How Cushing disease affecting Dogs severly?


If you notice that your pet dog experiences a sudden slow down in its overall energy levels and attitude, then it may be of two reasons – either its because of older age or it could be Cushing’s syndrome.

Hyperadrenocorticism is a condition common in older dogs, which affects the adrenal glands of the body. Cushing syndrome occurs, when your dog’s body produces a hormone called cortisol. This chemical responds to control weight, stress, fight infections and even a frequent checking of sugar levels in blood. Yet, this disease is treatable, which results in longer life span and allows to get more comfortable life of your dogs. Dogs at the age of six or above are mostly gets affected, and it also acquires in younger one also. Usually, the affected dog’s shows some changes such as weight gain, urinate in house, lose hair and makes the owners to began prematurely, consider as euthanasia. Every year, nearly 100,000 dogs are diagnosed with Cushing disease in the United States, where, this disease seems, to be rarely seen in cats also.

Cushing disease and its severe effects in dogs?

A small percentage of dogs with Cushing disease can have a tumor that develops on one of the adrenal glands that may or may not be change as cancerous. This form of Cushing’s is called as adrenal dependent, resulting from a direct increased level of cortical production by the adrenal gland tumor, Hyperadrenocorticism which is commonly known as “Cushing’s disease”. The adrenal glands is located near kidney and produces a several vital substances that help to regulate a different body functions to sustain life, for their necessity/convenience. The widely known substance is Cortisol, which is commonly called as ‘cortisone’. The excessive production of these substances specially, cortisol may be create as life-threatening one.

This Cushing disease is one that takes place on two different types, which includes adrenal-dependent Cushing’s and pituitary-dependent Cushing’s. Pituitary-dependent Cushing’s occurs, when the pituitary gland in the brainoverproduces a hormone that signals to the adrenal gland. The excess amount of cortisol leads to a number of signs and symptoms for the required treatment. Though, the adrenal-dependent Cushing is not well known, when compared to that of pituitary-dependent Cushing’s. Here, the presence of tumour needs to be removed surgically and it also has the possibility of wide-spread naturally. The increase of cortisol in the system occurs, in both the types of Cushing disease. Mainly, this infection occurs only in bladder and also suppresses the immune system, when they are more susceptible to bacterial infections.

What are the Symptoms can get from Cushing disease?

Cushing disease in dog

The affected one develops a classic combination of clinical signs and lesions, resulted in elevate glucocorticoids (steroids). Certain medications play an important role that is given to dogs such as ‘prednisone’. Most dogs show the symptom at the age of one to six year before the disease is being diagnosed. Gradually, it occurs when the owner often attributes some changes to old age while only a few dogs shows the symptom, while others may have many. These diseases develop slowly, but the signs are not noticed earlier and the major symptom in dog includes:

  • Hair loss.
  • Extended belly.
  • Increased in urination.
  • Thinner skin.
  • Panting.
  • Blackheads on the skin and recurrent skin infections.
  • Shrinking of testicles.
  • Lethargy.
  • Obesity.
  • Increased in hunger.
  • Changes in gait.
  • Bruising happens, due to its delicate blood vessels.
  • The sudden blood clot in the lungs, leads to difficulty in breathing.
  • Enlargement of abdomen, results in pot bellied appearance.
  • An increase in appetite and thirst is significant. so, it does not consume any sufficient food or water.

Test are available for Diagnosing Cushing’s disease

dog ultrasound

There are number of tests are available to diagnose and to confirm Cushing’s disease, such as the ACTH stimulation tests and low-dose dexamethasone suppression test, urine cortisol and 17-hydroxyprogesterone persists to determine the disease. An abdominal ultrasound examination plays a valuable part to diagnose the disease. Ultrasound lets the vet to see the adrenal glands and to determine their size and presence of tumour.

The cost is expensive, where they are necessary to regulate the best treatment and prognosis for your pet. Still, it is very essential that you should prefer vet and so that, he will be able to review dog’s history to take blood and urine samples. These samples are tested for white blood cells in order to identify an enzyme of the liver, which is known as ALP. The high sugar level content may also increase the cholesterol level in the blood. There is no single test to diagnose Cushing’s disease which is difficult to diagnose accurately.

Treatment that helps to cure from Cushing’s disease


Once the diagnose has been done then the treatment for Cushing’s disease begin to start. Pituitary-induced from Cushing’s disease is the most complicated one. It is quite easy to treat with an oral medication that is prescribed as Lysodren and Mitotane. This initial treatment is known as the ’induction period’. Selegiline hydrochloride is also used to treat canine Cushing’s disease. Sometimes, the adrenal tumor requires a major abdominal surgery, in order to remove the most dangerous and cancerous in adrenal glands.

Even though the surgery is successful, the entire tumor is not malignant and there is a chance to regain the normal health. While, there is no complete cure for Cushing’s disease, if the dogs suffer from pituitary-dependent cushing’s disease typically can recover from certain symptoms, once the treatment has been started or when the induction period will get over. Apart from surgical process, the radiation method is more essential to treat, that directs to shrink the size of pituitary tumor.

Moreover, also it performs an effective role on smaller size of tumor, to reduce the symptoms of pituitary dependent Cushing’s disease. During treatment some symptoms may disappear, while others will take some time to recover faster.


Although in most dogs, Cushing disease cannot be cured fully, but the quality of life can be improved, so that their life may extend, with an early intervention. Often, it is possible to manage the disease for years. As a pet owner, be aware of the signs of Cushing’s and the treatment available for curing it.

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