The endocrine gland in dogs creates hormones that are emitted throughout the body. Cortisol is one of the hormones that doesn't cause problems when it's secreted into the body at regular levels. Cortisol helps to keep the immune system healthy and reduces stress. When the levels of Cortisol are elevated, it can cause Cushings Disease in dogs. A dog may develop Cushings Disease if the body produces too much insulin or if the dog is given corticosteroid prescription medications at high doses or over time.
Cushings Disease Symptoms
There are a variety of Cushing's disease symptoms in dogs. Not all dogs show signs of every symptom and some of the symptoms can be associated with other medical conditions. A veterinarian will have to conduct several diagnostic tests to determine if the dog has Cushings Disease. Here are the common Cushings disease symptoms in dogs.
- Increase in hunger and thirst
- Lack of energy
- Recurring infections
- Neck and shoulder fat pads
- Blackheads and dark spots on the skin
- Muscle weakness
- Scaly spots on the skin
- Neurological problems
Neurological problems associated with Cushing's disease in dogs include changes in behavior, seizures, or circling.
Treatment Of Cushings DiseaseA diagnosis of Cushing's disease in dogs is sometimes due to high doses of a corticosteroid medication which must be withdrawn from the dog's system slowly to prevent complications that
could be life-threatening. One form of Cushings Disease is pituitary dependent. The most common drugs to treat this form of the disease are Vetoryl and Lysodren. Dogs respond differently to medications so they must be monitored by the veterinarian. Other medications that may be prescribed are:
In case of an adrenal tumor that hasn't metastasized, medications may be used to shrink the tumor before it can be removed surgically.
Management And Living With The Disease
If the cause of the disease is a tumor, the veterinarian may prescribe treatment with Mitotane of Trilostane and your dog will have to be monitored on a regular basis, especially if there are indications of a reaction to the medication. Some of the most common signs of a reaction to Cushings Disease medications are lack of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and diarrhea. One of the less common symptoms is problems with balance and walking.
In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe Prednisone to manage the disease, and your dog will have to be seen several times each year to monitor progress. When Cushings Disease is the result of a malignant tumor, the prognosis depends on how advanced the tumor is. If a benign tumor is surgically removed, the condition is usually corrected.
Many Dog owners do not feel comfortable administering medicine with so many nasty side effects. Some may wonder if it is even worth it. Luckily there are other solutions. Health diet and exercise are a great place to start. All natural formulas such as Prana Pets Adrenal Support work well to fight the symptoms of Cushing's and come without any of the nasty side effects associated with other medicines. A supplement like this can work exceptionally well, especially when used in conjunction with a CBD formula.