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We spoke to Laura at Massey on Thursday, and had a meeting with Brendon at Patea Vets Friday. All the tests have confirmed Faith has Endocardiosis (degenerative heart disease common in smaller breeds, in her case left Mitral Valve) and Cushing’s Disease which is caused by a benign tumour of the pituitary gland which causes an increase on Cortisol.

We had a good chat with Brendon about the medication benefits and risks, life expectancy and all the terrible detail. The Vetmedin for Endocardiosis was a simple decision, but meds for Cushing’s less so as there are some real risks. On the other hand, so has the Cushing’s Disease and we’d rather be proactive. She has also started on anti-itch meds today as there’s a tangential impact from the Cushing’s to do with her skin, so the itching is chronic!

Over the years Faith  as had a lot of medication and, despite Brendon’s rather hopeful suggestion, she won’t consider Vetmedin a treat. (For Kiwi readers – Tui moment) It’s meant to be taken on an empty stomach but that ain’t gonna happen!! Last night I shoved it down her neck in two bits as it’s quite big for a small dog, and one bit came back out. This morning I tried it, in two bits again, in Brie and she sniffed the cheese to see if it was medicated then ate carefully round it. I got it down her latter on by speed feeding her a cheese slice, some of which had tablet mashed into it. I can see this is going to be quite a trial at 5 or 6 pills a day…

She’s her normal happy self. Massey said to let her set the pace in terms of exercise, but we never exercise her. She chooses to go outside and wander round, and also when to play, how hard, and how long – easy! We’re fine. It’s worrying that she is unwell yet again but we have good vets, good insurance and Tony is with her al day to keep an eye on things. So really, we’re in a very fortunate position.

FAith blood tests july 2017