Tippys Battle With Addisons Disease

About a week ago, my dog Tippy, was diagnosed with Addison's Disease. Addison's Disease is a disease that results from the reduction in corticosteroid secretion from the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland is a small gland located near the kidney that secretes several different substances that help regulate normal body functions.

Over the course of a few days, Tippy began to show nightmarish signs of what seemed like death approaching. Specific symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, frequent urination, dehydration, and loss of appetite frequently occuring. He was completely lethargic, with no interest in going outside, playing with his sister Princess, or even getting out of bed for a treat. 

On Sunday, May 7th, I rushed Tippy to the Nashville Pet Emergency Clinic in Rivergate. They took blood work, administered fluids, looked for pancreatic cancer and did an ultrasound. After looking over his blood work, the doctor saw inconsistencies in his sodium and potassium levels that led her to believe that he might have Addison's. I left Tippy overnight so they could watch him and get some fluids back into him, and when I picked him up in the morning they referred me to Nashville Veterinarian Specialists, a practice focused on internal medicine with the ability to do a more thorough examination. 

On Thursday, May 11th, I took Tippy to the specialist. At this point he was completely dehydrated, had not eaten in 6 days, lost 8 pounds, and felt so weak that I had to carry him into the vets office. I left Tippy with Dr. Linda Holste, and after a few hours of examination and testing she diagnosed Tippy as being  positive for AD and in a crisis stage of the disease. 

Addison's Disease is treatable, and most dogs can live healthy lives for many years after being diagnosed. It does, however, especially when in a crisis state, require aggressive action at the onset to stabilize the levels of blood sodium and potassium back within normal range.

And so, I took aggressive action. Tippy stayed at the Hospital for four days. He showed very little improvement at first and I was having to come to grips with the fact that his time may be running up. But on day three he started to come around. His levels started to normalize, he seemed slightly more aware of his surroundings, he wasn't having diarrhea and he even ate a little bit!

On Sunday, May 14, Tippy was discharged from the Hospital, with a followup appointment scheduled for Friday. He is back at home now, with his sister Princess and his brother Rusty. He is smelling, eating, barking, and his vital signs are stabilized. At the moment, Carmen and I are truly pleased with his progress and it looks like he's going to live a normal, happy life from here on out. 

However, and this is the reason I come to you asking for help, the cost of getting Tippy stabilized was enormous, and the cost of continued treatment is also not cheap. He will need monthly injections and checkups for the rest of his life to ensure that he can live happily and healthy.

Typically, I am not one to ask for charity. And I struggled over whether or not to post this. But quite honestly, I'm in over my head. If you would like to help me recuperate some of my losses, please donate to this campaign. It would mean so much to me, and it would help immensely with the inevitable cost of future treatment. 

I love Tippy so much. He's been my dog for nine years, and for me, those nine years were wildly unpredictable at times. We moved to three different states, across the country twice, so many different houses, and back yards, and beaches. So many different jobs, and late nights which result in even longer mornings. So many relationships, and friends that come and go. But the one thing I always had to keep me grounded was my dogs, Tippy and Princess. And, they always had each other, too. The thought of Princess not having Tippy in her life to comfort her, or even sometimes annoy her, pained me more than I can even explain.

Now I have my beautiful girlfriend, Carmen, who has been so incredibly supportive, and her little dog, Rusty. We're a family. We love each other. I know you all understand how much that means in life. So please, if you'd like to donate to our family to help us get through these times, it would mean the world to us. 

Thank you, and I love you!

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Shane O'Brien 
Nashville, TN
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