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What is Cushing’s Disease in Dogs?

Hyperadrenocorticism AKA Cushing’s Disease

Hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushing’s disease, occurs when the adrenal glands become overstimulated and produce too much cortisol, more commonly known as the stress hormone. At normal levels, the hormone cortisol helps regulate the immune system, body weight, skin, tissue, and stress. Too much cortisol can weaken the immune system and lead to many health problems.

As an endocrine system disorder, Cushing’s disease occurs in people and other species. While it’s one of the most common endocrine disorders in dogs, it’s relatively rare in cats. Learn about the causes, the symptoms, and treatment for Cushing’s disease in dogs.

Causes of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Cushing’s disease generally affects middle-aged to older animals. The disease develops when a dog’s adrenal glands begin to overproduce the hormone cortisol. The majority of dogs diagnosed with Cushing’s disease (around 80-90 percent) will have a benign (noncancerous) tumor in their pituitary gland causing the disease, known as Pituitary-dependent Cushing’s disease. Most of the remaining Cushing’s cases in dogs will be Adrenal-dependent Cushing’s disease, which is caused by a tumor on one of the adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys. Although Cushing’s syndrome can take on multiple forms, what they each have in common is the overproduction of cortisol. No matter the cause, the adrenal glands become enlarged, which makes sense since they’re getting quite a workout!

In rare cases, iatrogenic Cushing’s disease can be caused by long-term use or high doses of steroids like prednisone, cortisone or other medications for allergies, autoimmune disorders, and inflammation in the joints or body. This form of Cushing’s disease can develop in dogs at any age.

Many other health conditions have symptoms that are similar to those of Cushing’s disease in dogs. That’s why it’s important for your dog to have regular wellness exams, along with any lab work and screenings recommended by your vet.

Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Cushing’s disease shares many of the same symptoms associated with a large number of other health conditions, so it’s best to make an appointment to see your veterinarian for further examination. In order to reach a diagnosis of Cushing’s disease, the vet will need to perform several diagnostic tests.

Common symptoms associated with Cushing’s disease in dogs may include:

  • Increased thirst (polydipsia) and urination (polyuria)
  • Frequent accidents or need to urinate at night
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased panting
  • Fatty pads around the neck and shoulders
  • Pot-belly or distended abdomen
  • Obesity or unexplained weight gain
  • Hair loss along the back and/or tail
  • Lack of energy, generally lethargic
  • Recurring skin or urinary tract infections
  • Muscle weakness
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Thin skin that bruises easily

Treatment of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

In most cases, medications that regulate the amount of cortisol in the bloodstream can help successfully manage Cushing’s disease in dogs for years to come. In others, surgery may be required. In rare cases, it can be fatal. Since there is no way to prevent Cushing’s disease, establishing a regular veterinary care routine that includes an appropriate blood-screening schedule with your vet is critical. The earlier the diagnosis, the better chance you’ll have a wider, variety of treatment options. Finally, if you have questions about Cushing’s syndrome or your dog’s health, give your vet a call.

[Disclaimer] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Seasonal Allergies & Symptoms in Pets

How To Tell If Your Dog or Cat Has Seasonal Allergies

Coughing, runny eyes, and nose, stuffiness and congestion – people agree that
seasonal allergies are miserable! But did you know pets can suffer from seasonal
allergies, too? While it may be surprising, don’t worry. It can be challenging to
recognize when your dog or cat is experiencing seasonal allergies. That’s because
pets with seasonal allergies will exhibit very different symptoms from people.

Knowing the signs of allergies to watch for can help you identify seasonal allergies
with your beloved pet. From there, you can get your furry friend the help
needed so they can enjoy the outdoors in peace.

Here are some general cat and dog allergy symptoms of seasonal allergies to look
out for:

● Constant scratching and licking
● Chewing of the paws and pads
● Scratching or rubbing of the face
● Inflamed ears or recurrent ear infections
● Recurrent hot spots in dogs and facial scabs in cats
● Asthma-like wheezing and respiratory problems (more likely in cats)
● Any foul odor from the skin or coat may indicate secondary infections

Seasonal Allergies in Dogs

It is not uncommon for our beloved pups to experience seasonal allergies due to
various allergens in the air. There are many ways to tell if your dog has seasonal
allergies, but the single most common symptom is scratching. Dogs will often chew
on their feet and pads, which is a huge tip-off that they’re dealing with an
environmental allergic reaction to pollen, mold, or dust mites. This condition is
known as allergic dermatitis.

