5 Signs That Your Dog Might Be Suffering from Cushing’s

Cushing’s disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is a disease that affects many dogs. In fact, it’s one of the most common endocrine disorders in canines. It occurs when there is an overproduction of cortisol, a hormone normally produced by the adrenal glands. It’s commonly misdiagnosed for years because its symptoms mimic other diseases such as obesity and allergies.

There are two main types of Cushing’s disease in dogs: pituitary-dependent and adrenal-dependent. The onset of these diseases differ, and so do the ways in which they’re treated. Cushing’s treatment for dogs may include the use of medications, surgery, and some dietary and lifestyle changes.

It’s important to know how to identify the symptoms of Cushing’s if you suspect that your dog has contracted the disease.

  1. Fatigue

If you notice that your dog is constantly weary and lazy, there is a chance that they could be suffering from Cushing’s disease. Dogs who have this condition lack energy because the cortisol, which should be helping them to sustain their energy stores, instead inhibits the absorption of glucose and protein in muscles and bones. The high cortisol levels also weaken their immune system leaving them much more prone to diseases.

  1.  Drinking too much water and urinating frequently

Excessive urination or drinking of water can be a sign that your dog has contracted Cushing’s disease. In normal conditions, dogs only need to drink water after eating as opposed to constantly drinking small amounts throughout the day. If you notice your dog is frequently urinating, it might mean that your pet is ingesting too much fluid than is necessary, leading to further complications for them later on.

  1.  Hair Loss or Abnormal Coat Texture 

If you notice small bald spots on your dog, the first thing you should do before thinking about Cushing’s disease is take them to the vet for an examination. It could be due to skin irritation or allergies, but once you’ve ruled out other problems with your pet’s skin, it might mean that they are suffering from Cushing’s disease.

Cortisol suppresses the immune system meaning that dogs who have contracted the condition are much more likely to suffer from dermatitis and other skin-related problems. The hair loss will also occur before the condition becomes apparent. It can be a sign that your dog’s adrenal gland is becoming overactive which could lead to further complications in the future.

  1.  Swollen Abdomen

It might sound strange, but if you notice that your dog has an abnormally large or swollen stomach, it might mean that they’re suffering from Cushing’s disease. This is caused by the excessive cortisol in the system, which pushes the stomach muscles forward, causing them to look almost bloated.

  1.  Changes in Behavior

Last but not least, changes in behavior are a sign of Cushing’s disease in dogs. If your pet’s personality has changed in any way, e.g., they’re becoming more aggressive or timid than usual, it could be due to the cortisol that is working through their system, which is making them act differently, almost like another individual entirely.

There are many other symptoms but if you notice any of these signs in your pet, make sure that you take them to the vet for an examination.

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