Free Consultations! Tap to call 1-800-368-0016

Testing for Cushing's Disease in Dogs

ESSENTIAL
How Do Vets Test for Cushing’s Disease in Dogs?
Prana Pets Team

Finding out if your dog has Cushing’s disease can be a tedious process. First of all, testing at the vet’s office is tricky because a dog could have all of the symptoms associated with Cushing’s but not actually have the disease. Since elderly dogs are the ones being tested for Cushing’s disease, the mere act of trying to acquire a diagnosis can be a self-fulfilling stressor for them.

The high stress levels that dogs experience during vet office visits can even offset the cortisol levels of the tests. Pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome and alopecia X are entirely separate conditions that mimic the symptoms of Cushing’s and distort the accuracy of testing. Both renal insufficiencies and non-renal diseases like diabetes can also cause cortisol levels to be high, thus falsely indicating a Cushing’s diagnosis. When it comes to the Cushing’s testing process in dogs, there are many problems that arise that may cause a dog owner to question whether or not it’s even worth it to test.

If the dog has diabetes, this test will not be an accurate read for Cushing’s since any other illness present will cause high stress levels that yield a false-positive test result.

— Prana Pets Team

The cheapest and most accessible test is the urine spot cortisol–creatinine ratio test. If the results of this test come back positive, the vet will have to continue with more Cushing’s tests to make sure it is an accurate result. The rate of accuracy for testing negative with this test is only 20-25%.

If the dog has diabetes, this test will not be an accurate read for Cushing’s since any other illness present will cause high stress levels that yield a false-positive test result. The next most sensitive test for Cushing’s is the low dose dexamethasone test, which may be a false indicator of Cushing’s disease if there are other more severe non-adrenal illnesses present. It also has a low chance of accuracy when it tests negative.

The process of testing sometimes requires several steps in order to rule out other diseases and then ultimately test which of the two types of Cushing’s disease the dog has. A high dose dexamethasone test may be selected for this reason, although it has a low accuracy when attempting to detect pituitary-dependent Cushing’s (the one that causes adrenal tumors) and only detects 62% of positive cases.

The ACTH stimulation test is another commonly inaccurate test as it is easy to mistake a dog for having adrenal tumors due to its sensitivity to any unusual adrenal enlargement. The 17-OH progesterone tests for the precursor to cortisol instead of cortisol itself, but also regularly brings back false-positive test results. A sex hormone panel may be used to test for other hormones that might indicate Cushing’s disease, but has been highly controversial in that it detects high sex hormones that can be caused by different factors.




When a dog is finally diagnosed with Cushing’s disease by a vet, they will prescribe the pharmaceutical drugs lysodren, trilostane, ketoconazole, or L-deprenyl. These drugs have horrible side effects, weakening the dog’s immune system and possibly causing a cortisol deficiency called Addison’s disease. Addison’s disease is the opposite effect of Cushing’s where the drugs diminish cortisol to an unhealthy extent. Other side effects associated with these drugs include anorexia, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.

They may also cause adrenal enlargement, rupture, or bleeding. Nelson’s syndrome may occur, leading to neurological issues such as dementia, walking in circles, or weakness. Radiation therapy or surgical removal of tumors may be recommended by a vet for dogs with pituitary-dependent Cushing’s. This situation may feel like a double-edged sword since both testing and treatment can be such an emotional burden, let alone a financial one. Conventional medicine is a highly expensive lifelong commitment that may end up causing other health problems in the future. Achieving balance in the dog’s body is the ideal goal of a truly wholesome treatment for Cushing’s disease, not a swinging of the pendulum in the other direction to exacerbate the disease even further.

Prana Pets Adrenal Support is filled with superfood herbs that have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and are known to maintain a dog’s hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis.

— Prana Pets Team

Herbal remedy company Prana Pets provides a unique therapeutic blend called Adrenal Support that will curb Cushing’s symptoms without depending on a diagnosis in order for a dog to start healing. This means that you could forego the entire testing process safely and still get the desired end result—a symptom-free life for your dog. The fact that there is no cure for Cushing’s disease leaves the only possible treatment for healing the symptoms to be lifelong. Prana Pets Adrenal Support is filled with superfood herbs that have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and are known to maintain a dog’s hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis.

This balance is crucial for regulation of the dog’s digestive system, immune system, energy levels, sex hormones, mood, and emotions. When these areas of a dog’s body are imbalanced, Cushing’s symptoms occur. Prana Pets Adrenal Support not only cures symptoms in two to three weeks but also gives life back to your dog no matter what type of renal disorder they may have. It does not interact with other medications and prevents all the complications that come with Cushing’s disease or Cushing’s disease–like symptoms.





It is very common for dog owners in this day and age to take matters into their own hands and seek approaches that are holistic, effective, and vet approved. Prana Pets Adrenal Support contains the perfect amount of astragalus, dandelion root, horsetail, cleavers, burdock root, ginseng root, ashwagandha, and medicinal grade turmeric root to diminish all symptoms of Cushing’s disease or any other disease that exhibits the same symptoms. Together, this specific set of herbs help a dog’s body adapt to environmental stress by balancing and strengthening their adrenal glands. The mixture is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B5, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and iron. These nutrients are crucial for a dog’s adrenal glands to restore themselves.

This formula relieves the symptoms of excessive thirst and urination, stimulates the immune system, and cleanses the blood. Prana Pets Adrenal Support contains silica and sulphur, which encourage the growth of skin and fur. It has been proven to regulate the digestive system, diminish the pot belly, maintain a healthy blood sugar level, and restore dogs’ energy levels. The medicinal grade turmeric root also acts as a natural pain reliever to alleviate any discomfort your dog may feel. It contains powerful antioxidants that slow the aging process in dogs and prevent tumors.




The treatment of Cushing’s disease in dogs requires a remedy that improves vitality, strength, and energy while supporting the affected areas of a dog’s body. Prana Pets’ Adrenal Support has no side effects, nourishes the entire body, and clears the symptoms of both types of Cushing’s disease. The decision to medicate can be a difficult one for many dog owners not knowing which route to take. Pharmaceutical drugs do what they’re supposed to, but often at the expense of a dog’s immune system and general well-being. Making sure a dog with potential Cushing’s disease is healthy as a whole is what it takes to keep any symptoms at bay and not create new issues caused by the imbalance of pharmaceutical drugs.