Underlying Problems of Aggression in Dogs with Cushing Disease

Tuesday, December 5th 2017. | Dog treatment

Older dog with Cushing’s is acting more aggressive? While it may seem surprising, aggression is also considered one of the clinical signs of dogs with Cushing disease. Regardless of whether the cause of this condition is located in the adrenal glands or pituary glands. Cushing disease provokes the glands to produce excess cortisol hormones, which in turn affects the entire system.

Older dog with Cushing's is acting more aggressive

Understanding Cushing disease in dogs

The fact that Cushing disease is extremely challenging to diagnose and also difficult to treat only adds to the complexity. Dog owners typically cannot catch the symptoms in the early development of the disease. Part of it is due to the characteristic of symptoms that mimic symptoms of old age. Or at the most, mimic the symptoms of other unrelated disease.

Muscle weakness, lethargy, and uncontrolled urination are among symptoms which are often being seen as common in older dogs. This is the reason majority of owners do not find out about the condition until much later. However, there are actually 7 clinical signs that owner can use as guidance. When any of the following signs appear, owners are encouraged to seek experts’ advice.

  • Increased thirst, as well as urination
  • Increased appetite, followed with enlarged abdomen and extreme weight gain
  • Thin skin that discolors and easily bruises
  • Infection reoccurrence
  • Symmetrical hair loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Change in behavior

The change in behavior may be different from one dog to another. However, the most typical change is confusion and aggression. The latter is usually against the nature of our dogs that we often wonder if older dog with Cushing’s is acting more aggressive?

The reasons behind behavioral changes

The universal nature of symptoms associated with Cushing disease is the reason owners and veterinarians fail to notice the development. But the moment owners see the apparent behavioral changes, it will be almost unmistakable that something is amiss. The change in behavior may seem harmless initially, but what happens in our dogs’ bodily system asks for immediate attention.

Similar to what happens to many owners, the usually loving and calm dogs all of a sudden behave differently. Some dogs appear agitated, and in fear as if they are consistently on the edge. Whereas others become oddly aggressive to other dogs in the house. Knowing the warning signs and the underlying problems may help owners understand what the problem is with their dogs.

Symmetrical patterned hair loss, for instance. This particular warning sign appears when the Cushing disease in the dog has affected the thyroid glands. Similarly, this sign also appears in dogs with hypothyroidism condition. Urinary incontinence typically appears when the disease has infected the urinary tract. So, what is the underlying issue when our dogs show aggression?

It’s always upsetting when our dogs out of blue exhibit behavioral changes such as aggression. However, when your dog has clearly suffered from Cushing disease, you have to sympathetic. The discomfort and pain they feel typically becomes the culprit of this newfound aggression. The common underlying issue for this type of aggression in dogs with Cushing disease is typically due to thyroid deficiencies.

However, once your dogs get medicated properly, the insatiable nature and aggression may diminish. So, is your older dog with Cushing’s is acting more aggressive?