Dog Disease - Addison's Disease

Addison's disease (canine Hypoadrenocorticism) is a condition in which, due to malfunctioning of our pet's adrenal glands, insufficient cortisol or aldosterone is being produced. Proper functioning of the adrenal gland is very important, as this gland produces many other hormones essential to your pets health. It's malfunctioning can lead to several severer complications. Since this dog disease gives birth to many other health problems, it's early diagnoses and treatment is a must. Yet since it's symptoms are commonly present in many other diseases the condition is often misdiagnosed. This results in delay of the proper treatment. Once diagnosed the disease is easy to treat , even though your pet would have to remain on lifetime medication.

The disease is present genetically in most canine breeds but Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Bearded Collies, and Portuguese Water Dogs are more prone to it. Dogs of both sexes can develop this condition at any age, but it is more common in middle aged female dogs. Some dogs may develop this condition after undergoing surgery close to the the pituitary gland. In such an eventuality the disease is termed as secondary Addison's .

The symptoms of this disease are:
  • Hyper pigmentation.
  • Lethargy.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Lack of appetite
  • Shivering.
  • Pain in the joints.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting.
Should you notice any of these consult your vet for an immediate examination. Early diagnosis and treatment will help eliminate severe complications which develop if treatment is delayed.

In case your pet is found to be suffering from Addison's dog disease, you have many options for treatment. These include synthetic cortisol or intravenous saline injections, hydro-cortisone tablets, prednisone or fludrocortisone acetate.

Your vet is the best person to decide on the treatment and dosage.Remember, an early diagnosis and treatment plays an essential part in ensuring an active and normal life for your pet; even though he would be placed on life time medication.