Take the 2-minute tour ×
Pets Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pet owners, caretakers, breeders, veterinarians, and trainers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have been told that if you catch a dog drinking their urine it's a sign that they might have Cushing's disease. What is Cushing's disease and why would it cause dogs to drink their urine?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

Cushing's Disease (or Syndrome, which is the symptoms) is also known as Hyperadrenocorticism which, according to Merck is a illness that is either a result of:

  1. Enlargement of the pituitary gland as a result of a benign tumor and this results in excessive production of adrenocorticotropic hormone.
  2. Cancer of the adrenal glands.

Symptoms, in either case, commonly include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urine output
  • Increased hunger or appetite
  • Heat intolerance
  • Enlarged belly
  • Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Repeated urinary tract infections

So, why might it be a sign of Cushing's Disease when a dog drinks it's own urine? That would be a consequence of the first symptom I mentioned: extreme thirst. A dog that is extremely thirsty and has insufficient water resources may resort to drinking its own urine to help rehydrate.

Treatments are available, though they're not something you would administer at home. The actual treatment really depends on the source of the syndrome, but may include surgical intervention or radiation therapy.

share|improve this answer
    
Treatments can be administered at home. I had a dog with Cushing's who was treated with Trilostane, though we did go in for monthly vet visits to adjust his medication and check his levels. Cushing's Disease is very commonly associated with dachshunds. –  JoshDM Jul 21 at 17:01
    
@JoshDM - Benign tumor I would guess? Cancerous growth would normally be very medical. –  John Cavan Jul 21 at 17:29

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.