Keep a close eye on specific parts of your dog’s body that will show signs of irritation,
including the paws, face, tummy, ears, and armpits. When a dog has irritated skin,
they can fall into the vicious itch-scratch cycle, which can leave their skin inflamed.
Untreated, allergies can potentially lead to developing hot spots, bleeding, and even
hair loss. Being aware of these common dog allergy symptoms so you can recognize
when your dog needs help.

Seasonal Allergies in Cats

Can cats suffer from seasonal allergies? Yes! Although cats are much less likely to
suffer from seasonal allergies, cats can experience symptoms of seasonal allergies
similar to their dog counterparts. While your cat might sneeze after exploring the
outdoors for a bit, your feline friend’s reaction is more likely due to slight physical
irritation to the pollen in the air. If this happens, you can try to keep your cat inside
on days that have high pollen warnings. To lessen sneezing, you can try leaving your
shoes by the door. Also, remember to wipe your feet on the welcome mat before
entering the house — this simple act helps to reduce the amount of pollen traveling
into your home!

What Causes Seasonal Allergies in Dogs and Cats?

Environmental allergens that are inhaled or come in contact with skin and can cause
irritation are also known as “atopy.” Seasonal examples of atopy include ragweed,
which will usually occur here in Phoenix during the fall months. Reactions to
spring pollens from trees and other plants will most commonly occur during April
and May when trees and flowers are in full bloom.

Although dust mites tend to thrive better in more humid environments, dust mites
in Arizona are not uncommon. If you notice your furry friend suffering from allergy
symptoms, it could be due to dust mites in your own home. While it’s impossible to
rid your home of these pesky, microscopic critters completely, you can reduce the amount of them living with you. Some recommended ways to reduce the number of dust mites in your home include replacing carpet In favor of tile or wood flooring, swapping out upholstered
furniture with alternatives such as leather and wood, and washing bedding on a weekly basis.

There are also many products and treatments available to help ease your cat’s or
dog’s allergy symptoms. Consult your veterinarian to find the best solution for you
and your pet.

[disclaimer]

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or
treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may
have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a
medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary
emergency hospital immediately.

How to Recognize Diabetes in Pets

 

diabetes sign with exclamation pointWhat To Do If Your Dog or Cat has Diabetes

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder that affects the way the body produces or processes
the hormone insulin, which helps the body turn glucose (sugar) from food into energy.
Unfortunately, Diabetes is not curable in either dogs or cats. However, early diagnosis,
along with regular treatment and care, means your furry friend can still live a very long
and happy life.

Being aware and able to recognize the signs of Diabetes in your dog or cat is critical to
ensuring they get the help they need. Left unmanaged, Diabetes can have irreversible
effects. If you suspect your beloved dog or cat has Diabetes, be sure to consult your
veterinarian.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

If your dog is experiencing the following symptoms, make a veterinary appointment as
they could be indicators that your dog has Diabetes. Please note that these symptoms
overlap with many other health conditions, so blood work is necessary to make a proper diagnosis.

● Change in appetite
● Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
● Weight loss
● Increased urination
● Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
● Lethargy
● Dehydration
● Urinary tract infections
● Vomiting
● Cataract formation, blindness
● Chronic skin infections

While Diabetes is more common in middle-aged to older dogs, especially among
females, it’s not uncommon for younger dogs to develop Diabetes. Certain breeds are
more likely to develop Diabetes, including German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and
Cocker Spaniels.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats

Diabetes is the second most common endocrine disease in cats. If your cat is
experiencing the following symptoms, make a veterinary appointment as they could be
indicators that your cat has Diabetes. Please note that these symptoms overlap with many other health conditions, so blood work is necessary to make a proper diagnosis.

● Increased thirst (polydipsia) and urination (polyuria)
● Inappropriate elimination (cats also experience increased urinary tract infections)
● Change in appetite (increased or decreased appetite is an indicator of a problem)
● Weight loss
● Change in gait (walking)
● Reduced activity, weakness, depression
● Vomiting

Diabetes tends to be more common among middle-aged to older cats, as well as among
felines that are overweight. However, unlike dogs, neutered male cats are more likely to
develop Diabetes. While any cat can develop Diabetes, breeds that are more prone to
this disease include Siamese, Maine Coon, and Burmese.

