Published: Tue, April 25, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

PSICOLMASCOT: Confusion with Cushing's disease in dogs

PSICOLMASCOT: Confusion with Cushing's disease in dogs

Last week, I was asked my opinion about Cushing's disease or hyperadrenocorticism as it is also called. I am happy to do so.

Cushing's disease: First, the symptoms can be somewhat confusing and compared to other diseases as well. The classic signs of Cushing's disease are:

- Increased appetite

- Increased thirst and urination

- Bad coat quality

- Pervasive appearance

- Neurological changes in advanced pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism

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Please note that each dog with Cushing does not necessarily have all these symptoms.

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The underlying cause of Cushing is overproduction of the hormone cortisol or overuse of corticosteroid medications such as prednisone . Most cortisol in the body is produced by the adrenal glands. If an adrenal tumor is present, it may over-secrete the hormone. Adrenal tumors are responsible for approximately 20 percent of Cushing's cases in dogs, usually in the larger breeds. A tumor in the pituitary gland, located in the brain, can also stimulate the adrenal glands to produce more than normal cortisol. Pituitary tumors are responsible for about 80 percent of the natural cases that occur from Cushing's disease.

I can diagnose Cushing's disease when I have a patient who has suspicious signs of this type: P>

2-I can keep a urine sample for a cortisol: creatinine test. If the results are normal, Cushing's disease is very unlikely. If they are elevated, Cushing's disease is possible, but it is not definitively diagnosed, as other diseases can produce the same result.

3-Identification of most (but not all) cases of the disease Of Cushing's disease and determine whether the pituitary or adrenal form of the disease is present (which is important to get the appropriate form of treatment) is possible with a combination of an ACTH stimulation test, low-dose dexamethasone test Suppression, high dose test of dexamethasone suppression and / or abdominal ultrasound. What tests are performed and in what order is based on the presentation of a dog and whether the owner wants a quick and thorough diagnosis, or rather take a step-by-step approach and potentially avoid the expense of an unnecessary test.

We have options when it comes to the treatment of Cushing's disease. If a dog's symptoms are not too severe, (for example, he or she is panting more, but otherwise is normal), treatment can not be justified unless problems worsen over time. The form of the disease is usually treated with the pituitary, either mitotane or trilostane, which suppress the production of cortisol. The selegelin drug can also be used to control the symptoms associated with Cushing, but it is not as effective as mitotane or trilostane. No, invasive adrenal tumors are best treated surgically. If surgery is not an option, the above medications are of some benefit to the form of the adrenal disease.

Dogs with Cushing's disease can live up to three years, or even longer, after diagnosis with proper treatment and a little luck, but it should be remembered that while this is a condition they can often To be successfully controlled, these are only rarely cured.

Dr. Jennifer Coates

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