The first noticeable symptoms of Cushing's disease in canines are a steep, sudden increase in water intake and urination, according to PetEducation.com. A dramatic increase in appetite is the second most noticeable symptom of Cushing's disease.
Cushing's disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, refers to the increase of glucocorticoid hormones in a dog's body due to a tumor on the pituitary gland. Approximately 85 percent of dogs diagnosed with Cushing's disease experience insatiable thirst and increased urination, and 80 percent experience polyphagia and abdominal enlargement, states PetEducation.com.
Cushing's disease is uncommon in dogs under the age of 6, and increased thirst and appetite in a younger dog are more likely signs of different medical issues, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine notes. Less common symptoms include hair loss, skin thinning and darkening, obesity, weakened muscle tone, and decreased energy.
Cushing's disease is generally unpreventable, but prognosis is good, PetMD notes. Cushing's disease is most common in Boston terriers, dachshunds, poodles and boxers, but no breed is immune. A vet may use a blood test or a urine test to diagnose Cushing's disease. Early treatment yields more positive outcomes, so if a dog shows signs of Cushing's disease, a physical exam by a licensed vet is essential.