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"Unraveling Complexity: A Specialist's Insight into the Iatrogenic Odyssey of Libby Fountain's Case"


In the world of veterinary medicine, individual cases often hold within them a tapestry of complexities and mysteries waiting to be unraveled. Such is the story of Libby, a canine companion who arrived at the crossroads of perplexing symptoms and a determined quest for answers. Libby's Clinical History paints a picture of concern - a tale of not just one, but several intertwined health challenges. Her journey began with a loss of appetite, hind-end discomfort, and a previously identified bladder infection that beckoned a reevaluation. Yet, this narrative took an unexpected turn as a positive Braf Test further added to the enigma.

Upon examination, Libby's physical canvas bore its own marks - crusty areas on her back and toes, although devoid of fleas, a testament to the layered nature of her condition. Her regimen included Simparica Trio, yet hind leg ataxia unveiled another layer of complexity.

As veterinarians embarked on this diagnostic odyssey, they turned to an arsenal of tools - radiographs, urinalysis, blood work - to untangle the threads of Libby's symptoms. With precision and care, an ultrasound offered a glimpse beneath the surface, revealing a story of a bladder wall thickening at the apex, a vital piece in the puzzle of her health. Despite all information and test run the veterinarian elected to request a consult with an Internal Medicine Specialist through VOCN.


The VOCN Specialist's discussion regarding Libby's case brings to light a multifaceted puzzle that challenges the boundaries of veterinary medicine. The problem list is a mosaic of historical conditions, ongoing concerns, and diagnostic revelations, each contributing to the intricate narrative of Libby's health journey.

1. Historical Hypothyroidism and Hyperadrenocorticism: Libby's historical endocrine conditions add layers of complexity to her current presentation. The possibility of iatrogenic hypoadrenocorticism, arising from treatment for hyperadrenocorticism, raises questions about the delicate balance of hormone regulation.

2. Historical Heart Murmur: The presence of a historical heart murmur is a reminder of the cardiovascular aspect of Libby's health, highlighting the need for a comprehensive approach that considers both endocrine and cardiovascular factors.

3. BRAF Mutation and Presumed TCC/UC: The positive BRAF test result coupled with the suspicion of transitional cell carcinoma/urothelial carcinoma (TCC/UC) creates a pivotal juncture. The specialist's contemplation of the BRAF result's accuracy and its potential implications for Libby's long-term care demonstrates the critical balance between diagnostic accuracy and practicality.

4. Bacteriuria and Increased Liver Enzymes: The presence of bacteriuria and elevated liver enzymes introduces infectious and hepatobiliary considerations, further intertwining Libby's intricate clinical picture.

5. Kidney Function and Urine Concentration: Libby's increased SDMA, BUN, and isosthenuria suggest a complex interplay within her renal system. These markers may hold the key to understanding the broader implications of her health.

6. Iatrogenic Hypoadrenocorticism: The specialist's observation of the potential impact of cortisol suppression on Libby's clinical signs highlights the delicate balance that clinicians must strike when managing endocrine disorders.

7. Potential Challenges with NSAID Treatment: Libby's inability to tolerate NSAIDs serves as a reminder of the nuanced considerations that arise in selecting appropriate treatment strategies for individual patients.

8. Urine Culture and TCC: The specialist's recommendation of a free catch urine culture showcases the meticulous attention given to rule out underlying causes of Libby's bladder thickening, while the cautious approach to cystocentesis acknowledges the potential complications associated with TCC.


The recommendations for Libby Fountain's case showcase a thoughtful and comprehensive approach, considering the nuances of her complex medical history and current presentation. These recommendations align with the goal of providing optimal care while addressing the array of interconnected issues Libby is facing. 1. Free-Catch Urine Culture: Initiate a free-catch urine culture to rule out any underlying occult infection that could be contributing to Libby's bladder wall thickening. 2. Stop Trilostane and Initiate Corticosteroid Supplementation:

  • Cease trilostane treatment.

  • Begin corticosteroid supplementation with prednisone at a dose of 1mg PO q24h. Consider adjusting the dosage based on ongoing discussions with the owner and Libby's clinical response.

  • Gradually taper the prednisone dosage after 3-5 days, first to an every-other-day regimen for a week and then discontinue. Continual communication with the owner will be instrumental in tailoring this therapy to Libby's needs.

3. ACTH Stim Testing and Trilostane Reintroduction:

  • Once clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism return, perform an ACTH stimulation test off of trilostane to assess adrenal function.

  • If clinical signs are consistent with hyperadrenocorticism and cortisol levels are elevated, consider reintroducing trilostane.

  • Begin trilostane at a dose of 2.5mg PO q24h and adjust the dose as needed based on biochemical and clinical responses. Gradually increase to 5mg PO q24h or 2.4mg PO q12h.

4. Consideration for Abdominal Ultrasound:

  • If clinical signs do not improve or there are concerns about adrenal gland tumors or vascular invasion, contemplate a full abdominal ultrasound. This imaging can provide valuable insights into Libby's condition, including the adrenal glands and other organs.

The Specialist's reflection on Libby's case underscores the intricate nature of veterinary medicine, where seemingly vague symptoms can lead to profound discoveries. With a keen understanding of Cushing's disease and its multifaceted manifestations, the specialist brings to light the journey from ambiguity to clarity, ultimately revealing a complex narrative of iatrogenic Addison's disease caused by trilostane treatment. The specialist's daily immersion in the management of Cushing's dogs unveils a landscape rich with both challenges and triumphs. It is within this dynamic realm that they encounter a spectrum of cases, ranging from intricate to complicated and sometimes even fraught with unforeseen complications. Their candid acknowledgment of witnessing cases where interventions haven't yielded the desired outcomes showcases a depth of experience that only comes with dedicated specialization. In this context, the specialist's role becomes not only that of a medical practitioner but also that of a detective, deciphering the intricate puzzle that is each patient's health journey. Their unique vantage point, honed through ongoing exposure to diverse and complex cases, provides them with an unparalleled ability to perceive patterns, anticipate potential pitfalls, and recommend interventions that might escape the notice of those with less specialized experience.

The specialist's assessment of Libby's case is a testament to their finely tuned expertise, where a discerning eye for detail leads to a diagnosis that might have eluded others. This level of insight, born from countless encounters with Cushing's cases, speaks to their commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and patient care. In the world of veterinary medicine, the specialist's perspective is a beacon of hope and a source of innovative solutions. Their dedication to continuous learning and their unwavering focus on refining their craft is a testament to the profound impact that specialization can have on the well-being of our animal companions. As they navigate the intricate web of cases like Libby's, specialists like them bring not only medical expertise but also a unique blend of artistry and scientific inquiry that shapes the future of veterinary care.



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