Cushings Syndrome occurs in dogs who are producing excessive amounts of cortisol. Cortisol is produced by two small glands situated near the kidneys called adrenal glands.The production and release of cortisol from the adrenal glands is controlled by a hormone called ACTH.
ACTH is produced by a pea sized gland at the base of the brain called the pituitary gland. In dogs with Cushing's syndrome, cortisol release is excessive and eventually becomes debilitating.
There are two forms of Cushings syndrome;
Both forms of cushing's syndrome result in excessive amounts of cortisol in the blood and over time the clinical signs of Cushing's syndrome will develope.
Cushing's syndrome is usually seen in the older dog.
A dog with Cushing's Syndrome will often ;-
Drink large amounts
Have a "pot belly"
Have thin skin and hair loss
Develop muscle wasting
Your dog may not necessarily have all these symptoms.
This is the reason that your vet can't just measure cortisol from one sample. The blood tests required usually require you to leave your dog with your vet for a few hours.
Your vet may run a ACTH stimulation test. This test assesses how much excess cortisole your dog's adrenal glands actually produce.
The importance of treatment-