Dogs affected by bacterial, fungal and viral infections may see some form of hormone changes that affect specific organisms by way of the bloodstream. The pituitary gland, adrenal and thyroid glands are the typical endocrine glands that affect the body of the dog. One endocrine dog health problem is Cushing's disease.
What Is Cushing's Disease in Dogs
The medical terminology for this disease is hyperadrenocorticism. When excess cortisol is present in the bloodstream, circulates through the body, and can be deathly if the levels are high. Also known as a steroid, normal levels produced by the body, do no harm. Younger dogs are not affected by this condition, but as dogs age, any breed can become affected.
What Causes and Symptoms of Cushing's Disease in Dogs
The pituitary gland is the primary cause of this condition in dogs. For most causes diagnosed, the non-cancerous tumors produce the excess circulation of the cortisol, which in turn leads to the disease. Endocrine dog health problem arise because of the adrenal glands located near the kidneys and produce adrenaline as well.
The number one symptom is extreme thirst and appetite. The belly will extend outward along with hair loss, increased urination and laziness. These symptoms usually appear after a few months of having the disease, which sometimes is to long for some dogs if they are not completely healthy before the disease circulates through the body. The Endocrine dog health problem needs early detection as well as treatment.
Let the Vet Diagnose the Disease Correctly
If your dog shows any symptoms of Cushing's disease, and the dog's age is over the four-year mark, blood tests can confirm if the disease is this disease or some other dog health program. One test that determines what gland is showing signs of abnormalities are the high dose dexamethasone, which determines whether it is the pituitary or adrenal gland. The two other tests that a vet will run are the low dose dexamethasone suppression and the ACTH stimulation test.
Treating Cushing's Disease in Dogs
Because the endocrine dog health problem has no preventive treatments, the dog must undergo treatment with lysodren medications. The medication attacks and destroys a portion of the adrenal gland reducing levels of cortisol. Other drugs used have a lower efficiency for treating Cushing's disease are ketoconazole and anipryl. If the tumor tests negative for being cancerous, it can be removed by a surgical procedure.
In all, dogs that come down with symptoms of Cushing's disease need to be tested and diagnosed before any treatments can be rendered. The most important thing to remember is if it is not caused by a cancer tumor, surgery can help eliminate the symptoms. Not all symptoms mean Cushing's disease has, many aliments to dogs show the same signs. This is why proper diagnosis is required before any type of treatment can be given to the dog. Always provide plenty of food and water to your dog, even if these symptoms arise.