What To Do if Your Dog or Cat has Diabetes

If you find out your furry friend has Diabetes, it’s totally normal to feel worried and
anxious. First, take a deep breath. With the right kind of care and treatment, your beloved cat or dog can still live a happy and productive life. Your veterinarian can discuss various lifestyle changes
you will need to make in your pet’s life to ensure they remain healthy. These can include
more exercise, diet changes, oral medication, and insulin injections.

Still not sure if your furry friend has Diabetes? Take the quiz and see if your pet could be
at risk or schedule an appointment at one of our 21 locations.

With proper veterinary care, Diabetes can be manageable. Working together, we can help your pet live a long and healthy life.

[disclaimer]
Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or
treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may
have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical
emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital
immediately.

Know the Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Cancer in Dogs and Cats is More Common Than You Might Think

Cancer is, unfortunately, a natural part of life, and many people don’t realize
that dogs and cats can get cancer, too. According to the American Veterinary
Medical Association (AVMA), dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans.
The AVMA also reports than nearly 50 percent of dogs over the age of 10 will develop
some form of cancer. When it comes to cats, according to the Animal Cancer
Foundation (ACF), 1 in every 5 cats develop cancer in their lifetime. Some common
types of cancer in cats are lymphoma, feline leukemia virus, and breast cancer.

Because of the veterinary medical advances in diagnosing and treating cancer in
dogs and cats, regular wellness exams are more important than ever in order to help
with early intervention, and treatment. Happily, with early detection, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment, some forms of cancer in pets can be cured. Other cancers can only be managed to slow the spread of the disease and keep your pet’s life as normal as possible. The biggest factors determining the treatment for pet cancers are:

● The type of cancer, location and the rate of spread to other parts of the body.
● The stage of the disease and how far it may have spread in the pet’s body.

Sadly, some forms of cancer in dogs and cats may not respond to treatment. If
your dog or cat is diagnosed with cancer, your veterinarian will discuss the best
treatment option(s) available for your pet, as well as the risks and side effects
associated with each option, so you can make the choice that’s best for your family,
your pet and their quality of life.

Early Cancer Warning Signs in Dogs & Cats

Consult your veterinarian if you observe any of the following signs in your dog or cat:
● Abdominal swelling
● Bleeding from the mouth, nose or other body openings
● Difficulty breathing or coughing
● Difficulty eating
● Difficulty urinating
● Lumps, bumps or skin discolorations
● Non-healing wounds or sores
● Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
● Sudden changes in weight, especially weight loss
● Unexplained swelling, heat, pain or lameness
● Visible mass or tumor on the pet’s body

What’s Next After a Pet Cancer Diagnosis

If your dog or cat has been diagnosed with cancer, your veterinary team will be at
your side to help you make the best decision for your pet, your family and to ensure
the animal’s quality of life. Recommended treatments may be a single type of
therapy or a combination of therapies. These may include surgery, chemotherapy,
radiation, cryosurgery (freezing), or immunotherapy. In certain cases, your
veterinarian may refer you to a board-certified veterinary oncologist (cancer
specialist) for the best care possible.

Since your pet’s overall health is important, your veterinarian may also recommend
dietary changes and/or complementary therapies such as acupuncture that may
help your pet better respond to treatment. Pain management is also an important
aspect of any cancer treatment and will be determined on a case by case basis.

As veterinary professionals and animal lovers, we understand you want the best care
for your pet at every stage of their life. To help ease the possible financial concerns, our interest-free payment plans may be of assistance during the care and treatment of your pet. We’re here to help, so your pet can remain comfortable, happy, and as pain-free as possible.

[disclaimer]
Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or
treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may
have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a
medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary
emergency hospital immediately.

Top 10 Most Popular Dogs in the United States

What is the most popular dog in the United States? Here’s the top 10.

The American Kennel Club released its list of the most popular dogs in the U.S., and
while many breeds retained their ranks, there were a few changes this year. The
ever-popular Labrador Retriever remains top dog among Americans and has
retained its rightful position as the most popular dog in the United States for
another year in a row. A few notable breeds have been knocked off their pedestals
this year and are no longer in the top 10 most popular breeds; including the Boxer
and Dachshund. In their place, two breeds have worked their way into the top 10 —
the French Bulldog and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Is your dog one of the 10 most popular breeds in the U.S.? Check the list below to
find out:

1. Labrador Retrievers

Step aside Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock, America has a new sweetheart — the
Labrador Retriever. The most popular dog breed in the United States, Labrador
Retrievers are known for glistening yellow, glossy black, and luscious brown coats.
These pups are social butterflies and usually have no issues making new friends —
human or dog! In the past, these dogs were bred to assist fishermen with their work.
Now, these dogs are also used for hunting, search and rescue, and as assistance
dogs. With energetic, loving personalities and an always wagging tail to match, it’s no wonder Labrador Retrievers rank number one out of the top 10 most popular dogs!

