Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

our bull dog has cushing disease? we need help.also she has low thyroid. Thanks jackie

Hi Jackie,

Cushing’s Disease or Syndrome is a hormonal disorder in which the dog produces too much cortisol, the stress hormone produced in a “fight or flight” situation. Often your dog’s symptoms are unusual skin growths and a “flea bitten” look to the coat. Left untreated your dog’s prognosis is not good.

There are two kinds: one is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, a small very important gland deep in the brain which controls the adrenal glands that produce cortisol as well as the thyroid gland and all hormonal functions of the body; the other (rare) is caused by a tumor on the adrenal glands causing it to produce more cortisol.

Your vet can do blood tests to determine which kind of Cushing’s your Bulldog has. Cushing’s is controlled with medication that supresses the production of cortisol. You will need to do follow up blood tests regularly to make sure the medication levels are appropriate.

Since your Bulldog has low thyroid the cause of his hormonal disorder is most likely from a problem with the pituitary gland. This is manageable but she will need medication for the remainder of her life.

Here’s an article from the FDA with more information: Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

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Introducing Your Bulldog to Your New Baby

Hi Jan
My wife and I are having our first baby in a few months and we were wondering if having a bulldog around a newborn is a good idea. If you could give me any advice on whether bulldogs are in general good around babies or we risk to have a big problem.

Hi Pablo,

If your Bulldog has a nice disposition, gets along with dogs & people, especially infants, and has not shown territorial aggression, you should have no problems. In general Bulldogs are very good with families.

Keep in mind your Bulldog has probably been the center of attention in the house and now will have a “sibling” come into the pack. He probably knows something’s going on because of your excitement about the upcoming birth.

There are ways to introduce them to ease any stress the new baby presents. Be sure to give him the usual attention, keep the routine as normal as possible including meal times and walks, praise him for being good. If he’s currently well mannered and obedient things will be easier. Be sure to stay calm since he’ll pick up on your behavior and supervise him.

“An infant is the ultimate wild-card for a dog,” says Jennie Willis Jamtgaard, owner of Animal Behavior Insights and instructor at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“It is a big transition for everyone and preparing ahead of time is really the key — when a baby comes home, that is not the time to start to work with the dog,” Jamtgaard adds.

Beaver and Jamtgaard agree there are not one, but two important transitions that occur when a baby arrives: first, the initial introduction, and, second, when the baby becomes mobile.

While toddlers tend to antagonize their pets out of healthy curiosity and can set the stage for the most severe accidents, more tension tends to be associated with the initial introduction. Experts say it is best to begin training the dog as soon as you know you are expecting.

Make sure you work on the basics, such as sit, stay, not barking or pulling on a leash before the baby comes into the picture, says Jamtgaard. “If the dog is not behaved without the baby, of course it’s going to be more difficult once the baby is around,” she says.

Here’s an article written by Bulldog owners with a new baby on how they did it: http://vivyland.com/articles/bulldogandbaby.htm

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