Addison's disease in a dog.
Chi Chi is a 4 year old mongrel who came to our Ma On Shan hospital in September because he was eating less than normal.
He was quite thin and had low blood pressure.
A routine blood test showed that most things were normal but his kidney values were up a bit and his sodium was a bit low.
The owner agreed to do an ACTH stimulation test, which came back showing that his cortisol levels were below 1µg/dL, for both samples.
This demonstrated that Chi Chi had hypoadrenocorticism, commonly called Addison's disease.
He was started on the necessary tablets and came back for a recheck a month later.
By then, the owner said he was behaving like a normal dog and had regained 20% of his body weight.
Addison's is quite a rare disease that each vet probably sees just once a year. It can be quite frustrating and a bit expensive, to get the diagnosis. Once on treatment, animals (and humans) can live a completely normal life.
Now we just have to fix his food allergy.
On the evening of 17/8/21 Fu Kwai was brought into our Mong Kok 24hr emergency hospital.
He had been treated for diabetes for a year and his blood sugar levels had been stable.
However his owners said that on that evening he was weak, despite getting his regular insulin and eating his normal food. A quick blood test showed that his blood sugar level was low. We gave him some honey to eat and after a short while he was walking around normally and went home. The owners were given advice to reduce his insulin dose at the next injection.
However, at 2am the same night Fu Kwai was brought back. His blood sugar was again very low.
He then had a seizure. A full blood test was done that showed that everything was normal, apart from a low blood sugar and low blood potassium.
He was placed on a glucose drip and we interrogated his owners as to what had gone wrong. They were quite sure that no mistake had been made with the insulin dose.
Fu Kwai was ravenously hungry and would eat whatever food he was given, but his blood glucose levels did not rise. He also had several more seizures.
Fu Kwai stayed in our hospital for two days before his seizures stopped and his blood sugar levels returned to normal. An ultrasound found no problems with his liver or pancreas.
This was all very strange.
Then, Fu Kwai's owner remembered that he had given Fu Kwai a special treat just before he became sick. He had cooked a soup made from stone fish and a herb used in Chinese Medicine called Adenophora stricta, commonly called Ladybells.
A quick search was then made on Google to see if this herb could cause those symptoms.
There was no information to support the theory.
Fu Kwai has since made a complete recovery (he still has diabetes) and his owners have promised not to give him any more Chinese herb or stonefish soup.
Raw commercial dog food contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria.