Dachshunds seem to have their share of illnesses and breed-specific problems. Not only is there the back problems that are persistent and painful, but there are those puffy tumors.
It wasn’t until I read a recent column that I found out about Cushing’s disease, and it is a concern for a few of my Dachshunds. One columnist dealing with pets issues talked about a liver disease that his Dachshund has.
One of the results is the fatty tumors that my 16-year-old Rudi has, but our vet said they were nothing to worry about, and it will only be more traumatic to remove them than leave them.
(This is, by the way, a common ailment for all older dogs.)
Here is the advice:
Q. I have a Miniature Dachshund with a lot of health issues. He’s been diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, an enlarged liver, a fatty tumor on his belly, and clouded pupils from aging. Louie is 12 and a great little guy whom I love with all my heart. My question is: When will I know it’s time to let him go? The Cushing’s makes him eat, but he’s been defecating in the house. When I touch his belly, he seems to tighten up. He has been dealing with this for a lot of years. Right now I am just trying to make him comfortable.
A. It can be difficult to know when the best time is to elect humane euthanasia for your elderly or ailing pet. Keep in mind that euthanasia is the best way to end your dog’s suffering; you can be there to comfort him, and your gentle touch and soothing voice will be the last thing he remembers. Unfortunately, sick dogs rarely pass away peacefully in their sleep. A wonderful veterinary oncologist, Alice Villalobos, DVM, has developed a Quality of Life scale as part of her Pawspice (pet hospice) program that helps pet owners decide when to say goodbye. It takes into account appetite, water intake, hygiene, mobility, coat appearance, and contentment to develop an objective way to know when it is time. Check out her website at www.pawspice.com
Here is another link for more information: http://www.kateconnick.com/library/cushingsdisease.html
The bottom line is that Cushing’s disease IS treatable, and if it’s not treated, it will progress. That includes blod clots, infections, diabetes, seizures, kidney and liver failures, incontinence and more. It could take four to six months to get the disease under control.
It is common in older dogs, and often confused with signs of normal aging. Early intervention is key, and then the illness can be managed for years.