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Cushing Disease in Dogs

Cushing disease in dogs occurs from the chronic production of glucocorticoid (hormones). Cushing's disease is common in middle aged dogs and older dogs. Cushing's disease affects small dogs at the age of 8 – 10 and occurs in big dogs around the age of 6. Cushing's disease comes with age but certain breeds are at risk more than others such as: poodles, beagles, boxers, german shepards, golden retrievers, terriers, and a few others.

Causes of Cushing Disease

Cushing's disease in dogs is natural with age. Some dogs may be affected while others are not. It does not have to do with how you treat your dog. A common cause of Cushings disease is a Pituitary Gland Tumor which is the cause of most cases of Cushing's disease. A Pituitary Gland Tumor is a tumor that forms in the brain that results in the adrenal glands overproducing glucocorticoid. Another cause of Cushing's Disease is an Adrenal Gland Tumor which is formed in the front of the kidney's.

Symptoms of Cushing Disease

Symptoms of Cushing's disease in dogs occur gradually and are mistaken for signs of aging. It is also hard to distinguish symptoms because some dogs will only have one symptom while others could have many.

Symptoms for Cushing's disease that are common include:

  • 2-10 times more water consumption
  • Increased appetite including being protective over food
  • Abdominal enlargement; a potbellied look that is a result of the shifting of fat and weakened area

Other symptoms that are not as common are:

  • Hair loss
  • Thin skin resulting in easy bruising
  • Energy loss
  • Heavy Panting
  • Restlessness
  • And seeking cool surfaces

Diagnosis of Cushing Disease

Cushing's disease is not something that can really be prevented but when Cushing's disease is suspected, taking your dog to get a complete blood count will determine if they do suffer Cushing's disease. Canine cushings disease should be looked after as soon as you think your dog is not acting normal even if you think it is just aging.

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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.