Skip to Content

When to Put Down a Dog With Cushing’s Disease – Vet Advice & Support Full Guide of 2023

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

when to put a dog down with cushingFinding out your dog has Cushing’s disease can be a difficult time. It is important to understand the condition, its symptoms, and treatments before making any decisions regarding your pet’s care. Knowing when it’s right to put down a beloved pup with Cushing’s Disease requires an understanding of the prognosis, quality of life considerations, and veterinary support options available.

This article will provide an overview of how to assess whether or not euthanasia may be necessary for dogs suffering from this disorder. It will also offer advice on getting professional help and support for both you and your pet during this trying time.

Key Takeaways

  • Chronic endocrine disorder causing cortisol overproduction
  • Symptoms include increased thirst/urination, potbelly, lethargy
  • Diagnosis through blood tests and imaging
  • Treatment with medications and monitoring of symptoms over time

What is Cushing’s Disease?

What is Cushing
You’re dealing with your dog’s excessive cortisol production and adrenal gland issues that come with Cushing’s disease. This endocrine disorder stems from problems with either the pituitary gland or adrenal glands overproducing the hormone cortisol.

Common symptoms you may notice include increased thirst and urination, a pot belly, panting, muscle weakness, thinning skin, and recurring infections.

Diagnosing Cushing’s involves blood tests checking cortisol levels and imaging to identify any pituitary gland tumors. Though incurable, most dogs respond well to medication treatments like trilostane, which helps regulate cortisol production.

While life expectancy averages 1-2 years after diagnosis, some dogs live much longer with proper management.

Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Symptoms of Cushing
Increased thirst and accidents mark your pup’s days now. As Cushing’s disease progresses, you’ll notice these hallmark symptoms:

  1. Excessive drinking and urination from kidney issues
  2. Loss of muscle mass leaving a pot belly
  3. Lethargy from a weakened immune system
  4. Recurring skin infections

Focus on managing new issues as they arise. Regular vet visits, medication adjustments, and at-home care will provide comfort. Though difficult, know euthanasia may eventually be the most compassionate option.

Diagnosing Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Diagnosing Cushing
The vet runs tests to confirm Cushing’s before starting treatment. Diagnosing Cushing’s involves testing for high cortisol levels through:

Test Method Accuracy
ACTH stimulation Inject hormone, measure cortisol response 95%
LDDS Give low-dose of dexamethasone, measure cortisol suppression 50-70%
UCCR Measure cortisol in urine Varied

Symptoms develop as cortisol affects the body over time. Proper diagnosis identifies the specific cause to guide targeted treatment. While challenging, detecting Cushing’s early and confirming through testing brings the best opportunity for management.

Treatment Options for Cushing’s Disease

Treatment Options for Cushing
With appropriate care, there can be quality days ahead for your pup. Remember when Daisy still loved splashing through puddles despite her condition? Cherish those memories while managing her symptoms, and trust your heart when it’s time to say goodbye.

As Cushing’s progresses, the options focus on balancing blood sugar levels similar to normal through medication adjustments. Supportive care eases muscle loss and unstable water metabolism to keep appetite steady.

Monitor blood pressure and hormone production of estrogen for medication effectiveness. Take each moment as a gift, focusing on comfort until her joy dims. Then, lovingly let her go.

Life Expectancy for Dogs With Cushing’s Disease

Life Expectancy for Dogs With Cushing
You’ll come to cherish each new sunrise by her side. Cushing’s shortens life expectancy to about 1-2 years on average after diagnosis if left untreated. Quality of life depends on managing symptoms through medication and supportive care.

  • Average life expectancy 1-2 years untreated
  • Medications can extend time
  • Quality over quantity
  • Comfort care critical
  • Euthanasia when suffering

Creating beautiful memories together lets her spirit live on in your heart.

Assessing the Quality of Life for Dogs With Cushing’s Disease

Assessing the Quality of Life for Dogs With Cushing
As your dog’s Cushing’s progresses, you’ll need to regularly evaluate their quality of life. Advanced symptoms like excessive thirst, infections, and weakness signal that the disease is advancing, requiring diligent monitoring and care.

With your veterinarian’s counsel, determine if discontinuing treatment and providing hospice care would be kinder than continuing medications that may now diminish their comfort.

Symptoms of Advanced Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Your pup is struggling with increased thirst and accidents as advanced Cushing’s takes its toll. That swollen belly and thirst likely mean her cortisol levels are sky high. Skin infections and panting point to that too.

She’s tuckered out from it all. But you can still cuddle and brush her soft fur. Give her cool baths for the itching. Help her up and down steps. And give those sweet doggy eyes all the love they deserve.

Should I Continue Treatment for Cushing’s Disease?

