Cushing syndrome or disease is a condition affecting humans and pets wherein there is an overproduction of steroid hormones. This can either be a result of the pituitary gland doing the increased production or the adrenal gland causing the overstimulation and production of the hormone. In the latter case, often times there is a tumor associated with the condition. In layman's terms, Cushing's is too much cortisol being manufactured in the body. Cortisol affects our ability to respond to stress, helps us fight infections, and keeps blood sugar in check. It does the same in our dogs.
There is no way to prevent Cushing’s syndrome, but you can help your veterinarian diagnose it earlier, which can potentially lead to more effective treatment options! As your pet ages, make sure he is seen routinely by your veterinarian, and watch for any symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome. Work with your veterinarian to establish a regular blood-screening schedule for your dog, which can help identify the onset of conditions or disease before your canine friend becomes symptomatic. Most important: if you have questions about Cushing’s syndrome or your dog’s health, contact your veterinarian.