Cushing’s Disease – Testing
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.