Recognizing Cushing’s Disease in Dogs: 6 Common Clinical Signs

Cushing’s disease occurs when overly active adrenal glands (hyperadrenocorticism) produce too much glucocorticoids, a type of hormone secreted by the adrenal glands (located above the kidneys). In dogs, there are two common reasons the adrenal glands overly produce this hormone:

  1. Tumor of the Pituitary Gland – This type of Cushing’s disease is called pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (PDH). Pituitary tumors are responsible for about 85% of cases.
  2. Tumor of the Adrenal Gland – Tumors on one or both adrenal glands increase production of hormones. Adrenal tumors are responsible for 15% of cases.

Most likely to develop in middle-aged to senior dogs, Cushing’s disease is most commonly found in certain breeds including miniature poodles, dachshunds, beagles, Boston terriers, and boxers.

Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Six Signs of Cushing’s Disease

  1. Excessive Drinking – Healthy dogs drinks an average of one cup of water per ten pounds of weight each day.
  2. Urination Issues – Frequent urination, inability to hold bladder, infections, and leaking.
  3. Ravenous Appetite – Sometimes, a big appetite indicates a health problem.
  4. Muscle Weakness – Protein cells are broken down in Cushing’s disease which causes lethargy or reluctance to jump.
  5. Pot-Bellied Appearance – Excess steroids result in a redistribution of fat around the abdomen.
  6. Skin and Fur Changes – Hair loss or a change in the appearance of your dog’s skin (wrinkling or darkening) can indicate a health concern.
Recognizing Cushing’s Disease-Pethealth

Schedule an appointment

Call Now



Fill out information and submit

  • YYYY slash MM slash DD

Recognizing Cushing’s Disease-pethealthhospital

Canine Cushing’s Disease Diagnosis and Treatment

The presence of clinical signs is not enough evidence to diagnose Cushing’s disease. Common symptoms, however, can indicate the disease’s presence and that further lab testing should be completed. Treatment of Cushing’s disease can be complicated, as it requires frequent monitoring and adjustment based on the dog’s response and progress. If your dog is diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, speak with our veterinarian about our treatment and care options.


– Missie A.

Pet Health Hospital is a life saver. My poor cat was attacked by another cat and developed a terrible abscess on her little head. Dr. Pizzillo was the attending veterinarian who treated my BabyGir!!. She was able to get the situation under control before it became more serious. Dr. Pizzillo is compassionate and caring. She has a very calming way about her and put my worries at ease. The entire staff is very professional and welcoming. I am going to recommend Pet Health Hospital to anyone needing an excellent veterinarian. Thank you to all of you!!!!

– Jennifer C.

Pet Health has been a wonderful health care service for our baby – Gracie.  She has a very serious health issue arise – and Dr. Lewis texted on a regular basis to check on her, to see how things were progressing and to see if we needed any help.   I am very grateful for their genuine love and concern for our dog.  thank you!

– Mee F.

Love this vet! Clean and high tech! The entire staff was friendly and so loving to my dog! First time here and I have already recommended this place to all my friends! The vet even followed up with us as she said she would on the urine test.

– Adrian W.

Great place. We’ve been to many vets throughout our dogs 7 years life span. This is the best place we’ve been to so far. Dr. Renee Lewis has a great presence and our dog was surprisingly extremely calm around her (he like every other dog, don’t like vets..).

This clinic is not very pushy wanting to do ‘extra’ work to create a larger bill. 

Dr. Lewis also showed that she really cared and took her time to get to know our dog, and explaining everything after the surgery. 

I’m done with Veterinaries that only cares about profit and rush through the consultation because they’re overbooked!

The staff here are also very friendly and helpful. They made us feel welcome!

I highly recommend this place!


– Sarah W.

Pet Health Animal Hospital is simply amazing. We found Dr. B and his team shortly after adopting our first dog. Being new to the area, we were concerned with finding the right vet that cared about our dog as much as we did. Lucky enough, we walked right into the perfect vet. From overnight stays to surgeries, Dr B and his team make us feel so comfortable, put any concern at ease, and are masters of communication. There is never a question left unanswered, or an update left undelivered. The whole team knows our dogs when we walk in, and our dogs are always excited and sprinting to get into the vet to see them. I tell people all the time that my favorite part of living in Las Vegas is Pet Health Animal Hospital!

– Andrew G.

The doctors and assistants do an amazing job here. I wasn’t sure what to do with my Sasha so I brought her in fearing the worst. Dr. Jessica Pizzillo was simply the best. She was able to remove the growth the same day and at a fraction of the cost of other estimates I had received, all while putting my Sasha through the least amount of trauma possible.

The front desk staff was also very kind and understanding when it comes to stressful situations like this. Stephanie and the rest of the staff made me feel comfortable and were very professional.

– Scott H.

Absolutely incredible vet! The level of service and attention is the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere.