Bernie News

Friday, July 3, 2009

The vet called today and confirmed that Bernie has Cushing's Disease, which is caused by an over-production of cortisol by the adrenal glands. The over-production then causes the hormone ACTH to be secreted by the pituitary gland. It's commonly seen in older dogs and since most of the symptoms resemble common aging signs, it often isn't diagnosed right away.

She has six out of the seven symptoms and I'm glad that they were able to diagnose it because I thought most of them must have just been age related.

We're going to start on her a daily medication that works by interfering with cortisol synthesis to prevent excess cortisol production. With treatment, the prognosis is really good for managing the disease although recovery is not possible. The goal is to abate and in numerous cases eliminate the symptoms that cause such discomfort.

General protocol for the drug is to retest in 10 days and then every 30 days thereafter so that dosage levels can be adjusted accordingly. We're not going to do this since every test is $200 and the medication is already $70 a month. The vet believes that monitoring her weekly for any significant changes is a good course of action with retesting in 2-3 months.

That's the good news!

The not so good news is that she still has an enlarged heart for which she's on medication to reduce the size and decrease the strain on her heart. They'll do another ultrasound in a few months to see how she's doing but the only true indicator would be send her for a full cardiac work-up. Sorry, Bern, we aren't going to do that. We need to be able to continue to pay the mortgage.

We're going to take a couple days off for the holiday so we hope you all have a great one!


  1. Give Bernie a couple extra dog cookies for me. Hope she feels better soon.

  2. Bernie, Bernie, Bernie...You good ol' dog. You keep hanging in there. Ssh, don't tell anyone I told you, but I hear you might be getting a couple extra dog cookies.

    Chrissy, have a GREAT 4th! Be safe.

  3. I LOVE YOU BERN!!!!!!

    You look so darn cute as Miss Liberty!

    woof! woof! woof!

    Sending much love and hugs to you and Chrissy!

    Happy 4th, you guys!


  4. I'm so happy to hear that Bernie is going to be o.k. - especially with medication. She is a beautiful hound. I had a basset hound (Flutie) which would have LOVED her.

  5. Travel Girl,
    Yep, it looks like we'll be good for a while, thanks. My friend has a basset. What great dogs they are!

  6. Hey Chrissy! You just got awarded....

    come on by and get it!



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