What is Cushing’s syndrome in dogs: treatment, diagnostics

The canine organism is a complex system with many biochemical processes. Only their harmonious interaction guarantees excellent physical and psycho-emotional state pet. Disabled dog of advanced age can syndrome Cushing’s, or hyperadrenocorticism. It is common hormonal disorder disease. Leads to a significant deterioration in the well-being of the animal, with a decrease activity and shortened life. Against the background of what appears Cushing’s syndrome, treatment and diagnosis – aspects that should know every dog ​​expert.


  • 1 What is Cushing’s Syndrome
  • 2 Diagnostics
  • 3 Symptoms
  • 4 Treatment
  • 5 Prediction of animal life

What is Cushing’s Syndrome

What is Cushing's syndrome in dogs: treatment, diagnostics

Cushing’s syndrome develops lightning fast depending on the form. or increasing

Cushing’s Syndrome – Common in Veterinary Practice hormonal pathology in old dogs. Due to excessive accumulation of cortisol in the blood – a hormone, synthesized by the adrenal glands. It is also called a hormone. stress, as a large amount of release occurs with a strong fright. Since the pituitary gland controls this process, instability in his work entails increased secretion of cortisol. Against this background, concomitant functional violations.

The main reason for the appearance of a dangerous syndrome is neoplasms, appearing in the brain and adrenal glands leading to hormonal dysfunctions.

This pathology often affects dogs aged 7-8 years. it does not exclude the likelihood of young disease, which is due to inheritance of the syndrome. In high risk areas there are four-legged pets of some breeds:

  • poodles;
  • boxers;
  • terriers;
  • beagles;
  • hounds;
  • German shepherd dogs.

Veterinarians conditionally divide the disease into 3 forms:

  • Pituitary. Pituitary damage as a result the appearance of a tumor. The most common option. Pathology slowly progressing, with the manifestation of symptoms only through few months.
  • Initial adrenal gland. Pathological adrenal gland deformity due to unilateral or bilateral neoplasm. In most cases, the tumor malignant, so the clinical picture appears in the early stages.
  • Iatrogenic. Formed against a long background therapy with shock doses of hormonal drugs from the category glucocorticoid.


What is Cushing's syndrome in dogs: treatment, diagnostics

If you suspect a pituitary gland lesion, do an MRI or CT scan. brain

In the later stages, the pathology is clearly manifested externally, on early laboratory diagnosis is required. Analyzes which are appointed without fail:

  • blood donation for clinical and biochemical studies;
  • general urine analysis;
  • hormone-administered tests: ACTH (adrenocorticotropic) and dexamethasone.

An abdominal ultrasound is also prescribed to detect tumor neoplasms in the adrenal glands. Mandatory X-ray examination to assess the degree of damage to the rest internal organs.

Based on the results, the veterinarian makes a diagnosis and lists the appropriate treatment.


What is Cushing's syndrome in dogs: treatment, diagnostics

In the initial stages of the disease, the dog begins uncontrollably drink and eat, on subsequent she has a thinner coat and muscles weaken

Cushing’s disease is manifested by pronounced symptoms, which will not go unnoticed when examined by a specialist. The owner of the four-legged pet should also know the basic signs:

  • apathetic behavior;
  • increased thirst;
  • urinary incontinence, frequent management of small needs;
  • excessive appetite, which leads to a quick set of excess masses in the chest and neck;
  • labored breathing;
  • excessive hair loss, with the formation of bald spots;
  • dermatological problems;
  • muscle weakness, sagging abdomen.

In severe cases, the dog becomes deeply depressed, Seizures periodically occur and vision falls.

Against the background of Cushing’s syndrome, other serious pathologies develop, caused by damage to internal organs. These include: sugar diabetes, reproductive failure, osteoporosis, skin rashes, genitourinary infections, arterial hypertension.


What is Cushing's syndrome in dogs: treatment, diagnostics

Properly prescribed drug therapy immediately gives positive results

Depending on the result of the examination, it is prescribed treatment of the animal, which may be conservative or operational type. If an adrenal tumor is detected surgery is needed to remove the affected body. Subsequently, the patient is transferred to hormone therapy until end of life.

If the pituitary gland is the root cause of the disease, then it is shown drug exposure. Powerful help here drugs that inhibit the production of cortisol. Only by virtue of their the high cost is not for everyone this method is financially available.

Effective drugs:

  • Mitotan. Hormone lowering agent cortisol level in the blood. The initial dosage is 50 mcg per kilogram of weight. Reception is divided into 3 times a day. 2 weeks later similar therapy donate blood for a test. If the analysis showed improvement, then the medicine is prescribed in the same dosage, but 1 time.
  • Ketoconazole The drug indicated for the syndrome Cushing provoked by cutaneous fungus. Single increase dosage occurs in stages, once a week: 10 mcg, 20 mcg, 30 mcg.

The first indicator of stabilization in a patient is the cessation of excessive use of water. Dog obviously begins to feel better – increases motor activity, playfulness appears.

Treatment depending on the form of the disease:

  • Iatrogenic. Hormone intake contraindicated.
  • Pituitary. Showing drugs in which the active substance is trilostane. Its action is aimed at suppression of cortisol production. Constant admission is required for maintaining hormonal levels are normal. At the same time clinical the picture is smoothed out already 2 weeks after the start of the course. Regular tests and examinations will be required to enable monitor the patient’s condition and possible complications. The first blood donation is carried out 10 days after the start of the drug and in the future – every 3 months. The prognosis for recovery in most cases optimistic.
  • Primary adrenal gland. Difficult treatable. The best effect is given by operation. At the initial stage mitotan can help – a drug that lowers excessive adrenal gland activity. Changeable forecast that depends on the magnitude of the spread of the tumor.

Cushing’s syndrome progressing as a result prolonged use of hormonal drugs disappears on its own after withdrawal of treatment. Stop receiving gradually, be sure to vet control.

Animal life forecast

Cushing’s syndrome is dangerous and insidious in that it occurs suddenly and intensively developing. In the absence of proper treatment, he is capable of a short time to hit most vital systems and organs. The dog’s immunity drops dramatically, which weakens the protective functions of the body against viral and bacterial implants.

With such an ailment, the prognosis for life is disappointing. Even timely started therapy does not guarantee full cure. Usually sick dogs live no more than 2-3 years.

However, do not despair. With good care, caring relation and a well-designed treatment regimen can be extended pet’s term for a few more years.

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