Cushing’s disease is a disease where the body produces too much of the natural steroid hormone called cortisol. When we test for this disease, we will often use an eight hour low dose dexamethasone suppression test, potentially a one hour ACTH stimulation test and an abdominal ultrasound to look at the adrenal glands and measure their size. In our final episode of the series on Cushing’s disease, we talk about treatment options, including a medication called trilostane that inhibits the enzyme to produce cortisol within the adrenal glands or an alternative medication like mitotane. The ACTH stimulation test is used to monitor the medication safely. Remember, this disease requires a lot of diligence and a lot of close monitoring with your veterinarian. We will work with you to make sure that your pet is getting the dosage of medication that is just right to control the clinical signs at home. 85 to 95% of dogs will do great with just a single medication. Find out more here.
Cushing’s disease is caused by an overproduction of the body’s natural steroid hormone or stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is needed to maintain a lot of the body’s normal functions, but, when the body starts making too much, cortisol can suppress the immune system, leading to infections of the skin, ears and urinary tract. Cortisol can also make dogs excessively hungry, thirsty, or have accidents in the house. These patients have weakened muscles, which gives them a potbellied appearance. Because there’s a wide range of body systems that are affected by cortisol, not all dogs with Cushing’s disease will look the same and there can be a wide range of severity to the signs as well. If you and your family veterinarian are suspicious for Cushing’s disease, this episode discusses the different tests available.
Cushing’s disease is caused by an overproduction of cortisol, the body’s natural steroid hormone. Increased thirst and urination, infections, low energy, hair loss, and muscle wasting can be indicators of this disease. This episode discusses signs of this hormonal disease in dogs.