Cushing’s disease is a complex condition found in dogs and once your dog is diagnosed with the disease, it will require long-term management. Though the condition can be properly managed by visiting a proper veterinary, it can come to a point where it will greatly impact your dog’s quality of life. Let us look at what Cushing’s disease is and when you may consider down your dog.
What is Cushing’s Disease?
Cushing’s disease in dogs is a condition in which your dog’s body releases too much cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone responsible for fighting infections, stress, weight management, and so on. When too much of the hormone is released, it can be a serious problem for your dog. Although the condition can be managed through medication and a close relationship with your veterinarian, most dogs will reach their endpoint with Cushing’s disease.
Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs
Not knowing the symptoms of Cushing’s disease is what normally leads to the disease going undiagnosed. It is important to be aware of all the signs to be able to manage the condition early. The symptoms include:
- Slow hair growth
- Excessive panting
- Increased appetite
- Thinning of the skin
- Muscle loss
- Chronic skin infections
- Hair loss
- Chronic UTI’s
- Increased thirst
The condition can have multiple causes such as pituitary-dependent, adrenal-dependent, and use of steroids. It is very important to understand the root cause of your dog’s disease to determine its prognosis. So, when exactly do you put down a dog with Cushing’s disease?
For starters, it is important to note that the medical management of Cushing’s disease is only to control the symptoms and not to treat the disease itself. The medication is intended to make your dog feel more comfortable as they continue pushing on. If the symptoms return despite the medication, this means that the disease has become serious and it is time to put down your dog.
There are different signs that you will notice in your dog which means that it is time to euthanize your dog. The signs include lack of appetite, excessive urinating, chronic UTIs, severe muscle loss, severe lethargy, recurrent skin infections, increased thirst, and any other sign that affect the quality of life of your dog.
Some dogs will also have neurological symptoms which are common in dogs with pituitary tumors. This symptom normally occurs during the last stages of the disease. Putting your dog down is usually a very difficult personal choice to make and you should consult with your veterinarian before concluding.
There is no doubt that when it comes to putting down your dog, it is one of the hardest things that you may ever deal with. Your canine companion is part of your family and losing them is such a painful emotional experience. Let us hope that the article has helped you understand better when to put down a dog with Cushing’s disease.