My dog is still here and she is eleven and a half now. She still has her spindle cell. She also has the hard skin on her back still. Last week she had her teeth cleaned so she would not get any infections from her back teeth. They had suddenly become quite discoloured . While she was under anaesthetic the vet had a chance to take blood tests and have a better look at her. She has been on cortisone tablets for quite some time now. He shaved some of that hard skin off and told me to halve the dose of cortisone. She has Cushings disease which does not have a good pathway but dogs can live with it. It could be the cortisone has brought it on or it could be a tumour on her adrenalin glands or pituitary glands and the vet needs to establish what is causing it. In the meantime we have to manage that lump on her leg which grows without the cortisone. Cushings was not news to me. She has all the symptoms - the black, hard skin and loss of fur at the back of her, the panting, the excessive drinking and then the food fixation. She also pees a lot when she does pee. It varies from week to week how the symptoms are. She has been living with it because it seems to have been brought on or exacerbated by the cortisone tablets. She has been happy and led a quieter but pleasant life. You can see she is quite relaxed and has a really good coat except for near her tail. Since I have cut down the cortisone a bit then her hard skin is starting to soften and there has been a bit of an improvement. She doesn't pant as much. She has been fairly droopy though and not as energetic as she used to be. I have to take her age into consideration and that stupid spindle cell tumour on her leg. It has grown but not affected her walking at all. I take her back next week because Christmas week probably wasn't the best week to see how she was going. At the moment I'd say not too badly at all. My concern is she has a quality of life and can live with whatever comes her way. So far I have been able to navigate that path along with the help of my vet. His knowledge and level of care have been invaluable in keeping my dog going well. I am just taking things as they come and going from one day to the next. I am glad we have managed to get her this far because it is two and a half years since the operation on her spindle cell tumour. She has not put on weight as it says in some of the articles about Cushing's disease. She has lost a little but that is not a problem. So we'll see how we go.