Canine Cushing's Case Files: The ins and outs of detection and treatment—Case file: Dali (Sponsored by Dechra Veterinary Products)

Jan 01, 2013

Hyperadrenocorticism affects many adult dogs. Whether the disease is pituitarydependent (80% to 85% of spontaneous cases) or adrenal-dependent (15% to 20% of cases), the clinical and laboratory abnormalities associated with it result from chronic hypercortisolemia. Clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism at the time of diagnosis can vary widely, and they develop so gradually that owners often mistake the signs for "normal" aging. Being aware of the more subtle signs of canine hyperadrenocorticism can be key to early diagnosis and initiation of therapy.

Whenever possible, pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism and adrenal tumors should be differentiated to help guide therapy and patient monitoring. Early diagnosis and management of canine hyperadrenocorticism may not only improve the patient's clinical signs but may also keep the more severe consequences of Cushing's syndrome from developing.


10-year-old, spayed female dachshund weighing 9 lb (4.1 kg)

Presenting complaint and history

Dali was referred to Texas A&M's Veterinary Teaching Hospital for evaluation of a mammary mass that had progressively enlarged over a three-month period. Several years before referral, Dali had two malignant mammary masses removed. Dali was receiving levothyroxine, and recent post-pill thyroxine concentrations showed effective control of her hypothyroidism.