Welcome

My name is Steph Kenrose and my dog, Shakti, has had Addison’s disease since October 2007. I spent some time in my 20s as a vet tech before returning to graduate school. This site was set up to help you, an owner of an Addison’s dog, help your pet maintain an active live. You’ll find a diverse collection of articles on both conventional and alternate therapies to improve your dog’s mind, body and spirit. You’ll find a wealth of information, including an active comments section, where you can discuss Addison’s disease with other Addison’s dog owners.

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59 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Alexis

    Should an Addison’s dog have its teeth cleaned she is 9 yrs old and has had Addison’s for 6years.

    Reply
    1. kenrosellc

      I talked with my vet about this just last month. Seeing as cleaning requires anesthetic, we decided it wasn’t worth the risk. It’s a personal choice, but I won’t put my Addison’s dog under anesthetic unless it was a necessity (i.e. life threatening). If you do really feel a dental procedure is necessary, I would really have a chat with your vet and find out how much experience they have with Addison’s dogs under anesthesia.

      Best,
      Stephanie

      Reply
      1. Alexis

        Thank you. That is my first choice but her teeth are not looking good. I guess as long as she doesn’t appear to be in discomfort I will leave well enough alone

        Reply
    2. David Latimer

      I work at a veterinary hospital in Gainesville, Georgia. We have recently added a lady to our staff who cleans dogs/cats teeth without anaesthesia. This is complementary to the “normal” cleaning under anaethesia.
      Whilst not every dog is suitable for this treatment, it would be well worth checking o0ut in the case of an Addisons dog.

      Reply
  2. Diane Kohler

    My 2 year old German Shepherd was just diagnosed with Addisons. Is there a good commericial food I can feed her?

    Reply
    1. kenrosellc

      Diane,

      I feed my dogi Nature‚Äôs Recipe Vegetarian Dog Food. It’s recommended by R.M. Clemmons, DVM, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery for the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Florida.

      Regards,
      Stephanie

      Reply
  3. rhonda bradberry

    My dog was just diagnosed with Addisons, she has begun meds but is still very tired and weak. She also is not eating well. We have tried all kinds of food, she always ate dry but will not touch it now. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. kenrosellc

      If she’s not eating, that’s a sign her Addison’s isn’t under control. You might also want to try a more palatable diet (I’ll mix soft food in with dry sometimes). Ask your vet to test her electrolytes to see what’s going on.

      Stephanie

      Reply
  4. Billy

    My 3 year old boxer has been in and out of the vet since he was 1. His latest issue has been vomiting and diarrhea. I put him on a chicken and rice diet and both seemed to stop. I started reintroducing his regular food and his diarrhea started up again. I took him to the vet and they are saying he either became intolerable to his food or he may have Addison disease. We are attempting the diet change first but I was wondering if this is beginning signs for the disease. He loves his walks, and is still playing constantly. Also his appetite has not changed he eats right when it’s put in front of him and he eats it all. Any in site would be appreciated.

    Thanks, a very concerned owner

    Reply
    1. kenrosellc

      Billy,

      Addison’s disease can turn very quickly into a very dangerous condition called an Addisonian crisis. If you vet suspects Addison’s, then ask for an ACTH test to diagnose the disease. A cheaper option would be to ask your vet to look at potassium-sodium levels to see if there is any indication of Addison’s but check with your vet.

      Good luck!

      Stephanie

      Reply
  5. Jane

    I would definitely do the ACTH stim test. My goldendoodle was diagnosed with Addison’s disease in July. She had her blood tested three times within a week and only one of the tests showed the Potassium-Sodium ratio that is characteristic of Addison’s disease. This delayed her diagnosis. Then she had the ACTH test which showed she had Addison’s.

    Reply
  6. miss-jords

    hii all my dog hurley was diagnosed four days ago with addisons, his getting better and eating back to normal but is still drinking alot and therefore peeing alot he doesnt seem 100% but a hell ofa lot better then when we took my poor baby in :( is it normal for them to drink heaps still? and should he be on a specific diet, my vet didnt say anything about a diet but reading on the internet many people put there dogs on a diet? hrmm

    Reply
    1. Jane

      The drinking and peeing is called polydipsia/polyuria (PU/PD). It is caused by the prednisone that I assume Hurley is taking. That is the same thing that happened with my dog, Holly. Once Holly was stabilized we slowly reduced her prednisone dosage. This was done under the supervision of her vet and she was being monitored with regular blood tests. At half the original dosage the PU/PD symptoms stopped. So we kept her at half the dosage and she continues to do well.

