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When To Euthanize A Dog With Cushing’s Disease – 3 Helpful Reasons To Prevent Dog Suffering

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As a dog owner, you may think that you have forever with your dog. However, your dog may get sick and force you to make some tough decisions. When this happens, it is important to know when to act so as not to prolong your dog’s suffering. So if you’ve been wondering, we have answers to when to euthanize a dog with Cushing’s disease.

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What is Cushing’s disease?

Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, Cushing’s disease is caused by an excess of cortisol in your dog’s body. This starts with a benign tumor in the pituitary gland, and the hormone secreted informs all other glands to produce excess cortisol. There are three forms of Cushing’s disease that your dog can suffer from:

  • Typical Cushing’s disease

This causes your dog’s adrenal glands, which are located next to the kidneys, to produce too much cortisol. While cortisol helps to regulate the body’s metabolism and immune system, too much of it can cause a lot of health problems.

  • Atypical Cushing’s disease

With similar signs to typical Cushing’s disease, this occurs when the adrenal cortex produces excess steroid hormones. If your dog is atypical, you will probably see cushing disease dog behavior. Atypical Cushing’s disease can adversely affect your dog’s diet and behavior.

  • Pituitary dependent Cushing’s disease

This happens when the pituitary gland overproduces the ACTH hormone. As a result, excessive amounts of the stress hormone cortisol are then released into your dog’s body.

Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease can be easily detected by vets through urine tests to check for cortisol and ultrasounds to check for tumors. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include:

  1. Increased appetite, which may lead to weight gain and a distended abdomen
  2. Excessive thirst and urination, as well as urinary tract infections
  3. Skin infections and fur loss
  4. Muscle loss and weakness
  5. Weak metabolism and immune system activity
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When To Euthanize A Dog With Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease can affect your dog’s diet and behavior in a major way. When closely monitored and treated right, your dog has a survival rate of approximately three years. Some of the treatments that will be involved include oral medications and surgery to remove the adrenal tumor and enough of the adrenal gland to stop the excessive production of cortisol.

These can have side effects for your dog such as vomiting, loss of appetite, and lack of energy. It can even lead to death in extreme cases. You’ll know when it’s time to euthanize a dog with Cushing’s disease when they are still in pain and the symptoms won’t go away after treatment. 

The process itself is quite simple and involves making your dog as comfortable as possible in their favorite place. A vet will then come and inject a sedative into the dog, which slowly stops their heart. You can then make any other burial arrangements as you see fit.

No one wants to think of their pet dying. However, when it comes to something like Cushing’s disease, euthanization may be the best option. If your dog is in too much suffering, it’s probably your solution to when to euthanize a dog with Cushing’s disease.

It is the best solution to avoid prolonging your dog’s suffering and allow them to retain their dignity until the end.


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