My dog has Cushing’s Disease! What does that mean?

by Feb 15, 2018By Species, By Topic, Diagnosis, Dogs

Your dog can’t tell you when it’s sick. Your duty as it’s best friend is to keep an eye out for symptoms or abnormal behaviors. One particularly sneaky disease to look out for is called Cushing’s disease—also referred to as hyperadrenocorticism. It is a disorder of the adrenal glands in which excessive adrenal hormones, mainly cortisol, are produced.

What does that mean? Well, your dog produces these hormones at glands called adrenals and pituitaries. If these are producing too much cortisol, it often means there’s a tumor on the gland, kicking it into overdrive. Another possible cause of Cushing’s-like symptoms is caused by the excessive use of medical steroids like prednisone.

Cushing’s disease can be very subtle. The first indications are usually increased appetite or thirst, increased urination, muscle weakness, enlargement of the abdomen and, at times, hair growth problems. However, none of the above signs by themselves is a smoking gun. Making an actual diagnosis involves several steps. First comes bloodwork, to rule out other diseases with similar symptoms. Further blood diagnostics can then be performed to measure adrenal hormone production.

Cushing’s disease often has no cure. Instead, your dog will probably be prescribed medication to keep the symptoms under control, and to keep the disease from spreading. Treatment, which will be life-long, is carefully monitored to ensure that the medication is not causing any unwanted side effects. Once a dog’s Cushing’s disease is under good control, only periodic bloodwork is typically needed to assess the effectiveness of the treatment.

If your dog is beginning to show signs of the symptoms listed above, call CEDARCREST Animal Clinic at 540-943-7577 to schedule a test for Cushing’s disease immediately.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

Should I Feed My Pet Wet or Dry Food?

One of the most common questions new puppy and kitten owners ask during visits to the vet is whether they should feed their pet canned wet food or dry food from a bag. Wet or Dry? For dogs, I generally recommend dry food. As dogs tend to be bigger, dry food tends to...

Common Eye Problems Among Cats and Dogs

Proper eye care is very important for all pets. Scratches, ulcers, dry eye, discharge, and infection are some of the most common ocular problems your pet may experience. To determine the cause of an eye problem, additional testing may be required to ensure an accurate...

Gastrointestinal Problems In Cats And Dogs

Gastrointestinal disease in pets can be a minor problem, but can also be more serious, so evaluation and proper treatment by a veterinarian is important. Common gastrointestinal problems in dogs include dietary intolerance (problems digesting certain foods), toxicity...

Dogs And Cats Can Suffer From Diabetes, Too.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, diabetes affects 1 in every 200 cats and 1 in every 400-500 dogs. While there are serious symptoms and consequences of this disease, proper management can help to keep diabetic pets in good health. Diabetes...

CEDARCREST Pet Care Guides

Understanding your pet's nutrition, behavior, and individual needs are important to happy and healthy lifes.

Resource Topics

Why Every Pet Owner Should Invest in Preventative Medicine

Every pet owner dreads the day their beloved animal might come down with some serious illness. However, it doesn't...

Adrenal Disease Might Explain Your Pet’s Strange Behavior

If your pet is acting weird, it might have an adrenal disease. These conditions are prevalent in small animals,...
Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

The answer to yesterday's trivia question is False! Adult dogs can become infected with parvo.

Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral infection that can affect dogs of any age. The majority of cases are seen in puppies but unvaccinated adult dogs are also at risk.

Parvo is potentially fatal but dogs treated by a veterinarian have a 68-92 percent survival rate. Dogs can contract this virus directly from other dogs or from contaminated objects/feces.

Symptoms of parvo include bloody diarrhea, lethargy, appetite loss, vomiting, fever, weakness, weight loss, and dehydration. Seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect that your dog has been exposed to parvovirus!

Prevent parvo by making sure your puppy/adult dog is up to date on their DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvoviris) vaccine. Have questions about parvo? Give us a call today!
... See MoreSee Less

The answer to yesterdays trivia question is False! Adult dogs can become infected with parvo. 

Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral infection that can affect dogs of any age. The majority of cases are seen in puppies but unvaccinated adult dogs are also at risk.

Parvo is potentially fatal but dogs treated by a veterinarian have a 68-92 percent survival rate. Dogs can contract this virus directly from other dogs or from contaminated objects/feces. 

Symptoms of parvo include bloody diarrhea, lethargy, appetite loss, vomiting, fever, weakness, weight loss, and dehydration. Seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect that your dog has been exposed to parvovirus! 

Prevent parvo by making sure your puppy/adult dog is up to date on their DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvoviris) vaccine. Have questions about parvo? Give us a call today!

TRUE or FALSE?
Adult dogs can not get parvo.
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Thanks for participating! Great job to everyone for correctly answering our true or false question! 😃

False

False

False

False

False

View more comments

Fitness can be fun for the whole family! 😄 ... See MoreSee Less

Load more