Although Daisy’s splenic mass was found to be non-cancerous, her recovery at home was slow, and her appetite had not returned. Daisy had to be admitted to the emergency service once again.
An ultrasound was performed on her, revealing that she had a condition called pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas. Bloodwork was also checked, revealing high potassium and low sodium levels, which is suspicious for a condition called Addison’s Disease (hypoadrenocorticism). This is a deficiency of the adrenal gland to produce the hormones aldosterone and/or cortisol. To confirm our suspicions of Addison’s, an ACTH stimulation test was performed. This test is done by giving a medication to stimulate adrenal secretion of the hormones; a below normal response indicates hypoadrenocorticism.
When the results came back, our suspicions were confirmed and she was started on a treatment plan, which consists of hormone replacement therapy using medications such as fludrocortisone or DOCP (desoxycorticosterone) (a mineralocorticoid supplementation) and prednisone (a steroid). Periodic monitoring of blood chemistry in order to determine the correct dosage of medication will be required for the rest of her life.
After a few days of supportive care for her pancreatitis and hormone replacement therapy, Daisy began to feel better was able to go home with her family. She was seen by our internal medicine service recently to monitor her Addison’s disease. Her family reports that Daisy is doing great! She is eating well and they have started to reintroduce her regular diet from a bland diet. She has also resumed a lot of her normal behavior, such as supervising her family in the kitchen, bouncing excitedly for food and walks and flopping over with a dramatic sigh when her owners refuse to take off work early to spend the rest of the day petting her. She has quite a big fan club here at the Animal Medical Center of Seattle, and we are so grateful she is doing so well!