Feline Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Syndrome)
Feline hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) is a rare condition in cats. Spontaneous HAC is associated with increased production of endogenous steroid hormone (cortisol) by the adrenal cortex. 75-80% of cases are pituitary dependent (functional pituitary adenoma) and 25% are caused by an adrenal tumor (carcinoma or microadenoma). Feline HAC may also be iatrogenic from exogenous use of steroids such as prednisolone.
Clinical signs may include polyuria, polydipsia, and polyphagia, depression, lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, muscle weakness, hepatomegaly, pendulous abdomen, vomiting and diarrhea. They may have concurrent diabetes mellitus and the diabetes may be insulin resistant due to the impact of cortisol. Skin lesions may include a poor unkempt hair coat, scaling, alopecia, hyperpigmentation, thin and fragile skin that bruises or tears easily, comedones, abscesses and curling of the tips of ears.
The diagnosis is made based upon clinical signs, history, and evaluation of laboratory work, skin biopsy, abdominal ultrasound and adrenal function tests. A CT Scan or MRI may be recommended to evaluate the pituitary gland for a pituitary mass. Treatment options may include lysodren, trilostane, surgery, or radiation of the pituitary gland.
About Northeast Veterinary Dermatology Specialists (NVDS): Northeast Veterinary Dermatology Specialists is a full-service dermatology practice, with a dedicated team of veterinary staff treating diseases involving the skin, hair, ears, and nails. Services, tests and procedures provide the most effective, safe and state-of-the-art care in New York and Connecticut.
Animal dermatology and allergy specialists Dr. Nina Shoulberg and Dr. Lauren Pinchbeck, and their veterinary technicians, treat diseases stemming in part from allergies, bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasitic infestations, endocrine disorders, and immune-mediated diseases.
Services include: intradermal and serum testing for airborne allergens, immunotherapy, the diagnosis and treatment of ear diseases using video otoscopy, and removal of skin tumors using a carbon dioxide laser.
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