Back to Journals » Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports » Volume 9

Management of hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease) in dogs

Authors Lathan P, Thompson AL

Received 18 July 2017

Accepted for publication 1 November 2017

Published 9 February 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 1—10

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VMRR.S125617

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Young Lyoo


Patty Lathan,1 Ann L Thompson2

1College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA; 2School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia

Abstract: Hypoadrenocorticism (HOAC; Addison’s disease) is an endocrine condition seen in small animal practice. Dogs with this disease can present in a variety of ways from acute hypovolemic collapse to vague, chronic, waxing, and waning clinical signs. In the most common form of this disease, animals have both mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid deficiency, resulting in hyponatremia and hyperkalemia, and signs of cortisol deficiency. The etiology may be immune-mediated destruction of the adrenal cortex, drug-induced adrenocortical necrosis (mitotane), enzyme inhibition (trilostane), or infiltrative processes such as neoplastic or fungal disease. Much less commonly, dogs have signs of cortisol deficiency, but no electrolyte changes. This is referred to as atypical HOAC. The veterinarian needs to have a clinical suspicion for HOAC to make a diagnosis in a timely manner. Treatment of dogs with an acute presentation prioritizes correcting the hypovolemia, hyperkalemia, acidosis, and hypoglycemia. Fluid therapy addresses most of these issues, but other directed therapies may be required in the most severe cases. For chronic management, all patients with Addison’s disease will require replacement of glucocorticoids (usually prednisone), and most patients require replacement of mineralocorticoids with either desoxycorticosterone pivalate or fludrocortisone. Atypical Addisonians do not require mineralocorticoid supplementation, but electrolytes should be monitored in case the need arises in the future. The prognosis for dogs treated for HOAC promptly and appropriately is excellent; most patients die from other diseases. However, if the diagnosis is missed, patients may die as a consequence of HOAC. Thus, knowledge of the hallmarks of Addison’s disease is imperative.

Keywords: hypoadrenocorticism, Addison’s disease, adrenal

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]