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Cushing syndrome in dogs: what is it?


Cushing's syndrome is a hormonal disorder that is particularly common in older dogs or certain breeds. An excess of cortisol leads to various symptoms of the disease and should be treated and regulated with medication as soon as possible. Cushing's syndrome is common in older dogs - Image: Shutterstock / Zuzana Uhlíková

Like underactive thyroid and diabetes, Cushing's syndrome is one of the most common hormonal disorders in dogs. It is particularly often diagnosed in older, female dogs and certain dog breeds. These include, for example, boxers, German shepherds, golden retrievers, poodles and pinschers.

Cushing syndrome: body produces too much cortisol

The disease symptoms in Cushing's syndrome arise from the fact that too much cortisol is produced by the adrenal cortex. This hormone plays a very important role in metabolism. It is important for anti-inflammatory, blood pressure regulation, protein breakdown and much more - no wonder that changing cortisol production leads to many health problems.

On the one hand, overproduction can be caused by a tumor in the kidney region, this cause is relatively common, and on the other hand by the long-term treatment of an animal with medications containing cortisone.

With timely treatment, the prognosis is good

Dog owners who are sick often notice that their pet drinks a lot more than usual, has a weak immune system, changes in the skin and hair, and poor wound healing. A visit to the veterinarian now provides certainty as to whether the dog is suffering from Cushing's syndrome.

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If the dog is really ill, medication is started, which should quickly improve the condition and ensure that the four-legged friend can live a happy, long life like his healthy peers. It is important that treatment is started as soon as possible, because if the disease is discovered too late, the prognosis may be less favorable.