Archie Goodwin – On The Cushings

It seems to be a particularly well placed Noun, but since it can easily be confused with the sound of “cushions”, a little dog might think this whole worry and fret might be a good thing.

Cushings is not a good thing.  In June 2009, I did not know that the Pancreatitis Archie has had since 2004 has caused other problems, such as the stopped up gall bladder and the IBS.  Both of those problems have lead to very tiny microscopic tumors in his liver and gall bladder – aka gall stones.  Urinary Tract Infection and the vomiting are the symptoms we treated with Baytril and Metronidazole, and a low dose pain medication.  That was the short term.  The Long Term Treatment was Prescription Diet food for IBS, low fat every thing.


It has been 18 months since we settled the last flare up, in July 2010, and as you can see by the above chart, the progress is holding steady, an increase of 227 in his ALT every 3 months.  That’s what is was the Summer of 2010, and the trend remains the same.  The Treatment Protocol has changed just a bit, even though the symptoms are identical:  Clovimax for both Urinary Tract Infection and IBS, 40mg Asperin for pain.  The newest behavior is whimpering and crying in his sleep, so I am guessing the asperin is barely touching his pain.

I’m just not sure where to go with this, because it never dawned on me that I would actually have to face the end of his life.  He has been my extension for 11 years, 5 months, 24 days and counting.  If he ever learned to talk I would be ruined.

What is the next step?  How many flare ups and treatment series does it take to destroy a dog’s liver?  As of right now, the Veterinary costs are running $250/flare up, $30/month in Prescription Food.  That is not unreasonable, and he is taking the pills without fuss. So far we are running 18 months between Flare Ups so this might be just an annoyance until he reaches 20.  *Yes, I am getting every last drop out of him**

For now, we treat.  I will keep him comfortable and free from pain.  He’s a tad bit slower, but none the worse for wear!


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