Most dogs with Cushing’s (approximately 85% of cases) have a benign tumour of the pituitary gland. The tumour cells produce large amounts of the hormone ACTH, which in turn stimulates the adrenal glands to overproduce cortisol.
The other cause of Cushing’s (approximately 15% of cases) is a tumour of one (or very rarely both) of the adrenal glands, which produces excessive amounts of cortisol.
Irrespective of the cause of Cushing’s syndrome in your dog, the result is always the same - more cortisol is produced than is actually needed by the body. This results in the slow development of a combination of clinical signs that are classically associated with Cushing’s.
If left untreated your dog may develop other serious conditions which will weaken its body and require further costly treatment. Aside from the impact on your dog’s quality of life, if left untreated Cushing’s syndrome increases your dog’s risk of developing several serious conditions such as diabetes mellitus (a deficiency of insulin resulting in high blood sugar), blood clots in the lungs, kidney infection, urinary tract infection and inflammation of the pancreas.