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Addisons disease?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Has anybody heard of it?
My Mums 1 1/2 year old springer spaniel Alfie has been diagnosed with this today and is back at the vet tomorrow for more tests.
It is apparently an imbalance of the electrolites in the brain?
We knew there was something wrong because he has been so lethergic and depressed looking for the past week or so, and would hardly touch any food whatsoever (all things which are COMPLETELY unlike our Alfie ).
Im really worried about my poor boy. The vet has said he will have to be on medication for the rest of his life.

post #2 of 23
Oh no, I am sorry I havent heard of it. Hopefully the meds are going to work, my SIL had a dog on meds for life and she soon get into a routine with it.

Heres sending some positive healthy ((((( vibes ))))) for Alfie and his tests tomorrow

keep us posted !
post #3 of 23
I've heard of Addisons Disease in people but not in animals.

He looks like such a sweetheart, I'll keep him in my thoughts and prayers.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graciecat View Post
I've heard of Addisons Disease in people but not in animals.

He looks like such a sweetheart, I'll keep him in my thoughts and prayers.
in people, it's a disease of the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys. causes lots of problems...
The most obvious symptoms of Addison's disease are fatigue, weakness, and unexpected weight loss. Other possible symptoms include loss of appetite; nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; and lightheadedness. Your skin color also may become darker, a condition called hyperpigmentation.
Symptoms usually develop slowly and often are not obvious until an adrenal crisis, or Addisonian crisis, occurs because of a stressful event, such as a severe infection, trauma, surgery, or dehydration. The body is not able to produce enough cortisol to cope with stress. If not treated, an adrenal crisis may be fatal because of shock from a steep drop in blood pressure.

President Kennedy had Addison's disease.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thankyou both, he is such a sweetheart. He's everyone's best friend

Apparently there are several different types of Addisons. One affects the pituitary gland and another affects the hypothalamus (sp). The tests he'll get tomorrow will determine which part of his brain is lacking in a certain hormone (mum did tell me but I cant remember) and that will let them know which medication he should be given.
Its not life threatening but its so heartbreaking when our babies are not in 100% health.
post #6 of 23
for little Alfie and your family. If only they could talk and let us know they are not in pain.... that they just need some help...
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
in people, it's a disease of the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys. causes lots of problems...
The most obvious symptoms of Addison's disease are fatigue, weakness, and unexpected weight loss. Other possible symptoms include loss of appetite; nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; and lightheadedness. Your skin color also may become darker, a condition called hyperpigmentation.
Symptoms usually develop slowly and often are not obvious until an adrenal crisis, or Addisonian crisis, occurs because of a stressful event, such as a severe infection, trauma, surgery, or dehydration. The body is not able to produce enough cortisol to cope with stress. If not treated, an adrenal crisis may be fatal because of shock from a steep drop in blood pressure.

President Kennedy had Addison's disease.
Thankyou Laureen, Cortisol, thats what my Mum said. Everything you said is what the vet said to Mum.
I didn't realise it could be fatal! hopefully thats only if its not discovered in time.
He has lost weight, totally lost his appetite, and there has been a bit of stress in my Mums house due to issues with my step brother so obviously that has not helped him.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
for little Alfie and your family. If only they could talk and let us know they are not in pain.... that they just need some help...
My Mum has been saying for the past 10 days 'that dog is not well', 'alfie boy is not himself' and when she brought him to my house on saturday and let him out the car he didnt knock me down with kisses like he normally does. I agreed that there was definately something wrong with the poor baby.
On Monday he was booked in for his boosters, so my Mum mentioned he's been under the weather and the vet decided not to vaccinate him while he was not himself.
Yesterday my Mum discovered him curled up in a ball on her bed (he knows he's not allowed on there) shivering, despite the fact that the heating was on full blast. So she called the vet, and then called the pet insurance company.
post #9 of 23
Awww....poor Alfie! I know nothing of Addison's disease, so I'm no help. A is all I can offer!
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Awww....poor Alfie! I know nothing of Addison's disease, so I'm no help. A is all I can offer!
Thanks Natalie
post #11 of 23
Sending prayers and hugs for Alfie, I do hope that he finds out what excatly is wrong with him at the vets today.

