Dogs that have canine Cushing's disease have symptoms such as increased thirst, increased urination, increased panting, increased hunger, obesity, fat pads on the shoulders or neck, hair loss, are lethargic, have a pot belly, have difficulty sleeping, have weak muscles, have blackheads, have thinner skin and may have hard white scaly areas, according to PetMD. Dogs that are thought to have Cushing's disease or exhibit any of these symptoms should be treated immediately.
Most of the time, Cushing's disease is caused by a pituitary tumor though the tumor is usually not cancerous and is benign. Sometimes, however, adrenal gland problems or the use of glucocorticoid can cause Cushing's disease. Diagnosis involves running tests for cortisone levels as well as a cortisol to creatinine ratio test with the urine, notes PetMD.
Once Cushing's disease has been diagnosed, the treatment will need to begin immediately. Treatment varies depending on the type of Cushing's disease that the dog has. The most common treatment administered is Lysodern, Mitotane or Trilostane. Sometimes Ketoconazole is also used, notes Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. If the dog had a cancerous tumor, treatment will also involve surgically removing the tumor. Most of the medication used to treat Cushing's disease in dogs can have dangerous side effects so dogs must be monitored closely. With treatment, most dogs are able to live a normal and healthy life.