I am just finding out about Addison’s disease and did some research so I thought I would pass it along. It sounds like the symptoms are very vague and hard to detect. Which I guess makes it really hard to tell if the dog really has it.
Dogs with Addison’s disease are unable to produce one or two hormones. One of the hormones missing is cortisol. Cortisol manages metabolism, stress, blood pressure and the general sense of well being. This hormone can be artificially supplemented with a low dose of prednisone. The dosage goes by what helps your dog the best. So I guess start out really low and see if the dog feels better. The dosage is entirely up to your veterinarian.
The other hormone that is missing is aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone that increases the reabsorption of sodium and water and the release of potassium in the kidneys. This increases blood volume and pressure by blocking the aldosterone receptor.
All this sounds like Greek to me, and I am getting these facts from several different sources
Some of the symptoms of Addison’s are very similar to the symptoms of many other diseases. At first, the dog may seem listless or seem depressed. Lack of appetite is a good indicator. The dog may also be throwing up or have diarrhea. He or she may have pain in the hindquarters and may not be able to jump on the bed or the chair. Muscle tremors may be present. In other words, if your dog just seems to not be himself, do have it checked by a veterinarian.
One of the best tests to tell whether they have Addison’s is to have the vet check the electrolyte levels. That should tell the levels of the potassium and sodium which is very much connected to the missing hormones.
This is not a death sentence for your dog. There is medicine that the dog can take. I have never had a dog with Addison’s. But at least I know a little about it now.
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