Please keep us updated on how he is doing.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Alfie is in hospital on a drip. He's been vomiting all night and is seriously ill.
I feel awful
post #13 of 23
Poor Alfie, hope he recovers
post #14 of 23
Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear that.
I'll keep the sweet little guy in my prayers.
post #15 of 23
Poor Alfie baby.
Keep us updated.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thankyou so much everyone
This has been an awful day
Alfie has begun his treatment for Addisons today as his condition had got so bad that things in his body were going seriously wrong. I don't really understand how all your electrolites work but basically they affect levels of hormones and things in your body and your adrenal gland regulates all of this, but its his adrenal gland that does not work. He's been one sick puppy dog today but is able to come home tonight but will need regular vet visits for the rest of his life.
They will need to check him every week to begin with to make sure his medication levels are right. He is to be kept away from all stress, such as arguements, going in the car, changing food etc etc etc so everyone will have to get used to being cool calm and collected around him.
I just feel so sorry for him. I think Ill go over for a visit tomorrow. It breaks your heart when they are not in 100% health.
ETA: here is a link to info on human form, I imagine its much the same in dogs
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles...ectionId=26743
post #17 of 23
I feel so bad for poor Alfie! Just don't forget this....many people would've euthanized him rather than treat him for the rest of his life....Alfie is one lucky dawg....he knows he's loved.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thankyou for that Natalie
Its true unfortunately. I was talking to my Mum on the phone this morning and that is one of the things I said, that many pet owners, who dont take as much notice of their pets, would let something like this go by unnoticed and the poor animal would probably end up dying
Alfie may have had a heart attack if the vet had not figured out what was wrong in time.
Update, he is home and my Mum let him sleep in their bedroom last night so she could keep an eye on him (I dont think she got much sleep worrying about him!) He was really good all night but had a little accident in the bedroom at about 4am. This must have made him feel awful because he knows hes not meant to do that but its understandable since he was on IV fluids all day. Bless him.
He took his pill no problem this morning, good boy!
He has to go back to the vet next week for more blood tests so they can see how well his medication is working.
Mum says he has a bit more energy today and ate some scrambled egg this morning
Mum also called his breeder (he's a pedigree) and advised her of this because its apparently more common in his breed. She is going to call the other mums and dads who got the rest of his litter and let them know just to watch out 'just in case'.
Ill keep you updated on his progress and thankyou all so much for your vibes, they have worked once again
post #19 of 23
I'm happy to hear that he's feeling a little better today.

I'll keep Alfie in my thoughts and prayers.
post #20 of 23
I'm sending vibes for Alfie, Lauren. Here's some info on Addison's in dogs:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/addison_s_disease.html
You can do a search here, too. For some reason the link I'm trying to paste to the proper article isn't working. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp
post #21 of 23
I'm glad he's home & doing a little better! Dogs always seem to recover & stay healthier when they get to be at home....
post #22 of 23
Addison's disease, like any hormonal condition, is complicated, but basically, your adrenal gland isn't able to make some of the hormones it should be able to. The problem is, the endocrine (hormone) system regulates everything in the body and it works like a cascade or a chain reaction. The brain wants something changed in the balance of the body, it starts off something like a game of telephone to pass the message along from one edocrine organ to the next. The messengers between are the hormones themselves. If one of the links in the chain is broken, it recieves the signal (a hormone) to make what's needed, but can't make it. This means 2 things:
1. Without the hormones being made, many systems fall out of balance. This causes problems, one major one having to do with sugar regulation. One important job of the missing hormones is to tell your body to use its sugar stores between meals. Addison's patients can't do this without medication, so it's best that they eat small meals very frequently. Large meals are put into stores that can't be accessed and this can cause hypoglycemic crises.

2. The brain doesn't know where the chain is broken, just that something needs to be done, so it keeps sending the signal. That means all the links in the chain keep making their hormone to signal the needed action, up until the break. So, any endocrine organ before the adrenal gland in the reaction will be continuously secreting a hormone trying to signal the adrenal gland. Since hormones affect many systems, not just one chain....they overlap, this causes secondary problems in the body. One example is pigmentation (dark spots) on the skin, because the hormone meant to signal the adrenal gland also supports melonin (skin pigment) production.....so since there is more and more of this hormone being made, trying with no hope of success to signal the adrenal gland, there sometimes appear dark spots on the skin of Addison's sufferers.

This is just a small review. Hormones affect so many systems, the effects of a disease like this are widespread. The good news is, it can often be treated by exogenous hormones in pill form. I hope Alfie will be strong enough to recover and get on the right track. Managed properly, he can still live happily and well.
post #23 of 23
Glad to hear he's doing better. Sounds like he's in great care with your mum looking after him. Give him extra treats and smooches from me!
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