Adrenal Gland Tumor in Dogs

An adrenal gland tumor in dogs can be the cause of a variety of different problems to your pet. Among these problems are disturbed levels of adrenal hormones like cortisol and cortisone. When these hormone levels are disturbed, they can affect a huge number of other systems in your pet's body as well.

An adrenal gland tumor is likely to be a relatively small tumor, but its accessibility and the dramatic effect that it has over many different parts of your dog's health will mean that it's one of the most likely tumors that vets will recommend to have surgically removed. Read on for some of the signs of adrenal gland tumors and treatment procedures.

Conditions Which May Be Caused by Adrenal Gland Tumors

There are two primary conditions of the adrenal system and the endocrine system in your pet's body that are oftentimes brought about by adrenal gland tumors. The first of these, Cushing's Disease, is the result of the overproduction of the hormone known as cortisol. There are a variety of potential causes for Cushing's Disease, but one of the most common of these is a tumor on one or both of the adrenal glands. Cushing's disease is characterised by a wide array of different symptoms and can affect your pet's metabolism, his coat and shedding patterns, his digestion and more.

The second condition which is typically linked to adrenal gland tumors is known as Addison's Disease. Addison's Disease is the opposite problem of Cushing's Disease; in the case of this condition, your pet's adrenal glands produce a quantity of hormone that is too low for your pet's system. This disease is oftentimes considered to be more immediately problematic and dangerous to your dog's health than Cushing's Disease is, as it can oftentimes result in a rapid heart beat and full adrenal failure if not treated promptly.

Treating Adrenal Gland Tumors

There are two primary ways of treating and managing adrenal gland tumors. If the tumor is large enough and accessible enough, most vets will recommend surgically excising it. This is the most permanent solution and will help your pet to have better regulated hormone levels without the use of medicines. However, there are a number of risks associated with surgeries of this type, and some dogs may not be good candidates for surgical removal of adrenal gland tumors.

The second way of managing adrenal gland tumors does not involve removing them. Rather, this method is used to moderate your pet's hormone levels otherwise. In the case of insufficient hormone production, added hormone supplements can help to balance the system out. If your pet's glands produce too much of a particular hormone, medicines that inhibit his body from fully processing those hormones can also be helpful in removing his adrenal gland problems. In these cases, however, you'll need to continue to monitor his system for chanes in the tumors and his hormone production.