Cushing's Disease: Rashes

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Boxers are prone to Cushing's disease.
Boxers are prone to Cushing's disease. (Image: boxer puppy image by Brandi Cameron from Fotolia.com)

Cushing’s disease in canines is caused by the overproduction of adrenal hormones. Rashes are one of the skin problems associated with Cushing's disease in dogs.

Causes

Cushing’s disease can be caused by a tumor on the adrenal glands that causes overstimulation. It can generate an increased manufacturing of corticosteroids, which are the adrenal hormones. Cushing's disease can also be a side effect from overmedication of prednisone.

Breeds Affected

Certain canine breeds more prone to Cushing’s disease include Boston terriers, dachshunds, beagles, boxers and poodles. It typically strikes dogs from 7 to 12 years of age.

Skin Disorders

One of the obvious signs of Cushing’s disease are skin disorders that include the visible signs of rashes, flaky dandruff, hair loss and skin lumps. It can also cause an accumulation of mineral crystals that can cause skin deterioration in more serious cases.

Additional Ailments

The other visible signs of Cushing’s disease are an increased need for water and the necessity to urinate more frequently in increased amounts. Fatigue, an extended abdomen, a voracious appetite and muscle weakness can lead to loss of muscle coordination in the latter phase of the disease. It can also result in heart and skeletal weakness and diseases of the nervous system.

Thirst increases in dogs with Cushing's disease.
Thirst increases in dogs with Cushing's disease. (Image: dog (boxer) image by inacio pires from Fotolia.com)

Treatment

Cushing’s disease can be diagnosed through a series of blood tests. Its confirmation is done through a low-dose dexamethasone test. Treatments are nonsurgical but are focused on oral treatments.

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