Here’s Bingo. She’s a much loved Labradoodle, she’s a senior dog now (13 years old) but we think we still have a good few years with her. Bingo unfortunately has Cushing disease.

Basically what this means is that Bingo overproduces cortisol. It’s something to do with the adrenal glands not providing the normal feedback mechanisms. Cushing disease eventually results in negative effects on the body due to the sustained overproduction and release of cortisol. Signs associated with Cushing disease can include:

• Increased drinking and urination
• Increased appetite
• Thinning hair
• Muscle weakness
• Liver enlargement

Cortisol overproduction can also cause problems with the body’s regulation of sugar, a condition that can predispose a pet to developing diabetes. So it’s important to treat as soon as possible.

First off our vet did a blood test which involved a day stay at the clinic. They do the test by drawing a small amount of blood to check the baseline (“starting”) cortisol level. Afterward, a very small dose of cortisol is given by injection. Repeat blood samples are then taken at specific intervals (a few hours apart) to measure the cortisol level and determine if the body’s response to the injection of cortisol is appropriate. The blood samples are submitted to a diagnostic laboratory.

Following the test (which proved positive) the vet prescribed a dosage of Trilosane pills. Bingo is now on these pills for the rest of her life – she currently has 2 a day, but she still needs to go to the vet every 6 months for blood tests to ensure the dosage of her pills is appropriate to her needs.

You’ll be surprised at how the cost adds up, and also remember this is a chronic illness, so we will be paying these costs for as long as our gorgeous girl stays with us.

Blood tests 2 x per year: $600
Medication: $3,219 (yes that’s right – $8.42 a day for 2x a day– and these are the non-branded variety too).

Total cost per year, excluding heartworm, check ups and any other ailments: $3,819.00.

Now that’s when pet insurance comes in handy, and as this is a chronic (recurring) condition, it shows how important it is to have pet insurance, such as Petsecure, that covers chronic conditions (like Cushings Disease) for as long as you keep your pet insurance policy continuously in place!  In the above example, with a policy that pays an 85% benefit, you would only be up for $572.00 per year, instead of $3,819.  Now that’s quite a saving, even when you consider the cost of the premiums.

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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