When to put a dog down with Cushing’s Disease

By Sam M. •  Updated: 02/12/24 •  6 min read
When to put a dog down with Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is one of the terminal illnesses, and it does not have any permanent solution. Therefore it is an end-stage disease and can hardly ever be cured. 

Sometimes it comes as a shock to the respective pet owners to know that their lovely pet will have to leave soon.

You can understand that there is something wrong with your dog when he starts drinking more water than he used to and thereby urinating more than usual as acute as these symptoms seem they might as well be of the Cushing’s disease.

Most of the time’s even the treatments don’t work. Now let us understand what Cushing’s diseaseis about. 

Cushing’s disease happens when dogs produce chemical cortisol in enormous amounts. This disease is often allocated with kidneys, which is why it has also been named as hyperadrenocorticism.

In Cushing’s disease, high amounts of stress hormones are released by the adrenal glands.

Cushing’s disease is of three forms

1) Iatrogenic form: If your dog has been taking steroid medication, it might cause the Cushing’s ailments.

2) Pituitary form: The pituitary gland is located at the bottom of the brain; sometimes, a tumor develops slightly above the organ. 

This causes the release of the ACTH hormone in large amounts. ACTH hormones then circulate to all the parts inside the body of the dog. 

When it reaches the adrenal glands, it causes them to release stress hormones in large amounts—more than 80% of cases of Cushing’s disease are prompted by pituitary form via tumor. 

3) Adrenal form: The adrenal glands are located slightly above our kidneys. A tumor develops in one or either of the organs, causing the dog to suffer from Cushing’s disease. The tumor influences the adrenal glands to overproduce cortisol or the stress hormone. 

Adult dogs are more prone to Cushing’s disease than young ones. And those who take the stress are more at risk.

Causes of Cushing’s syndrome in Dogs?

● Cushing’s disease may have been caused because of the side effects of certain medications used for treating traumas or illnesses.

● Dysfunctioning of adrenal glands and pituitary glands are the leading cause of Cushing’s disease.

What is the behavior of dogs suffering from Cushing’s disease?

It makes your dogs weak, and he may be prone to other illnesses and diseases as well.

It harms his heath and makes it difficult for him to fight against other bacteria.

These are some symptoms shown by dogs suffering from Cushing’s disease.

● Your dog will drink more; this gained thirst is one of the main symptoms of Cushing’s disease.
● Your dog might eat more as well, increased, or gained appetite.
● Your dog might face muscle deficiency or damage to muscle mass as well.
● Gained thirst will further lead to gained urination, or we can say polyuria.
● You might notice that your dog’s hair is shedding more than usual.
● You might also notice baldness and lousy quality hair.
● Your dog will pant heavily or more than usual.
● Your dog might have specific skin problems.
● You might see the bulged belly of your dog.
● Your dog might get incurring disorders.
● The reproductive sequence might not match female dogs.
● Your dog may get obese.
● Your dog might face neurologic changes if he is suffering from pituitary associated with Cushing’s disease.

You might be wondering if you will see all of these symptoms in your dog, but he might be suffering from Cushing’s disease and not show signs as well, or it might just show one or two of these respective symptoms.

Many times dog owners neglect these mere symptoms at the initial stage of Cushing’s disease; not being able to judge this disease at an initial stage might later prove to be hazardous for your dog’s health.

Your dog might face depression as well; it might get unfit for exercises. Your dog might get super lazy and lethargic. You can notice sudden weight gain or weight loss. You might see that your dog’s back and ear are icy.

Many times after being positively tested for Cushing’s disease, test surgeries can remove the tumor and is the only thing considered while taking the hazard components in mind.

In many cases, it is easy to handle a dog with Cushing’s disease by giving him proper medication and check-ups on time.

After diagnosis and treatment via the vet doctors, they will propose an adequate way to help your dog. The dogs enduring Cushing’s disease will have approximately 2-3 years to live, as suggested by the vet doctors.

When to euthanize a dog with Cushing’s disease?

It is quite difficult for your pet to withstand this illness if you can’t figure it out from the beginning itself.

Sometimes even surgery and medication don’t do much help to your dog; his sufferings will keep increasing day by day.

Although it is scarce to hear that someone euthanized their dog who was suffering from Cushing’s disease, But many owners who can not afford the treatment and medication and do not want to leave their dog in his degrading health all by himself, That’s when they choose to let him go and find peace.

There is no protracted therapy for Cushing’s disease; that is why it makes your dog’s life quite difficult to cope up with.

Many vet professionals can efficiently execute euthanization painlessly, so you should surely consult a professional before making any decision on your own as it is a matter of life and death.

It is a challenging task to let go of your beloved dog with whom you have made so many memories and spent that much time, but sometimes it becomes crucial.

You will be doing to make his pain and miseries go away. Although most of the time this disease causes natural death, in case your dog’s health keeps deteriorating with or without medication or surgery aspects, he deserves peace, and that is why euthanizing him and bidding him goodbye becomes the only option.

Sam M.

Hi! I'm Sam, the founder of PetFoodsReview.com, I created PetFoodsReview.com to help pets live healthier through better food. I combine my love for animals and research to guide pet owners in choosing the right meals for their pets.

Keep Reading