Friday, November 9, 2012

Addison Dogs can do anything!

Swimming and playing ball are Raider's most favorite things to do and when he can do them both together he is in heaven and doesn't know when to quit. Having Canine Addison's does not slow him down at all.

Ok PLEASE throw the ball..

Going Going..


Got it and I picked up another one on the way back.

Mom making me take a rest..

Ok ok I will leave the ball alone..
Is she watching hmm..
Yup it is still there, now if I can just move it a little closer..
Got it!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Well just over 7 weeks from his Urinary blockage and several hospital stays Simon is doing ok. He still is not peeing like a normal cat but we, meaning my Vet and myself have decided that as long as he is peeing and not uncomfortable we are leaving him alone. I make sure he pees every morning before he is allowed outside and we will take it a day at a time. I have finally stopped his meds and he is not peeing any less so we will see how it goes over the next week without them.

Here is is pictured with his Vet Dr. Paula Cunningham..

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Tramp is going to be 21 sometime this spring, not sure of the month. She was 4 when we got her in the summer of 1995. She rules the roost here. She still hisses at Simon if he gets too close to her. She will give him a smack just to remind him who is the boss lady..
She loves her perch on the chair looking out the window and loves a sunny location. She sleeps a lot of the time now but still enjoys a snuggle with Mom.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Caley wearing her collar

Caley doesn't look unhappy with the collar, it is certainly much better than the cone of shame we got from the Vet clinic even if it did have red paw prints on it.. Only 12 more days before her sutures come out.. Hopefully not that long until we find out what the "nasty" lump was..

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Caley had a rough day yesterday. She had a fractured canine tooth which was removed, she had 3 lumps removed, two were lipomas and the third to quote my Vet was "nasty" (that was the one in the picture in the previous post). That incision is the lowest one in this picture. Dr. Paula got wide margins just in case.. Paws crossed this turns out ok for my girl. The tissue was sent away so we will find out just what it is.

Poor girl was pretty painful last night after the hydromorphone wore off and then the metacam I gave her did not seem to help at all. So I got the tramadol out and that helped to settle her down about 1am. One more this morning and she is doing well.

On Friday I picked up the Nutri-vet Protective Collar  to use instead of the Cone of shame. I had Chauncy test it out.. I put peanut butter on various places of his body, side, belly and back and he could not get any of it and he sure tried. This is a GREAT tool to use to prevent access to those areas. Caley can still get at her paws so you would need something else if that was the spot you were tying to prevent access to.. All round good product! Here is a picture of it. Caley is not up to modeling it yet... read she did not want to co-operate with the photographer, but who can blame her she just had surgery.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It is Caley's turn.

Caley had a lump (she has several actually) that was Vet checked as they all are about 6 months ago. Last weekend I noticed the boys snuffing her side and when I looked the lump was all ulcerated and oozing.. So Dr. Paula checked out and it needs to come off. So since we are taking this one off there are two more that are fatty tumors that are going to be removed at the same time.

Here is a pic of the nasty one.  Tomorrow morning they will all be gone..

The latest news on Simon is that he is still not peeing the way he should be. His meds have been changed around a bit. He will pee small amounts and he never empties his bladder. Hoping the med change will help but no difference yet.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Simon Peed, a healthy pee once...

Supper time last night Simon had a big pee... But that was it, he then went back to peeing small amounts.. He is putting out more urine than he was though so that is progress, but he goes to the litter box now 2 or 3 times in 5 mins, sometimes producing very little, sometimes crying.. Still giving him SQ fluids and his meds.. It is better, just slower than I would like..

Thursday, March 8, 2012


You never realize how important peeing is until you cannot do it.. My poor boy still is not really peeing. He stopped peeing after the lasix wore off last Sunday.
We have been through several different meds and have changed the plan a couple of times. My Vet did some research and he is now on Alprazolam and Prazin and we are keeping his bladder empty. The Alprazolam had the opposite effect last night and I woke up to him sitting on my head licking my face.. Then he attacked the dogs tail and would not stop. I tried to get hold of him and he face planted on the floor.. It took more than 2 hrs for him to settle down and then Caley had me up with diarrhea starting at 4am.. We reduced the alprazolam to half to see if that helps..

