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Cushing’s disease is a condition frequently seen in middle-aged and older dogs. So when Bob started to show symptoms, Animal Trust stepped in to help. Here is more of his story.

10-year-old Shih Tzu Bob was brought to Animal Trust Birkenhead when his owner, Mrs Hennigan, noticed Bob was drinking and urinating more than normal. Like all Animal Trust surgeries, consultations with a vet at Birkenhead are free of charge and after listening to Mrs Hennigan’s concerns, Bob was examined by vet Monica Bruixola.

Speaking about Bob’s signs, Monica commented; ‘’Upon examining Bob I found that his abdomen was distended and rounded, which are two key signs of Cushing’s disease. I’d recommended that he undergo further tests and the results determined his diagnosis.’’

Cushing’s disease is common in older dogs and while it can affect any breed, Poodles, Dachshunds, Terriers and Boxers are more susceptive. The condition occurs naturally when a dog’s body produces too much of the steroid hormone, cortisol. The hormone is usually produced by two glands that sit next to the dog’s kidneys, called adrenal glands. A dog’s body needs to produce cortisol for it to function normally and when too much is produced a dog can become unwell.

Some of the most common symptoms with Cushing’s disease are excessive thirst and urination, weight gain, abdominal swelling that resembles a potbelly, panting and hair loss – although some dogs don’t show these classic signs. 

Vet, Monica adds; ‘’It’s advisable for owners to get their dogs checked if they notice any changes in their behaviour. When left untreated, Cushing’s can lead to other serious problems and may also go hand in hand with conditions such as diabetes and bladder infections.

“Fortunately Bob’s owner brought him to us when his symptoms first began, so we have been able to diagnose the condition and begin treatment swiftly. He will continue to be monitored in free consultations with us where his blood and urine will be tested to ensure his medication is helping improve his health.’’

Bob’s owner Mrs Hennigan commented: ‘’I’m so relieved to know that Bob is receiving the treatment he needs. Everyone at Animal Trust has been so helpful and they have always explained each step of Bob’s care to me so I knew what to expect.’’

Everyone is entitled to free consultations with a vet at Animal Trust and if you suspect your dog is experiencing symptoms of Cushing’s disease it’s best to have them checked as soon as possible so treatment can begin. Use our handy find a surgery page to locate the surgery locally to you.

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