Answers to Your Sick Dog Health Illness Symptom, Problems, and Care Questions

The dogs have many disease problems. Some of them are viral, some of them are bacterial and some others are fungal. The endocrines do cause dog health problems. Let us discuss here about the Cushing's disease, which is an endocrine problem of dog.

Cushing's disease

The other name of this disease is hyperadrenocorticism. This can also be called as endocrine dog health problem. This disorder is due the excess cortisol present in the circulation. Cortisol is a steroid. This steroid is required in normal amount but the excess amount is detrimental to the very life of the dog. This disorder can be noticed in all the breeds. The dogs that are very young are not affected. The middle-aged dogs let us say 10 years are highly susceptible.

The symptoms of the Cushing's disease

The affected dogs will have increased thirst and increased appetite. The dogs will have pendulous abdomen. Hair loss, lethargy ness and excessive urination can be noticed in the dogs that are suffering from Cushing's syndrome.

The causes of the syndrome

The primary cause of the disease is excess growth of the pituitary gland. The growth need not be a cancerous growth. In most cases, the non-cancerous, benign tumor is the reason for excess circulation of cortisol thus leading to Cushing's disease. Cushing's disease can also be caused by the tumor of the adrenal glands. Adrenal glands are located near the kidneys and are responsible for the production of adrenaline.


The Cushing's disease can be suspected if the middle-aged dogs are found to have the signs listed and discussed above. In order to confirm the disease blood test needs to be performed. Any of the three tests that are mentioned below can be performed to confirm the disease. The tests are low dose dexamethasone suppression, ACTH stimulation test and high dose dexamethasone suppression test. The third test is to confirm that the disease whether it is due to abnormal pituitary gland or adrenal gland.


The dogs that are affected with this endocrine dog health problem are treated by lysodren medication. This medication has the ability to destroy some portion of the adrenal gland thus reducing the level of cortisol in the blood. Ketoconazole and anipryl are the other two medications that are in use but the efficacy is much less when compared to the lysodren. In case the cause is the non-cancerous adrenal tumor, the adrenal gland itself can be removed surgically. The endocrine dog health problem like Cushing's disease cannot be prevented, as the cause of tumor in pituitary and adrenal gland is not known.


Pituitary gland - this is organ that secretes hormones
Hormones - these are the chemicals that initiates various reactions in the body