So now we are expressing him morning and evening. He is very difficult to express. We are giving fluids as well when needed and I am am getting a decent amount of fluids in him by adding water to canned salmon and letting it soak up the flavor.  He seems to do better the more fluids we can get in him.
Dr. Paula is on all weekend so we will keep pushing the fluids, keep his bladder from filling up and see how the weekend goes. The next step is another catheterization and keeping his bladder completely empty. There is also some concern that since we do not know what caused the blockage ( no crystals ) that maybe he has some neurological issue. Paws crossed for my boy.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Simon Update

What a week.. I lost count of the number of times I have been back to the Veterinary Clinic with Simon. He has not be able to pee on his own. He has an Atonic bladder which basically means it does not want to work. There is no obstruction and his bladder can be expressed. Once he gets really full he can pee a small marble sized amount but when you feel the size of his bladder that little marble sized amount doesn't add up to much. 
I spent most of the day at the Clinic yesterday with him. Dr. Paula Cunningham gave him meds to try and relax the smooth muscles in the body which hopefully would let him pee.

Note the litter box.. It had lots of traffic but no pee. 

Simon resting on my seat while we waited for him to pee..

Dr. Paula Cunningham stayed several hours after her shift ended to try and get a plan together for Simon. Can't tell you how much I appreciated that!  She did an ultrasound to make absolutely sure there were no stones causing a blockage, that was cool to watch.. So the plan last night was, learn to express him, pain meds, amitriptyline, continue antibiotics, then tomorrow start kitty metacam and try to express him if needed. If I could not express him then I would take him to the clinic again.
The plan all went well until I tried to express him.. I could find the bladder but nothing would come out.. Bill suggested I might not be doing it right, EXCUSE ME... 

So plan B take him to the clinic where the Vet on could not express him either.. Plan C now was admit him and give him a diuretic and go to the drug store and pick up the bethanochol that was finally in. There is a cat in the cage beside him with exactly the same thing..
Simon started peeing after the diuretic was given so he was given fluids to prevent dehydration. Now we just have to hope he does not stop peeing after the diuretic wears off. Keep peeing my boy.. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

If you have a male cat you may already be familiar with FLUTD. Thankfully I was well aware of it after having researched some of the serious medical issues that can happen to a male cat when we adopted Simon a couple of years ago. Sat night he was "off", just not himself but I put it down to him being annoyed with us for having "abandoned" (his word not mine)  him for a week while we were on vacation in Mexico.. Sun morning I let him out as per usual but kind of kicked myself for doing it without giving him the once over, but knew he would be back in a an hour so let it go.. Well he wasn't back in an hour, so I kept looking for him. Simon has better recall that my dogs, I swear he comes immediately when I call. By noon I began to look seriously and it took another 3.5 hrs to find him or until he found us.. It was the longest 3.5hrs in a long time. I knew as I carried him in the house he was very sick. He went to the litter box and did nothing then laid down on the dog bed. I checked him and he had blood on his penis. I knew he was blocked so I called the Vet and met Dr. Ted at the clinic.
Dr. Ted confirmed the blockage and showed me how to check the bladder, it was the size of and orange (damn that had to hurt). Dr Ted cleared the blockage and placed a catheter, gave him fluids and meds.  He was able to come home today a little earlier than expected because he refused to eat at the clinic.. He was quite stressed there and would not even eat for me.
He had xrays today that did not show any bladder stones so that's good. The likely cause of the FLUTD is cystitis. The basic treatment is lots of fluids and feeding wet food.. Simon however HATES wet food so that is going to be a challenge. He has eaten a small amount since he came home this morning and had several drinks so I am feeling a little better about it but he has not peed.. The catheter came out this am and then Dr. Paula expressed him before he came home so we know he was not blocked... so now all we need is some PEE...

I took this just after he came home and he assumed his place! He has barely moved from there since he got home.

Here is a link to some good info from Cornell on FLUTD

If you have a cat, especially a male cat you should be very aware of FLUTD. It is a true emergency for a cat if they become blocked. Do NOT wait if you see these symptoms, take your cat to a Vet immediately.

The symptoms you need to look for:
  1. Straining to urinate.
  2. Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate.
  3. Crying out while urinating.
  4. Excessive licking of the genital area.
  5. Urinating outside the litter box.
  6. Blood in the urine.
  7. Lethargic
  8. Refusing food or water
  9.  Vomiting

Friday, February 3, 2012

MACh Aidan Video's

Ok now you all get to see the the video's of Aidan's runs!! Just click on the links below.


