No one knows your dog like you do.

So when something’s not right, you’re the first to know.

Maybe he’s not eating or isn’t as lively as usual. Maybe she’s weak, looks like she’s in pain, or has lost the sparkle in her eye. Whatever the change in your dog’s behavior or appearance, you know it’s important enough to investigate.

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Could it be canine Addison’s Disease?

Formally known as hypoadrenocorticism, canine Addison’s Disease is a relatively rare but life-threatening disease that affects a dog’s adrenal glands. The adrenals produce cortisol and aldosterone, two key hormones that are critical to a dog’s bodily functions.

Canine Addison’s Disease can affect dogs of any age, but primary hypoadrenocorticism tends to occur in young to middle-aged and female dogs, and some breeds may be at higher risk.1

Breeds at increased risk1

Airedale Terrier
Basset Hound
Bearded Collie
Great Dane
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Portuguese Water Dog
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Springer Spaniel
Standard Poodle
St. Bernard
West Highland White Terrier

The Great Pretender

Diagnosing canine Addison’s Disease is difficult. Why? Because the symptoms are vague and mimic those of other diseases that can often be temporarily resolved with fluids and other supportive care administered by a veterinarian. The on-again, off-again signs are so variable and can be seen with other diseases that canine Addison’s Disease has come to be known as The Great Pretender.

Classic signs of canine Addison’s Disease1-4

Weight loss


Diagnosing canine Addison’s Disease

The only definitive way to diagnose canine Addison’s Disease is through a blood test called the ACTH stimulation test. Your veterinarian will take a baseline blood sample and then administer a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). A dog with canine Addison’s Disease will show low baseline cortisol with little to no response to ACTH.1

A life sentence reversed

Having a confirmed diagnosis of canine Addison’s Disease may not be easy, but for many dog owners, it can be a blessing in disguise. Now that you know what your dog is facing, it can help you regain control and take the appropriate action to treat it.

Percorten®-V (desoxycorticosterone pivalate injectable suspension) was the first FDA approved drug to treat canine Addison’s Disease.* It has a proven history of success saving the lives of nearly 70,000 dogs diagnosed and treated with Percorten-V.6 With regular injections given about once a month and careful monitoring, Percorten-V can help enable a normal life.1,2,5

*For use as replacement therapy for the mineralocorticoid deficit in dogs with primary adrenocortical insufficiency.

Talk to your veterinarian to learn more about canine Addison’s Disease and Percorten®-V (desoxycorticosterone pivalate injectable suspension).

One of the reasons I look for Addison’s is that I can treat it.

James Cox | DVM

Important safety information

The most common adverse reactions reported are depression/lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, polydipsia, and polyuria. Like other adrenocortical hormones, Percorten-V may cause severe side effects if dosage is too high or prolonged. Some of these effects may resolve with adjustments in dose or interval of Percorten-V or concomitant glucocorticoid administration. Do not use in pregnant dogs or in dogs that are suffering from congestive heart disease, severe renal disease, or edema. Please see product insert for full prescribing information.

1. Scott-Moncrieff, J. C. (2010). Hypoadrenocorticism. In S. J. Ettinger, & E. C. Feldman, Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 7th Edition (pp. 1847–1857). St. Louis: Saunders Elsevier.

2. Van Lanen, K., & Sande, A. (2014). Canine hypoadrenocorticism: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment. Topics in Compan An Med (pp. 88–95).

3. Lathan, P., & Tyler, J. (2005). Canine hypoadrenocorticism: pathogenesis and clinical features. Compendium (pp. 110–120).

4. Lathan, P. (2013). Hypoadrenocorticism in Dogs. In J. Rand, Clinical Endocrinology of Companion Animals (pp. 1–21). Ames: Wiley-Blackwell.

5. Bassett, C. (2011). Hypoadrenocorticism. In E. Cote, Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats, 2nd Edition (pp. 573–575). St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby.

6. Data on file. Elanco Animal Health.