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Pet Health Concerns: Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism, is more common than most of us pet owners think. This condition not only occurs in humans, but also in cats and dogs, being quite similar in description. Addison’s is an endocrine disorder that results in corticosteroid secretion reduction from the adrenal gland. This hormone insufficiency disorder most commonly affects younger female dogs; however, any breed and gender of dogs can develop the disease. Addison’s disease can develop in cats, but is very rare. This condition may be caused due to several reasons, the most common, being immune mediated destruction, in which the body attacks and kills its own tissue.

Symptoms are rather vague, including vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, diarrhea, appetite loss, and muscle weakness. Due to vague symptoms, most pets became very ill by the time it is diagnosed. Blood tests are used to diagnose this condition.

Treatments involve replacing fluids and electrolytes, along with a drug regimen to replace hormones in the body. Treatment costs can range between $50-$100+ per month. Pet insurance would cover this condition if it occurs after enrolling and is not a pre-existing condition.

For more information on Addison’s disease and other pet health concerns, take a look at Trupanion’s Pet Health Concerns Guide.

*Photo courtesy of Buzzle

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