Cushing's syndrome in dogsIn dogs, as in many other creatures, there are diseases that tend to occur at a young age. Examples are giardiasis. Infection with the life-threatening parovirus. Of course, there are also diseases that mainly plague senior dogs. Cushing's syndrome (Cushing's disease) is one of them. In this article you will learn besides the causes. symptoms also the possibilities for treatment. The disease was first described in 1910 by the neurosurgeon Harvey William Cushing from the USA. It occurs in dogs. Also with humans on.
Senior dog disease Cushing's syndrome
Causes of Cushing's syndrome
The Cushing's syndrome is a metabolic disease. Caused by an excess of glucocorticoids such as cortisol. In about 85% of the diseases, the trigger lies in the head of the dog: A tumor of the pituitary gland. Tumors can "mimic" hormone tie, leading to overproduction of various hormones in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland. These so-called adenomas secrete too much of the hormone "ACTH", which boosts cortisol production. An adrenal tumor, which also stimulates cortisol production, can also be a reason for Cushing's syndrome. In addition to the endogenous causes already mentioned, an exogenous cause can also contribute to the development of the disease: In the case of allergies or severe inflammations, it is not uncommon for cortisone to be administered. If cortisone is taken over a long period of time, it can lead to Cushing's syndrome
You are probably wondering how you can recognize this disease in your favorite pet. Unfortunately, this is not so easy, because many symptoms may also indicate other diseases or the owner interprets them as normal signs of aging. Similar to diabetes mellitus or severe kidney damage, affected dogs drink a lot and accordingly have to urinate frequently. The medical term for this is polydipsia or polyuria. In addition, there are frequent reports of lack of energy and drive, hair loss, muscle atrophy and thin fur. A greatly increased desire to eat, increased panting and lethargy can also be signs of Cushing's syndrome. If your dog shows one or more of these symptoms, we recommend that you visit a veterinarian you trust. He can examine the cortisol concentration in the blood, which gives information about a possible disease.
Often a tumor is causally responsible
As already mentioned, Cushing's disease occurs mainly in older quadrupeds. The type of treatment depends on the causes of the disease. If your pet suffers from a tumor in the pituitary gland, surgery is not recommended in most cases. The reason is the enormous complexity, the high risk and the extremely long recovery time for interventions of this kind. Fortunately, there are drugs for such cases that normalize the secretion of cortisol. To find the perfect dose, you should visit the vet at regular intervals to have blood drawn.
If the cause is a tumor in the adrenal gland, it can usually be surgically removed with comparative ease. After the procedure, cortisol production should gradually return to normal and symptoms should decrease significantly. Four-legged friends, who are ill because of medicinal treatment with cortisone, can usually be weaned off this medication in slow steps. Do not take this step without consulting your veterinarian. If you wean your puppy too quickly or in the wrong way, there is a serious danger for your furry friend.