In an animal with Cushing’s disease, the body has most likely had an over-exposure of Cortisol-type hormones. These are usually anti-inflammatory medications (examples – Prednisone, Dexamethasone) used over a long term to treat ailments such as degenerative arthritis and allergic skin diseases, among other usages.
Because of the gradual development of symptoms related to Cushing’s Disease, owners may confuse them with signs of a normal aging process. Symptoms that are noted are excessive urinary and drinking patterns, increase in appetite, a ‘pot-bellied’ appearance, muscle weakness and skin disorders.
An important difference in dogs as opposed to cats with this syndrome is that cats are 70% more likely to develop Diabetes than dogs.
Treatment is absolutely necessary, the main goal being to create glucocorticoid insufficiency. This can be done with medication prescribed by a Veterinarian, and is usually life long.