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Does Your Dog Suffer From Cushing's Disease?
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Learn the causes, symptoms and treatments for dog Cushing’s Disease.
Learn different options available, from home remedies and testing to pharmaceuticals.
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Solutions for Dogs with Cushing's Disease: How to Make Your Best Friend Feel Better
Two forms of Cushing’s Disease exist in dogs, typical Cushing’s Disease and atypical Cushing’s Disease.
Typical Cushing’s Disease
In typical Cushing’s, the adrenal cortex produces too much cortisol resulting in irregular metabolic and immune system activity.
Hypersecretion of ACTH from the pituitary gland (a gland located at the base of the brain) is the most common cause of typical Cushing's Disease.
For this reason, Cushing’s disease originating from the pituitary gland is termed pituitary-dependent Cushing’s. Nearly 80% of dogs diagnosed with Cushing’s are labeled as pituitary-dependent.
The other 20% of the time, the adrenal glands are affected by tumors, causing dog Cushing’s disease.
Cushing’s caused by renal tumors is called adrenal-dependent Cushing’s.
Atypical Cushing’s Disease
Atypical Cushing’s was only recently discovered.
Atypical Cushing’s occurs when the adrenal cortex produces an excess of steroid hormones resulting in similar signs as typical Cushing’s.
Both typical and atypical Cushing’s affect mostly middle age to older dogs of all breeds.
Males and females are affected equally.
From a diagnostic perspective, veterinarians often perform a battery of tests including one or more of the following:
• Urine cortisol/creatinine ratio: screening test
• Low dose dexamethasone test: screening test
• High dose dexamethasone test: differentiation test
• ACTH stimulation test: differentiation test
• Abdominal ultrasound: identification of adrenal tumor or adrenal enlargement.
The above tests help your veterinarian diagnose and categorize your dog's Cushing’s.
Furthermore, your veterinarian will ascertain valuable information related to the type of Cushing’s and the best treatment to initiate.
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Dogs with Cushing's disease feel terrible. Make your dog feel better today!