Addisons Disease Is Becoming More Prevalent In Dogs. So Here Is Some Good Information To Help Identify and Hopefully Prevent ,Or Keep It Under Control


Addison’s disease, named for the 19th century physician who defined this adrenal gland dysfunction, is also known as hypoadrenocorticism or adrenal insufficiency. While fatal if left untreated, with appropriate treatment Addison’s can be managed so that affected patients lead normal, active lives. First diagnosed in dogs in the 1950s, it is considered an uncommon canine disorder. However, veterinarians who routinely test for Addison’s often find it, suggesting that the illness is not really rare but rather under-diagnosed and under-reported. You don’t find Addison’s unless you look for it. Some veterinarians speculate that Addison’s disease occurs in dogs at a rate as much as 100 times the rate in humans.

From 70 to 85 percent of dogs with Addison’s disease are female and between the ages of four and seven. Some breeds seem more at risk for the disease than others, including Great Danes, Portuguese water spaniels, Rotties, standard poodles, Westies, and Wheaten terriers.


There are so many factors and symptoms and each dog will present differently.

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.

If your dog is having persistent symptoms it may be time to talk to your holistic or western vet and have them test for Addison’s specifically..

Is Addison’s becoming more prevalent because of diet or environmental factors? Are our dogs more stressed out than they were fifty years ago? It would be interesting to see if dogs in certain states are more prone to the disease, or if there is a difference in dogs that live in rural areas vs urban. How many cases are brought on by over treating Cushing’s disease. Hopefully the AVMA  or another organization will run some studies so pet parents can be more aware of the disease and what to do to prevent it.

If diagnosed ; options for treatment range from western steroid protocol, to a more holistic approach including diet and acupuncture or acupressure as well as other modalities. It is wise to work with a Holistic Vet to make sure you are getting the best results.  If western is your preferred method, maybe incorporate some acupressure or TCM to support the organ systems during this time.. a few good points to support adrenals kidney and liver function are listed below

Ki3 BL 60 top of the hock thin skin your fingers will slide into it on either side it is kind of like our Achilles
Liv3  between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones on the hindlimbs
Sp6   3 cun above the medial malleolus or ankle bone this point is on the bone so just follow it up two finger widths on the  inside of the back leg.


addisons points blog2

To read articles on Addison’s,  including breeds that are predisposed and additional symptoms and prevention  click below…