May 29, 2021 is International Addison’s Day. Addison’s disease is a rare and sometimes life-threatening disorder that occurs when the body does not produce enough cortisol and aldosterone hormones. It affects humans as well as dogs and cats. I am sharing Bones’ story in FBR Real Pet Stories™ to honor the veterinary team who diagnosed and treated Bones for her Addison’s disease.

The Morning Everything Changed

Bones did not have much of an appetite one night in January 2017. The next morning she seemed very lazy. Her stomach made noises, and she turned down her meal repeatedly. I thought she might have a stomach bug. However, her symptoms worsened throughout the morning. She became lethargic, and her temperature dropped. Then she stopped being able to walk. I knew I had to seek immediate medical attention for her.

From Uncertainty to a Diagnosis

Bones at home

I carried Bones to the car and rushed her to the Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center (VSEC) in Philadelphia. The VSEC veterinary team immediately placed her on IV fluid therapy. Initially staff told me she may have consumed something toxic. I knew that was not the case because Bones and my other dog Elliot were always by my side when I was home and were crated the rest of the time. They were also attached at the hip, so if one dog had eaten something toxic, the other dog would most likely have eaten it too. Elliot was perfectly healthy. Thankfully, the veterinarians listened and believed me.

Their next thought was that Bones had Addison’s disease. They ran the proper tests and started treatment. Test results confirmed the Addison’s disease diagnosis. Bones stayed in the hospital for the next two days to be monitored and to continue treatment. During those two days she fully recovered and was back to her goofy, loving self.

Fast Forward to Four Years Later

Happy Bones

​Bones is on a daily prednisone pill and gets a Zycortal injection every 28 days. These two medications literally keep her alive. I am able to give her monthly injections at home so that she does not have to go to the vet. She gets her electrolytes ran twice a year to ensure that her levels remain within the suggested range.

Her medications are the reason that four years after her diagnosis she is still here to attack me with kisses when I get home, to get cuddles and belly rubs, and to bark at me when she wants dinner or milk bones!

Bones and his friend Trixie

I shared Bones’ survivor story to honor the veterinarians who diagnosed and treated her and also to raise awareness about the importance of animal research for humans and animals alike.

Thanks to animal research and the medications that have been developed to treat diseases like Addison’s disease, Bones and pets like her are able to live longer, healthier lives.

Naomi M. Gades, DVM, of Mayo Clinic Arizona sponsored Bones' story.

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Sponsor a pet story of your choice. Remember: donations to FBR are tax deductible. Set yourself up for success under President Biden’s proposed tax increase and invest in FBR’s future today.
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