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Ridge Runner

Addison's disorder

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Ridge Runner

 Three months ago, our 6 year old female pointer was diagnosed with Addison's disorder.  She has responded well to the treatments (prednisone daily and monthly injections) and is currently stable and back to normal.  The Vet gave us the ok to start running her.  We are starting slow to try to avoid any injuries until she gets her muscles back.  But, the Vet is not familiar with what these dogs go through when running/hunting.  Her recommendation is to double the prednisone from 2.5 to 5 mg. on the days we run her. 

 

Anyone else out there have any experience with this condition in their working dogs?  Any suggestions or things to watch out for would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks  

 

RR 

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ryanr

A friend in my NAVHDA chapter has a GSP that has Addison's. He trains and is testing her in Utility. I don't know much about it other than I know he said doing you best to keep the dog on a general routine from day to day is important to maintaining their health stability. Good luck.

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Dogwood

Just use common sense like any other dog building it’s endurance. I think it’s good advice to increase her pred dose on running days and any stressful events in general. Otherwise she should be good to go. The bigger issue is her long term prognosis with regards to hormonal control and any regressions. A coin flip in many respects . Glad she is responding well.

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Fire Marshal Bill
7 hours ago, Dogwood said:

Just use common sense like any other dog building it’s endurance. I think it’s good advice to increase her pred dose on running days and any stressful events in general. Otherwise she should be good to go. The bigger issue is her long term prognosis with regards to hormonal control and any regressions. A coin flip in many respects . Glad she is responding well.

It's been said many times before, but is very fortunate that we have you on UJ!!!! Whenever there is a dog problem I always look to see what you have to say. Thanks again. 

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Dogwood
11 hours ago, Fire Marshal Bill said:

It's been said many times before, but is very fortunate that we have you on UJ!!!! Whenever there is a dog problem I always look to see what you have to say. Thanks again. 

 

Thanks for the compliment FMB.  UJ is special given there are so many who lend their expertise is so many fields.  Unique in that regard.

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bntsetter
19 hours ago, Dogwood said:

Just use common sense like any other dog building it’s endurance. I think it’s good advice to increase her pred dose on running days and any stressful events in general. Otherwise she should be good to go. The bigger issue is her long term prognosis with regards to hormonal control and any regressions. A coin flip in many respects . Glad she is responding well.

 

Just a quick question - I promise.  ;) Treatment of addison's disease by prednisone suggests an autoimmune component as prednisone is a immune suppressor.  Should the OP be concerned with any potential infections after working a dog?  Also wouldn't wound healing be compromised so any cuts , etc should be carefully flushed and observed.  A quick google search says the disease is a hormone deficiency - is hormone replacement a viable option?  

 

FYI - I want to echo FMB with an appreciation for your experience and knowledge.

 

Keith

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Dogwood
3 hours ago, bntsetter said:

 

Just a quick question - I promise.  ;) Treatment of addison's disease by prednisone suggests an autoimmune component as prednisone is a immune suppressor.  Should the OP be concerned with any potential infections after working a dog?  Also wouldn't wound healing be compromised so any cuts , etc should be carefully flushed and observed.  A quick google search says the disease is a hormone deficiency - is hormone replacement a viable option?  

 

FYI - I want to echo FMB with an appreciation for your experience and knowledge.

 

Keith

 

The proper medical name for Addison's disease is hypoadrenacorticism which means they have insufficient natural adrenal gland hormones including both glucocorticoids (pred) and mineralocorticoids (which regulate sodium and potassium levels).  Hence they need supplementation of both types in most cases, hence the monthly injections of the mineralocorticoids and oral daily prednisone.

Thus there is no autoimmune component.  The pred doses are relatively tiny and harmless with regards to any side effects.

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bntsetter
20 hours ago, Dogwood said:

 

The proper medical name for Addison's disease is hypoadrenacorticism which means they have insufficient natural adrenal gland hormones including both glucocorticoids (pred) and mineralocorticoids (which regulate sodium and potassium levels).  Hence they need supplementation of both types in most cases, hence the monthly injections of the mineralocorticoids and oral daily prednisone.

Thus there is no autoimmune component.  The pred doses are relatively tiny and harmless with regards to any side effects.

