Canine Addison’s Disease
Canine Addison’s disease can have very serious health consequences. Many owners ignore the signs for one reason or another which is a huge mistake. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones that aid many different bodily functions. Therefore, the condition can cause problems with a range of body systems.
There are a few reasons why the adrenal gland can stop doing its job properly such as a tumor or some sort of trauma. In some cases of Addison’s disease in dogs, the adrenal gland will still function like normal. In these cases, lack of hormone production of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus is to blame.
Many dogs suffer from Cushing’s disease, which occurs whenever there is too much corticosteroids in the body. To treat this disease, production of the hormone is limited. If production drops too dramatically though, canine Addison’s disease can result.
As you have already learned, Addison’s disease in dogs is very serious. It can cause your dog to experience muscle weakness, muscle tremors, joint pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dogs with this condition frequently lose their appetites, drop weight, and become dehydrated.
Unfortunately, many other common dog diseases will produce many of these same signs. Therefore, canine Addison’s disease can easily be missed by vets. Adrenal function will need to be evaluated. If low production is suspected, a synthetic hormone that prompts the adrenal gland to produce more will be introduced to your dog. If levels still remain low, then your dog will likely be diagnosed with this condition.
Fortunately, Addison’s disease in dogs is very treatable, and dogs don’t have to have a lower quality of life just because they have been diagnosed with it. However, they will need to take medication for the rest of their lives. These medications are needed to simulate the hormones that are no longer being produced naturally.