Addison’s Disease

Addison's Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism)

Commonly found in young to middle age dogs.  Their is some evidence showing females are more at risk.  Addison’s Disease is a disease of the adrenal glands, a hormonal disorder that is caused by a deficient production of the adrenal gland hormones; cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol is a steroid that helps your dog combat stress while aldosterone helps regulate water, sodium and potassium levels in the body.  It can be difficult to  diagnose as  the symptoms are similar to many other issues.  It is usually  a diagnosis as a result of exclusion.  Your Vet will look at your pet’s clinical history, perform blood tests and an ECG.

Clinical signs can include:

  • loss of appetite
  • weakness/lethargy
  • recurrent episodes of diarrohea and or vomiting
  • slow heart rate
  • failure to cope with stress
  • increased thirst and urination
  • blood in feaces
  • hair loss
  • depression

In its severest form Addison’s can develop suddenly.  This is classified as an Addisonian Crisis and is a medical emergency requiring immediate veterinary care.  

Treatment for Addison’s Disease is usually a life-time of hormone therapy/injections and careful monitoring.  As stressful situations can bring on an Addisonian crisis it is important not to over exert or expose them to stressful situations.

We also recommend Kinesiology Hormonal balances to help balance the adrenals and regular massages to help reduce stress.

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