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Dogsey Junior
animal-lover is offline  
Location: South East OF England
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 101
09-07-2010, 11:41 AM

Cushings Disease

I rescued a little Toy Poodle last year aged 10,he is a lovely little boy.
Recently after having alot of tests,we have found out he has cushings disease.
He is now on meds for the rest of his life.
He weighs about 7 kg and only has two small meals a day.
His belly has always been very big even before we had him,is this a part of the disease he has ?
Any help on this would be fab.
Many thanks.
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Lucky Star
Dogsey Veteran
Lucky Star is offline  
Location: Usually in a muddy field somewhere
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 20,145
09-07-2010, 12:18 PM
I had an older dog (he was around 12/13 I think), a mongrel who developed Cushing's Syndrome. His symptoms were a pot belly, hair loss along his spine and tail, excess water consumption and the inability to control his bladder, so he'd urinate uncontrollably, whereas before he'd been very clean.

It is essentially due to the over-production of cortisol by the adrenal gland (controlled by the hormone ACTH), which ultimately, in excess, can damage organs and affect the metabolism. My dog seemed to be artificially youthful, leaping around and fully of energy, etc.

We thought it came about because he'd been treated with steroids on a number of occasions in his life but it can also be caused by a usually benign tumour in the pituitary gland - essentially, this is the gland which produces the hormone ACTH, which in turn controls the production and release of cortisol. Or it can be caused by a tumour in the adrenal gland (which produces the cortisol).

My dog was treated with Lysodren but although he regained his hair and lost the pot belly, the vets seemed unable to get the dosage right and he couldn't seem to tolerate the drug. This can happen to some dogs, who then go the other way and seem to develop symptoms like those of Addison's (or actually develop the disease itself) where there is not enough steroid being produced. It is a balance that the vets should be aware of so that they can then treat the symptoms of Addison's. My dog aged rapidly, becoming sick and ill within a year and sadly we had to have him put to sleep.

I'm sorry mine is not a success story. It was a long time ago now and I didn't know what to look for back then, and I don't think the vet did either - he never administered steroids to counter the effect of the Lysodren, for instance. I understand that dogs can be successfully treated.

Here are a couple of links:
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