It’s okay to feel uncertainty about how much longer to keep fighting this disease. As the cost of ongoing treatment mounts, reflect deeply on your dog’s overall quality of life. Is there a point at which ending her suffering would allow for a better quality of life during her final days? With compassion as your guide, determine the extent of her suffering.

When is the Right Time to Euthanize a Dog With Cushing’s Disease?

When is the Right Time to Euthanize a Dog With Cushing
As Cushing’s diminishes your dog’s quality of life, you’ll face the difficult decision of when to say goodbye. Consult with your veterinarian and loved ones to determine your dog’s prognosis and acceptable quality of life criteria.

With pituitary-dependent Cushing’s, worsening symptoms like excessive thirst, infections, weakness, and lethargy often persist despite treatment. Focus on your dog’s comfort – if their symptoms continue to rob them of joy and dignity despite your efforts, euthanasia may be the most caring option.

Set the appointment once your criteria are met and surround your beloved companion with comfort until the end.

How to Know When It’s Time to Euthanize Your Dog With Cushing’s Disease

How to Know When It
Monitorin’ your pup’s symptoms, consultin’ the vet, and assessin’ their quality of life daily’ll help determine when it’s time to say goodbye.

  1. Note worsenin’ symptoms like excessive thirst, urination, weakness, and restless sleep.
  2. Schedule regular vet exams to track disease progression.
  3. Assess your pup’s quality of life usin’ scales that consider factors like appetite, energy, hygiene, and happiness.
  4. Do not prolong sufferin’ – euthanize once quality of life is deemed unacceptable.

Though sayin’ farewell is devastatin’, remember the choice to end incurable sufferin’ displays deepest love. Trust your knowledge of your pup, and lean on loved ones for support when facin’ goodbye.

Getting Professional Help and Support

Getting Professional Help and Support
Lean on your vet team and trusted loved ones during this difficult time. As Cushin’s progresses, rely on your vet for guidance on symptom management, quality of life assessments, and timing discussions.

Surround yourself with supportive friends or family who knew your pup’s spunky spirit.

Consider at-home hospice to ease passing, perhaps with mild sedatives, appetite stimulants, and hygiene help if needed.

While each Cushin’s journey is unique, you need not walk alone when navigating saying goodbye. Take comfort knowing your loyal companion rests peacefully and pain-free, thanks to your selfless final act of love.

Hospice Care Options for Dogs With Cushing’s Disease

Hospice Care Options for Dogs With Cushing
You can give your pup a gentle send-off with at-home hospice care for Cushing’s Disease, which will provide the comfort and support necessary to ease them through their final days.

  • Pain management through medications prescribed by your vet.
  • Helping keep them clean and dry with baths/pads.
  • Feeding easy-to-digest soft foods to maintain nutrition.
  • Scheduling in-home vet visits for exams and care.
  • Providing mobility assistance like slings or ramps.

Focus on maximizing the quality time left rather than quantity. With compassionate at-home hospice, you can ensure your beloved companion’s last days are filled with comfort, dignity, and the familiarity of home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does treatment for Cushing’s disease typically cost? What options are there for financial assistance?

Putting a beloved pup down is never easy, especially when it’s due to Cushing’s disease. Treatment costs can vary widely – fortunately, there are options for financial assistance available. Let us help you find the best option that fits your needs with compassion and expertise.

My dog was just diagnosed with Cushing’s. What should I do to make them as comfortable as possible?

You’ve got this. Focus on quality time and comfort care. Prioritize their joy, monitor symptoms, and adapt treatment. This disease is tough, but you know your dog best. Cherish each moment while keeping them comfortable.

Are there any clinical trials or experimental treatments for advanced Cushing’s disease in dogs?

Unfortunately, there are no clinical trials or experimental treatments for advanced Cushing’s disease in dogs currently. Your vet can discuss managing symptoms and quality of life as the disease progresses.

What do I tell my children when we have to put down our dog due to Cushing’s disease? How do I help them grieve?

You can be honest that the illness means your dog is suffering. Together, you gave your dog a wonderful life full of love. Now it’s time to show that love by gently letting your dog go. Your family will grieve together, remembering the joy your dog brought you.

My dog’s Cushing’s symptoms seem to come and go. Is this normal? How often should I be taking them to the vet?

Symptoms fluctuating is common with Cushing’s. Check in every few months, note changes. Focus on quality time together while managing care. We’re here for you through the ups and downs.


You’ve given your beloved dog the best life possible. Now it’s time to make the hardest, yet most selfless decision – to let her go peacefully. Although excruciating, find comfort knowing she’ll pass cradled in your arms, surrounded by familiar smells and sounds.

Consult your vet to schedule euthanasia once her quality of life declines below an acceptable level. Until then, cherish each moment and create lasting memories. With compassion and strength, you’ll get through this.

She thanks you for the profound gift of a gentle, painless end when the time comes to put your dog down with Cushing’s disease.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.