Cushing’s Disease: Symptoms and Pet meds for Treatment
|One of the more common hormonal diseases of middle age and older dogs is overactive adrenal glands producing too much cortisol and other hormones known as Cushing’s disease. This is usually due to either a microtumor of the pituitary gland or a tumor of one of the adrenal glands.|
Symptoms of Cushing’s disease include:
- Excessive thirst and/or appetite
- Frequent urination
- Distended abdomen
- Hair loss
- Thin skin
- Secondary skin or ear infections
With Cushing’s disease some pets are at risk for secondary diabetes as well as secondary urinary infections, high blood pressure, and occasional secondary cardiac disease. Once it is diagnosed, treatment usually involves medication to control the symptoms, usually either Lysodren or trilostane (Vetoryl).
Once the diagnosis is made, it is important for pet owners to give all prescribed medication, as this condition is not curable. In addition, it’s important to monitor for side effects of the drugs, which may include loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, or weakness/collapse if medication dosage is too high. Regular monitoring of your pet’s hormonal levels (by special kind of testing known as an ACTH stim test) is important – at least every 3-6 months in order to properly control this disease and detect potential problems early from the drug therapies.