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addison's dog

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  • addison's dog

    i have a friend who adopted a 6 year old fawn boy about 7 months ago. about 3 months ago, he was diagnosed with addison's and is now on steroids which i know can affect appetite.

    leo is quite thin. she has tried numerous tricks to get him to eat but each thing she tries last for 2 or 3 days and then he goes on a "hunger strike". prior to his diagnosis, he had been eating eagle pack. when he started turning up his nose at that, she tried other stuff but the only thing he will even pick at is kibbles 'n' bits (i know, ewwww!!)...i suggested she try mixing the eagle pack with some canned tripe and he ate that fine. for 3 or 4 days and then started refusing to eat.

    the only thing she can get down him is buddig thin sliced turkey. she is at her wit's end trying to come up with something leo will eat. she has resorted to this when he has refused food for as long as 2-3 days at a time.

    another thing is that he gets what she calls "goopy eyes"...either a clear discharge or greenish goop. no fever, vet says no infection. i'm thinking allergies but the vets around here are cow/pig vets and i just don't think they know enough to really be helpful (or they don't particularly care).

    i suggested to her that she decide on a GOOD kibble, grain free, and see if he will eat. i've had picky eaters but i've never had a dog that would starve itself. she is worried that if he doesn't eat, he will waste away.

    any other suggestions i can give her? it's frustrating for me because she calls often wanting to know what else i can suggest. i've run out of options. i even suggested asking the vet for a vitamin B shot (i think that's the one) to help stimulate leo's appetite.

    he had a complete blood panel done, that's when they found the addison's and nothing else unusual or alarming showed up.

    edit to say: last week i asked her if she could correlate the goopy eyes with leo's lack of appetite and she said yes...when his eyes get goopy, he won't eat. i'm thinking maybe allergies are just making him feel like crap and that's why he has no appetite?
    Last edited by Charlene; 07-02-2010, 09:43 AM.

  • #2
    Give him some Benadryl when the eyes get goopy. Is feeding raw out of the question? I would certainly try it. Most dogs love raw.


    • #3
      i suggested benadryl to her and she did pick some up a couple of days ago but as of this morning, had not given it to him. she has been gone a lot and didn't want to medicate him unless she was right there with him.

      feeding raw is pretty much a no-go around here. i would love to but we simply don't have access to a variety of meats unless we drive 50 miles. i no longer have a deep freeze. *sigh*


      • #4
        Reading this reminds me of the book I'm reading, "Amazing Gracie" written by the founder of Three Dog Bakery based out of Kansas City. In the story the author's Gread Dane, Gracie, stops eating for long periods of time. She wouldn't touch any kind of kibble that was offered to her. He took her to the vet and the vet instructed him to try some home cooking (dog "cookies"). That's when he started cooking for her, which then inspired the beginning of Three Dog Bakery.

        I don't think the Great Dane had any health problems that interfered with her appetite besides developing a sensitive stomach somehow. So, I'm not sure if it will help, but I thought I'd mention this just in case.
        Proud mom of two 2 year old, Fawn Dane boys,
        Little Rock (Russian Tortoise), & Blaze (Betta Fish)!

        RIP Moose (8.9.09 - 12.26.10)



        • #5
          Sharing some info we received when an adopted dane was diagnosed with Addison years ago. Not sure if it will help, but it might -- especially the support groups.

          FWD :

          Intially posted Jan 2006

          I hadn't got a chance to add this yet - but this month the owner of an adopted dane found out it had Addisons. There is additional info on Addisons in danes at the GDCA ( home page - health and welfare section. We contacted JP of (as she was our previous GDCA HW chairperson) and she got us in touch with Bobbie. This is *extremely* helpful, as the traditional route of injections can cost anywhere from $150 and up. Please pass this info on if you know of anyone with a dog with Addisons ! I will also follow this post with some of the financial aid links she sent.

          Subject: Re: affordable Addisons treatment....

          Hi there!

          There are TWO support/discussion groups on Yahoo: AddisonDogs_ and k9Addisons...and there's my "group" -which is information only (no conversation, just every file, link and piece of information I've managed to glean, beg, borrow or steal from my six plus years of living with this disease!

          The most affordable treatment method is using the daily oral medication: fludrocortisone acetate, in a "compounded" generic version (where an entire day's dose can be put into one or two capsules). This medication costs about $25-$30/month from a compounding pharmacy -and if you don't have one near you, I can recommend a list of them ...including my favorite -who has owned an Addisonian dog herself!

          I also have a list of financial aid organizations that I can forward to you...if you give me a minute to yell at my nine year old ADDISONIAN Dane to stop badgering the two year old non-AD puppy! <lol>

          Meanwhile, here are the links to the three groups I mentioned:

 group/CanineAddisonsInfo/ (my "filing cabinet")

          Be right back with the financial aid organizations...

