SYMPTOMS OF ADDISON'S DISEASE IN DOGS

Addison's disease is a very serious condition that, if not treated, can cause some very serious health complications for your dog. However, it is slightly difficult to diagnose Addison's disease in dogs, due to the general quality of the symptoms.
Above all, it is important to seek veterinary advice if you notice any changes in your dog's health, as these are always cause for concern.

The adrenal gland is responsible for producing cortisol, which has direct effects on how your dog's body is able to handle stress. Cortisol also helps to regulate how efficiently your dog's body is able to use carbohydrates, protein and fat, as well as helping to maintain proper cardiovascular functions. Due to the importance of cortisol, Addison's disease and the resulting adrenal insufficiency can cause some serious health complications for your dog.

1. MUSCLE WEAKNESS, GENERAL LETHARGY

A common symptom of Addison's disease in dogs is a noticeable weakness in your dog's muscles. This is easily identifiable by observing any change in your dog's normal activities. Most dogs with Addison's disease will be unable to jump up on the bed, have trouble climbing stairs, or show a lack of any enthusiasm for any activity involving physical exertion.

Dogs with Addison's disease may also seem listless or depressed. They may show a lack of interest in normal everyday activities, and will spend a lot of time lying down.
This is a telltale sign that something is wrong, and should be a good reason to bring your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

2. VOMITING AND DIARRHEA

Gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea are very common in dogs with Addison's disease. Dogs with Addison's disease may have either one or both of these symptoms, and their vomit or diarrhea may be accompanied by traces of blood. However, both of these symptoms are also symptoms of many other diseases, so it is impossible to positively diagnose a dog with Addison's disease purely on basis of vomiting and diarrhea.

3. HYPERPIGMENTATION

A dog with Addison's disease will often display small patches or spots of darkened skin, even in areas not exposed to the sun. This is most common around a dog's armpits, mucous membranes, or the inside of the cheek.

4. JOINT PAIN

Joint pain is very common in dogs with Addison's disease. This is usually an easily identifiable symptom, as your dog will show a reluctance for any activity involving excessive movement. A dog with Addison's disease may also whimper or yelp when walking, or may walk with a noticeable limp.

5. LACK OF APPETITE

This symptom is a definite sign that a dog is suffering from a medical condition. A dog with Addison's disease may show a lack of enthusiasm for mealtimes, and may eat in smaller portions than normal. Though this symptom is not unique to Addison's disease, it should be treated as an indication that your dog may need veterinary attention.

6. SHIVERING OR MUSCLE TREMORS

Dogs with Addison's disease may also shiver, or shake uncontrollably on a regular basis. Muscle tremors are not to be ignored, as they can be a symptom of many other serious health conditions besides Addison's disease. If your dog is exhibiting muscle tremors, or occasionally shakes uncontrollably, it is strongly recommended to seek veterinary attention immediately.