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Social Butterfly December 23, 2004

Dr Dorota Pearson, DVM




(Cushing’s Disease)


Hyperadrenocorticism is one of the most common endo-crine disorders in dogs. It is rare in cats. Cushing’s disease is caused by the deleterious effects of high circulating cortisol concentrations on multiple organ systems. Poodles, Dachshunds, Boston Terriers, Boxers, and Beagles have been reported to be at higher risk than other breeds. The severity of signs varies, depending on the duration and degree of cortisol excess. The most common symptoms that alarm owners are drinking excessive amounts of water, frequent urination, pendulous abdo-men, hair loss, lethargy, muscle weakness, panting, etc. A diagnosis can be made by doing blood work. The treatment is dictated by the severity of clinical signs, the animal’s overall condition, and any complicating factors (e.g. diabetes mellitus and pulmonary embolism). Therapy is lifelong. Untreated hyperadrendocorticism is a generally progressive disorder with a poor prognosis. A treated disease has a good prognosis in most patients. The average survival time for a dog with Cushing’s is two years with about 10% surviving four years. If your dog is showing any of the the above clinical signs, please call to make an appointment for an examination at (760) 598-2512.