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Hyperadrenocorticism advice sheet.
Your pet has been diagnosed with hyperadrenocortisim, this condition is more commonly
known as Cushing’s disease.
Cushing’s disease is caused by the adrenal glands producing too much cortisol. Cortisol
has many effects on the body, its main effect is on the metabolism of carbohydrate,
protein and fat and the immune system.
The adrenal glands produce cortisol in response to a hormone called ACTH, which is
produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. Cushing’s disease can be caused by either
the pituitary gland in the brain producing too much ACTH or the adrenal glands
producing too much cortisol. Over 80% of the dogs with Cushing’s have a pituitary gland
problem and the rest have an adrenal gland problem. Either one or both of the adrenal
glands may be affected.
The signs associated with Cushings that you may have noticed at home are:
Rounder abdomen-pot bellied appearance
Lethargy, not wanting to go for walks
Skin changes, loosing hair
Poor coat condition Diagnosis.
Your vet will have diagnosed your pet as having Cushing’s disease by performing an
ACTH stimulation blood test. A second test called a dexamethasone suppression blood
test may also need to be performed to help diagnose your pet. Please discuss this further
with your vet if you require any information about this test.
The treatment for Cushing’s disease is life long treatment with a drug called Vetoryl.
Vetoryl works by blocking the synthesis of cortisol. Vetoryl capsules are normally
administered once daily. They must be given in the morning with food and the capsules
must not be opened.
Once treatment has started your vet will want to see your pet regularly for check ups. It is
important that you attend these appointments so that we can closely monitor your pet’s
condition. At these re-checks blood samples will be taken to assess liver and kidney
function and various other parameters that are important for your pets wellbeing. We will
need to keep them in for a few hours to perform an ACTH stimulation test to see whether
the dose of Vetoryl needs to be altered.
It is quite normal for the Vetoryl dose to be altered a few times before we find a dose that
suits them. We can only start this test 4-6 hours after they have had their Vetoryl capsule
so please let us know what time the medication was given when you bring them in. Summary.
Cushing’s disease requires life long treatment and regular check ups The capsules must be given with food in the morning. The capsules must not be opened. Wear gloves when administering the capsules. Please contact your vet if your pet develops the following signs: vomiting,
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant please avoid handling the
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