Prevalence and characterization of hypoadrenocorticism in dogs with signs of chronic gastrointestinal disease – a multicenter study

C. Hauck, Silke Salavati, Iwan A. Burgener, A. Wehner, R. Neiger , B. Kohn, T. Reiker , S. Reese , S. Unterer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Dogs with hypoadrenocorticism (HA) frequently show gastrointestinal signs of gastrointestinal disease (SGD). The prevalence of dogs presented for chronic SGD with HA is unknown. Objectives: The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of HA in dogs with chronic SGD and to identify clinical and laboratory variables for HA in this population. Animals: 151 dogs with chronic SGD Methods: In this multi-centered prevalence study a standardized work-up was performed in prospectively enrolled dogs. Basal serum cortisol concentration was measured in every dog with SGD >3 weeks, followed by an ACTH stimulation test (ACTHST) if basal serum cortisol concentration was <3 µg/dL. Results: Basal serum cortisol concentration was <3 µg/dL in 80/151 (53%) dogs, <2 µg/dL in 42/151 (28%) dogs and <1 µg/dL in 9/151 (6%) dogs. In 6/151 dogs HA was diagnosed based on ACTHST (stimulated serum cortisol concentration <2 µg/dL), representing a prevalence of 4%. There was no difference in history, physical examination and laboratory variables between dogs with HA and those with other causes of chronic SGD. In 4/6 dogs with HA, there was melena or hematochezia indicating gastrointestinal blood loss. Hyperkalemia, hyponatremia or both was not observed in any dog. Conclusion and Clinical Importance: The prevalence of HA among dogs with chronic SGD is higher than in the general population. Based on these results, testing adrenal function should be performed as a standard screening test in dogs with chronic SGD to differentiate between HA and chronic enteropathies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Early online date23 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • cortisol
  • atypical hypoadrenocorticism
  • Addison’s disease
  • chronic diarrhea

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