Cushings Disease in Dogs
Is your dog gaining weight? Does he or she seem to be losing energy, or even losing hair? Does your dog just not act like his or her old self? If so, your dog just might have canine Cushing’s disease. A major issue that’s on the rise, Cushings in dogs is an extremely common hormone problem generally affecting older dogs that, while not usually fatal, can cause extreme discomfort and other complications that can lead to premature death. Overall, if you are dealing with Cushings disease in dogs, you need all the information you can get; fortunately, we’re here to help.
What is Cushing’s in Dogs
In its most basic form, Cushing’s disease is a hormone problem which causes your pet’s endocrine gland system to produce too many corticosteroids, otherwise known as Cortisol. This causes atypical growth of certain parts of your dog’s body, while also giving it a host of extremely uncomfortable and problematic symptoms. To get an idea of how bad this disease can get, some of the symptoms of Cushing’s in Dogs include:
- Swollen Stomachs
- Weight Gain
- Spindly Legs
- Loss of Muscle
- Hair Loss or Patchy Hair
- Energy Loss.
Though not exactly fatal (only 1% of animals experience fatal complications arising from Cushing disease in dogs) it isn’t strictly curable, and symptoms can only be dealt with through chemo drugs or natural holistic supplements.
Different Types of Cushing’s Disease
Though Cushings disease in dogs is mainly classified as a single disease, there are two separate causes, resulting in a dichotomy in treatment and overall classification: these causes are pituitary and adrenal.
- Pituitary Dependent Cushing’s Disease:
Pituitary Cushing’s in dogs is the most common type, and is caused by a tumor located just below its brain (near the pituitary gland).
- Adrenal Dependent Cushing’s Disease:
The other, less common type is caused by a tumor forming in one or both of the adrenal glands.
Though separate, and slightly different in their cause, both PD Cushing’s disease and AD Cushing disease in dogs have same or similar symptoms and are treated in similar fashions (although there are slightly different treatments based on the type your dog has).
For the most part, Cushing’s in dogs only affects elderly dogs (with an average diagnosis age around 10-11 years old, and the youngest age being 5). Here are some other statistics about Cushing disease in dogs:
- Dogs Prone to Cushing’s Disease are: Yorkshire Terriers, poodles, Staffordshires, boxers, Boston terriers, beagles, dachsunds, among others.
- Female dogs are more prone to Cushing disease in dogs
- Pituitary tumors are common in small breeds, while Adrenal ones are common in big dogs
Atypical Cushing’s Disease in Dogs: What you should Do
The first step in dealing with Cushing’s or finding out whether or not your dog has it is finding as much information as possible. Cushing’s disease is quite common and can be treated; but, if you do not take the right steps, your dog will suffer. Fortunately, we are here to help. From treatment opinions to historical information to symptom signs, we can give you all you need to put you on the right path towards dealing with Cushing disease in dogs.