Cushing's Disease is a condition in which the adrenal glands overproduce certain hormones, primarily cortisol. In dogs this causes a "pot-bellied" look, thin skin, hair loss, increase in appetite and water consumption, as well as increased urination. Unfortunately, these are all things we've seen in Chunk over the last year.
The causes of this disease are overuse of steroids, or a tumor in the pituitary or adrenal gland. Since Chunk has never been on steroids, if he has Cushing's, it means he has a tumor.
Like most dog owners, I absolutely adore my puppy. He's been with me through a lot of hard times, he's snuggly, silly, and fun, and he's absolutely adorable. He's also been healthy since day one, and any small health issues he has had have been easily cured with Benedryl or antibiotics. Cushing's is a forever disease, with what looks like a complicated treatment process. Thankfully, it doesn't sound overly painful, but it makes me want to grab my little guy and hold him safely for the rest of his life.
The only thing I can hope for now is that he's just chubby, and that the doctor is very, very wrong.
|He did this himself when he got into the garbage.|