Cushing's disease is a disease that affects middle age to older dogs.
The most common symptoms include increased water consumption, increased urination,
household accidents , increased appetite, hair loss, and a potbellied appearance.
This condition can occur for two reasons --- a tumor of the adrenal gland that produces
adrenal hormones or a pituitary gland tumor that produces excessive ACTH, which stimulates the
adrenal gland to produce corticosteroids. Adrenal gland tumors account for 15% of the cases of
spontaneous hyperadrenocorticism. Pituitary tumors account for 85%.
A diet for a dog with Cushing's disease should consist of moderate levels of protein and low
levels of fat, fiber and purine. Purine is a substance that is mostly found in organ meats,
game meats, and fish. When your dog eats food high in purines or uric acid, the
urea forms crystals that can lodge in the joints or in the tissues. These crystals
can cause pain for dogs with Cushing's and may increase
certain symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting.
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