Our expert says:
Cushing's disease occurs in dogs that produce to much cortisol (hormone that regulated the body's metabolism)
Cortisol is released in times of stress and is involved with the metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates.It is produced by the adrenal glands (near the kidney)and is controlled by a hormone called ACTH that is released from the pituitary gland in the brain.
In cushing's there is overproduction of cortisol and this has a harmful effect on other organs and metabolism.
Most dogs with cushings have a benign tumour of the pituitary gland (85%) and this produces to much ACTH and as a result there is overproduction of cortisol. The other cause of cushing's is a tumour on either of the adrenal glands which produces excess cortisol.
Clinical sign's may include :
Hair loss and skin infections
Diagnosis is confirmed by doing a ACTH stimulation test and a Low dose dexamethasone test. You will have to leave the dog with the vet while te test is being conducted.
If confirmed then the condition can be controlled with certain types of drugs. There is no cure for this endocine problem
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