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Should I put my dog to sleep? Confused(39 Posts)
I have a 5 year old mixed Breed dog who j adopted a year ago. He has Addisons disease which I was aware of when I adopted him. I was told that it was one of the more manageable diseases but so far it's been nothing but emotionally and financially draining on my family and the dog. We have been back and forth to the vets about his condition and just 8 weeks ago he went into a crisis. He was shaking, vomiting etc. He was on a drip at vets for 2 days and recovered well. His dosage was upped once more. After a couple of weeks he was fine in himself overall but more lethargic. We are now back to him not eating and shaking. it's only been 8 weeks since the last episode! There is an option of an injection but I just feel so bad keep putting him through all these vet trips, especially when nothing seems to work. My OH lost his job recently and we can't financially Afford to make the switch to the injection. I don't want to stress his kidneys more by handing him back to rescue. He's only 5 but very rarely enjoys life. He spends most of his day in bed, he can only manage 10 min walk most days. What should I do?
Sad though this is, I think I would have him PTS in the circumstances you describe
Forgot to mention he also has recurrent ear infections due to severe allergies
If you can’t deal with him then hand him back to the rescue , addisons in dogs should be manageable , perhaps they could get him a second opinion from a different vet .
If it's purely finance, I would speak to the rescue. They may be able to offer financial assistance on an interim basis to keep him in his own home.
If the condition genuinely can't be managed (second opinion?) and show substantial improvement, then I'm sorry to say I'd PTS too as you say he rarely enjoys life; he can't live like this long term.
It sounds like he is not yet having the monthly zycortal injection. Really you should give it a good most Addisonians are very well controlled on it and most end up not taking any tablets.
I would return back to the rescue if you can't afford to give the injection a chance.
I wouldn't PTS at that age unless I had given the injection a chance (and had a second opinion if that didn't work) and I say this having spent many weeks over the first 18 months of my dogs life back and forth to the vets trying to find out why my dog was always ill and not exactly thriving (skeletal).
The reason for returning is that another person might want to take him and can afford the vet care so that the PTS decision is made on the quality of life alone rather than on not being able to afford to try an injection which may make all the difference ( an injection of steroids is like night and day for my dogs condition and is far quicker to turn around his symptoms than the equivalent tablets).
A good rescue will support you so speak to them. He may not need to go back into kennels but stay with you with some financial help.
Addison's is usually well managed go back to your vet asap
Let me make it known as well that the rescue lied about numerous things so I don't trust them not to mess other people and the dog about but the contract states I have to return to them.
I just keep thinking, if I was a dog who has an option not to go through this every other week would I choose not to. As a dog would I want tablets put down my throat every day that aren't really doing much. Would I want to be shaking and being sick every other week and struggling on walks etc.
A dog with Addisons should not be suffering every week.
Medication can help them to live a happy and good life - <looks at crazy dog in the corner>
Go back to your vets and discuss this with them
It sounds like you are swaying to PTS but the tablets might not be working but an injection could be so different to his quality of life. If money wasn't an issue could you honestly say you wouldn't try and see what happens?
As for the tablets down his throat it's not a matter of keep doing that with little change. Surely it's a matter of changing his treatment to find something better and if this can't be you the right thing would be to return to the rescue. I would be back to the vets anyway at my first call and tell them the tablets aren't helping right now. Can you afford a couple of injections? If his treatment is manageable on them then you can return to the rescue and say he needs this treatment but you can't afford it.
Would I want to be shaking and being sick every other week and struggling on walks etc. again I would be thinking have we tried all the usual treatments before saying enough was enough. If you were suggesting a massive operation with little chance and a hard recovery then I would be thinking more about whether it was worth it. But as it's a regular injection they are proposing then I think that for a young dog with that condition it doesn't seem unreasonable at all
I'd be speaking to the rescue to see if they'll help fund the injections, it's worth seeing if they'll improve his quality of life before going down the PTS route.
It sounds like his Addison’s is poorly controlled and that’s either because you have a vet that doesn’t know what they or doing or because you are trying to cut corners due to finances , either way that is not the fault of the dog and he deserves a shot at a good quality of life which is perfectly possible with Addison’s disease . Taking tablets shouldn’t be traumatic for a dog , my dog has to have 3 large pills a day just wrap them in ham or cheese or something .
Addison’s is really easy to control with the medication. I know as mine was only diagnosed after a crisis where he nearly died.
