Symptoms of Addison’s Disease in Dogs

Addison's disease or syndrome is the counterpart of Cushing’s disease in that the body produces too little of a cortisone like substance.
addison's disease in dogs

Addison's disease or syndrome is the counterpart of Cushing’s disease in that the body produces too little of a cortisone like substance. It appears to take some weeks or even months of insufficiency before a sudden attack of weakness, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are observed. 

Addison’s Disease in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

With Addison's disease the coat will be dry and straw like, with excess dandruff. A dog in this condition can progress quite suddenly from weakness to a coma and death. Hospitalization, tests, and treatment swill often save a dog's life if started soon enough.

Sterol cell tumor, which causes feminization in a male. He develops enlarged nipples and may not raise a leg to urinate. In a small percent of females the loss of the estrogens from a spaying operation results in urinary incontinence. This is thought to be due to the pituitary gland's loss of influence on the sphincter muscles of the urinary bladder. 

The condition is corrected by administration of diethylstilbestrol (DES). Although this hormone has been incriminated in problems in humans, DES has to our knowledge caused no problems in dogs unless given in excess. An excess will produce heat signs even in the spayed female.

Information Addison's Disease Dog

The following information on addison’s disease dog would help you to know the symptoms and nature of the disorder in detail.

  • The absence of mineralocorticoid steroids and glucocorticoids is quite fatal for your dog. Your dog may suffer from serious disease consequences if left untreated or not treated properly.

  • A dog will be able to lead a normal life if the disease receives effective medical attention.

  • The affected dog should be administered with blood work on a regular basis. Blood work is done to monitor the proper functioning of the electrolytes and the kidneys.

  • In case of extreme trauma and stressful physical discomfort you may take your dog to a vet surgeon as many times under such conditions dogs are administered with Prednisone supplementation.

  • Though not impossible but the incidence of the disease is quite rare in dogs and cats.

  • The common symptoms of the incidence of the disease includes repeated spells of vomiting, weight loss, feeling of depression, lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, increased rate of urination, dehydration and fast beating of heart.

  • The affected dog may suffer from attacks of shock which can be quite scary and shocking to see.

  • The blood work of an affected dog shows low level of sodium, increased potassium content and high kidney enzymes.

  • The IV fluids are recommended by vet doctors in case kidney failure takes place. The IV fluids helps in controlling the electrolyte imbalance which ultimately makes the dog feel better.

  • The addison’s disease is diagnosed when the Adrenocorticotropic hormone or the ACTH is tested to be positive.

The test of ACTH takes around two long hours. At first a sample of baseline reading is drawn and then the dog is then injected with synthetic ACTH hormone or Cortrosyn. After an hour a sample of blood is taken for testing. In case the dog is suffering from addison’s disease the reading would be unchanged as affected dogs have very low concentration of cortisol.

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