|Hi Lesley, I can tell that you put a lot of effort and emotion into this story, maybe even more than the others that I read. My heart goes out to you. I also had to put one of my many beloved pets down. I was very surprised to read that your dog suffered from Cushing's Disease. Although it is a common disease it isn't one of the better known diseases. I ought too know.
When I was 19 years old I suffered from Cushing's Disease. It is a rare hormonal disorder that occurs when a benign tumor on the Pituitary gland, just below the brain, produces excessive amounts of a hormone called (adrenocorticotropic hormone)or better known as ACTH. The ACTH travels through the blood to the Adrenal Glands and signals them to produce an excessive amount of an important steroid called cortisol. When the level of cortisol is too high (hypercortisolism) for too long, it can lead to many different symptoms.
Normal levels of cortisol supports the body's ability to fight infection and aides in metabolism.
Cushings can cause:
Neurological disorders- psychiatric, cognitive and sleep disturbances.
Dermatologic issues- bruising, thin skin, acne, purple striae.
Cardiovascular complications- hypertension, dyslipidemia,
hypercoagulability, acute myocardial infarction, stroke, arterial wall stiffness, and thromboembolic events
Immunosuppression-Such as infections.
Metabolic complications-Such as obesity, buffalo hump, moon face, and impaired glucose intolerance/diabetes.
Musculoskeletal complications-Proximal myopathy, fatigue and osteoporosis.
Sexual of reproductive complications- Decreased libido,
amenorrhea, of erectile dysfunction.
I did not know all this when I was sick, but I researched it not too long ago. Your dog was very sick, I know all too well. I had to have my right adrenal gland removed and the lower portion of my right lung. Many people with Cushings need special treatment their whole life. Thankfully my doctors were spot on with my treatment. I was Cushings free immediately after the surgery. It did take many months for my body and hormones to to battle their way back to normalcy. I can empathize with You and Buster. Ginger