Thanks for the clarification.  Being in the viral pathogenesis and Immunology fields for the last 20 years any time I see the use of steroids I am always curious.

 

Keith

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Dogwood
On 3/15/2019 at 8:11 AM, bntsetter said:

Thanks for the clarification.  Being in the viral pathogenesis and Immunology fields for the last 20 years any time I see the use of steroids I am always curious.

 

Keith

 

Curious what do you do specifically?

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Ridge Runner

Ok, 

 

Thanks to Dogwood and the helpful (confidence boosting) replies.  

 

Started running her, 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, now 45 minutes, increasing as her performance indicates.  Ran yesterday @ 30 minutes, today @ 45 minutes.  No issues.  She finished strong both days.  

 

But, one thing I have noticed is that she is not pointing at her normal percentages on woodcock or grouse.  She is a 6 year old, mature dog.  Is there any possibility that the disorder or drugs could be affecting her nose or brain or is it just in general scenting issues &/or flight bird issues or she is taking advantage of me?  Yeah, in light of the sleepless hours, for weeks spent with her, thinking I could lose here at any time, I might be less than objective here!  

 

Also, your referred to "The bigger issue is her long term prognosis with regards to hormonal control and any regressions. A coin flip in many respects."  Could you please expound?  

 

Looking at a high performance dog here.  An E.P.  who is out of top Ch. lines.  Hopefully, someone else down the road may benefit from the observations noted and possible issues  encountered.  

 

Thanks

 

RR

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Dogwood
18 hours ago, Ridge Runner said:

 

 

 

 

Also, your referred to "The bigger issue is her long term prognosis with regards to hormonal control and any regressions. A coin flip in many respects."  Could you please expound?  

 

 

 

Average survival time for dogs with Addison's is approx . 4 years.  Pretty darn good.  Some can go south prior in that they never seem to respond as well to the hormone replacement therapy.  But I've treated many who live out their lives fully and completely.  

 

As an aside it is not an inexpensive disease to treat however, as I'm sure you can attest. The injectables are expensive plus the periodic blood test monitoring adds up.  Good thing it works though.

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Ridge Runner

Thanks for your information.  It is really good to have a professional opinion from one who is familiar with our dogs and the rigorous demands that they put themselves thru, all for love of what she was bred to do..  I will be sure to make every day count!

 

For the first 6 weeks after the crisis, while improving slowly, she got to the point where physically she was testing fine.  Yet, she was not her normal self.  She almost seemed like a dog in depression.  I was really starting to wonder if she was suffering from Sundowners.  We didn't have any sun thru that period also, so....  Then, I started taking her out on walks.  She perked up.  She also perked up whenever we were getting ready to go to town, as she got to go along!  Then, I started running her in increasing amounts.  Depression is not longer an issue.  Not sure it is the steroids or what but she looked fantastic the 3 times we ran this week, back to back days.   Well, she gets 2 days rest if the weather forecasters are right, and then every other day gradually increasing the time down until the weather warms too much or birds start to nest.  

 

Expense, well, yes.  Seems like the "Expert"  Vets in the City want to compete with Human Hospital charges.  No complaints, as she is alive today due to their diagnosis and treatment.   

Oh well, can't take it with you!  And, now will be doing things locally, at a  more reasonable rate.  She is one of those once in a lifetime dogs, of which I've been really blessed to have more than one,  so,  you only go around once!   My kids and Grandkids love her as much as we do, so didn't mind taking a cut in their inheritance!  They were just happy to see her back to her normal self and enjoying her in the field once again. 

 

Any ideas as to scenting and the drugs or steroids involvement?  Just curious.  She had a grouse flush today before she was able to get it pointed.  I didn't see the incident as it happened, so wasn't sure whether she should have pointed or not.  Extreme amount of Coyote scat, so maybe the survivors are just extra jumpy.  But, well, she is not pointing at her normal percentage since she is back, so hence my question.    

 

And the search for the new princess has begun.   Frustratingly so, but decisions such as this I do not take lightly. 

 

Thank you very much, again.

 

RR

 

 

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Dogwood

I can't think of a logical reason why the disease itself or the meds would affect her scenting ability.  Scenting birds is notoriously poor this time of year anyway IME.

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