Cushing's Disease in Dogs | Diagnosis and Tests
PetWave | Dog & Cat Information

Diagnosing Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Initial Evaluation

Any dog suspected of having hyperadrenocorticism will likely undergo a thorough physical examination and history, together with an initial database including a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemistry profile and a urinalysis, with or without a bacterial culture. Other fairly routine diagnostic tests include abdominal radiographs and/or ultrasound, and blood pressure assessment.

Diagnostic Procedures

There are a number of more advanced laboratory tests available to help a veterinarian confirm a diagnosis of Cushing’s disease. These include a urine cortisol:creatinine ratio analysis, a low-dose dexamethasone suppression blood test, a high-dose dexamethasone suppression blood test, an ACTH stimulation blood test, and/or an assessment of endogenous blood ACTH concentrations. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography scans (CT or CAT scans) are also available to aid in the diagnostic process, as they may help visualize tumors of the pituitary or adrenal glands.

One of the simplest of these tests is the urine cortisol:creatinine ratio test. Normally, the owner is asked to catch the first morning’s urine at home and bring it to their veterinarian for measurement of cortisol and creatinine levels. Normal test results essentially rule out the diagnosis of Cushing’s. However, abnormal test results (called “false positives”) are common in up to 75% of dogs that do not have Cushing’s disease, making further diagnostic tests necessary.

The high- and low-dose dexamethasone suppression tests and the ACTH stimulation test, done together or separately, can lead to a conclusive diagnosis of Cushing’s disease. These tests involve first taking an initial blood sample, giving the dog an injection of either dexamethasone or ACTH, and then taking subsequent blood samples at appropriate intervals. All of the blood samples are sent to a laboratory for careful analysis. The dog’s veterinarian is in the best position to decide which tests to perform in any given case.

Special Notes

While Cushing’s can be frustrating for owners, it is usually possible to manage.

Source: PetWave

MATCHING TOPICS OF INTEREST

Hot Spots (Acral Lick Dermatitis)

Hot Spots in Dogs: Learn about Hot Spots, including how it can affect your dog,...

Parasites of Dogs

Parasites in Dogs: Learn about Parasites, including how they can affect your dog, and what...

Leptospirosis in Dogs

LLeptospirosis in Dogs: Learn about Leptospirosis, including how it can affect your dog, and what...

Dog Heat Strokes

Heat Stroke in Dogs: Learn about Heat Stroke, including how it can affect your dog,...

Food Allergies in Dogs

Food Allergies in Dogs: Learn about Food Allergies, including how they can affect your dog,...

PETWAVE: POPULAR TOPICS

Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

Ask a Vet

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Adoption | Cat Food & Diet

Advertise on petwave.com - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of Petwave.com on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow PetWave.com on Twitter Follow PetWave.com on Twitter Email Friend about Petwave.com Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2014 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.