Addison’s Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism)
“The Great Pretender.” Sounds more like a song title than a disease but this is how some people refer to Hypoadrenocorticism or more commonly known, Addison’s Disease. A disease that often gets misdiagnosed due to its mimicking symptoms. What is it? Basically, it is the failure of the adrenal glands.
Dogs have two adrenal glands above their kidneys that produce corticosteroids which are essential to helping them adjust physiologically to stress. When these glands fail, serious problems can arise. There are two types of AD, Typical and Atypical. Typical (Primary) AD is when the adrenal glands are damagaed and can no longer produce the corticosteroids needed. Atypical AD is when the adrenal glands are intact but the problem comes from the body not signaling the glands to produce. Often they become atrophied.
The good news is that if discovered in time, the condition is manageable and the dog can lead a somewhat “normal” life. Below are links to some more indepth, highly informative information regarding this disease.