Was I Spreading Fake Addison’s News By Mistake? Possibly.
today at 6:51 am
It’s right there in the middle of my last post: “As a pathologist, I know you can rarely make a diagnosis based on a single test result.” Yet there I was, writing a widely-read blog describing Cooper’s new diagnosis, a life-changing one of Addison’s disease. While I did mention that other tests were “in the pipeline,” I had already ignored my own advice and jumped to conclusions.
Well, the pipeline has spewed its contents and muddied the water. Our specialty veterinarian has reviewed the additional data and determined that Cooper probably does not have Addison’s, that Coop’s one low cortisol level was the result of normal variation. He is back to the belief that a holistic approach of finding the proper diet and improving Cooper’s intestinal bacteria environment will solve his GI issues.
Am I convinced? Not 100%–I can think of a few Addison’s related conditions that could explain both the original results and the newer ones. But I discussed this with the vet, and he contends that Cooper would be a much sicker pup if any of those situations were in place.
So for now, we will follow the professional vet advice. Instead of cortisol therapy, Cooper will get a prescription diet and probiotics. But we will be watching him closely, always on the alert should any other symptoms develop.
And even this late in my career, I have once more learned the lesson that one test may not say it all. An increased PSA doesn’t mean prostate cancer and a weird cell in urine cytology might not mean bladder cancer. Sometimes you just have to dig deeper. As we learn more about things, our perceptions may change.
I also want to thank all the friends, neighbors, and concerned strangers who offered their thoughts and insights. The world does contain many wonderful people, and so many of them are dog lovers as well. Here’s a big belly rub to all of you!
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