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Cushings and cataracts.

Species: Dog
Breed: Jack Russell
Age: 11-15 years
Our Little Jack Russell is 15 years old. He is blind from cataracts. And now the vet say's he has cushing's syndrome. He wants to give him pills that are chemotherapy. Is there any way at his age the tumor could be removed? Or what would be the least harsh treatment for him at his age? He already has an enlarged heart too. Which he takes Enapril Maleate 5 mg a day for.He is just the Sweetest Little dog.He is happy. He eats and drinks good. He loves to go riding in the car.We want to keep him as long as possible. But we don't want him to suffer! Thank-You. Sherry Kivo


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Sherry...so sorry to hear that Phideaux is not doing well.

It sounds like the medication that your vet wants to give is something called Lysodren. This is a medication that helps to shrink down the adrenal glands that are too big. It comes with a lot of listed side effects. However, if you work closely with your vet and follow all of the instructions most dogs do extremely well.

You can ask your vet about a medication called trilostane that is similar to lysodren but seems to be a little bit safer.

Although we call these pills "chemotherapy" they are really not at all like the drugs that people get for chemotherapy for cancer.

There are some dogs that can have an adrenal tumor removed. However, often the tumor is not actually in the adrenal gland but is in the pituitary gland in the brain (where we can't do surgery). The tumor is benign so it simply causes the pituitary gland to produce extra hormone that tells the adrenal gland to grow.

I have treated lots of dogs for cushing's that have done really well. It can be a little pricey to do all of the tests and give the medicines, but if your vet is experienced in treating cushing's then Phideaux really should do ok!



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank-You DR Marie. The vet said Tristolain was not as effective as the lysodrol. I probably am not spelling this right. Then you think we should give Phideaux the Lysodrol? I googled it and it said it shortened the dogs life to give it that. I just want to be kind to him. Sherry Kivo


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting. Trilostane is only newly available where I practice, but what I have read seems to indicate that it works well. However, if your vet is comfortable with the Lysodren I would definitely go for it.

Do not believe everything you read on the internet. Lysodren does have some side effects if your dog is not monitored well, but in experienced hands it is safe. The bigest concern is that if we give too much we can remove too much of the adrenal glands. But, if we are monitoring properly this won't happen.

I hope that helps...I will be offline for a few hours, but if you have more concerns I can reply later!
Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

Thank-You Dr. Marie! I hate to give him this medicine. But, I guess if it helps him I will try it.Sherry Kivo


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.