Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

January Newsletter

Addison's Disease

In honor of our pet of the month, this month’s newsletter will cover a condition known as Addison’s disease.

Addison’s disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism, is a disease of the adrenal glands. While the adrenal glands are small organs, they have several important responsibilities. Two of their most important duties include the release of hormones that control the production of the body’s natural steroids and regulation of the body’s electrolytes. When an animal has Addison’s disease, the adrenal glands are not functioning. This means the pet can have out of control electrolyte levels (usually high potassium and low sodium) that are often the cause of the clinical signs.

The signs of Addison’s disease in a dog can include: dehydration, weakness, depression, weight loss, collapse, low body temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, and slow heart rate. These signs can occur abruptly and become very serious, very quickly. Diagnosis is made with blood tests.

Treatment involves replacing the body’s steroids and rebalancing electrolytes. This is a lifelong treatment that includes daily pills and monthly injections. However, the treatment will bring your dog back to her old self in a very short period of time, and if treatment is continued, she will have a wonderful quality of life.