      Reply
  7. Sookie

    “Hi, my name is Sookie. I’m a 6 month old St. Bernard. I found my new family at ten weeks old. I love them very much. This past week I was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. My family hasn’t given up hope on me as they love me very much.” I’m sure if our puppy could speak this is what she would say. She was diagnosed this past week and we finally have her home as of yesterday. She is not 100%, but we have a great Vet who will run more tests in 2 weeks after we try the 6 pills a day first. This site has been a great help for us so far :)

    Reply
  8. Yumiko

    Hi. My name is Yumiko and my dog, “CHOBI” an 8 year-old Martease (cute boy)has been contracted addisons since 2010 Oct.
    He has 1.25 tablets of florinef per morning and evening, and 0.5 tablet of forticore for his heart a day.
    His weight is 4.84kgs, not fat.
    He is just a big Martease.
    In Japan addisons’ dogs seem to not be able to live for a long time.
    They can live at maximun 5 years from receiving treatments according to Japanese net.
    I’m concerned about that Japan has taken disadvantage in vet fild.
    I’d appreciate if you would help me and
    Japanese dog owners.
    How do you think about vacctination
    for addisons dogs?
    Do you have any recommendations about spplyment?

    Reply
      1. Yumiko

        Dear Stephanie san

        Thank you for your reply and kind advice.
        And so sorry for my delayed reply!
        Best regards

        Reply
  9. Traci

    Hi,
    My 8 year old german shepherd was just diagnosed with addisons about 2 weeks ago. He has been getting better ever day until tonight, he won’t eat again and is very week is this normal and will he have episodes like this often? The vet put him on prednisone. He was taking 2 pills a day for 7 days and now down to one a day. They are 10mg….

    Reply
    1. kenrosellc

      Traci,

      I’m not a vet, but my dog does go through similar episodes. It’s usually a sign that my dog needs an extra prednisone pill, or that she’s due for another percorten shot. For me, it was very trial and error and getting to know my dog’s symptoms and what she needs. Best of luck!

      Stephanie

      Reply
    2. Nicole

      Hi Tracy,

      When my dog was first diagonsed he was on predisone and florinef daily. Things seemed to be better but after about 6 months he was having a crisis every other month and it got to the point where it was every 4-6 weeks we were back in the emerg. We discovered that his system was not absorbing the florienf fully, so we changed to a percorten shot once a month. It has made a world of a difference in him. He’s been on it for a year now and we haven’t had any episodes. You can also order it from a website call 1800petmeds.com.

      Reply
  10. Rhonda

    Hi I have a 5 yr. old standard poodle with Addisons, was diagnosed in August of this year. She was taking prednisone and was still not doing well. Our vet changed her to methylprednisolone it has been like day and night, she is almost back to normal. It is very expensive at drug store. I found on line at Planet drugs direct very cheap. You might want to check out this med. made so much difference in just a few days.

    Reply
  11. Emily

    Hi my 9 yr old Havanese has periodically had v & d all his life. As a puppy the vets thought he had a shunt but he hasn’t. He has always had a weak digestive system. Recently he has been weeing a lot, had v&d, is skine and bone – although still eating, hungrier I’d say, and on the scales his weight hasn’t changed – over the weekend he started to get wobbly on his back legs and was occasionally limping. He also has episodes of pain which I think are to do with his legs but come and go. Does this sound like Addisons? His blood test will come back tomorrow but not had the atch. He also has a heart murmur.

    Reply
    1. kenrosellc

      Emily,

      Addison’s is called the great pretender because it mimics many other disorders. The only way to tell for sure is to ask your vet for an ACTH test.

      Best of luck,

      Stephanie

      Reply
  12. Holly

    My 12 week old goldendoodle is being tested for Addison’s disease. He is from a top notch breeding kennel and comes with a 26 week health guarantee. I couldn’t conceive of parting with him now, as I have had him for a month and love him dearly. Can someone tell me what is in store in terms of vet costs? I may ask the breeder to help share in the medical care. Also, if Addison’s is confirmed, I ask that she stop breeding the parents.

    Reply
    1. kenrosellc

      I’m guessing at the size of your dog, but your’re probably looking at around $80 per month just for the meds alone…not counting any tests or problems that crop up.

      Reply
    2. Nicole

      Hi Holly,

      I order the percorten from a website in the states called 1800petmeds.com which is normally just under $200 (this last me over 4 months) compared to getting it directly from the vet which is over $400. I also get the predisone from a pharmacy which helps with the cost.

      Good Luck

      Reply
  13. Jane

    My 5 year old goldendoodle was diagnosed with Addison’s disease in July. Getting her diagnosed and then stabilized did take a lot of time and money. But now she is stabilzed and she is just fine as long as she gets her medication. She takes prednisone daily and has a monthly injection. The injection does cost about $90 month. But we can live with that.
    Your dog is awfully young to be diagnosed with Addison’s, so it could be something else. But if it is Addison’s, your breeder shouldn’t breed the parents anymore.

