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Addison’s Disease in Dogs

Diagnose Addison's disease in dogsEvery day you spend money for the best dog food , or some delicious bones. Your clothes are covered with fur and you start to understand what is dog’s barking. Congratulations, you’re the proud owner of a dog. Your pet needs your love, your smile and your attention. And you do everything to provide for them. But one day, you notice your dog doesn’t want to play with you or doesn’t want to check your pockets for some tasty surprise. Then you grab the pet and fly to the vet clinic. That is when everything starts…
What is “Addison’s disease”? Do you have to get paranoid? Asking your vet questions like “Will my dog die?”comes on your mind and makes you worried. Don’t panic, we’ll try to explain what is that disease and what could you expect from it.

 

Properly Identifying Addison’s Disease Symptoms

The Addison’s disease is known as hypoadrenocorticism. The symptoms aren’t so different from these you could notice when there’s some other disease. That’s why vets can make a wrong diagnosis and start some worthless treatment. It’s very important that the Addison’s disease can be found on time. If that happens, then your dog will live a long and normal life. What can cause that problem? Everything starts from the adrenal glands. They are located near to the kidney and their size is very small. When the adrenal glands stop working properly, they don’t produce enough hormones. And these hormones are very important, because they control the sugar, salt and water balance in the body of your little buddy. That disease is typical for the young, female dogs. So their owners need to be very careful and if they notice something strange in the behavior of their pet, they need to visit the vet immediately. The hormones from the adrenal glands help the animals to defeat the stress. If there’s a problem with these glands, then the animal can’t deal with the stress and that could make the symptoms even worse. The Addison’s disease could cause dehydration.

Lovely dog near the grassThe reason for that is that one of the symptoms, vomitting. Because of the symptoms, the vomiting and low blood sugar, the vet could feel confused and think that the problem is some kidney disease. That’s why the laboratory tests are very important for the right diagnosis. The test that could help for finding Addison’s disease is called ACTH. It is a stimulation test. We’ll try to explain how that works. First, the vet gets some drops of the dog’s blood. He needs to measure the level of the hormone “cortisol”. After that, he injects the dog with that hormone. It “tells” the glands to produce more hormones. After a couple of hours, he needs to measure the level of the cortisol in the blood again. If the level of the hormone is still too low, or there is no effect, then the vet can say that this is an Addison’s disease.
You already heard that your little sunshine is sick. Do not worry, everything will be okay. Don’t waste time and let the doctors take care of the problem.


We have the result from the ACTH tests. It says “Addison’s disease”. So, what’s next? Before your vet and you start the treatment, you need to know what type of Addison’s disease has your dog. According to the specialists, there are three forms of that disease. They are called “Primary”, “Secondary”and “Typical”. Primary and Typical are the results of some problem with the glands. After you know for sure what type of Addison’s disease you and your dog have to deal with, then you can start the right treatment. If the problem is very serious, then your dog must stay at the vet clinic for days. It would take the right medicines and hormones there. The dog will be injected with all it needs to get healthy again. The treatment is long – term, but the dog’s life and health are the most important things in that case. The medicine for that disease includes fluids and cortisol. Sometimes, the dog could be injected with some drugs. They neutralize the negative heart effect that could appear . The care for your pet doesn’t stop with its leaving the vet clinic. You need to give your dog pills every day and don’t forget to take your buddy to the clinic every 25 days for a special shot. Don’t forget that if your dog has Addison’s disease, the level of the hormone cortisol is low. We already know that the dog needs that hormone for its fight with stress. That’s why it’s very important to make your dog’s life calm and comfortable. During the periods of big stress, you may need to give your pet some extra medicine. But that will be recommended from your vet, if needed. Try to avoid making things that could cause stress for your dog. If you need to leave the town for a day or two, find someone who can take care of your pet.
Many of the dogs with Addison’s disease make a full and complete recovery. They run, they play with their owners and do all of these little cute things, like licking your face or bringing the newspaper. If your dog isn’t lucky, you’d have to give it pills and other medicines. But we are sure, that wouldn’t stop you from living with your pet. Love is love and friendship is forever. Do you agreine? Have you overcome the Addison’s disease in your pup, share with us!

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