Features November 2011 Issue

Diagosing Atypical Cushing’s

Diagosing Atypical Cushing’s

What if your dog has all the symptoms of Cushing’s – excessive drinking, urination, and appetite; pot belly; skin problems; elevated alkaline phosphatase; etc. – but the tests say no? Veterinary endocrinologists at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UTK) have been investigating this phenomenon. They found that many dogs have elevated steroid intermediates (also called steroid precursors or “sex steroids”) with normal cortisol. They call this condition “atypical Cushing’s disease,” or “adrenal hyperplasia-like syndrome.” It has been suggested that cases of atypical Cushing’s disease may be caused by a problem in the steroid production pathway.

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