Treating Canine Cushing's Disease with Vetoryl for Dogs

Vetoryl has been widely used in the United Kingdom for quite some time, but only gained approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States in December 2008. Vetoryl is used to treat both pituitary and adrenal dependent Canine Cushing's Disease.

Cushing's Disease Explained

Cushing's Disease (hyperadrenocorticism) is a condition that primarily affects older dogs. In a normal dog, the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus work together in response to stress. The pituitary gland is directed by the hypothalamus to produce cortisol, a hormone that helps the body deal with stress. This impacts multiple body functions including blood sugar levels, kidney function, cardiovascular system and others. The adrenal glands produce another hormone to bring the cortisol down, making the communication between these various glands a delicate balance. In Cushing's Disease, this communication breaks down, causing the cortisol levels to increase dramatically. This increase in cortisol poisons the dog, causing symptoms such as:

  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Increase in thirst
  • Increase in urination and loss of bladder control
  • Increased appetite
  • Stomach is bloated, appearance of a pot belly
  • Lethargy
  • Thin, brittle skin
  • Easily bruised and slow to heal
  • Susceptible to infection

There is no cure for Cushing's Disease, but medications such as Vetoryl can help your dog's body restore and maintain the cortisol balance and alleviate many of the symptoms he's experiencing.

The Effects of Vetoryl

Vetoryl comes in capsule form and contains the active ingredient trilostane. Dosage is based on your dog's weight and given once daily with food. Trilostane blocks cortisol from being produced by preventing the action of a particular enzyme in your dog's system. The overall result is that the serum cortisol concentrations are reduced. Once the reduced concentrations have been maintained, your dog's various systems impacted by the elevated cortisol levels can begin to heal. The skin becomes more elastic, the coat fills in and begins to return to its normal luster. Excessive thirst and hunger are abated and typically the bladder control returns with the reduction of thirst. Because Vetoryl dosage is based upon your dog's weight, the dosage may need to be adjusted as the medicine takes effect and your dog loses weight.

If your dog has Cushing's Disease he will need to be maintained on Vetoryl, or whatever treatment your veterinarian prescribes, for the rest of his life. As a maintainance drug, the Vetoryl will prevent the cortisol levels in your dog's system from reaching excessive levels and becoming toxic to his system.

For several years now Vetoryl has been widely used in the United Kingdom for the treatment of Canine Cushing's Disease. With continued use, dosage requirements have been reduced as dogs on lower doses achieved therapeutic results. Vetoryl has also proven effective against both adrenal-based and pituitary-based Cushing's Disease and with recent approval for use in the United States, it should gain widespread use there as well. As a maintenance medication, Vetoryl will help your dog live out his years more comfortably and with a better quality of life.