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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32834
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My vet has done a blood test looking for Cushings disease in

Customer Question

My vet has done a blood test looking for Cushings disease in my dog who has symptoms of a cough, weight gain, increased urination, panting constantly. The result is in the grey area and nitrates + she now says she can either do a test which takes all day I think they give her an injection every few hours and then take a test, this will be around £200 or she says to scan to see if her adrenal glands are enlarged or affected this will be £200 then if this is negative she will have a chest x-ray to see if she has heart or lung problems that will be £250. I just have a feeling that the vetinary clinic are just racking up the costs and I am not convinced that my dog really requires all of these tests. She had the first test done last year and they said the results were inconclusive and wanted to go onto the next test. I cannot get a straight answer as to which would be the best test to have to get a result. Or even if it is cushings - she does not have any skin problems or bruising which I know is a symptom of cushings.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I understand your concern. Cushing's can be problematic to confirm. It's important to recognize, however, that unless your dog is eating you out of house and home and drinking like a fish, she isn't cushingoid. Her increased urination suggests that she's drinking excessively but that can occur secondary to many metabolic disorders. Please let me know about her drinking and eating.
If both are excessive, she's likely to be cushingoid, diabetic, or both. The low-dose dexamethasone suppression test, then, is the test of choice for Cushing's. It involves 3 blood draws and one injection of dexamethasone over a period of 8 hours. I'll await your reply.