Features March 2011 Issue

New Treatment for Pituitary-Dependent Cushing’s Disease

Dogs with Cushing’s may suffer excessive thirst, appetite, and hair loss, and abdominal enlargement.

New Treatment for Pituitary-Dependent Cushing’s Disease

Surgeon pioneers new method of treatment by removing the tumor.

A surgical procedure used on humans to remove brain tumors that cause Cushing’s disease is now becoming available to dogs, thanks to collaboration between a human neurosurgeon, a veterinary endocrinologist, and a veterinary surgeon in the Los Angeles area. Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism, or HAC) is an adrenal disorder common in middle-aged and older dogs, affecting an estimated 100,000 dogs per year in the U.S. It occurs when the body produces too much cortisol, causing increased appetite and thirst, skin problems, and muscle weakness. Cushing’s can also predispose dogs to other conditions such as diabetes, pancreatitis, and infections.

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