Addisons Disease In Dogs

“Commonly reported symptoms, which can vary dramatically from dog to dog, include loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, hind-end pain, muscle weakness, tremors, shivering, increased thirst, excessive urination, a painful or sensitive abdomen, muscle or joint pain, and changes in coat, which may become thicker, thinner, longer, or even curly. About 15 to 20 percent of Addisonian dogs will have dark, tarry stools (melena, caused by gastrointestinal hemorrhage) or blood in their vomit. Symptoms often wax and wane, with the dog getting worse, then better, for months or even years.”

“Recognizing Addison’s
Dogs of any breed, either sex, and any age can develop Addison’s. About 70 percent of dogs with Addison’s are female, although in some breeds, including Standard Poodles and Bearded Collies, males and females are equally affected. The median age of dogs diagnosed with Addison’s disease is 4 to 6 years, but it has been reported in puppies and in dogs as old as 12.

Certain breeds may be predisposed to Addison’s, including Portuguese Water Dogs, Bearded Collies, Standard Poodles, Great Danes, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Airedale Terriers, Basset Hounds, Springer Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers, Leonbergers, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Airedale Terriers, German Shepherd Dogs, German Shorthaired Pointers, other Poodles, and mixes of these breeds.”

The above is taken from this article in Whole Dog Journal – written by CJ Puotinen – (who owns one of our Labradors), and Mary Straus of

Years ago my Lab, Abbey, had elevated Potassium found in a full blood work up while monitoring her kidney failure issues.  I was told that this can be a sign of Addisons disease and if gone undiagnosed she could go into “Addisonian Crisis” which could kill her.

It is a simple test:  a blood draw – than an injection – and an hour later another blood draw.  The dog must be fasted for 12 hours prior to these blood draws and the injections.

My girl did not have the disease, thank God. 

I hope the above info and article will be helpful to anyone suspecting this disease in their dog.


Author: patty

Franklin Lakes, NJ

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