    Reply
  14. Holly

    Thanks for your help. My dog became very ill and in doing lab work there was protein in his urine, his potassium was way off and he was urinating constantly–as much ad 20 times a day. We have ruled almost everything else out. The vet agreed it is rare to find it this soon but he has seen it in a puppy one other time.

    Thanks for the info. I have notified the breeder. This is the first time she has bred this pair so they could be carriers.

    Reply
  15. Chris

    My 5 year old male Havanese was diagnosed with Addisons 2 years ago.He has been successful with his monthly Percortan shots and daily prednisone tabs. Recently he has developed excessive thirst and urination. I’m waiting for lab results now. Anyone have suggestions?

    Reply
  16. Jane

    I would suggest cutting back on the prednisone tablets and see if that helps. You could give half the usual dosage and monitor carefully.
    It worked for my goldendoodle. I am just surprised that it happened after your dog was stablized on his meds for two years. It’s good you are taking him to the vet in case something else is going on.

    Reply
  17. Jen

    I have a 4 year labradoodle who has had addisons for 3 years. she gets her shots and levels checked regularly and im told all her blood work is coming back good. And had for years. she eats well and is very happy and playful however she has a very poor coat. bald spots and very thin. can this be treated?

    Reply
    1. Jane

      My goldendoodle has been treated for Addison’s since being diagnosed in July. I noticed that her tail has gone from being very full and thick and beautiful to quite thin and straggly. I think maybe it is a side effect of the Addison’s.

      Reply
  18. Rhonda

    My dog Annie has been I’ll for the past week. Started with her shivering, lose if appetite, nausea, took her to my vet and they ran a chemical panel, kidney appeared to be the issue. Diagnosed her with acute kidney failure. They kept her for 48 hrs iv in her to flush them out. Brought her home and then she completely shut down on eating and drinking. I would try to get her to drink and when she did she would not be able to hold it down. Back to the vet, they hydrated her back up, taken a test for Addison’s, waiting on results. If anyone had these symptoms such as annie’s please let me know. I don’t want to loose my girl if something else is wrong I want to know what to do for her.
    Thank you,
    Rhonda

    Reply
    1. Jane

      This doesn’t sound like the experience my dog had with Addison’s. There was no kidney involvement and it came on very slowly. I hope they find out what is wrong with Annie!

      Reply
    2. Melinda

      I have a 5yr old westie that started off shaking and not eating and the vet thought is was her kidneys but it was addisons. She gets a shot a month and 1/4 of a predison pill a day She’s doing well just getting fat…and wants to eat. But doing well.

      Reply
    3. Barb Wagner

      My 5yr old Silky was having problems on the BM side and stop eating, thought he had a blockage which he did. Came home, still not eating and then unable to keep water down. He would shiver intermitantly and was very lethargic. Upon return to vet and tests, fluids, then treatment for his Addisons, he stopped shaking and regained muscle strength, and is back to his old self. He does shed more and his little nose is dry. If you google Addisons you will find many symptoms. Interestingly, we had Max’s teeth cleaned maybe 9 or so months ago, his breath would raise the dead. His fresh breath lasted 3 days and I begun to brush his teeth (with vet paste) to no avail. Since his Addison’s seems to be under control his breath no longer stinks!!! not even first thing in the a.m. Although it is not a symptom I think it should be. Halatosis can be digestive issues not just oral issues. Good Luck Annie!!!! You will feel better soon. Sniffs and Licks from Max

      Reply
  19. Julia

    Thanks for your helpful website! I am trawling the net as I believe my 6 year old Golden Retriever in Sydney, Aus may have Addisons. He has been unwell in the tummy for he last 6 months or so – he has always been ‘sensitive’ but it has been getting progressively worse. He has frequent bouts of diahorrea and is now really weak in the hind quarters particularly after eating? The weakness fluctuates. He is also lethargic, has inappetance and has had 2 trips to the vet where he is trembling and they can’t find a reason, change/matting of fur. He had full bloods on sat which were normal and an ultrasound today which didn’t show cause of Gastro. His faecal sample was also normal. I think he ticks all the addisons boxes and in a way hope it is the problem so he can get treatment and start being a happy boy again! It is so hard as he cannot tell me and vets tell me that goldens don’t usually get it so have been reluctant to test partic as bloods were ok – I have read about the ‘great pretender’ that addisons is! He has even been on a full elimination diet to no avail! The vets are meeting tomorrow to discuss his case! Fingers and paws crossed!

