Addison’s disease or hypoadrenocorticism is a situation that occurs due to the improper functioning of adrenal glands. The adrenal glands stop producing hormones in this disease, especially cortisol and aldosterone.
Cortisol and aldosterone hormones are necessary for life. Due to the deficiency of these hormones, the body starts to fail.
This disease is the opposite of Cushing’s disease. Addison’s disease in dogs is mainly caused when the body’s immune system erroneously attacks the adrenal glands. As a result, the glands stop working correctly ( ‘immune mediated’ condition).
If you want to protect your dogs from this deadly disease, then you must know about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments. This article describes all these key points about Addison’s disease. Let’s take a look at them.
Addison’s disease prevalence:
Addison’s disease is rare in pets. However, it might affect any dog breed with an elevated incidence observed in the Great Danes.
Though Addison’s disease can occur in any dog, it is most common in middle-aged females (4-6 years old). This disease is observed most frequently in certain pedigree breeds.
Dog breeds prone to Addison’s disease:
Some pups breeds that are more prone to Addison’s disease are:
- Standard Poodles
- Great Danes
- Bearded Collies
- West Highland White Terriers
- Portuguese Water Dogs
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
Side effects of Addison’s disease in dogs:
Addison’s disease usually develops gradually. It causes indistinct signs and symptoms that come and go. Addison’s disease imparts a wide range of side effects on the dog’s health. Some of its bad effects include:
- Reduced appetite
- Low energy (lethargy)
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea from time to time
- Vomiting from time to time
- Being weak and wobbly
- Drinking and peeing more than usual
- Just not being ‘quite right
Is Addison’s disease fatal in dogs?
Many pet owners ask this question. The unfortunate answer to this question is positive. In some conditions, this disease can develop quickly. It causes a life-threatening state referred to as an ‘Addisonian crisis. It has been noted that this disease disturbs the blood sugar levels in dogs. A link between Addison’s disease and increased insulin levels in dogs has also been observed.
Signs of an ‘Addisonian crisis’ are:
- Slow heart rate
- Untreated Addison’s disease in dogs can even lead to death.
Diagnosis of Addison’s disease in dogs:
Do you want to know how to test for Addison’s disease in dogs?
Addison’s disease diagnosis in dogs usually occurs during an Addisonian crisis. The dogs experience life-threatening signs and symptoms like shock and collapse in this situation.
Veterinarians conduct a series of Addison’s disease testing in dogs to determine the cause of the collapse and decide other methods for Addison’s disease in dogs’ diagnosis.
Before recommending any test, the Veterinarian might perform an inclusive physical exam and take a detailed history of your pet friend; your Veterinarian might check Addison’s disease sodium and potassium ratios and hormone levels in your pooch.
Veterinarians recommend various tests for the diagnosis of this disease. The most common Addison’s disease test for dogs includes:
- Chemistry tests
- Antibody tests
- A complete blood count (CBC)
- Electrolyte tests
- Urine tests
- A thyroid test
- An ECG, MRI, or CT
- An ACTH-stimulation test
The perfect test for Addison’s disease in dogs is the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test (ACTH- stimulation test). An ACTH-stimulation test is performed to evaluate cortisol levels in the blood before and after injection of a synthetic form of ACTH. This let indicates if the adrenal glands are functioning accurately.
An ECG is executed to check for changes on your canine’s heart. ECG screen for an abnormal heart rhythm, which might signify underlying heart disease.
A chemistry test is performed to assess liver, kidney, and pancreatic function. This test also evaluates the sugar levels. Antibody tests tell if your pet dog has been exposed to any infectious or vector-borne diseases. The urine tests screen for urinary tract infections and other diseases help assess the kidney’s capacity to concentrate urine. Your Vet might run a urinalysis.
An electrolyte test is conducted to ensure that your fluffy friend is not dehydrated or suffering from an electrolyte imbalance. A thyroid test is done to verify if the thyroid gland generates too little thyroid hormone. MRI or CT is rarely done to diagnose a pituitary gland problem.
Addison’s disease CBC chem. The test is performed to rule out blood-related conditions like mild anemia. This disease leads to low red blood cell count and is associated with Addison’s disease since cortisol is necessary for bone marrow production of the finest red blood cell.
