Cushing's dog disease is a disorder where hormone cortisol levels are too high in the body. Cushing's dog disease typically comes with age. Although there's not an actual cushing's dog disease cure, it's a treatable disease. However, corticosteroids medications can cause Cushing's disease, and when the medication is limited then Cushing's disease in that case can be cured.
How Cushing's disease happens is when the pituitary gland located in the brain causes an increase in adrenal hormone production of corticosteroids. When too much ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) is produced, this causes the adrenal gland to produce an increase of corticosteroids. Dog cushing's disease can begin to effect dogs from ages 7 and 8.
As the dog begins to age, the tumor in the gland begins to grow, causing noticeable symptoms. A dog can have Cushing's disease for a while, and owners might not be aware since symptoms don't develop until the disease is more advanced. Both males and females have an equal risk to developing Cushing's dog disease.
The breed of dog's that most commonly develop Cushing's disease are beagles, poodles, german shepherds, golden retrievers, labrador retrievers, yorkshire terriers, boston terriers, boxers, and dachshunds.
Cushing's dog disease risks
Cushing's dog disease risks are determine by the group its labeled. 5% of deaths are related to Cushing's disease, so its not a life threatening disease. Although if Cushing's disease goes untreated, it can lead to fatality. Cushing's disease is broken up into three different groups.
Pituitary Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism: The most common form of Cushing's disease, where about 85% of all canines have this form of the disease. Pituitary tumors which appear in the brain, as small as a pea, is produces too much of ACTH. The adrenals continue to produce too much cortisol when the pituitary continues producing too much ACTH. The glands are reactive to the the benign pituitary tumor. The adrenal glands continue to increase in size, as the activity increases.
Adrenal-based Hyperadrenocorticism: This form of Cushing's dog disease happens when the adrenal gland is responsible for the increase of glucocorticoids levels. This for type accounts for about 15% of Cushing's dog disease. Either 50% of them are bengin or malignant. One adrenal bland tends to be very large, and the other very small. The small gland tries to compensate for the large one.
Iatrogenic: Less threatening Cushing's disease where too much steroids in medications which causes an increase of hormone production. Easy solution is to limit usage of the steroid medications.
Cushing's dog disease symptoms
Cushing's dog disease symptoms might make an owner mistake symptoms for other diseases. The dreaded euthanasia might start to creep into a dog owner's mind. The disease is treatable and easy for your pet to adjust to. The first Cushing's dog disease symptoms to look for is an increase in thirst. Your dog will drink lots of water, to make up for the extra hormone production of the glands. Increase of thirst will lead to an increase of urination. Usually accidents in the house all of a sudden become the norm.
As the disease advances, your dog will start to lose its fur, and can become more lethargic. Cushing's disease can lead to an increase of hunger and weight gain. Excessive panting, reduced activity, and an enlargement of the abdomen are other cushing's disease symptoms to look for.
Cushing's dog disease treatments
The veterinarian will need to do multiple tests to diagnose Cushing's disease. Sometimes blood work will be done, and the vet will usually find an increase of alkaline phosphatase and liver enzymes that are elevated. Cholesterol levels and blood glucose might be elevated. Blood work alone won't be able to diagnose Cushing's disease. Your dog will have to go under numerous of didn't tests that can include ultrasounds, urine cortisol:creatinine ratio, and ACTH stimulation tests to help diagnose the disease. Your vet will also need to do multiple of tests to figure out what kind of Cushing's disease it is. Cushing's disease is a complicated disease to diagnose.
Cushing's dog disease treatments will be determine after being diagnosed. The FDA approved the first drug to be used to treat both pituitary and adrenal dependent in December 2008. The Vetoryl drug provides stoppage of production of crotisol in the glands. Some side effects come with the drug, that can include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Dogs with kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, or dogs who are pregnant shouldn't take Vetoryl.