7 Signs Your Dog Is Suffering From Cushing’s Disease

Our canine companions bring us immeasurable joy and love. However, just like humans, dogs can experience health issues too. One such condition that affects dogs is Cushing’s disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism. Cushing’s disease occurs when the body produces excessive cortisol, a hormone that helps regulate various bodily functions. Recognizing the symptoms of Cushing’s disease is crucial for early detection and appropriate treatment.

In this article, we’ll explore the common signs of Cushing’s disease in dogs. By understanding these symptoms, you can ensure your furry friend receives the necessary care.

Understanding Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Cushing’s disease is a complex condition that affects the endocrine system of dogs. It occurs when the adrenal glands near the kidneys produce excessive cortisol. This overproduction of cortisol can result from various factors, including tumors or malfunctioning adrenal glands.

Major Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease

1. Increased Thirst and Urination

Dogs with Cushing’s disease often experience excessive thirst, leading to increased water consumption. Consequently, they may urinate more frequently or have indoor accidents due to increased bladder activity.

2. Excessive Hunger

Cushing’s disease can cause dogs to have an insatiable appetite, leading to weight gain and an expanding waistline. If your dog is seemingly hungry all the time, it might be worth investigating further.

3. Hair Loss and Skin Issues

Dogs with Cushing’s disease may develop thinning or patchy hair, particularly on the body, tail, and back legs. The skin may become fragile, prone to bruising, and susceptible to infections.

4. Potbelly Appearance

Due to the redistribution of fat, dogs with Cushing’s disease may develop a distended or potbelly appearance. This is often accompanied by muscle wasting in other areas of the body.

5. Lethargy and Muscle Weakness

Dogs affected by Cushing’s disease may display reduced energy levels, appearing lethargic and less willing to engage in physical activities. Muscle weakness and a reluctance to jump or climb stairs may also be observed.

6. Panting and Heat Intolerance

Cushing’s disease can cause dogs to pant excessively, even in cool environments. They may also exhibit intolerance to heat, seek cool areas, or refuse to participate in outdoor activities.

7. Changes in Behavior

Dogs with Cushing’s disease may show changes in behavior, such as increased irritability, restlessness, or anxiety. They may also experience cognitive dysfunction, leading to confusion or disorientation.

Remember, the symptoms of Cushing’s disease can vary from dog to dog, and not all dogs will exhibit every symptom. If you observe any of these signs persisting or worsening, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and guidance.

Veterinary Surgery and Cushing’s Disease

While veterinary surgery may not be directly involved in treating Cushing’s disease, it is an important aspect of veterinary medicine. Veterinary surgeons perform advanced surgical procedures for various conditions in animals. If your dog requires surgery for any related issues, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified veterinary surgeon. To learn more about their services, you may visit their website.

Veterinary Internal Medicine and Cushing’s Disease

Veterinary internal medicine is crucial in diagnosing and managing Cushing’s disease in dogs. An internal medicine vet on Long Island has in-depth knowledge and expertise in treating complex internal disorders. These professionals can provide comprehensive care and develop a tailored treatment plan to address your dog’s needs.

Emergency Veterinarians and Cushing’s Disease

While Cushing’s disease is typically a chronic condition that does not require immediate emergency care, there may be situations where emergency veterinary assistance is necessary. In such cases, it’s important to seek prompt attention from skilled emergency veterinarians like those at Atlantic Coast Vet. They can provide immediate care and guidance in critical situations, ensuring the well-being of your beloved pet.


Cushing’s disease can significantly impact a dog’s overall health and well-being. By recognizing the major symptoms associated with this condition, you can play a vital role in early detection and seeking appropriate veterinary care. If you notice any of the symptoms outlined in this article, consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and guidance. 

Veterinary surgery, veterinary internal medicine, and emergency veterinarians all provide comprehensive care for dogs with Cushing’s disease. By collaborating with these veterinary professionals, you can help manage your dog’s condition and ensure they lead a healthy and happy life.