How To Test For Cushing’s Disease In Dogs
Cushing’s Disease also known as hyperadrenocorticism is a common hormonal disorder that affects dogs. It is caused by excessive production of the hormone cortisol by the adrenal glands. If left untreated it can lead to serious health complications in dogs including diabetes hypertension heart diseases. Therefore it is essential to test for Cushing’s Disease in dogs diagnosed with the disorder. Here are a few ways how you can test for Cushing’s Disease in dogs.
The most common easiest way to test for Cushing’s Disease in dogs is through blood tests. These tests measure the levels of cortisol other hormones in the blood. A veterinarian may perform one or more blood tests to verify Cushing’s Disease’s presence the severity of the condition. Blood tests may include the Low-Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test (LDDS) or the ACTH Stimulation Test both of which stimulate the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. The veterinarian will check how the dog’s body responds to the cortisol production if the cortisol levels are high it could indicate Cushing’s Disease.
Urine tests are also another way to test for Cushing’s Disease in dogs. These tests measure the levels of cortisol in urine which usually rise in dogs with Cushing’s Disease. The veterinarian may collect the dog’s urine for a day which will enable them to check for urinary cortisol levels over a 24-hour period. A high level of cortisol in urine over 24 hours may indicate Cushing’s Disease.
The veterinarian may perform an abdominal ultrasound on the dog to check for any tumors or abnormalities in the adrenal glthat could cause Cushing’s Disease. An ultrasound will also check for any enlargement of the adrenal gland which is a common symptom of Cushing’s Disease. The veterinarian will use an ultrasound machine to check the dog’s abdomen organs.
Cushing’s Disease Symptoms
There are several signs symptoms dog owners can look out for to see if their dog may have Cushing’s Disease. These symptoms include increased thirst urination appetite pot-bellied appearance skin thinning muscle weakness loss of hair. These symptoms may appear gradually dog owners may not notice them immediately. Therefore it is essential to seek veterinary care whenever you observe any of these symptoms.
In conclusion Cushing’s Disease is a treatable condition but it’s essential to test for its presence to avoid its complications. Blood tests urine tests abdominal ultrasounds are the most common ways to test for Cushing’s Disease in dogs. If you suspect your dog may have Cushing’s Disease it is best to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
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