• My 11-year old basenji, Arrow, was just diagnosed with Cushing Disease and was put on medication. Is this a common illness for a basenji?


  • @gwen - It is not but it happens and it is something that happens to many breeds.


  • Thanks. I was surprised that the medication costs $80 for a 30-day supply. But, I'll certainly pay it to keep our basenji as healthy as possible.


  • @gwen - Are you getting the meds from your Vet? You might be able to get them cheaper from a Pharmacy... or places like Petmed or Chewy.com. Vets are required to give you the script so you can get it filled yourself.


  • Could someone on here describe Cushings Disease for me? I am a B owner, thank you


  • @branch
    @fda.gov “ Cushing’s disease (CD), also known as hyperadrenocorticism. Cushing's disease typically occurs in middle-aged to older dogs. The disease develops slowly and the early signs are not always noticed. Symptoms in dogs include:
    increased thirst
    increased urination
    increased appetite
    reduced activity
    excessive panting
    thin or fragile skin
    hair loss
    recurrent skin infections
    enlargement of the abdomen (resulting in a "potbellied" appearance)”


  • Of course you will pay to keep your Basenji as fit as possible for as long as possible - we all of us realise that is a given. We have no choice and would not have it otherwise.

    But it depends where you are. Here in UK you need a prescription from a Vet to buy any medication on line. And mine charges £16.50 for a prescription for one month's supply. About $24. But by buying from Animed Direct anything I have ever needed still works out at 50% of the cost of buying direct from the Vet.

    @kembe has given you a good description of Cushings and while I have never experienced it, and don't think it is particularly common in Basenjis, it can happen in any breed.

    Good luck -


  • Hi Gwen,

    Our family dog growing up - bluetick dalmatian mix Harley - had Cushings. We got his medication filled at a people pharmacy - lived in Michigan USA at the time. We used a little independent pharmacy because that is what was in the tiny town we lived in but I know we specifically got it there because it was cheaper. Now with goodrx you might want to check it at all the big and little pharmacies. People can get Cushing's too so it is probably cheaper through a human pharmacy.

    Also, be prepared for your guy to start having accidents in the house. There's a lot in common between the symptoms of diabetes and Cushing's but they don't have the glucose spillage into their urine. Increased thirst, increased urination that they just can't control. If I had a dog with Cushing's now, I'd work to teach them how to use puppy pads in the house to stay ahead of accidents. My folks just put Harley in the garage all day. Oh the things I wish I could have known when I was a teenager!

    Cushing's either comes from a tumor on the pituitary or a tumor on the adrenal glands. The one upside to the pituitary tumor type is that they also get an increase in a hormone - can't remember the name - but it modulates pain. So while Harley had hip arthritis he actually felt better once he had Cushing's. Until the very end because his tumor spread, he was never in pain from it and actually had some increases in his mobility.

    Prayers for your b! He'll probably still have a couple (if not more) years of pain free happy life as long as you can manage his urination for your own and your house's sake.


  • Thank you so much for the information! I went to Kroger and asked if I could get the medication there. They said they only provide dog medications that humans also use. I mentioned to her that humans also get cushings disease, but she said they don't offer the medication for pets. I will check around at independent pharmacies and see if I can obtain it elsewhere. Thanks again.


  • Our basenji, Arrow, appears to be doing fine on the medication. However, we read that the average life span for a dog diagnosed with cushings disease is two years. We will give him a wonderful life as long as possible.


  • @gwen - Take the scrip from the Vet to a pharmacy and give it to them... 99% of the time they will fill it....


  • @gwen,

    Yes Cushing's is a life limiting disease. Our Harley lived about 2 years once diagnosed as well. If it's adrenal gland based, there may be surgical options but not sure - you'd need to talk to your very and decide what's worth it. I don't know what complications there are if it's in both adrenal glands. For pituitary, there's no good surgical options. The pituitary gland is literally in the center of the brain.

    One thing that you could look into to help combat metastasis is some of the natural supplements out there that are anti-cancer. There's some for dogs now with turmeric (plus peperine) aka curcumin and reishi mushrooms. As with all supplements, read the ingredients and run it by your vet if you have questions. I'd be willing to bet some folks on here might even have recommendations.

    In the meantime, love on your fur baby and enjoy your time with him. You sound like you are a devoted pet owner and he's lucky to be with you!


  • @Gwen

    If you have a Costco near you they fill veterinary prescriptions, usually much cheaper than your vet. Costco also has a form you can fill out for the uninsured and animals count. That plan dropped the cost of one of my dogs medicines substantially.


  • I second the Costco suggestion. In California you're not required to be a member to make pharmacy or alcohol purchases. By law they have to let you in. Might want to check your state laws.


  • Thank you for all the advice. We are bringing in Arrow to see the vet on Saturday, so I'll see what type of cushings disease he has. We had a previous basenji, Teka, who passed from kidney disease. It was terrible seeing her lose weight and her appetite. She's still with us in spirit and we think of her often.


  • Mine was diagnosed with pituitary cushing's in Dec 2015. I lost him October 2020 and it was to something completely unrelated to cushing's. He never had issues with anything related to cushing's except a gall bladder mucocele easily treated with an inexpensive medication. There are exceptions to the two year average. Yours may be another exception 😊


  • Thanks for sharing - good to know!


  • @gwen - It is not common Basenjis, many breeds, mixed breeds have/develop Cushings.

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