I am sooooo sorry to hear of this. Having two non-hav dogs with multiple, chronic issues, my heart goes out to you. I understand the time and effort it takes to stay on top of these awful issues.
I do not know of a good alternative, so I haven't answered your question, and am likely posting stuff you already know. I pasted the info below in case someone else is interested, but haven't yet came across a good alternative for this. It is such a serious disease that I would hate to just play around with things, but also understand your concern with the kidney issues.
Have you joined a forum for this? I know from joining various places in the past (kidney, tick, diet, etc) that I have learned so much.
edited: ok, I searched for addisons, and copied cushings. I'll try and go fix this, give me a minute
I'll leave the info on cushings just in case someone does a search for it in the future.
I am guessing you are giving Percorten-V? The phamplet says this: It has been demonstrated that PERCORTEN-V is well tolerated with a low incidence of side effects. In a small percentage of treated dogs, depression, excessive thirst and urination,
digestive, skin and coat changes, weakness, and injection site reactions (pain, abscesses) may occur. Some of these effects may resolve with adjustments in dose or interval of PERCORTEN-V or concomitant glucocorticoid adminstration
. Do not use in pregnant dogs or in dogs that are suffering from congestive heart disease, severe renal disease, or edema.
There is a yahoo group for cushings, listed below. Just as a 'just in case', I'll post this remark about whipworms from the veterinarypartner site, along with the yahoo link (which you have likely joined already).
Treatment after the Crisis
The most important aspect of treatment for hypoadrenocorticism is the replacement of the missing mineralocorticoids hormones. One way to do this is with oral fludrocortisone (Florinef®). Florinef is given usually twice a day at a dose determined by the patient's sodium and potassium blood tests. At first these electrolytes are monitored weekly. When levels seem stable, these blood tests are repeated two to four times per year. Often with time, it will be found that the dose of Florinef needed to control the Addison's disease will increase. This is unfortunate as the medication is relatively expensive. Since Florinef has glucocorticoid activity as well as mineralocorticoid activity, it is not necessary to use additional medications for treatment.
Another way to treat this condition is with an injectable medication called "DOCP” (brand name Percorten-V). This treatment is given approximately every 25 days. Electrolytes are measured prior to injections at first but usually testing can eventually be tapered to once or twice a year. There is some feeling among experts that DOCP produces better regulation of electrolytes than does oral Florinef. Some dogs however, require glucocorticoid supplementation, such as a low dose of prednisone.
Whipworm infection has been known to create a syndrome nearly identical to Addisonian crisis, complete with abnormal sodium and potassium values. These patients will have normal ACTH stimulation tests but because whipworms only periodically shed eggs, fecal testing may not detect whipworm infection. If there is any question about whipworm infection, treatment should be instituted.
A newsgroup for owners of pets with Addison’s disease is forming. To subscribe visit:
Date Published: 1/1/2001
Below is what I wrongly posted regarding Cushings, which I'll keep just for general info for others that might be interested.
Here are two possible ones. The first one is apparently a list serve of Texas A&M (a place I regard highly as they are the ones that came up with the test to diagnose the chronic pancreatitis my two have, along with SIBO). The second is yahoo groups.
You can probably do a search and find out more current info, as well as listing your querry there and hopefully will get current good information to consider.
Below is taken from veterinarypartner.
* Cushing's Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism)
* Cushing's Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism)
1 Symptoms of Cushing's Syndrome
2 What Exactly is Cushing's Disease
3 Testing: Laboratory Hints Suggesting Cushing's Syndrome
4 Testing: Confirming Cushing's Syndrome
5 Classifying Cushing's Syndrome: Pituitary vs Adrenal
6 Treatment: Pituitary Cushing's Syndrome
7 Pituitary Macroadenoma: an FAQ
8 Adrenal Tumor Treatment
This condition represents a classical excess in cortisone-type hormone circulation in the body. Both cats and dogs can be affected (though it is primarily a dog's disease) and the onset is insidious. We have assembled an information center to answer all your questions on this relatively common hormone imbalance.
We know of two listservs available for owners of pets with Cushing’s disease. Instructions for subscribing to these lists are available through the following external links:
Date Published: 7/3/2002 3:54:00 PM
Date Reviewed/Revised: 09/18/2007