2. German Shepherds

German Shepherds are a fan favorite thanks to their loyalty, intelligence, and loving
personalities. Not only can this breed be great for families, but they’re also
incredibly dedicated working dogs. They’re often used on police forces, as assistance
dogs, and search and rescue teams. With long, thick black and brown coats, German
Shepherds leave their mark on the world by leaving tufts of hair wherever they go.
Brushing is a must with this furry breed!

3. Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever has been among the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the
U.S. for years, and it’s easy to see why. With a thick, luxurious coat that gives the
breed its name, these dogs are easygoing, energetic, and very loving, which makes
them perfect for families. With a broad head and soft eyes, it’s hard not to fall in love
with these furry friends!

4. French Bulldogs

One of the more rare breeds on the top 10 list, French Bulldogs were created to be a
mini version of the regular Bulldog. With their signature bat-ears and small but still
muscular body, French Bulldogs continue to steal our hearts with their easygoing
and fun personalities. Similar to their bigger counterparts, French Bulldogs do enjoy
playing, but they are also equally happy spending the day snuggled up on the
couch.

5. Bulldogs

With highly distinguishable features, Bulldogs stand out of the crowd with their
famously wrinkly faces, pushed-in noses, and hanging chops on the sides of their
mouths. Their iconic and expressive features have propelled the Bulldog to appear
among some of the biggest college mascots and famous cartoons. Despite their
somewhat fierce appearance, Bulldogs make adorable and loving pets.

6. Beagles

With big, floppy ears that droop low over its head, Beagles continue to make
America melt with their sweet faces and curious nature. Beagles are known for
being compact and sturdy. They let their noses guide them through life, as they
were once bred primarily for hunting purposes. Due to this heritage, if they catch
onto a new scent, they may occasionally try to bring you along on a walk.
Cheerful and affectionate, beagles are great companions to other animals and
children — putting them high on the list for the most popular dog in the United
States.

7. Poodles

Forget movie and cartoon stereotypes — poodles are far from snobs! Poodles may
embody the glitz and glamour of the dog show world, but don’t be fooled. They were
initially bred to work. Today, poodles still carry many characteristics of their hard-
working ancestors. This breed is intelligent, friendly, and loving, which makes them
perfect for families that can keep them entertained and active. Known for fluffy
coats and signature hairdos, regal-looking poodles are playful, goofy, and
nonallergenic, earning them the title of one of America’s most popular dog breeds.

8. Rottweilers

With a broad chest and a muscular body, a Rottweiler’s appearance can be
deceiving as they can be the biggest teddy bears and great cuddlers. Rotties can be
very protective of their families, but a well-trained dog will be calm and even a little
aloof toward strangers. Intelligent and energetic, this breed thrives in families that
can give them the attention and love they need.

9. German Shorthaired Pointers

The German Shorthaired Pointer is not just a great hunting partner; they also make
fun and loving family dogs. With a short, dense coat that comes in a beautiful
combination of brown, black, and white, German Shorthaired Pointers steal hearts
with their floppy ears and enthusiastic personalities. This breed is incredibly
intelligent and active, but they don’t need to be running after game to burn energy.
German Shorthaired Pointers are perfect walking or running companions and will
always happily trot alongside you.

10. Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are the definition of fitting a whole lot of fun into one tiny package.
These popular lap dogs may be small, but they have big personalities and are feisty,
loving, and occasionally a little bossy. With long hair in shades of steel blue and tan,
these pups fit perfectly into stylish totes. Yorkies will always be great companions
and conversation-starters whenever you’re out and about.

While all dogs are good dogs, some breeds are more popular in the U.S. for their
various characteristics and signature looks. However, no matter the breed, any dog
can be a great addition to the family when given lots of love, training, and plenty of
pets on the head and belly rubs!. Interested in a little dog breed trivia? Pop on over
to this American Kennel Club’s quiz on the most popular breeds.