Addison’s disease in dog’s misdiagnosis:
Addison’s disease in dogs might be misdiagnosed with dehydration, gastrointestinal disease, kidney disease, a ruptured bladder, pancreatitis, or various kinds of poisonings. The best way to accurately diagnose Addison’s disease is via an ACTH stimulation test.
Treatment for Addison’s disease in dogs:
Do you wonder how do you treat Addison’s disease in dogs?
The treatments of this disease vary but characteristically involve a mineralocorticoid medicine for Addison’s disease in dogs. You can administer the medicines for Addison’s disease orally or intravenously.
Addison’s disease injections for dogs:
The best Addison’s disease shot for dogs is Desoxycorticosterone pivalate. The FDA approves Addison’s disease in dog injection to treat this disease.
Addison’s disease medication for dogs:
Florinef is an oral medication. It is administered daily and works properly in some dogs.
Percorten is another medication for this disease. It is an injectable mineralocorticoid. It is administered every 21-28 days. Several dogs with Addison’s disease will start behaving lethargic if they have skipped their regular dose of Percorten by even 1 or 2 days. Few dogs might also need regular administration of prednisone.
Addison’s disease dogs Percorten study:
Percorten-V has been proved to provide good control of the clinical symptoms of Addison’s disease in dogs. It normalization serum potassium, sodium, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) quantities. The body weight of dogs also increases after using this medicine.
Addison’s disease in dogs and Thyro tabs:
Levothyroxine is medicine for Addison’s disease in dogs. It is a thyroid hormone substitute used to treat low thyroid hormone levels. It comes with logo names: Thyro-Tabs canine®, Levoxyl®, Synthroid®, Unithroid®, Levo-T®, Eltroxin®, Levothroid®, and PMS-Levothyroxine®.
Addison’s disease in dog’s treatment cost:
The cost of medical treatment for Addison’s disease can be as less as $50 per month or as high as $200. It is based on the dog’s response to the treatment and selected drugs. Regular lab work should also be considered into the cost structure to ensure that your pet responds correctly.
Addison’s disease in dogs and vaccines:
Most of the pet owners ask about Addison’s disease vaccination. It is a hormone condition that occurs due to the pet’s immune system problems. So there is no vaccine for this disease.
Addison’s disease in dog’s prevention:
The terrible news is that you cannot prevent Addison’s disease in pets. The excellent thing about this disease is that it is rare and very manageable.
Steroid hormones facilitate keeping the body healthy during stress, so a dog with Addison’s disease is a threat of becoming ill if something stressful happens. If you want to evade this issue, then you must keep your pup as calm and relaxed as possible. You can also give some attractive toys to your fluffy friend to deal with a stressful situation. Loobani offers the best attractive toys for pets.
How to get a pet with Addison’s disease to eat?
It is necessary to take care of Addison’s disease dog diet. You must give your buddy a healthy fresh food diet to improve your pet’s overall health. You must also consider glandular therapy, antioxidants, and some herbal remedies for the well-being of your dog.
Addison’s disease in dog’s treatment without shots might include some herbal remedies. These herbs can strengthen the adrenal glands. These herbs include Dandelion leaf, Borage, Licorice, Nettle, and Spirulina. Antioxidants aid in fighting free radicals and inflammation. Antioxidants are present in the bounty of fresh fruit and veggies like blueberries, raspberries, and broccoli.
The Best dog food for dogs with Addison’s disease is the one that has all essential nutrients. The food must have enough essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 that will also assist in fighting inflammation in your pet’s body. Omega-3 helps minimize inflammation. It can assist in controlling auto-immune conditions. These fatty acids exist in oily fish and flax oil foods.
You can use the Pet feeders to serve this food to your fluffy friend. You can find the best pet feeders at Loobani.com.
you can prepare Addison’s disease dog food by adding a small amount of grain-free kibble with homemade foods, including:
- Cook, ground turkey, or lean ground beef)
- Sweet potatoes
- High-quality canned dog food
- Chicken broth
- Digestive enzymes
- Fish oil
Diet for dogs with Addison’s disease:
The best diet for dogs with this disease might include:
- Ground or whole bones
- Muscle meat, frequently still on the bone
- Organ meats (liver and kidneys are perfect)
- Raw egg yolks
- Vegetables (broccoli, spinach, and celery)