Advanced Pet First Aid Level 3 (VTQ)

139 videos, 6 hours and 56 minutes

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Cushings Disease

Video 110 of 139
2 min 28 sec
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Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Understanding Cushing's Disease

Cushing's disease is a hormonal condition predominantly affecting older dogs. While it can affect any breed, it's more commonly observed in dogs around 10 or 11 years of age. Breeds like Boxers, Terriers, Staffordshire, Poodles, Jack Russells, and Beagles are at higher risk. In contrast, it's a rare occurrence in cats and horses.

Key Points:

  • Cushing's disease is caused by tumours in the adrenal or pituitary glands, leading to excess Cortisol production.
  • Signs often develop slowly and can be mistaken for aging.

Recognizing Cushing's Disease

If you suspect Cushing's Disease, watch for these signs:

  • Mobility problems (often confused with arthritis)
  • Poor coat condition
  • Fur loss, typically on both sides of the dog
  • Dark spots on the tummy
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakened immune system, leading to ear, skin, and urinary tract infections
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Loss of "zest for life"
  • Aimless wandering or circling

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect Cushing's Disease, consult your vet for thorough blood and urine tests to assess specific hormones and enzymes. In some cases, a CT scan may be recommended to pinpoint tumour locations.

Untreated Cushing's Disease can lead to:

  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure

Treatment aims to enhance the dog's quality of life rather than curing the disease. With proper management, affected dogs can enjoy many more years of life.

Remember: Don't dismiss these symptoms as old age. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for better outcomes.