Addison’s Disease by Pamela Dennison
© June 2007. May not be reprinted without written approval.
June 17, 2007
I just wrote this little blurb on Addison’s Disease in response to someone on the Addison’s Disease list that I belong to. Her dog had been misdiagnosed and died. If by writing this, I can help even one person save their dog, it will be worth it. I was lucky – I brought Emma in to the vet in December 2006.
She had stopped eating, stopped playing, was very lethargic. I had them run a tick titer (she did have anaplasmosis) and because I asked, I had them do a full blood panel. The electrolytes were a bit off and they ran an ATCH test – the only real way to confirm AD . Diagnosis: Addison’s Disease. Even though she was dx’d properly, she did almost die. It has taken many months and she is now almost stable. The meds aren’t that expensive and I am learning how to give her a monthly shot. She is on a small daily dose of prednisone. Once the dogs are stabilized, it is a very easy disease to treat, with AD dogs living a full and happy life.
An often undetected and misdiagnosed disease, Addison’s Disease is hypoadrenocorticism; a mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid deficiency. In lay terms, the failure of the adrenal gland to produce cortisol. Cortisol helps regulate the body to overcome stress.
Signs of Addison’s Disease are often vomiting, diarrhea, refusing to eat, lethargy, however, these symptoms can also be caused by other diseases and are often misdiagnosed as renal failure as well as other diseases. The dogs are then treated for the wrong thing and often die.
If your dog has any of the symptoms listed above, make sure your vet does an ATCH test, as well as a complete blood panel, and make sure the sodium and potassium levels are looked at.