silhouette

Addisons Disease

Some cases of canine hyoadrenocorticism (addisons disease) are due to auto-antibody production against the adrenal glands. In Addisons Disease the immune system targets and destroys the Adrenal glands. This results in the deficiency of two hormones glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Cortisol combats stress and maintains blood sugar while aldosterone (a mineralocorticoid ) regulates,water, potassium, and chloride in the body.
Addisons is a treatable disease and once stable dogs will enjoy a relatively normal life

If steroid drug therapy is withdrawn too quickly it can result in Addisons symptoms

Addisons disease can be progressive or can present as an Addisons crisis ,in either case treatment must be sought immediately

Symptoms include:

Muscle weakness
lethargy
Lack of appetite
Sickness
Dehydration
Excess drinking
cold to the touch, shaky,
Depression
Sudden collapse and shock
Kidney failure
Diarrhoea - sometimes contains blood
Abdominal pain
Increased urine production  
Weight loss

Your vet will perform various tests to confirm the disease, the main one being an ACTH stimulation test
 
Treatment will involve great dedication and observation on the part of the owner to stabalise the condition, regular vet visits to monitor response to treatment are vital.
Steroid replacement therapy may be considered along with daily salt nd replacement mineralcorticoids such as Florinef
All the above MUST be tailored to suit the individual dog and closely monitored until stable

Stress is an important consideration with an Addisonian dog so be sure to mention to your vet if you anticipate a stressful event as he may need to change medication to keep the dog well.
Physical as well as mental stress should be avoided if possible

Any medication prescribed MUST be administered exactly as prescribed and any changes such as vomiting should be reported to your vet.
Regular visits to your vet, every couple of weeks initially until the dog is stable to every 6 months
or so

Useful Links