28 Jan JWW Aidan QQ MACH


28 Jan Std Aidan Q






Thursday, February 2, 2012

MACh Aidan

MACh Aidan

by Karen Selbert

It’s with great pleasure that I am proud to introduce MACh Aidan!  At the incredibly pleasant and wonderfully run Nashville Dog Agility Club trial, in front of friends old and new, Aidan not only performed flawlessly, but placed well in the smoking fast 20” division.  Judges Diane and Robert Fyfe provided the enjoyable and challenging courses for the day.  Diane was most understanding when I stooped in tears to hug Aidan at the end of our run.

The teamwork behind our success belongs to more than just my tiny tribe.  I owe a huge debt to an immense group of people, and it is impossible to measure everyone’s contribution.  But it won’t stop me from trying:

Thanks first to Pam, an incredible breeder of westies and one awesome litter of whippets, for gifting me with this wonderful dog.  You were able to see with clarity that Aidan was the right dog for me.  And thanks to Piper and Katie for insisting I not pass up this auspicious opportunity!   

To Elizabeth, from the Addison’s group, for getting me through the first sleepless nights of Aidan’s diagnosis.  Your absolute wisdom, patience, and encouragement were priceless. (For the group: diagnosed 3-20-2010, Percorten 0.5cc q 24 days, pred 1.25mg am :)

To Leo, breeder and trainer of Borzoi Oxota, for leading me to Dr Tomasic.  This apparent happenstance probably did more for Aidan’s soft tissue recovery than anything else.  Sometimes we are introduced to the right people at the right times in our lives, but for reasons we don’t always realize at the moment.

To my parents, who have now turned into our raving fans.  It’s amazing how our dogs have shaped our relationships over the years, and have given us the opportunity to share so much more of our lives together.

And of course, my husband, who understands without knowing, who sees without the vision, and who loves me in spite of the challenges.  Can’t thank you enough.

And thanks to everyone else out there who had a hand in our development and success over the years; there isn’t enough time, words or space to appropriately honor you all, but we appreciate you nonetheless. 


Video coming as soon as I can get it...

I met Karen in March 2010 when she turned up on the Addison Dogs Yahoo Group I am on and she was looking for the latest and most up to date info on Addison's. She was devastated that she had diagnosed Aidan with canine Addison's. She was feeling exactly like any other pet parent of a newly diagnosed ADog. It is overwhelming. Her precious Aidan was sick.
Aidan sure doesn't look sick now..

Here is another post I did on Aidan when he was at the Nationals.

Thank you Karen for sharing Aidan with me!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Your Dog’s Best Health

Your Dog’s Best Health by Dr. Nancy Kay DVM
 “A dozen reasonable things to expect from your vet.”

This is a great, easy to read book on how to have the relationship "you want and deserve" with your Veterinarian. As it says there are a dozen reasonable things you can expect from your vet, including discussing finances to round the clock care for your companion.
There is also a section on what your vet expects from you! From arriving on time to letting the staff know if your dog is aggressive.. It is all there and I highly recommend the book.
It is a great read on its own or as a companion to Dr. Kay's first book, Speaking for Spot.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Ok so it might not be fasinating to everyone but I assure you that this is to ME and to anyone who has a dog with canine Addisons. This drug literally has saved my boys life. For nayone who knows us they know he started out on Florinef at 0.4mg a day and then went to 2.2mg a day and I said ENOUGH, there has to be a way to get percorten into Canada and I found it!

(desoxycorticosterone pivalate, or DOCP) INJECTABLE SUSPENSION

DOCP: Developed to save human lives

Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) is a relatively uncommon condition, first described in 1885 by Dr. Thomas Addison, the "Father of Endocrinology." Although Addison’s disease is not well known, some very well-known people have suffered from it. Undoubtedly, the most famous was President John F. Kennedy.
In patients with Addison’s disease, the adrenal glands do not function properly and the body is unable to produce normal amounts of certain hormones – the mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. The disease can be fatal if not treated. During President Kennedy’s lifetime, the only known treatment was a medication called desoxycorticosterone pivalate (DOCP, trade name PERCORTEN®). President Kennedy’s life depended on injections of this product every 25 days.

