Hyperadrenocorticism, or Cushing’s syndrome, is one of the most commonly diagnosed canine endocrine disorders. It is usually seen in older dogs and can be either spontaneous or iatrogenic (caused by other treatments).
In dogs with Cushing’s syndrome, there is a chronic overproduction of cortisol over weeks and months. Although the concentration of cortisol in the blood of a dog with Cushing’s also fluctuates greatly, it tends to be, on average, much higher than in healthy dogs. The excessive amount of cortisol released into the bloodstream has a harmful effect on the function of many organs and the body’s metabolism. The resulting symptoms can significantly impact the dog's quality of life, and if left untreated, is potentially life threatening.
Cushing’s syndrome cannot typically be cured with medication, but it can be successfully managed. Proper diagnosis, monitoring, and accurate treatment adjustments are essential elements in successfully managing Cushing’s syndrome.