Does My Dog Have Cushings Disease?

by Diane Kieland
(Everett, Wash. 98201 USA)

Reader Question: Does my beloved Golden have Cushings Disease?

My dog Chip is 8 and is thirsty all the time, eats the same, pants and seems very ill at ease. The veterinarian diagnosed him with elevated liver enzymes treating him with Denamarin 225 chew tabs. He has had several blood tests to test the liver enzymes.

After 1 month on Denamarin he got much better. Now he is presenting once again with the previously mentioned symptoms, especially thirst, panting, and frequent
urination. A new doctor recommended ultrasound. Any other suggestions? He continues to go after ball and has stints of good exercise!

Thank you for your help.


Veterinarian Suggestion: Screening for Cushing's Disease.

Hello Diane,

It sounds like an ultrasound is a reasonable next step in your dog’s care. The test has the benefits of being noninvasive, safe, and relatively inexpensive, and it can provide a lot of good information about liver diseases, particularly if your veterinarian is able to use the ultrasound to guide a needle and syringe to take a small biopsy of any liver tissue that appears abnormal.

You didn’t mention whether or not your dog has been screened for Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s can produce symptoms like you describe and may not require an ultrasound and biopsy to diagnose. My favorite screening test for Cushing’s is a urine cortisol:creatinine ratio. If it comes back normal, Cushing’s disease is very unlikely.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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