Defining Cushing’s Disease in Cats
Cushing’s disease in cats, medically referred to as hyperadrenocorticism, is a condition that involves excessive hormone production by the adrenal glands. It is not common in domestic cats. When it does occur, Cushing’s disease usually affects cats that are over 7 years of age. Cushing’s disease can be caused by the oral or intravenous administration of steroid medications, because they over-stimulate the cat’s system. This is called “iatrogenic” hyperadrenocorticism. More commonly, Cushing’s is caused by tumors of the pituitary or adrenal glands. The treatment options for cats with Cushing’s are limited, and in many cases the treatment protocols are quite risky. Unfortunately, once clinical signs of Cushing’s disease are present in cats, the condition usually has already progressed to an advanced stage.