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I'm posting on behalf of my mum who is looking for some advice with her 8 year old Border Collie, Jess.

For the past 18 months, Jess has shown some pretty erratic behaviour when it comes to drinking and peeing. She constantly seeks water and will drink continuously until either there is none left or the source is removed. If the source is removed, she will actively seek more water (puddles) where she can.

When out on a walk, it seems like every 30 seconds she will pee or attempt to have a pee - obviously the more water consumed, the more peeing she will need to do. On a short 10 minute walk, for example, she may pee 20 or 30 times.

About 6 months ago, the vet diagnosed Cushings and a prescription was given for this. The first 4/5 weeks showed some improvements in her drinking/peeing behaviour but recently, having increased the dosage as recommended by the vets, it is now having no effect whatsoever. My mum is considering taking her off the medication altogether due to the fact that it is now having little effect and the fact that the medication is costly (she's retired and has only a small pension).

It is entirely possible to get a second opinion from another vet but its a pretty costly exercise but I have heard on the grapevine that the present vet has made diagnosis mistakes in the past.

None of this appears to be causing Jess any harm or discomfort and she's a perfectly happy dog but something just isn't sitting right. Jess also has a large lump which has developed just off-centre on her back - this is all fluid, has been tested by the vet and contains nothing nasty. The vet has categorically said that they will not remove this lump due to a heart murmur, as they won't risk any potential issues with the anaesthetic.

Has anyone had any similar experiences with this or could offer any advice please?

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I definitely wouldn't be ignoring this - going back the vet that made the initial diagnosis or another if you lack confidence in them is the only real course of action here. The increased thirst and urination are among the symptoms for Cushings but there are other potential causes as well, either way it's definitely indicative of a an underlying medical problem.

Given your mother's financial situation she may be able to get help with the bills, you don't specify a country but there's information on how to go about this for some countries here:

I can't afford vet treatment, what are my options?

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  • Thanks for your reply. We're based in the UK. I agree with getting another diagnosis - I think now that we've heard that the vet has mis-diagnosed things in the past (including cushings) it may be sensible to go elsewhere. – weblar83 Dec 13 '17 at 10:07
  • yeah a second opinion would be a good call here - for peace of mind if nothing else, I'm no vet but the other symptoms you describe aren't consistent with my limited knowledge of Cushings. In the link I provided in the answer there's some very good resources for help with vet costs in the UK so worth a read before you take Jess anywhere. – motosubatsu Dec 13 '17 at 10:11
  • Thank you. Will report back with any additional information when we get this other opinion. Have had a look at the link and there are some useful resources in there, will pass on the info – weblar83 Dec 13 '17 at 10:20
  • Great.. hope all goes well for Jess! – motosubatsu Dec 13 '17 at 10:23
  • Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Jess last night. She'd started with a bad cough yesterday afternoon, coughing up bloody and mucus. We took her to the vets yesterday evening who detected fluid on her lungs and a very weak pulse even though she had an incredibly elevated heart rate. Especially sad as Jess was the rock that kept mum company and helped get through the passing of my dad two years ago. – weblar83 Dec 19 '17 at 8:22

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