Cushings Syndrome

General Information

Your dog has a condition known as Cushing’s syndrome which is due to an overproduction of the hormone, cortisol, by over active adrenal glands. In most cases the adrenal gland overactivity is due to primary stimulation arising from the “master gland” (pituitary) that is located at the base of the brain. In the remaining cases, the cause might be due to a primary adrenal gland tumor. in order to clarify the cause of your pet’s disorder, we must perform special laboratory test which will subsequently allow us to make the best therapeutic recommendations. In most situations we will prescribe a specific drug known as Lysodren (o.p’DDD).

Lysodren acts on specific zones on the adrenal gland which produce cortisol. The treatment protocol which will be prescribed for your dog is as follows:

Loading Period:

  1. Lsodren (500mg tablet); Give _________tablet(s) once daily for ______ days.
  2. Prednisone (5mg tablet); Give_________tablet(s) __________daily for days.

Maintenance Period:

Lysodren: Give__________tablet(s) orally once every ___________days.

In most situations we will want to repeat the adrenal gland stimulation test within a week following the loading period. This will allow more accurate assessment of the effects of the Lysodren. An adequate response characterizes as:

  1. Cessation of increased thirst, urination, and appetite. (Usually occurs within the first 2 weeks of treatment).
  2. Reduction of pot-belly appearance usually occurs after 1-2 months.
  3. Regrowth of hair coat; highly variable and ranges form 2-24 months.

An inadequate response to treatment is characterized by persistence of the abnormal signs. Once this is verified with the adrenal stimulation test, a reloading period accompanied by an adjusted maintenance dose will be necessary.

Often dogs with pituitary-induced Cushing’s syndrome will show a relapse of clinical signs following several months of remission. This necessitates repeat loading followed by an adjusted maintenance dosage schedule. In order to monitor your dog’s progress we will suggest periodic rechecks and repeat adrenal gland stimulation tests which are done on an out-patient basis. It is important to note that relapses occur because we are only treating the secondary site (adrenal glands), rather than the primary pituitary source of the syndrome.

Lysodren Toxicity:

Toxic signs are due to a depletion of adrenal gland hormones (primarily cortisol). They usually occur during the first 2 weeks of treatment. The signs include loss of appetite, weakness, depression, vomiting and /or diarrhea.

If any combination of these signs occur, you should do the following:

  1. Stop the Lysodren
  2. Give (1) 5mg prednisone tablet per 10 pounds body weight orally.
  3. Call our office for further instructions .

It is important that we work closely together in order to obtain optimum results for your pet.

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