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Cushing’s syndrome in cats – Symptoms and treatment

Cats are animals that usually enjoy good health, although this does not mean that any sign that could indicate a problem should be ignored, because early diagnoses are essential for any recovery.

Among these possible diseases are from the most common to others quite rare, but in the same way it is necessary to know if your cat gets to suffer them. That’s why he presents you this article about Cushing syndrome in cats, symptoms and treatment.

What is Cushing’s syndrome?

Also called feline hyperadrenocorticism (HAF), it is a serious illness but rare in cats, caused when the hormone cortisol is accumulated in excess in the blood. This excess can be produced by two causes: a tumor located in the adrenal glands, in which case it receives the name of adrenal Cushing, or a tumor in the pituitary, called Cushing pituitary.

In cats it usually appears more frequently when the animal is medicated with corticoids or when you suffer from diabetes mellitas. However, it is still a very uncommon condition, of which few cases have been recorded and whose treatment is still under study. It occurs mostly in adult and elderly cats, with short hair mestizos, especially females, being more prone.


Symptoms they vary from one feline to another and can be confused with other diseases, so an adequate diagnosis will be necessary. However, the most common are:

  • Frequent and abundant urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal swelling
  • General weakness
  • Hair loss, especially on the body
  • Propensity for bruises
  • Skin thin and brittle, brittle
  • Gasps


Confirming the disease is a bit complicated and requires several studies that must be carried out gradually:

  • First, they will be necessary several blood and urine tests, with some hours between one and the other. Because of this, it is possible that the cat must stay hospitalized a few days to perform the exams.
  • Know the clinical history of the feline It is essential to detect possible problems due to medications or tendencies to certain diseases.
  • Studies such as X-rays, X-rays to observe the state of the liver, magnetic resonances, suppression test and stimulation tests of ACTH are required to make the definitive diagnosis.


First, it must be based on the elimination of tumors that cause the syndrome. Both the removal of the adrenal tumor and that of the pituitary are delicate operations with a high risk index.

In order to avoid the operating room, it is often preferred to treat tumors with different medications, such as metyrapone. However, this rare disease does not yet have definitive treatment, and many cats do not respond satisfactorily to drugs or do not survive surgeries.

In case the cat uses medicines containing corticoids they should be suspended, but gradually to combat dependence on the substance. There is also a homeopathic treatment, which consists of using a substance that is considered to cure the effects of cortisol.

Unfortunately, in none of these cases is guaranteed the guarantee of healing and often it is not possible to obtain great improvements in the health of the pet. Despite this, we recommend you to follow the letter the recommendations of your veterinarian.

This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Cushing’s syndrome in cats – Symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter in our section of Other health problems.

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