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  • Addison's Disease - Dogs and Humans

    Around the first of the year, several weeks ago, my one year old Standard Poodle crashed and was dying. One morning she could hardly get up and walk around. She was very depressed, weak, lethargic, and non-responsive. I rushed her to my hospital and started blood testing. The first and just about the only thing that showed up on the test was that my poodle was in Renal (Kidney failure). My wife and I racked our brain for anything that she could have eaten or gotten into that would do this. Being one of our personal dogs we absolutely were sure and positive that she didn't drink anti-freeze or eat rat poison or get a bite from a poisonous insect, etc. There was absolutely nothing we knew of that could have done this to our dog.

    Written and Provided exclusively to Workingdogs.com by Floyd R. Garrett, D.V.M. Copying is not allowed.

    Treatment for Kidney failure was started immediately which consisted of IV fluids to flush the Kidney's and balance electrolytes. While this was occurring, diagnostic tests were still being run. X-rays were taken and more blood test were run. The potassium level was slightly high and the Sodium level was slightly low. On X-Ray, the heart was smaller than usual but this was just a small one year old puppy so this in itself was not significant. The tests were all pointing to a disease called Addison's Disease but in all my years of Veterinary practice I had never seen or diagnosed a true case of Addison's Disease and the only association I had with the disease was a good client of mine. This salient is a female about 65 years old and is a friend so as I examine her dogs every year, we talk about her disease and what it is doing to her. Several times she has been rushed to the hospital in critical condition and after some IV fluids and corticosteroids she bounces out and is good as new.

    Well, to make a long story short, my dog got better for a day and then crashed again so I asked my wife to take her to the Texas A&M, College of Veterinary Medicine for immediate emergency care. She immediately started for the College on a Friday afternoon, admitted our dog to the hospital at midnight Friday and by Saturday night after 24 hours of intensive care she was definitively diagnosed, treated, and almost out of the woods The diagnosis was Addison's Disease and is an old disease in humans and pets. It actually means Adrenocortical insufficiency which is when your adrenal glands are small, shrunk up, diseased or injured by toxins, heredity or immunodeficiency syndromes such as AIDS (humans). The disease exactly parallels or is identical in humans and animals.

    The only reason that a Vet such as myself might take a long time diagnosing or even miss diagnosing the disease is because of its rarity. I have been in practice over 25 years and have never seen the disease until now, and, thank goodness this was in my own pet so I am now experienced. At any rate my pet, as in humans, must take prednisone every day and she will live a normal life.

    Written and Provided exclusively to Workingdogs.com by Floyd R. Garrett, D.V.M. Copying is not allowed.