Addison's disease results from a failure of the adrenal cortex to produce aldosterone, cortisol and corticosterone. Of the three hormones, the loss of aldosterone is most important clinically. Aldosterone us responsible for maintaining the equilibrium of sodium and potassium in the
The dog may exhibit varying degrees of anorexia, vomiting,
weakness, dehydration, depression and weight loss. Acute episodes may be precipitated by stress and potentially fatal cardiac abnormalities may emerge if the disease is not treated. Age of onset is usually young or middle-aged dogs and is more common in females.
A complete chemistry profile including blood count, sodium and potassium levels should be completed.
Treatment consists of medication and periodic blood work to maintain the appropriate chemical levels in the body.
Research suggests that the disease often is familial
and an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance has been suggested. This familial tendency frequently is seen when hypoadrenocorticism is associated with other endocrine deficiencies such as hypothyroidism or
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