs about $14.00 a month and the Percorten V injections (given by the vet) run about $90.00 every 25 days. Lytes tests are about $15-20. Of course, he is worth every bit. He is precious to me!

I hope this helps you to understand the disease. Honestly, I am still in the learning stage myself! There are a couple of groups on Yahoo that are specifically for Addison canine parents. There are people there who have helped me tremendously! If you get a chance, check out AddisonDogs.com

Kim
 
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