Addison's Disease in Dogs
Question Is Addison’s disease common to certain dog breeds, or can any dog get it? Also, how is the disease diagnosed and managed?
Answer Addison’s disease is an uncommon-even rare-disease that can affect any dog. Standard Poodles, Rottweilers, Great Danes and several other breeds, however, seem to have a higher incidence of affliction. The disease occurs when injury to or disease of the adrenal gland causes a deficiency in the gland’s ability to produce normal amounts of cortisone or the mineral-regulating hormone called aldosterone.
As a result, various symptoms such as weakness and gastrointestinal disorders develop. Diagnosis can be made by measuring electrolyte levels or through specific adrenal gland function tests. Treatment consists of hormone replacement therapy using one of several different drugs depending on the animal’s response. The drugs may be administered in injectable or pill form. Treatment is usually lifelong, but once regulated, the dog can live a normal life.
As always, you should rely on your veterinarian’s advice, since he or she will have a more thorough and direct understanding of your pet’s problem.
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