Cushing’s Disease – Treatment Instructions for Dogs

Treatment with this drug involves an initiating phase and a maintenance phase. The initiating phase arrests the disease and restores the dog to a more normal state. Some of the clinical signs, especially increased food and water intake, should stop within the first 1-3 weeks. Other signs, such as a poor hair coat or a bloated abdomen, may take several weeks or months to correct. The maintenance phase represents the phase of long-term therapy. This phase lasts the rest of the dog's life.

You must continually monitor your dog's food and water intake. Both should return to a normal level. Water intake should be less than 1 ounce per pound (66 cc per kilogram) of body weight per day, but don't limit the water if your dog needs to drink more. Your dog should drink _________________ ounces (__________cc) per day if water intake has returned to normal. The amount of food should also be measured each day. At least two feedings per day are preferred.

Initiating Phase of treatment:pain_management_2_2009

1. Give ________ Lysodren® tablet(s) one time per day beginning on _______________ for _________ days or until one of the following occurs:

a) Your dog's water intake drops to 1 oz. per pound (66 cc per kilogram) per day, which is ___________ per day.

b) Your dog's appetite returns to normal or it takes 15-30 minutes to eat when it would normally eat in much less time.

c) Your dog does not eat a regular meal.

d) Your dog vomits.

e) Your dog has diarrhea.

e) Your dog becomes unusually listless.

2. Return in _________ days or when one of the above occurs for another ACTH stimulation test. This test should be done early in the morning and will require your dog to be in the hospital for about 2-4 hours. If the test is still abnormal, the initiating phase will continue. If the test is normal, the maintenance phase will begin.

3. If loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or listlessness occurs, give____ tablet(s) (____ mg) of prednisone or ________________________________twice daily for _ days. DISCONTINUE THE LYSODREN® TABLETS. If vomiting prevents oral administration, your dog must be seen by a veterinarian for administration of proper medication by injection. When you begin this treatment, please call us for consultation and instructions.

Following the first ______ days of treatment with ________ tablet(s) twice daily,

give ________ tablet(s) twice daily for ______ more days,

then ________ tablet(s) twice daily for _____ days,

then ________ tablet(s) once every other day for _______ week(s).

At the end of that time, make an appointment so we can assess the situation and give you further instructions on Lysodren® administration.

4. Report any other changes in your dog's behavior that are out of the ordinary. This disease and this treatment can result in several abnormal behaviors. However, your dog can also have other diseases that occur concurrently but independently of Cushing's disease. It is important that we differentiate between the two situations so that proper treatment can be taken.

5. Stay cautiously optimistic. This is a serious disease, but many dogs with Cushing's disease enjoy a greatly improved quality of life for many years.

Maintenance Phase of treatment:

Once regulated, your dog will take Lysodren® approximately once weekly. An ACTH stimulation test will be necessary about every 3-4 months to be sure that regulation is satisfactory. At the appropriate time, the specifics of the maintenance phase will be explained.

Give _________ tablet(s) every ________ days.

Related Tags

cushing, lysodren, acth, medication

Looking to learn more?

We also offer free, instant access to over 1,500 related articles on your pet's health including preventive medicine, common and not so common diseases, and even informative case studies. We encourage you to read any of these popular articles below or search our extensive pet health library.

Most Popular Articles

About our approach to exceptional pet health care

At VCA Animal Hospitals, our veterinarians take you and your pet's health seriously. With over 600 hospitals and 1,800 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, we strive to give your pet the very best in medical care. We understand your pet is an extension of you, and appreciate the opportunity to share in providing exceptional pet care and quality of life.

* Free initial health exam for new clients only. Not to be combined with any other offer. Not good toward boarding, grooming, prescription and non-prescription medication, and retail items. Not good toward emergency and/or specialty veterinary services. Coupon good for up to two pets (dogs or cats only) per household. Redeemable only at a general practice VCA Animal Hospital. For pet owners who are aged 18 and older.

If you are a new client, you can get a free first exam* on your first visit.

Free First Exam

Get to know us by visiting one of our neighborhood hospitals.

Locate a Hospital