Cushing’s disease is a type of hormone disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce enough cortisol. It can cause serious complications, ranging from increased appetite and thirst to more severe issues like diabetes, seizures, and even coma. If you notice these 6 symptoms in your dog, it’s important that you take them to the vet as soon as possible!
1. Increased thirst
One of the most common symptoms is increased thirst. Your dog will seem to drink out of nowhere, and might even start drinking from places that are simply moist on the ground or sometimes even standing water! You may find yourself constantly refilling their water bowl, or that they need to have fresh water brought to them throughout the day.
If your dog is drinking more than usual, this might be a sign of Cushing’s disease. Drinking more water is often a sign of low blood sugar or diabetes, which can be caused by long-term high cortisol levels. If you notice your dog drinking more than the usual amount of water, don’t panic and immediately think that it’s time to euthanize, instead, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. Make sure to follow any instructions on how to take care of your beloved friend after you get back home.
2. Eating more food than usual
One way to tell if your dog is exhibiting signs of Cushing’s disease is if they are eating more than normal. The increased appetite, along with excessive drinking and urinating, maybe the only symptoms that your dog has. It is important to take them to the vet if you notice these symptoms, as it can lead to serious complications.
You’ll notice your dog eating more, a lot more! They’ll have a huge appetite and eat quickly, but they won’t necessarily act like they’re full. It’s not uncommon for them to gain weight rapidly during this time either (not ideal if you own an athletic breed!).
3. A potbelly
A potbelly is a sign that the dog is overweight. However, it’s difficult to say with certainty what the cause of the potbelly may be without more information. It could also be a sign of Cushing’s disease if the dog has not been eating well and has lost weight. You’ll notice that your dog might get a potbelly, which means they are retaining fluid. This is another common symptom of Cushing’s disease.
One symptom of fluid retention is increased thirst and urination. This may be noticeable in the form of more frequent times where your dog needs to go to the bathroom. Other symptoms include increased appetite, rapid weight gain, and a pot-bellied appearance. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, it might be dealing with fluid retention and you should take them to the vet as soon as possible!
4. A thickened neck
You may notice that the skin on their neck appears to be thicker than usual. You can feel it by pressing firmly with your fingers just below the jawline. It will feel more like you’re feeling for bones under there! This happens due to fat deposits in this area of their body which usually isn’t the case in normal canine anatomy.
Because this condition also makes them more sensitive, they might not enjoy getting petted around this area either. Moving up from the lower part of the legs towards the head, you may notice increased pressure when you press your fingers. This is because the bones in their legs are becoming softer and weaker, but they won’t necessarily end up in pain or discomfort because of this.
5. A wavy coat
You may notice that your dog’s fur has become thinner than usual, looking like it’s become “wavy” or stringy instead of smooth and sleek! Additionally, they may lose hair in patches on their head, armpits, groin area…pretty much anywhere. If the hair loss is happening all over their body except for certain areas (like spots on their back), this could be a sign of mange which is not typical in dogs with Cushing’s disease so it should definitely be checked out by your vet.
6. Increased muscle weakness
You may notice that your dog’s muscle strength is deteriorating, making it difficult for them to get up or maintain their balance. They might even stop jumping on the furniture! This symptom will most likely become more evident after they have been resting for a while because of their increased fatigue. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, it’s important that you take them to the vet as soon as possible! They may need long-term treatment in order for Cushing’s disease to be reversed.
The symptoms of Cushing’s disease can be difficult to identify. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it is important that they are taken to the vet as soon as possible! The sooner a diagnosis can be made and treatment begins, the better their prognosis will be for an eventual recovery from this hormone disorder.