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Whippet Health

a resource for whippet owners & breeders

Addisons Disease

Some cases of canine hyoadrenocorticism (addisons disease) are due to auto-antibody production against the adrenal glands.  In Addisons Disease  the immune system targets and destroys the Adrenal glands. This results in the deficiency of two hormones glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Cortisol combats stress and maintains blood sugar while aldosterone (a mineralocorticoid ) regulates,water, potassium, and chloride in the body.

Addisons is a treatable disease and once stable dogs will enjoy a relatively normal life


If steroid drug therapy is withdrawn too quickly it can result in Addisons symptoms


Addisons disease can be progressive or can present as an Addisons crisis ,in either case treatment must be sought immediately


Symptoms include:


Muscle weakness


Lack of appetite



Excess drinking

cold to the touch, shaky,  


Sudden collapse and shock

Kidney failure

Diarrhoea - sometimes contains blood

Abdominal pain

Increased urine production  

Weight loss


Your vet will perform various tests to confirm the disease, the main one being an ACTH stimulation test


Treatment will involve great dedication and observation on the part of the owner  to stabalise the condition, regular vet visits to monitor response to treatment are vital.

Steroid replacement therapy may be considered along with daily salt nd replacement mineralcorticoids such as Florinef

All the above MUST be tailored to suit the individual dog and closely monitored until stable


Stress is an important consideration with an Addisonian dog so be sure to mention to your vet if you anticipate a stressful event as he may need to change medication  to keep the dog well.

Physical as well as mental stress should be avoided if possible


Any medication prescribed MUST be administered exactly as prescribed and any changes such as vomiting should be reported to your vet.

Regular visits to your vet, every couple of weeks initially until the dog is stable to every 6 months

or so

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