Cushing’s Disease in Dog (Symptoms, Treatment, and Care)

When you keep a canine pet with you, it is very obvious that you are going to get well-familiar with all of their habits and behaviors. However, a little change in their behavior indicates a bigger problem that might cost your pet’s life if you ignore it. Cushing’s disease in dogs is one such issue, which is very common, yet can impose a significant threat if not treated at the right time.

Cushing’s disease is a hormonal disorder in the dog’s adrenal gland that creates many health complications. And it is often a crucial matter to understand when to put your dog down with Cushing’s disease. So, here in this article, we will discuss in detail Cushing’s in dogs, along with its treatment and the right time when you need to euthanize your pet.

What is Cushing’s Disease in Dogs?

Cushing’s disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is a type of tumor, which can occur either in the dog’s adrenal or pituitary glands. Again, this life-threatening disease in your pet can be caused due to long-term use of steroids. And any of these issues lead to the excessive secretion of the cortisol hormone from the adrenal glands, which in turn, results in the development of Cushing’s disease in dogs.

Switching to the treatment of the disease at the right time may not improve your dog’s lifespan, but it will undoubtedly increase the quality of their living. Proper treatment helps in having your dog a less painful and problematic life. However, knowing when to put your dog down with Cushing’s disease is of great importance.

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When to Put Your Dog Down with Cushing’s Disease?

The prior step to determine if your dog is having Cushing’s disease or not is keeping a note of the changes in their behavior. Your dog is indeed not going to act normally as they do in the usual times. The most crucial factor in considering euthanasia of your dog is the increase in their drinking habit and uncontrollable urination.

Cushing’s in dogs may induce neurological symptoms, which might make your pet have a poor prognosis. Therefore, other physical deteriorations like the loss of muscles and appetite may also indicate Cushing’s in your canine. However, understanding the time to put your dog down may not be easy, as it’s sometimes difficult to interpret their body language.

Nevertheless, it can be easier to predict that your dog is suffering from Cushing’s disease when you see that your lovely pet is no longer loving its life. Their unnatural behaviors like the loss of enthusiasm and playfulness, being clingy to you too much or having an irritated mood can be taken as the vital signs to consult the doctor.

Besides, with the progress of the disease in your pet’s body, the symptoms will eventually become worse. In addition to the before-said signs, here are the later stage-symptoms of the Cushing syndrome in dogs:

  • Too much appetite
  • Thinning of the skin along with a very slow growth
  • Loss of energy
  • Too much panting
  • Frequents urinary tract infections
  • Excessive tiredness and lethargy

When you see any or more than one of these signs, it is time to consult your veterinarian. If Cushing’s disease is treated in the early stage, it enhances the chance of the dog to live longer. 

However, treatments during the final stage of the syndrome will not show much improvement in their condition. So, knowing when to euthanize a dog with Cushing’s disease lets you switch to the vet’s help at the right time to make your beloved pet free from this pathetic life. 

How to Treat Your Dog with Cushing’s Disease?

When you see any of the probable signs of Cushing’s disease in your dog, the first thing you should do is notify the vet about your suspect. The doctor will check your pet thoroughly, and depending upon its condition; your doggo would have to undergo the necessary tests and treatments. Here are the processes that are performed to diagnose your Cushing’s disease in the dog:

  • Ultrasound
  • Screening test for analyzing urine cortisol ratio
  • Differentiation tests

Dogs with mild symptoms of Cushing’s disease go through close monitoring before the beginning of the treatment. Most treatment methods include the destruction of a majority portion of the adrenal glands present in the dog’s body to reduce cortisol secretion.

Besides, the treatment procedure also includes oral medicines like trilostane for dogs to suppress cortisol production. Veterinarians frequently monitor the dog during the oral mediation phase to determine if they have any side effects on the canine.

Also, your dog may need to undergo surgery to get the adrenal tumor removed. Signs like rapid breathing, internal bleeding, and several other weaknesses are suggestive of the complications that you need to keep informing the vet from time to time.

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Final Thoughts

All of us know how strong the bond becomes between a human and his/ her dog. Letting it die right in front of your eyes due to your ignorance about the disease can never be an option. Look for your dog’s changing behaviors and habits quite often to detect the early stages of Cushing’s disease and treat your dog properly to gift them a much longer life with happiness and lesser pain.