          Bobbie and "Catherine" (9 year old Great Dane diagnosed with Primary/Typical Addisons 12/99: 4.8 ml DOCP/28 days, 1.9 mg pred/day)
          The story of CATHERINE'S diagnosis is online at
          Mrs Emery
          AKC Canine Ambassador
          Member GDCA - resource/referral
          GOPDC - Public Education Coordinator


          • #6
            thanks for all the info, i will pass it on to lynette! she called me on the way home from the vet's office today. vet said leo has a sinus infection so he is on antibiotics. he also gave him a vitamin B-12 shot to help boost his appetite. hopefully, he'll be on his way to recovery. i know how troubling it is when a dog simply WILL NOT eat!


            • #7
              My Truman has Addison's and when his meds are not correct he won't eat.

              It sound like it's the issue with your friends dog. There is a fabulous AD group that is very helpful and I highly recommend she joins. There are actually 2 groups same knowledgeable people on both - the 2nd one is much more active



              They can definitely help!!
              Laura with Kennedy & Lincoln (Truman waiting at the bridge)


              • #8
                thanks, laura, i'll forward that info also. i belonged to a couple of yahoo groups, one for cancer dogs and one for DM dogs when my corgis were both diagnosed. they were a HUGE help and very emotionally supportive for me!


                • #9
                  our shnauszer had addisons (it just went away one day all by itself. scary ordeal). anyways, i would definitely try benedryl for the eyes and see if that makes him feel better and perks up the appetite. if get him to eat, try making some ground hamburger meat and offering it to him. that's what we did with bentely and it worked. he loved them. we still have some "bentely-burgers" in the freezer, even months later : ) he's still a picky eater. sometimes we offer him apples, fruit, or this really funky cheese we get from smart and final that has almonds in it. he LOVES the cheese. it's orange and looks disgusting :]


                  • #10
                    Addison's can not go away. It must not have been addison's in the first place.

                    In Addison's disease a part of or all of the adreanl gland is dead.
                    Laura with Kennedy & Lincoln (Truman waiting at the bridge)


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Charlene View Post
                      the only thing she can get down him is buddig thin sliced turkey.
                      From this sentence alone i can tell that the dog's disease is not managed correctly. With Addison's the sodium goes down and the potassium goes up. Once the numbers begin to get out of balance, the sodium will go down first and then the potassium will follow. When they crave salty foods it's because they need salt, sodium. The dog's sodium is probably dropping.

                      Do you know if they have the dog on percorten (monthly injections) or florinef (daily pill)? He will only require prednisone if he is on percorten. If they are giving him florinef that already has corticosteroid in it, and prednisone that is a corticosteroid that would explain the infections that he is getting.

                      Give her the information about the yahoo groups that Laura posted. At Bobbie is the moderator. She is wonderful and she will help getting his disease under control. She had a Dane that lived for 8 years with disease, and was managed beautifully. It's hard when the vets are not that knowledgeable with the disease, but with the help of the group she can help the dog feel a lot better. Good luck to them.

                      Chryssa and Dalia (Primary/Typical Addison's diagnosed on 11/04/09)


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Truman's Mom View Post
                        Addison's can not go away. It must not have been addison's in the first place.

                        In Addison's disease a part of or all of the adreanl gland is dead.
                        First they said he had cushings and he was treated for that for months, then they said it turned into addison's, then he got REALLY sick and almost died. she said the only explanation she could come up with was that it went away. she thinks it was the medicine that nearly killed him. I had no idea it couldn't "go away" as that's what she told us. The vet is good, but terrible on some things. I would never let her do another surgery on any of our dogs as Bentely now has ALZHEIMERS after having a surgery done by her. Yes alzheimers..

                        Bentely's been trooping along without his addison's medicine for over a year now, so maybe he never even had it? But he has developed diabetes since. And he's REALLY old for a schnauzer...almost 15.

                        Anyways, I took a look at the cheese that he'll eat when he won't eat ANYTHING else, no matter what you offer him. It's called port-wine cheese, and it's from Smart and Final, and it's a round orange piece wrapped in plastic. I hope that helps! *** I would triple check the ingredients in it to make sure it's ok for Addison's doggies!

                        Another thing I've just thought he tanking water? If I remember right, with Bentely when his cortisol was too high or too low (I can't remember which), he would tank water, but not want to eat. Maybe the steroid dose is a bit off?

                        Another idea, could it be an infection in response to a lowered immune system? I believe steroids suppress the immune system. Could he have an infection that's nearly going away at times, and coming back stronger each time? Like when you have an infection that you don't take all the antibiotics SEEMS like it goes away, and then comes back with vengeance. Is he getting worse over time? Does the vet have any ideas on what could be causing this? Just to help the eating until they figure out what's wrong, have they tried getting an appetite stimulant from the vet?
                        Last edited by nikiwantsadane; 07-06-2010, 05:53 PM.