Addison’s Disease

Addison’s Disease is also known as Hypoadrenocorticism.  It is the insufficient production and secretion of certain endocrine hormones made by the adrenal gland cortex.  Wheatens are predisposed to two types of Addison’s disease: typical and atypical.

  • Addison’s is referred to as “the great pretender” because the symptoms are typical of other illnesses…a dog may have GI upsets, listlessness. Addison’s can mimic signs and blood test changes that are seen in kidney failure cases but are reversible with treatment.
  • Left untreated, a dog can go into an “Addisonian crisis” – a collapse, often after an exciting or stressful event.  Addisonian crises are life-threatening emergencies.
  • Once suspected by your veterinarian based on a combination of symptoms and blood test abnormalities, a specific blood test (ACTH stimulation test) confirms Addison’s disease.  Treatment with medication for life can result in a long, good quality life span.
  • Learn more about Addison’s Disease from this informative article by AKC.
  • More in-depth information can be found here:  Addison’s Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism)
  • Watch Wheaten Webinar on Addison’s disease presented by Dr. Littman here.

The Annual Testing Protocols include tests that can help your veterinarian diagnose Addison’s Disease.