Dogs with Cushing’s syndrome are lethargic, gain weight, have increased thirst, hunger, urination, hair loss and other symptoms that might be erroneously attributed to old age. If the Cushing’s syndrome is left untreated, the dog’s liver and immune system will be damaged. Cushing’s syndrome is caused when there is too much cortisol in the dog’s body. Trilostane offers a new drug treatment that will stop the Cushing’s syndrome in dogs by inhibiting the enzyme that the adrenal glands need to produce the hormone, cortisol.
Trilostane has recently received FDA approval as a drug treatment for dogs with Cushing’s syndrome. Some veterinarians have already been using Trilostane, obtaining it through a complicated importation process, because of Trilostane’s ability to halt the Cushing’s syndrome without doing further damage to the dog’s body
Cushing syndrome is a hormonal disorder of the adrenal glands, the small glands located at the top of the dog’s kidneys. A dog with Cushing’s syndrome has adrenal glands that are making too much cortisol, the hormone that is meant to help the body deal with short term stress. The excess cortisol in the dog’s body is what causes the previously mentioned symptoms, along with liver and immune system damage.
Trilostane reduces the amount of cortisol the dog’s adrenal glands produce, without completely stopping the cortisol production. Trilostane dosages can be adjusted to each dog’s individual medical needs to reduce cortisol production and stop the effects of the Cushing’s syndrome.
Dogs with Cushing’s syndrome have been treated previously with chemotherapy drugs. The chemotherapy drugs stop the Cushing’s syndrome in dogs by eroding the outer layers of the adrenal glands and reducing the adrenal glands ability to produce cortisol. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy drugs can go too far in the treatment of the Cushing’s syndrome and cause the dog’s adrenal glands to stop producing cortisol altogether. When this happens, a dog will have to take a hormone supplement for the remainder of their lives.
Surgery for dogs with Cushing’s syndrome has also been an treatment option, along with a few other drug treatments. None have worked as well as the newly approved FDA drug treatment with Trilostane is promising.
Cushing’s syndrome in dogs is often mistaken by their owners as signs of old age. A veterinarian can diagnosis Cushing’s syndrome with blood tests and urinalyses. Now with the FDA approval of the drug, Trilostane, a new treatment option is available for dogs with Cushing’s syndrome.