Canine Addison's Info
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Here you will find information relating to the diagnosis and management of Canine Addison's Disease! Please feel free to download and use anything you think may be helpful (except where otherwise noted). All we ask in return is that you inform the owner of any "broken" links or files, by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org! The information you find here will be continuously updated, so please check back often!
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Canine Addison's Disease - Hypoadrenocorticism
Canine Addison's Disease is NOT a death sentence *if* your dog receives appropriate treatment!! Dogs with Addison's Disease are unable to produce one or two hormones, so we must replace those hormones by providing artificial substitutes.
The first hormone that's missing (the ONLY one missing in dogs with primary "Atypical" or secondary Addison's) is cortisol, which manages metabolism, stress, blood pressure and the general sense of well being. Cortisol is a GLUCocorticoid (think glucose, sugar, energy) and is artificially supplemented with a low DAILY dose of prednisone or some other oral glucocorticoid (prednisolone, hydrocortisone, etc.) The correct dose of prednisone cannot be measured with a blood test -it's determined by your observations: the lowest dose that keeps your dog symptom free, happy and eating!
The second hormone that's missing (in dogs with primary "Typical" Addison's only) is aldosterone, which manages the electrolytes in the body. Aldosterone is a MINERALocorticoid (think minerals: salt, sodium, potassium) and is artificially supplemented with either DOCP (Percorten-v) or Florinef, sufficient to maintain normal levels of these minerals. Although there are recommended starting doses for DOCP (1.0 ml for 25 pounds of body weight) and Florinef (one 0.1 mg tablet for every TEN pounds of body weight) the correct dose must be determined by closely monitoring electrolyte levels and adjusting the dose accordingly! The goal is to maintain potassium and sodium values at a "happy medium" of whatever reference range the testing lab states on your dog's lab report. Lab values at either extreme end of these ranges are usually not a "comfort zone" for your Addisonian dog, and can actually be life-threatening!
Dogs with Addison's Disease can and DO lead full and happy lives once they're provided with artificial replacements for the hormones their adrenal glands are no longer producing!
About us: Catherine's story... Introducing "Catherine" (Lady Catherine von Licorice, CGC), diagnosed with Primary/Typical Addison's Disease 12/11/99) The story of Catherine's diagnosis was second in a three part series of articles on Canine Addison's Disease, published by Ginnie Saunders on "DaDane of the Week" http://www.Ginnie.com/DaDane369.shtml
UCDavis is collecting DNA from Bearded Collies, Great Danes, Leonbergers, Portuguese Water Dogs, Standard Poodles and West Highland White Terriers for a research study of Canine Addison's Disease. **PLEASE NOTE: These studies request DNA samples from ANY and ALL representatives of the breeds listed above: Affected, UNaffected, Related and UNrelated to dogs that have been diagnosed with Addison's Disease! To request DNA collection kits from UCDavis, click on this link: http://cgap.ucdavis.edu/
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