What is Cushing Disease? Common Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cushing Disease

Last Updated on March 24, 2021 by Pauline G. Carter

Hyperadrenocorticism commonly, known as Cushing disease, affects mostly middle-aged and senior dogs. It occurs when the adrenal glands of your dog secret too much cortisol. This is the stress hormone and can become fatal if left untreated.

The cortisol hormone helps your dog respond to stress, fight infections, control their weight, and keep their blood sugar levels checked. Too much or too little of this hormone can cause problems for your dog.

Types of Cushing Diseases In Dogs

Cushing diseases in dogs can be of three types which include:

Adrenal Gland Tumor

This is when the adrenal glands create stress hormones and lead to adrenal gland tumors near the kidneys. According to research, adrenal tumors cause 15-20% of Cushing’s disease cases.

Pituitary-dependent Cushing’s disease

 It occurs when a tumor of the pituitary gland at the brain’s base secrete too much hormone that stimulates the adrenal gland to make cortisol. These pituitary tumors are responsible for 80-85% of Cushing’s disease.

Iatrogenic Cushing’s Disease

The long-term use of steroids causes it. When your dog takes high doses of steroids to treat immune disorders and allergies, it can cause Cushing’s disease.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

  • Increased appetite
  • Thinning skin
  • Increased urination
  • Hair loss or slow hair growth
  • Panting a lot
  • Drinking more water than usual
  • Potbelly
  • Skin infections
  • Seems tired and inactive

Getting Your Dog Diagnosed

Cushing’s disease symptoms in dogs can be mistaken for other conditions, and it can be difficult to get a confirmed diagnosis. If you suspect that your dog has Cushing’s disease, you can buy Adrenal support for dogs to relieve the disease’s symptoms. Consult a vet to conduct your dog’s health history and perform a physical examination.

Since there is no 100% accurate diagnosis for hyperadrenocorticism, the vet may carry out blood tests, urinalysis, and an abdominal ultrasound to rule out if your dog has Cushing’s disease.

What is the Treatment of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs?

Depending on the disease’s cause, Cushing’s can be treated by either surgery, medication, or radiation. For example. Pituitary and adrenal tumors can be removed surgically. Mediation can also be issued to interfere with the production of cortisol.

Sadly, it is impossible to prevent Cushing’s disease in dogs, especially if the root cause is pituitary or adrenal gland tumor. You can, however, avoid the long-term use of steroids to minimize the risk of causing the disease.

Common dog breeds diagnosed with Cushing’s disease include:

  • Boxers
  • Staffordshire Terries
  • Dachshunds
  • Poodles
  • Yorkshires Terries
  • Boston Terries

Cushing’s disease is not painful. When not controlled, it can be associated with diabetes, bladders stone, high blood pressure, kidney infection, and chronic skin and urinary tract infections. 

As a dog owner, you should be on the lookout for some of these symptoms that may indicate that your dog is suffering from Cushing’s disease.

Failure to treat this syndrome may lead to fatal conditions and reduce the life span of your dog. Always consult with your vet to ensure you get treatment as early as possible before the condition gets chronic.

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