Canine Cushing’s disease can be called a silent disease because a majority of pet parents confuse its symptoms with simple “old age”. Bloating or weight gain, hair loss and loss of bladder control are the most common canine Cushings disease symptoms, so it is easy to make this mistake. While aging is natural and not exactly curable, Cushing’s disease is actually curable, so concerned pet owners should get a professional diagnosis before considering anything drastic such as euthanasia for their dog.
Weight gain is usually one of the first canine Cushings disease symptoms that owners notice. Many may simply think this is normal and start feeding their dog less, but this is not a good approach. Weight gain occurs because of the hormone and chemical imbalances. In particular, your dog’s body is essentially being overdosed or poisoned with too much cortisol, which will cause weight gain and bloating. Obviously, feeding your dog less is not going to stop the overproduction of cortisol in their body.
Hair loss and thinning skin are other early canine Cushings disease symptoms owners may notice. Again, these are caused by a chemical imbalance within your dog’s adrenal system. Increased steroids and cortisol cause the body’s natural patterns to change. Hair loss occurs because of this, and also because of elevated stress.
Water Consumption & Bladder Control
Increased water consumption and loss of bladder control may occur simultaneously or gradually in a dog with Cushing’s disease. Generally, this loss of bladder control is what prompts a vet visit, where the dog can finally be diagnosed. Unfortunately, these canine Cushings disease symptoms may not appear until 1 – 5 years after your dog has contracted the disease. Cushing’s disease is generally curable at any stage, but long-term effects and damage to the body may not be.
Can It Be Cured
Cushing’s disease may be caused by a tiny, benign or malignant adrenal tumor which can be removed with surgery. In cases where this is not necessary, however, your vet will likely prescribe oral medication to treat the disease. The great news here is that at least 70% of cases only require this type of treatment.
So before you chalk canine Cushing’s disease symptoms up to old age, you may wish to schedule a checkup with your vet. Early symptoms may be hard to recognize, but the earlier you get this disease treated, the better. This can help your dog live a longer and more comfortable life.