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(see "Electrolytes")

ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic Hormone)

The definitive diagnostic test for Addison's Disease -see http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/acth/glance.html

Adrenal Gland

 (an overview)

The adrenal glands consist of a center core (the medulla), surrounded by three layers of the cortex. The outer layer of the adrenal cortex produces aldosterone (mineralocorticoids), the middle layer produces cortisol (glucocorticoids) and the bottom/third layer -closest to the medulla- produces sex hormones. The medulla isn't affected by Addison's, but it's good to point out that that's where epinephrine is produced for the "fight or flight" reaction! (see http://arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/adrenal/histo_overview.html  )


Mineralocorticoid hormone produced by the adrenal glands for the maintenance of electrolyte levels (sodium, potassium and chloride) in the body

Atypical Addison's

Deficient in cortisol only. The zones of the adrenal glands that manufacture cortisol are no longer functioning.

Compounded Florinef

For efficient and cost-effective treatment of Primary Canine Addison's Disease, a "compounding pharmacist" can prepare an entire day's dose of generic fludrocortisone acetate in one (or two) capsules. For a compounding pharmacist near you, visit: http://www.pccarx.com/contact-us/find-a-compounder  


Corticosteroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands for metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates, production of red blood cells, stress response, maintaining blood pressure, reducing inflammation, etc.

Cushing's Disease

"Opposite" of Addison's -the adrenal glands OVERproduce cortisol in a dog with Cushing's Disease. Note: a dog with Addison's Disease that's given too much prednisone will present the same symptoms as a dog with Cushing's Disease.


Desoxycorticosterone pivalate (see "Percorten-v")


Specifically, the mineral elements in the blood: sodium (Na), potassium (K) and chloride (Cl)


Fludrocortisone acetate, supplied in 0.1 mg tablets –this is a human medication that is prescribed "off-label" for the treatment of Primary Canine Addison’s Disease at a starting dosage of 0.1 mg per 10 pounds of body weight. Florinef is a mineralocorticoid replacement that also contains a small glucocorticoid component. For complete dosing information, visit: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/40204.htm 


Commonly used daily (cortisol replacement) medication options for dogs with Atypical or Primary Addison’s Disease include: prednisone, prednisolone, “Medrol,” hydrocortisone


Addison's Disease


Caused by medication (ex: overmedicating a dog for Cushings Disease can cause the adrenals to shut down and the dog will become an "iatragenic Addisonian")


Of unknown cause


Aldosterone (for management/balance of electrolytes: sodium, potassium and chloride). Medication options for mineralocorticoid replacement in dogs with Primary Canine Addison's Disease include Percorten-v (DOCP), an injectable medication that’s administered every 21-30 days -or- Florinef, a daily oral medication.


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, the same class as such common over-the-counter remedies as Advil (Ibuprofen), Aleve (Naproxen), Orudis (ketoprofen), and Aspirin. The chief use for such drugs in the dog has been pain relief, usually joint pain or post-surgical pain relief. NSAIDS should not be used in dogs being treated for Addison's Disease! (see http://www.marvistavet.com/html/rimadyl.html  for details!)


Manufacturer of Percorten-v (for "Novartis US" go to http://www.percorten.novartis.us/  for "Novartis Canada" go to http://www.ah.ca.novartis.com/ )


PD (polydipsia): excessive or abnormal thirst; PU (polyuria): excessive urination


Injectable desoxycorticosterone pivalate (DOCP) –manufactured by Novartis. Percorten-v is a mineralocorticoid replacement used in the treatment of Primary Canine Addison’s Disease. Supplied in 4 ml vials, containing 100 mg of DOCP (25 mg/ml). For product information, visit: http://www.percorten.novartis.us/product_label/en/index.shtml



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