Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Cushing’s Syndrome in Dogs

An sharing this info from another dog group that I belong to….

Question from fellow dog owner:  

My dog Tucker, 12 yr old Lhasa Apso was just diagnosed with Cushings Disease.  Any one have experience with this?  My vet said a drug used for many years in Britain has just been approved by FDA and is available in U.S.  I think it may vetoryl.  Wonder about cost and side affects.  He is so precious and I don’t want him to suffer.  Any info would be appreciated.

Response:  We have had one dachshund with Cushings, know of some other people that have had their dogs for a few years after first signs, and on medical care good luck. Below is some general information on it.


There are many clinical signs associated with Cushing’s syndrome (also called “hyperadrenocorticism”) in the dog. These signs usually come on very gradually and, because of this slow onset, these changes are often written off as part of the normal aging process. The following is a list of common symptoms which an owner might observe in their pet at home.


Owners often notice that lately the water bowl must be filled more frequently than in the past.  Some dogs are unable to hold their  bladder all night and begin crying to go  outside during the night when previously this was unnecessary.
Also, urinary tract infections may also be detected and true urine leaking may be observed.


Each day a dog should drink about one cup of water for each ten pounds of body weight.


This symptom often leads dogs to beg incessantly or steal food from the garbage.  It is important for an owner not to be fooled by the pet’s “good appetite;” eating well is not necessarily a sign of normal health.




This symptom, present in over 90% of Cushing’s syndrome dogs, results from hormonal redistribution of body fat plus a breakdown of abdominal musculature.


Muscle protein is broken down in Cushing’s syndrome. The result may be seen as exercise intolerance, lethargy, or reluctance to jump up on furniture or climb stairs.


The classical signs of endocrine (hormonal) skin diseases are:

  1. Hair loss on the main body sparing the head and legs
  2. Thin, wrinkled skin with poor wound healing
  3. Hair that does not grow back after clipping.
  4. Blackheads and darkening of the skin, especially on the abdomen.
  5. Persistent or recurring skin infections (especially if the dog is not itchy during times when the skin infection is cleared)





Another condition of the skin which may be observed is called Calcinosis Cutis, in which calcium deposits occur within the skin. These are raised, hard, almost rock-like areas which can occur almost anywhere on the body.

Some other notable findings might include: excessive panting and shortness of breath, infertility, extreme muscle stiffness (called “pseudomyotonia” – a very very rare symptom in Cushing’s disease), and high blood pressure.



January 28, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment