Which Dog Breeds Are More Likely To Develop Cushing’s Disease?

Though there’s no clear reason as to why in some dog breeds Cushings Disease is more likely to develop, the evidence is clear. Some breeds are more prone to experience hyperadrenocorticism (another way to say Cushing’s). Dogs with the likelihood of Cushing’s disease range from large to small, with no clear distinction between breeds. Vets do agree however, that certain breeds are more at risk. Here are those breeds.

Most vets agree that in these three dog breeds Cushings Disease is more likely to develop:

• Dachshund
• Terriers
• Poodles

Other breeds are also commonly mentioned but not by all vets:

• Beagles
• Boxers
• German Shepherd
• Labrador Retriever
• American Eskimo Dogs
• Australian Shepherd
• Maltese
• Cocker Spaniel

Cushing’s disease, which is an overproduction of the hormone cortisol in the body, can affect two areas distinctly in these different breeds. The more common form of Cushing’s, pituitary-dependent, occurs in nearly 85 percent of dogs who develop the disease. In this form, the adrenal glands over-secrete cortisol because they are responding to the pituitary’s messages to send out too much of the stimulating hormone.

Adrenal-based hyperadrenocorticism affects the other 15 percent of Cushing’s dogs. Adrenal-based Cushing’s is caused by a tumor on the adrenal gland that stimulates an overproduction of cortisol.

Some vets suggest that certain breeds of dogs are even more prone to these different forms of Cushing’s disease. Of the main three breeds, the Poodle and Terrier are more likely to have pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism, while the Dachshund is more prone to adrenal-based Cushing’s.

Since Cushing’s can be difficult to diagnose, knowing that your dog is more susceptible to the disease because of their breed might help you and your vet get answers. Cushing’s disease presents a range of symptoms that can display in dogs affected by hyperadrenocorticism. Some common symptoms of Cushing’s include:

• Excessive panting
• Excessive thirst
• Excessive urination
• Thinning and loss of hair
• Distended Stomach
• Restlessness

Though any breed of dog can develop Cushing’s disease in either form, certain breeds have shown to be more likely. Knowing the most about your pet can help you understand their health so they can live their best life.

If your dog is diagnosed with Cushing’s, we recommend a nutrition-based approach to help minimalize or even erase the symptoms of Cushing’s. To learn more, read our other blogs about diagnosing and treating your pet through a supplement and diet plan as a first step before using strong chemotherapy drugs.

Benefits of a Supplement to Counteract Cushing’s Disease
A Grain-Free or Whole Food Addition Diets