dogs and cushings disease

Older dogs may be susceptible to Cushings disease. Cushings disease is caused by an overproduction of the hormone ACTH by the pituitary gland which in turn controls the release of cortisol by the adrenal glands. It is mainly a disease of dogs, not cats. The most common cause is a microscopic benign pituitary tumor which triggers the overproduction of ACTH. These tumors are often found in older dogs. Cushings can affect the function of many organs. In addition, the excess cortisol suppresses the immune system allowing for bacterial infections. The most common infection is in the bladder.

The symptoms include hair loss, primarily on the body, increased appetite and thirst, frequent urination and a pot-bellied look to the abdomen. The skin may be thinner than usual and may bruise more easily. Diagnosis involves hormone injection and monitoring of the dog’s blood and needs to be done over several hours at the veterinarian’s office.

Treatment is with medication to suppress production of glucosteroids. It is a complex plan that involves close monitoring by the veterinarian. The average life span, with treatment is two years or longer. When presented with symptoms of frequent urination and thirst, one might assume diabetes. It is best to consult your veterinarian and suggest he look for Cushings disease as well as other more typical metabolic disorders.


One Response to dogs and cushings disease

  1. Susan Lyman says:

    Thank you for your support. We try to make our blog interesting, fun and full of great suggestions, advice and information.

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