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Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's Syndrome) in Dogs

By: Dr. Douglas Brum

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Optimal treatment for your dog requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow up can be crucial, especially if your dog does not improve. Administer as directed all medications prescribed by your veterinarian. Alert your veterinarian promptly if you are experiencing problems treating your dog.

Monitor for any recurrence of clinical signs, especially increased thirst, increased urination and increased appetite. If your dog suddenly deteriorates, especially during treatment with mitotane, contact your veterinarian immediately. He or she may prescribe prednisone to be given in the event of an emergency.

Routine blood testing (especially ACTH stimulation tests) will be needed at least twice a year.

Dogs on mitotane therapy generally require progressively higher maintenance dosages of the drug over time due to increasing blood cortisol concentrations.

Follow-up after surgical removal of an adrenal tumor includes monitoring the dog for recurrence by means of abdominal ultrasound examination.

Optimal care for the dog with Cushing's syndrome requires a good understanding of the disease and its symptoms, a significant financial and time commitment by the owner, and excellent communication between the veterinarian and the owner.


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