Cushings Disease in Dogs

Cushing Disease dogs - Canine hyperadrenocorticism,


Canine hyperadrenocorticism is a hormonal disorder that affects dogs and other animals. It is caused by an overproduction of the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal gland. Cortisol plays a role in regulating many body processes, including metabolism, the immune system, and the stress response.

Symptoms of canine hyperadrenocorticism disease  in dogs may include:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Hair thinning
  • Thin, fragile skin that is easily bruised
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • Lethargy
  • Panting
  • Weakness
  • Elevated liver enzyme ALP and GGT

Dog Cushing’s syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including a tumour on the pituitary gland (more common) or adrenal gland, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, or an adrenal gland disorder.

How is Cushing’s disease diagnosed?
Your Cushings-veterinarian will do a physical exam, and see the btypical clinical signs a cushings dog shows,  and run blood tests to determine what may be causing your pet’s symptoms as well as to rule out other health problems. THe liver enzyme ALP is usually markedly elevated.

Your veterinarian may also run adrenal function tests, like an ACTH stimulation  test, or low Dose Dexamethasone Supression test ( LDDST)

An ultrasound may help to rule out other conditions and often helps diagnose canine hyperadrenocorticism by seeing the enlarged adrenal gland on the ultrasound.

Treatment for canine hyperadrenocorticism


Typically, involves medications to suppress the production of cortisol, like Lysodren, Mitotane, or trilostane as well as other supportive care. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a tumour or abnormal gland. It is important to work closely with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate treatment plan for your dog with canine hyperadrenocorticism.

Treating PTHA – Canine Pituitary dependant hyperadrenocorticism


Three options to treat cushings in dogs:


  1. Trilostane is the only registgered drug for canine PTHA , it Does not work in people or cats mainly in dogs with cushngs. 2-4 mg /kg once daily.
  2. Mitotaine – or lysodren – for hyperadrenocorticism in dogs Dogs with PDH may be treated using the adrenolytic agent mitotane (o,p′-DDD), beginning with an induction dosage of 25–50 mg/kg/day for 7–10 days followed by 1-2 times a weeks dosing.
  3. Surgical bilateral adrenalectomy – cutting our the adrenals is an option in canine cushings can be best in certain cases.

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