Cushings Disease in Horses and Dogs

Has your horse or dog been diagnosed with Cushings disease (also known as Cushings syndrome)?  Are you worried about the future for your animal?  Do you want to find a treatment that works?

Cushings disease is not isolated to horses and dogs; it can affect other animals and people too.  However, this web site is mainly concerned with the condition when it exists in horses and dogs.

Causes

The condition is caused as a result of the body producing too much Cortisol (formally known as hydrocortisone). It is a hormone that occurs naturally and is important for managing stress, inflammation, body weight, skin condition and other functions.

Problems occur when too much Cortisol is being produced.  When this happens, the immune system is weakened which leads to numerous secondary problems.  There is also a strong link between excess cortisol and bone density conditions such as osteoporosis and, over the long term, muscle wasting.  These are just two of many secondary conditions that can develop as a consequence of over-production.  We discuss some of these in more detail in the Articles section of the web site.

Symptoms

Symptoms differ in Horses and dogs, so we have deliberately separated all content into categories to deal with each separately.  If you need information for horses, you can visit that section and if you’re more interested in dogs, then there’s a section for that too.

In each of the separate sections, we will provide information on the following:

  • Diagnosis  – information to help you assess your own animal and also references to tests that your Veterinarian can undertake.
  • Symptoms – detailed information about the symptoms and how you can identify these as part of your diagnosis and for monitoring during treatment.
  • Treatments – Your options for treating your horse or dog.  There are choices to be made and we’ll help you understand the way each works and the pro’s and con’s of each.

Many people consider euthanasia when their horse or dog begins showing symptoms.  Often this is because they mistake the condition for old age or some other condition.  That’s unfortunate because many of the treatments are very effective in treating Cushings disease, especially if it’s identified early.

What you will find on this web site

The purpose of this web site is to to provide information on Cushing’s disease to horse and dog owners.  This includes the symptoms, diagnosis and various treatments that might be available.  We hope that you will read through the information on this web site and contribute to the conversations so that other visitors can benefit from your knowledge.  In turn this might help you decide how best to treat your animal and give it the best quality of life possible.

As we have already said before, there are differences in horses and dogs so please refer to the relevant section for the information you need.

Please visit other sections of this web site to learn more about the condition and the treatments available, including modern methods.