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Cushing's Disease in Dogs and Cats

Adrenal Gland in Dogs

Cushing’s disease is the common name for a disease called hyperadrenocorticism that most commonly affects dogs. It’s caused by a hyperactive adrenal gland that pumps too many steroids and other hormones into the bloodstream. It can also be caused by a growth (tumor) in the adrenal gland or the pituitary gland. Most dogs with Cushing’s disease are at least six years old, but the disease can also occur in younger dogs.

Symptoms of Cushing's Disease in Dogs

The adrenal gland produces a wide range of hormones and Cushing’s disease can cause the overproduction of any one or more of them. Because of this, the symptoms of the disease can vary widely, and they can be extremely subtle.

In dogs, Cushing’s disease will often cause the overproduction of hormones called glucocorticoids, which are steroids. This will cause some of a dog’s muscle to break down, giving him a thin-legged, potbellied look. It can also hurt a dog’s ability to concentrate urine, making him drink and urinate a lot.

The steroids can suppress the immune system, as well, so dogs can sometimes get secondary infections. And the pancreas can be affected, causing vomiting and often diarrhea.

Other symptoms include hair loss, calcified lumps under the skin, increased appetite, panting and high blood pressure.

Diagnosis of Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Unfortunately, Cushing’s disease is difficult to diagnose. There is no one test to identify it. Veterinarians will generally perform several blood and urine tests and compare the results to normal levels. Follow-up x-rays and/or ultrasonography can help reveal the presence or absence of a tumor.

Treatment of Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Cushing’s can be treated both medically and surgically, depending on how severe the symptoms are and the general health of the animal. Two options are removing the growth that stimulates the hormone and prescribing medications that slow down production in the adrenal gland. The majority of dogs are treated medically.

Surgical treatment of Cushing’s carries significant risks and should be reserved for cases where medical treatment has proved ineffective.

A more natural and effective approach is to use Cushex Drops for pet adrenal health support and treat symptoms of Cushing's Disease in your dog or cat!

Learn more about Cushex Drops, Ingredients, Dosage, Testimonials and Current Specials

Prognosis of Cushing's Disease in Dogs and Cats

Cushing’s disease in itself is rarely life threatening. By weakening the immune system, it can make animals more vulnerable to other diseases, and it can cause fatigue and exercise intolerance. Sometimes it doesn’t cause any symptoms at all.

The main issue with the disease is whether it’s damaging your pet’s quality of life. If so, then consult with your veterinarian about the best way to help your pet return to a healthy, comfortable life.

Article Courtesy of American Animal Hospital Association

About Us

My name is Bree Weasner, and I’ve been bringing pet owners like you valuable information on pet nutrition and natural holistic alternatives to conventional pet care since 2001.

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