They need a small dose of prednisolone every day (which is all mine needs as he is atypical) which is easy to hide in a small treat, and a shot of zycortal about once a month. You need to have the electrolytes tested to find out when he needs the shot. Some go a bit longer than 4 weeks.
If he is insured it will be covered.
If not prednisolone is cheap and the zycortal about £80
If you don’t want to pay for it then give him back. But don’t pts as it is easy to manage once under control
I thought the decision to PTS was because the dog is too ill to reasonably survive or have any quality of life.
People report addisons as being controllable and fine to live with. So it sounds here as though it's a case of PTS because of finances. Therefore I wouldn't PTS. I'd give the dog a chance with another family. The poor dog could live to 12 or 15 for all you know! If the rescue thinks it's somehow cruel they will PTS. But I'm sure they'd be happy enough to tell you that outright.
As others have said Addisons is really easy to control and once under control the dog should live a normal life.
Mine has 1.5ml of Zycortal every 4 weeks (injection) which we administer and quarter of a prednisilone every day, simple. She has blood tests about 3 times a year to check her electrolytes.
Please dont PTS just talk to your vet.
What medication is he on at present to control the Addisons? As far as I am aware the only option is the Zycortal injection as the tablets which were used to control the symptoms were discontinued at least a year ago if not longer.
If you dog is not on any medication that is the reason the Addisons is not under control. Perhaps you should change your vet.
If hubby out of work can you not go to a charity vet ? Have you approached the rescue ?
Doodley the tablets (Fluronef) are still available, but prohibitively expensive. I prescribed on cascade until very recently for a 17 year old Addisonian who had been stable for five years and the owners were prepared to accept the cost.
It sounds like only press are being currently used hence the vomiting etc. as the mineralocorticoid side is not being control at all.
OP why are you so reluctant to take the dog back to the rescue? With someone who can pay whatever the cost is to get him stabilised he could have many happy years ahead.
Reading this has made me so sad! Please sing ha e him PTS. My dog was diagnosed with Addisons 3 years ago. Luckily I have insurance which covers most of the costs. He is perfectly healthy, you wouldn't know there's anything wrong with him. Addison's is easy to control. I'm wonder why he's having crises. Normally, once diagnosed, vets get it under control fairly quickly. What medication is he on? Once stable, the medication isn't expensive either. It costs me £20 a month for his injections and £10 for a 3 month supply of steroids.
I'm slightly confused as to why you would adopt him, knowing he has Addisons, without the researching the disease properly and being certain you could afford the vets bills?
I think you should get in touch with the rescue ASAP and seek advice.
This thread makes me quite sad if I'm honest. For a disease so manageable, you really need to look into other options.
I know that Bluecross, Dogs Trust and some other charities help with finances under certain circumstances so maybe try and get in touch with one of those?
As many pp said, the disease is easily managed with the right medical care
I may be completely wrong OP but there is no shame in saying finances are tight especially as your OH has recently lost his job. Perfectly understandable in those circumstances but not really a reason to PTS hence why reaching out to rescues for either financial help or to rehome is the right thing to do here.
I am assuming that either the dog isn't insured or your insurance isn't covering the cost of the Addisons. We had a dog with Addisons and stupidly I didn't have good enough insurance and ended up paying for the treatment myself.
When she was just on the regular tablets it wasn't too bad - but after a year or so the licencing of the medication changed meaning vets could no longer prescribe it (or something) and we had to switch to the injections. It was an absolute nightmare getting the dose right and meant very frequent vet trips and blood tests - all extremely expensive.
So if money is tight and you're not covered by insurance then I can understand you're struggling, but ultimately Addisons is not uncommon, the treatment is there and vets are familiar with it, and it can be well controlled once the dosage is right.
You could try Blue Cross, or a different rescue organisation. PTS because you can't afford fairly standard treatment for a fairly standard condition seems somewhat drastic.
I am a person with Addison’s. If he has recurrent ear infections this will mean he will struggle to stay healthy on a regular dose of steroids - in people with Addison’s if we are unwell or need antibiotics we have to double our dose of steroids for the duration of the illness. A dog can’t alert you in the early stages of illness so he will be slipping into adrenal crisis quickly as he would be able to raise his cortisol levels. I feel really sorry for you all, so many people think Addison’s is such an easy thing to treat and actually it often isn’t - if there are other health issues then it can be really complicated.
I think the injection is definitely worth a try if you can stretch to it though.