Dog Cushing’s Disease – a Brief Overview
Unfortunately, as dog’s age, their risk of developing health problems increases. There are several different medical conditions and diseases which affect middle-aged and elderly dogs far more than young dogs, one of which is dog Cushing’s disease. While signs and symptoms of this disorder may be vague at first, as the disease progresses it can have serious detrimental effects on the dog’s health and well-being. For this reason, it’s important to catch the disease as early as possible so that a treatment plan can be implemented, restoring the canine patient’s comfort and happiness.
What is Dog Cushing’s disease?
Dog Cushing’s disease Syndrome, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is an endocrine disorder involving the overproduction of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone released during times of stress and, in a healthy dog, the levels of this hormone in the blood are maintained with only minimal fluctuations. However, when a dog is suffering from canine Cushing’s disease, its adrenal glands chronically overproduce cortisol.
Why is Dog Cushing’s disease Dangerous?
When cortisol levels are chronically high, a dog’s system essentially becomes poisoned, and its entire body feels the effects. The canine’s blood pressure will rise, and the animal will experience detrimental effects to the health of its skin and hair. Muscle weakness also typically occurs, making it difficult or impossible for the animal to participate in regular daily activities. One of the most dangerous consequences of dog Cushing’s Disease is the fact that this endocrine disorder weakens the dog’s immune system, making the animal less able to defend itself against other illnesses and diseases.
The causes of dog Cushing’s disease Syndrome typically fall into three main categories. First of all, this disorder can be caused by long-term administration of steroid medications, such as those used to treat allergies or inflammation. When canine hyperadrenocorticism is caused by medical treatment, the disease is referred to as iatrogenic Cushing’s disease. Occasionally, this endocrine disorder will be caused by a problem with the adrenal glands, typically in the form of an adrenal gland tumor. However, most cases of dog Cushing’s Disease are triggered by the presence of a tumor on the pituitary gland, which results in the over-stimulation of the adrenal glands and, in turn, the continued overproduction of cortisol which is characteristic of this disease.
Who is at risk?
Dog Cushing’s disease is most common among middle-aged and old canines. There are also certain breeds that are more predisposed to developing this disease than others. Some of these breeds include poodles, terriers, and dachshunds. Since this disorder more commonly affects older dogs, the early symptoms of canine Cushing’s disease are often mistaken for normal signs of ageing.
The tendency to mistake the early symptoms of this disorder for signs of ageing also occurs due to the fact that warning signs are typically vague in the beginning. However, the symptoms will grow increasingly more severe and noticeable with time. Some of the most common warning signs of Cushing’s disease, exhibited by the majority of dogs suffering from this disorder, include a ravenous appetite, increased thirst, and increased frequency of urination. A sagging belly and elevated blood sugar are also characteristic of this disease. Other common symptoms of Cushing’s disease include loss of fur resulting in bald patches on the dog’s trunk, darkening of the skin, and skin infections which may lead to scabs and areas of irritation.
Diagnosing canine Cushing’s disease can be a complex process, and numerous tests may need to be conducted over several days. Tests that will possibly be carried out include blood tests, urinalysis, and thyroid tests. Imaging tools such as x-rays and ultrasound may also be used. However, in many cases, more specific tests will also be necessary. In such cases, an ACTH Stimulation Test will be conducted and, if necessary, a low dose dexamethasone (LDD) test will be carried out as well.
Once dog Cushing’s disease Syndrome has been diagnosed, the necessary treatment will depend upon the cause of the disorder. For iatrogenic Cushing’s disease, the disorder can often be reversed by ceasing the administration of steroid medications. When a pituitary gland or adrenal gland tumor is the cause, medication, surgery, or chemotherapy may be viable options. For those interested in a holistic health approach to treatment, natural supplements and homoeopathic remedies have proven to be quite beneficial for dogs suffering from this disorder, especially when the disease is caught in its early stages. However, in all cases of dog Cushing’s disease, treatment and care should be carried out under the supervision of a veterinary doctor.
About the Author
Tiffany Doggett is a freelance writer who writes about topics concerning pet care such as Dog’s Cushing Disease | Dog Diarrhea | Dog Liver Disease.
A sample selection of holistic veterinarians:
An entirely different option might be VeterinaryPetCare.com: Pet Care and Pet Health Answers: Treat Pet Care and Pet Health Problems At Home!
