Farmcliff Jack Russell Terriers




Canine Cushing's Disease (hyperadrenocorticism)

One of the diseases of older dogs is Canine Cushing's Disease. The primary symptom of this disease is greatly increased water consumption which then causes them to urinate more frequently. Previously dependably house broken individuals may start urinating in the house or demanding to be let out more frequently to do their "duties". Other symptoms are bloated bellies, loss of muscle mass or loss of hair as well as general energy level reduction. These symptoms are often mistakenly diagnosed by dog owners simply as aging indicators and in some cases may even make owners begin to think of euthanasia of the dog - perhaps prematurely.

Cushing's Disease can be challenging to diagnose and often requires multiple blood screens to identify the correct disease process. But, if Canine Cushing's Disease is diagnosed, it can often be successfully treated which will result in a longer and more comfortable lives for the pets. And, their owners will achieve great satisfaction in seeing the significant improvement in their pet's health and behavior.

Canine Cushing's disease results when the adrenal glands secrete an excess amount of cortisone. It is the most common endocrinopathy (hormone disease) encountered in older dogs. Most often Cushing's is caused by either a tumor on the pituitary glands, an adrenal tumor or veterinary interference from drugs used to treat other ailments - all of which can cause the adrenal glands to over activate. Cushing's Disease (technically called hyperadrenocorticism) is the exact opposite of another endocrine problem in dogs which is called Addison's Disease (hypoadrenocorticism).

There is an excellent internet website by Kate Connick (a dog trainer in Westchester County, NY), that has a detailed article about Canine Cushing's Disease. She explains the causes of this complicated disease in layman's terms - yet in sufficient detail to allow the dog owner to get a good idea what is really involved with Cushing's Disease. It is not an easy disease to diagnose because there are several conditions that cause this disease. We recommend you go to Kate's website to learn the basics about Cushing's Disease.

Another excellent website about Cushing's disease (considerably more technical and detailed in its presentation) is provided by the Long Beach Animal Hospital. Go to this website, scroll down to "medical services", select "Cushings Disease" and click "Go".

Another excellent website containing many other sites, resources and references about Cushing's Disease is provided at:



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