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Reba's Journey: Overcoming Cushing's Disease with Love and Dedication

Reba's Cushing's Diagnosis and Recovery: A Journey of Resilience

Meet Reba, our 12-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, who has been a beloved member of our family for over a decade. Known for her boundless energy and voracious appetite, Reba has always been a picture of health and vitality. However, about a year ago, we began noticing subtle changes in her behavior and appearance that marked the beginning of a challenging journey with Cushing's disease.

The Subtle Signs

Reba's symptoms started gradually. Initially, we observed her increased thirst and frequent urination, which we attributed to aging. Over time, her undercoat turned black, an unusual change for her, and she stopped shedding entirely. The most alarming sign was the significant hair loss on her muzzle. Additionally, she experienced a large loss of muscle mass and her appetite, once voracious, began to wane. These changes were concerning, but diagnosing Cushing's disease isn't straightforward, as it doesn't typically show up in regular blood work.

The Diagnosis

Cushing's disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is caused by an overproduction of cortisol. This condition can be challenging to diagnose due to its gradual onset and the nonspecific nature of early symptoms. After numerous vet visits and advanced diagnostic tests, we finally received the diagnosis. Reba had been suffering from Cushing's disease, which explained her symptoms, including the loss of muscle mass and changes in her coat.

Starting Treatment with Dr. David Landers

In March 2024, under the expert care of Dr. David Landers and the team at Partridge Animal Hospital, Reba began treatment with Vetoryl, a medication designed to control the production of cortisol. The initial phase of treatment focused on stabilizing her cortisol levels. Within the first few months, we started noticing improvements. Her excessive thirst and urination began to subside, and she started regrowing a beautiful, healthy coat after shedding the darker, damaged undercoat.

Overcoming Challenges

One unexpected challenge we faced was Reba's diminished appetite. Known for her hearty appetite, it was surprising to see her disinterested in food. Despite trying various types of kibble, she refused to eat from her bowl. We switched her to The Farmer's Dog fresh food, and although she still wouldn't eat on her own, she accepted hand-feeding. This change, while unusual, has helped maintain her weight and ensure she gets the nutrition she needs. Over time, her muscle mass also began to improve, and her energy levels increased, bringing back the lively dog we knew.

Remarkable Recovery

Over the past three months, Reba has shown remarkable resilience. Her energy levels have improved, her coat is healthier, and she has regained much of her lost muscle mass. These improvements are a testament to the effectiveness of Vetoryl and the dedicated care from Dr. David Landers and the team at Partridge Animal Hospital.

The Support of Her Dog Mom, Lisa Prather

Throughout this journey, Reba has had unwavering support from her dog mom, Lisa Prather. Lisa's dedication to Reba's well-being has been instrumental in her recovery. From diligently monitoring her symptoms to ensuring she received the best care possible, Lisa's love and commitment have been a source of strength for Reba. Her encouragement and involvement in Reba's care, including being there during vet visits and helping to adjust Reba's diet, have made a significant difference in Reba's recovery and overall well-being.

Looking Ahead

Reba's journey with Cushing's disease is far from over, but her progress has been encouraging. We continue to monitor her closely, with regular vet check-ups at Partridge Animal Hospital to ensure her treatment remains effective. While hand-feeding her has become part of our routine, it's a small price to pay for her well-being and comfort. We are also exploring ways to gradually transition her back to eating from her bowl to ensure she remains comfortable and happy.

Final Thoughts

Reba's story is one of resilience and hope. Cushing's disease may have brought unexpected challenges, but with the dedicated care of Dr. David Landers, the team at Partridge Animal Hospital, and the unwavering support of her dog mom, Lisa Prather, she has made significant strides in her recovery. For anyone facing a similar diagnosis with their beloved pet, remember that early detection, consistent treatment, and a lot of love can make a world of difference.

Reba continues to be a cherished member of our family, and we are grateful for every moment of her recovery journey. Her strength and spirit inspire us every day, and we look forward to many more happy, healthy years with our beloved Australian Cattle Dog.


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