Once diagnosed with Cushing’s, there is an opportunity to bring back health and restore life. Through effective treatment it is possible to improve your dog’s quality of life and reduce the risk of your dog developing other conditions for which treatment can be intensive and costly.
There are a number of potentially life-threatening conditions which can occur as a result of Cushing’s. These include:
However, the major impact of Cushing’s is seen in a reduction the quality of life of dogs with the condition. As Cushing’s is progressive, the symptoms your dog may be displaying, for example tiredness, increases in thirst, and urinating inside, are likely to worsen. Therefore, although prevention of more serious consequences is beneficial, it is the improvement in symptoms and quality of life which is the reason most owner’s choose to treat.
There are two broad treatment options for Cushing’s – these are management with medication or surgery to remove the underlying tumour.
Where medical management is decided upon, this will usually involve daily administration of a medicine to help reduce the amount of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands. If surgery is undertaken, this will involve either an operation in the abdomen to remove the affected adernal gland, or less commonly surgery through the roof of the mouth to access the base of the brain - where the pituitary gland itself is then removed.
All options have advantages and disadvantages, and not all options will be available for every pet. The exact treatment regimen for your vet will be determined based on your individual circumstances. We therefore recommend that you discuss with your vet which is the best treatment for your pet.
Cushing’s can be successfully managed using medication allowing your dog’s health to be restored. Vetoryl® is the only licensed treatment for use in dogs. Vetoryl contains the active ingredient trilostane, a drug which reduces the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands.
Vetoryl has the power to restore life and vitality to your dog. This can have a positive effect on you and your family too. You can welcome back the animal you thought you’d lost to Cushing’s. To hear from owners of dogs with Cushing’s about their experiences with Vetoryl treatment please click here.
Once your dog has started treatment with Vetoryl, you should soon notice some marked improvements. It is important that you follow the instructions given by your veterinary surgeon. Your dog will be required to return to your veterinary surgeon 10 days after starting treatment. If necessary your veterinary surgeon may have to adjust the dosage of Vetoryl.
Every dosage change should again be followed by a check-up after 10 days.
Your dog should be closely monitored in the early stages of therapy so that the dose of Vetoryl can be adjusted to meet its specific needs. This also helps to minimise the risk of side-effects or complications that could be harmful to your dog. You can help your veterinary surgeon to monitor your dog by recording their symptoms. You can download a sheet to help monitor your dog’s progress here.
Ensure you continue giving your dog the prescribed dose of Vetoryl even if you notice dramatic physical improvements. Vetoryl will curb the excesses associated with the overproduction of cortisol but it will not cure the disease.
Monitoring is important and regular checks performed by your veterinary surgeon will ensure your dog continues to get the best possible care.
Cushing’s requires either medical or surgical treatment to be successfully managed, and diet change isn’t required for a successful outcome.
However, your veterinary surgeon may also suggest some nutritional support such as a special Endocrine diet, tailored specifically to support dogs with a hormonal disorder.
For further information on Dechra’s endocrine support diet please click here:
Vetoryl is well-tolerated by most dogs.
If your dog develops any signs of illness whilst on Vetoryl including lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and anorexia stop treatment immediately and contact your veterinary surgeon as soon as possible.
However, it may be the case that treatment with Vetoryl may reveal other underlying conditions which were previously suppressed by the excess of cortisol. Examples of conditions which may worsen after treatment with Vetoryl include arthritis and allergic skin disease.
Further treatment for these conditions may be required and we advise that you contact your veterinary surgeon if you have individual concerns about your pet.