Millie bravely overcoming Addison's disease

Over the last 18 months, Millie had become quieter and seemed to have a myriad of non-specific problems like an inability to jump up on the couch and a sore back. For this she was given an arthritis support medication by injection monthly, which is renowned for alleviating stiffness associated with arthritis. She had repeated blood tests, which showed nothing abnormal with Millie's systems.

In August however, she took a turn for the worse. Her astute owners made an emergency appointment for Millie. She was presented lethargic, and on clinical examination had a heart rate of below 80, which is very rare for a dog. A blood sample was taken and sent via taxi for emergency analysis.

Millie's blood result showed high urea, extremely high potassium and very low sodium. It was the potassium that was slowing Millie's heart rate because of its toxic effects on heart muscle. The blood results were those commonly seen with acute kidney failure and a malfunction of a hormone system, which results in a disease called Addison. Millie was put on intravenous fluids and a further test was performed to identify which disorder she had. In the meantime she was supported and given dexamethasone to replace a deficient hormone associated with Addison's disease.

The test result showed that Millie had Addison's disease. She was started on a medication to balance her sodium and potassium, and has had regular blood tests to ensure the changes in medication were working. Recovery started immediately, and she is now much happier, jumping up on to the couch and loving life again! Her owners have been diligent in giving Millie her medication, and Millie's recovery is a testament to their care.

Poor Millie still looks sideways at all the vets knowing a blood test is coming soon, but sits patiently and is a model patient whilst we collect our samples. She is now on the way to a normal life again except she will need those tiny little tablets hidden in her food for the rest of her life.