In the late 1960’s, an oral drug was developed for Addison’s disease in humans and doctors stopped prescribing DOCP injections. Over the next 20 years, sales fell so low that the manufacturer, Ciba-Geigy, decided to discontinue it. When the company notified their distributors of this decision, they suddenly heard an uproar from veterinarians who had been using the product to treat dogs with Addison’s disease! The veterinarians reported that the results were exceptional and that dogs’ lives would be at risk if the product were to be discontinued. This was all new information to Ciba-Geigy. At that time, they had no idea that the product was being used to treat dogs.
Ironically, the canine form of Addison’s disease touched another First Family: President Reagan’s daughter had a dog that suffered from it, and was being treated with regular injections. The presidential family also expressed concern when notified that the supply of DOCP could be discontinued.
An act of compassion

The FDA had no studies on the safety or effectiveness of DOCP in dogs and therefore could not allow it to be labeled and sold as a canine medication. However, the FDA knew that, without it, the dogs that had been using it could die. In order to supply those dogs, the FDA asked Ciba-Geigy Animal Health (now Novartis) – a company that had no products for dogs at the time – to conduct a research trial in which the drug could be made available to select patients. Ciba-Geigy applied for an “Investigational New Animal Drug” (INAD) status and was granted permission for a “compassionate use” only status, allowing them to provide it to those that needed it. The people at Ciba-Geigy Animal Health understood the very limited market potential for the product. But, knowing the life-saving nature of the medication, they felt there was only one choice—they had to do it.
At the outset of the trials, Ciba-Geigy gathered all the available DOCP from their facilities worldwide, and shipped it to their researchers in Greensboro, North Carolina. At that time (1989) the whole world’s entire supply of DOCP was kept in a small container secured at their distribution facility.
Research phase

For nine years, Ciba-Geigy / Novartis maintained DOCP in “investigational status” as a not-for-profit research drug, studying more than 1,000 clinical cases. Scientists learned a great deal about canine Addison’s disease. Among other things, they observed that it is more prevalent among females than males, and is seen most frequently among mixed breeds, Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, West Highland Terriers and Rottweilers**
In 1998, the FDA granted Novartis marketing approval, allowing them to manufacture, sell and distribute DOCP under the brand name PERCORTEN-V* (the “V” indicates “veterinary”). It is the only drug approved for the treatment of canine Addison’s disease but, because the disease is diagnosed infrequently (1-3 cases per 1000 dogs**), the demand for PERCORTEN-V is small.

It has been demonstrated that PERCORTEN-V is well tolerated with a low incidence of side effects. In a small percentage of dogs, depression, excessive thirst and urination, digestive, skin and coat changes, weakness, and injection site reactions (pain, abscesses) may occur. Some of these effects may resolve with adjustments in dose or interval of PERCORTEN-V or concomitant glucocorticoid administration. It should not be used in pregnant dogs or dogs that are suffering from congestive heart disease.

A complex manufacturing process

PERCORTEN-V is difficult and costly to manufacture. It begins with a hormone, extracted from natural sources, and modified through a complex chemical process. Quality control on pharmaceutical hormones is always critical, because hormones have such a profound effect on the body. Every production lot must be rigorously tested to meet strict standards, with almost no tolerance for error, as variances may require an entire lot to be destroyed.
Production of PERCORTEN-V is a challenging process. Novartis has worked with several different production facilities in its efforts to manufacture the product more efficiently. In addition, because Addison’s disease affects a relatively small number of dogs, only a small amount of PERCORTEN-V is needed each year. This low volume, together with the high production costs, results in a high cost per unit. PERCORTEN-V accounts for a small percentage of total sales and profits for Novartis Animal Health. However, despite this, Novartis is committed to maintaining the supply of this drug for those dogs that depend on it.

A delicate balance

The outward signs of canine Addison’s disease - vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, loss of appetite, and depression - are so common among dogs that they might signal a whole host of other canine diseases. An astute veterinarian who suspects Addison’s disease will perform blood tests in order to make a definitive diagnosis.

By law, PERCORTEN-V may be used only by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. This is extremely important for the well being of the dog. The chemical balance affected by the disease is so delicate that Addisonian patients must be carefully monitored on an ongoing basis. A veterinarian may sometimes see the need to adjust the dosage of PERCORTEN-V, followed by a physical exam and laboratory tests to see how the dog is responding.

The happy ending to the story is that with regular medication, diligent monitoring, and ongoing veterinary care, dogs with Addison’s disease can live a long, happy, active life.