I definitely recommend the website of Dr. Karen Becker (Healthy Pets).
Here are some final related references:
If you want to learn the truth about veterinary care and nutritional holistic treatment options you will not want to miss the next free Veterinary seminar with Dr. Michel A. Selmer. The South Huntington Library is presenting Dr.
Publish Date: 04/02/2013 14:25
Dr. Ihor Basko – Worldwide Holistic Veterinary Care, Acupuncture, Diet Therapy · Home · About · Dr. Basko · Why Holistic Medicine? Testimonials · Consultations · Consults With Dr. B … your pets, it’s time to consider your treatment options. As the holistic approach in veterinary medicine is still the minority, most vets will encourage you to consider your treatment options through conventional therapies. Here’s what you need to know and understand before committing to …
Publish Date: 02/01/2013 19:21
… of healing and recovery. Learn about the different treatment options available for addressing cancer in this primer on holistic alternatives. … Dr. Ihor Basko – Worldwide Holistic Veterinary Care, Acupuncture, Diet Therapy · Home · About …
Publish Date: 02/09/2013 1:09
Incorporating alternative medicine techniques and wisdom into Western veterinary medicine practice provides holistic care. The results can … Oakland Veterinary Referral Services … New Treatment Option Available at OVRS …
Publish Date: 02/27/2013 11:17
Have you ever sought holistic veterinary care for your pets? If not … I really wish I could try a holistic vet, perhaps more will go into this field so more options would be available to try besides traditional veterinary medicine.
Publish Date: 12/14/2012 17:03
What they do: Holistic Veterinary Consultants was created to serve the needs of large- and small-animal owners in Blacksburg, Christiansburg and New Castle, and surrounding counties. Basic veterinary home care is offered … My vision is to provide the New River Valley these medical options such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and botanical medicines with multiple practitioners under one roof as an adjunct to conventional care. I really feel that so many animals …
Publish Date: 03/14/2013 3:00
Holistic medicine alternatives have become more commonplace treatment options in veterinary medicine. The goal of holistic …. of the “holistic” health movement. That trend is growing in the world of veterinary care as well.
Publish Date: 04/07/2013 23:00
Dr. Ihor Basko – Worldwide Holistic Veterinary Care, Acupuncture, Diet Therapy · Home · About …. With so many great toy options available (like the Kong), you don’t have to resort to plastic chew toys. Knowing is half the battle …
Publish Date: 03/07/2013 0:00
Dr. Ihor Basko – Worldwide Holistic Veterinary Care, Acupuncture, Diet Therapy · Home · About · Dr. Basko · Why Holistic …. Conventional Therapies For Cancer Treatment – Do You Know What Your Options Are? Feb 1, 2013 …
Publish Date: 03/26/2013 0:00
Holistic veterinarians will approach a pet illness from a multi faceted point of view, not just treating a single health problem in comparison to traditional pet health care systems which aim straight at one problem, almost ignoring other related factors. Differences between a holistic … Although the holistic pet care approach does not encourage vaccination, you, as a pet owner, should decide which option is best for your favorite cat or dog. Filed under: Articles by admin …
Publish Date: 03/22/2013 12:08
Lifetime Pet Wellness Center – Advertisement
James Carlson Published on 1 Aug 2012
http://lifetimepetwellness.com/ – Call us today at (614) 888-2100. Lifetime Pet Wellness Center offers conventional general veterinary care as well as surgical, dental, and emergency care. In addition, our center provides holistic options, such as certified acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, and herbal and nutritional medicine. Our office serves the surrounding neighborhoods of Columbus, OH.
The Holistic Dog: Inside the Canine Mind, Body, Spirit, Space
People love their pets―especially their dogs. They treat them as children, as part of the family. They want to do everything they can for them, including making them feel loved, welcomed, and appreciated around the house. By delving into dogs’ worlds holistically through their mind, body, spirit, and space, The Holistic Dog delivers a thorough understanding of our canine friends. The mind port…
Your Dog’s Golden Years: A Manual for Senior Dog Care Including Natural and Complementary Options
Twenty canine experts reveal the stages of your dog’s life, ailments he may encounter and provide remedies and solutions for your senior dog’s care. They share therapies, treatments and simple techniques for the senior dog that embrace both veterinary and natural practices. Your Dog’s Golden Years provides you the information, answers and options you need. With them, you become empowered to mak…