    Reply
    1. Jane

      This sounds exactly like Addison’s to me. At least it is exactly the way my goldendoodle presented with the disease. I would get your dog tested for Addison’s right away, even if you have to insist upon it. I had to practically demand that my vet test my dog, and I am sure glad I did. They can have an Addison’s crisis which can be fatal if untreated. My dog collapsed (she had the dreaded crisis) in a remote location and we were very lucky to be able to get her to a vet. He treated her for shock with dexamethasone which saved her life, but he did’t know what caused it. Then we had to get her diagnosed by our own vet, and as I said, they were reluctant to test for Addison’s. So my advice is to request the test, and watch your dog closely!

      Reply
      1. Julia

        Thanks Jane – he is being tested for it tomorrow. They say its unlikely as he is not “small, white, fluffy & female” but are happy to test him to put my mind at rest! They are thinking colitis but we will wait to see what the bloods show!

        Reply
    2. Barb Wagner

      what is that reply!? Golden Doodles don’t usually get it? Time to look for a new vet!!! We get second opinions for our health. I was lucky my vet stepped out of the box and one set of blood work out of the norm and we ere diagnosed in one day. Thankfully, time is of the essence!

      Reply
  20. Julia

    Well lucky in one way but frustrating in anoth Barney tested negative on the ACTH challenge! Back to the drawing board! Good luck with your dogs and thanks again for the great website – I really thought I had found the answer!

    Reply
  21. donna

    My 11 year old lab was diagnosed with Cushons in October and was placed on Lysodren. Unfortunately the drug killed off to much of the adrenal gland and she ended up having 2 Addisons Crisis. She continued to fail and we saw another vet that did another ACTH test to confirm that she now was in Addisons. Unfortunately about 1 month passed. She is on 40mg of Prednisolone 2x daily now for 5 days and is not bouncing back as quick as we hoped. Input from anyone!!!

    Reply
  22. Sandy

    My 16 yr old miniature poodle is suspected of suffering from Addisons, initial blood work done, need to take her back for another, more costly blood test. I don’t know what to do! Should I put her through more extensive tests? She is eating well, just drinking and urinating more, otherwise she seems fine for her age.

    Reply
    1. kenrosellc

      Sandy,
      I would say go ahead with the tests. If it *is* Addison’s, your dog could eventually have an Addisionian crisis, which is life-threatening and it could come on suddenly.
      Best of luck,
      Stephanie

      Reply
    2. Jane

      The tests are not hard on the dog and are necessary to find out if she has addisons. If she does have addison’s it must be identified and treated as it is a life threatening disease and they do suffer.

      Reply
  23. Marcia Yoshioka

    I have a westie who is 9 years old in April and was diagnosed with Addison’s when he was 1 year old. We went thru the whole gamut of vomitting etc. Found a great vet, who along with prednisone and percorten told us to sprinkle a bit of salt on his food. We make boneless chicken breasts, organic carrots & green beans for him along with an oatmmeal as a base. He gets absolutely no commercial dog food and we supplement with plain no-fat yogurt and plain no-fat kieffer for digestive purposes.
    We also process the food to make it easier to digest. This has taken care of the vomitting for q

    Reply
  24. Ellen

    My 14 yr old lab/shepard/whippit mix, Rielly, was diagnosed 3 years ago with addison’s…while he is declining just due to age, he does have some of the other symptons that go along with the disese as mentioned above, e.g., the gaging, some vomiting, very thirsty and urinates a lot (due to prednisone). Rielly’s appetite is voracious. Throughout his life he was lucky if he weighed 40 lbs; we thought the lack of weight was due to allergies; after taking his meds for addisons, he has gained 20 lbs. Reilly has a shot once a month and blood work every 2 months…today I noticed for the first time he was having a hard time getting up…and he was shaking. We may only have him a short time longer, but he seems happy…but we think he knows and he’s tired.

    Reply
  25. Sandy

    I can see why they call this the “great pretender” now. Our guy, 2.5 yr. old was just diagnosed an hour ago. It has taken 5 days of IV’s, lots of tests and an MRI. He has taken a trip to death’s door and will hopefully have enough strength to make it now. He is on the way from our vet to a larger hospital with a specialist as I write. It was scary to see the light go out of his eyes. We love this dog so much! Looking forward to learning a lot from you all.

    Reply
  26. Yumiko

    Dear Steph san

    I have one question about urin under the dogs having Addisons.
    Is there possibility that their unins have
    albumin?
    My frind is very concerned about that she has found albmin in her dog’s urin since she has Addsons, which is more than 5 years.
    And she is suffering some kind of cancer.
    She had operation on Dec. 2011.
    Vet suggested that he couldn’t get rid of cancer completely from her body.
    As of today, she has no sign of recuring.
    My friend wants to know the existence of albmin in the urin is due to Addisons, or cancer.
    I’m looing forward to receiving your soonest reply.
    Best regards

    Reply

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