Most people would think that a dogs coat color changes as it grows older, but in reality you should be concerned about a dogs fur color change if your pet has Cushing’s disease.
Cushing’s disease is a rare endocrine disorder of the adrenal gland that causes the pituitary gland to produce excessive amounts of cortisol.
This results in an excess amount of hair growth and a general thickening of the skin.
In fact, Cushing’s disease can cause a dog to grow hair in places where it doesn’t normally grow.
The symptoms of a Cushing’s disease are similar to those of other diseases such as Addison’s disease or hyperadrenocorticism.
In both cases, the body produces too much cortisone, which leads to increased appetite, weight gain, and a lack of energy.
It also affects the ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
However, unlike many other diseases, Cushing’s disease does not affect the kidneys, liver, or brain.
It only affects the adrenal glands.
While most dogs with Cushing’s disease eventually die of complications from the disease itself, some dogs manage to live long enough for their owners to notice the symptoms.
In these cases, the owner may notice the hair on the dog growing more rapidly than usual.
While this is one way to determine whether a dog has Cushing’s disease, there are other ways to diagnose the disease.
If a dog shows signs of lethargy, depression, or loss of coordination, it could have Cushing’s disease.
These symptoms often occur gradually over time before the dog gets worse and dies.
On the other hand, most dogs diagnosed with Cushing’s disease will show symptoms within a year of being diagnosed.
When the disease reaches advanced stages, the dog will need to undergo surgery to remove the diseased adrenal glands and replace them with healthy ones.
The dog must then go through hormone therapy to prevent its body from producing any additional cortisol.
Dogs who survive this process usually do so because they were treated early in the disease process.
Unfortunately, many dogs die when the disease progresses to its late stage.
Even though Cushing’s disease is very rare among dogs, it is still quite common in humans.
There are two types of Cushing’s disease: primary (also known as idiopathic) and secondary.
In a primary form of the disease, the adrenal glands are not functioning properly.
The body continues to produce excess cortisol even after the disease is cured.
Secondary forms of Cushing’s disease are caused by tumors on the adrenal glands themselves.
These tumors can either block the normal production of hormones or interfere with how the gland responds to hormones produced by the hypothalamus.
As a result, the adrenal glands continue to produce abnormal amounts of cortisol, resulting in the same symptoms as the primary type of Cushing’s disease.
The Science Behind A Dog’s Fur Color Change
Cushing’s disease is a rare endocrine disorder that affects the pituitary and adrenal glands.
When this happens, excess cortisol is produced which causes symptoms like weight gain, behavioral abnormalities, hair loss, and skin issues.
The reason for this is because of the way the body normally handles stress hormones.
In healthy individuals, the body produces small amounts of cortisol, which helps to keep the blood sugar level steady.
But when there is too much cortisol being produced, it can cause serious problems, including weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.
1. What Is The Cause Of The Hair Loss?
When there is an excessive amount of cortisol in the body, it can affect the hair follicles.
This means that they don’t produce enough melanin pigment, causing the hairs to become white or gray instead of their normal black color.
It also makes them brittle and prone to breakage.
There are many different types of hair loss conditions, including alopecia, pattern baldness, androgenetic alopecia, trichotillomania, telogen effluvium, and chemotherapy-induced alopecia.
2. How To Know If Your Dog Has Cushing’s Disease?
If you suspect your dog may have Cushing’s disease then you will need to take him/her to see his veterinarian.
They will run tests to determine whether your dog has Cushing’s disease.
These tests include the following:
A urine sample test
An ultrasound exam to check for tumors or cysts
Bloodwork to measure the levels of cortisol and other hormones
Once these tests have been done, the vet will discuss treatment options with you.
For example, medications such as spironolactone (aldosterone blocker) and dexamethasone (steroid) can help reduce cortisol production.
When To Be Concerned About A Dog’s Fur Color Change
A dog’s fur can change color if the dog has a medical condition called Cushing’s disease.
Cushing’s disease is caused by a tumor on the adrenal gland.
The adrenal glands produce hormones and are located on top of each kidney.
They also help control blood pressure, metabolism, and the immune system.
Cushing’s disease occurs when there is an overgrowth of cells in the adrenal glands that produces excess amounts of cortisol (a steroid hormone).
This causes the hair to grow longer and darker than usual.
The color of the hair will remain dark even after the dog sheds his or her coat (this is known as alopecia).
If you notice your pet looking sickly pale with patches of dark brown hair, then this could be a sign of Cushing’s disease.
There are three types of Cushing’s disease: pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism, adrenal-dependent hypercortisolism, and ectopic ACTH syndrome.
In some cases, the dog might have more than one type of Cushing’s disease.
If you suspect that your dog has Cushing’9s disease, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.
Early detection can prevent further health problems down the road.
Signs Of Cushing’s Disease
Dogs who have Cushing’s disease typically have long, thick hair that grows continuously throughout the year.
Dogs with Cushing’s disease have darkening skin and hair around their eyes, nose, and paws.
Dogs with Cushing’s disease often look tired and weak.
Dogs with Cushing’s disease may exhibit weight gain, muscle wasting, and weakness.
Dogs with Cushing’s disease usually urinate frequently.
Dogs with Cushing’s disease have enlarged livers and kidneys.
Dogs with Cushing’s disease are prone to infections because they do not produce enough white blood cells.
How To Treat A Dog’s Fur Color Change
The most common cause of a dogs fur changing color is due to an illness or injury, such as a skin infection or cancer.
While this is fairly easy to treat and resolve with proper veterinary care, there are other causes of a dogs fur changing color that can be more complicated.
Sudden Changes In The Fur Color – This is usually due to a medical condition like Cushing’s Disease.
Puppy Blues – These changes in the fur color may also occur when a new puppy enters a home, especially if the parents were not aware of the potential for it.
Age – Older dogs have less pigment in their hair, meaning that they’re more likely to lose pigment over time, which is why older dogs often look greyer than younger ones.
Heredity – Some breeds have a tendency to go from red to white as they age, while others turn black as they get older.
Genetics – Certain genetic disorders can cause the fur to change color, including albinism, brachycephaly, and spitz syndrome.
A dogs fur changing color could indicate that he or she has Cushing’s disease.
This is a very serious condition where the pituitary gland produces excess cortisol, which can cause a number of health problems.
It’s actually one of the most common hormonal conditions affecting dogs, but many owners don’t know about it until it starts causing noticeable symptoms in the body.
The first signs of Cushing’s disease are weight gain, lethargy, and increased appetite.
As the disease progresses, your pet will become increasingly hyperactive, and you’ll notice excessive urination and diarrhea.
If left untreated, Cushing’s disease can lead to kidney failure and even death.
If you suspect that your dog has Cushing’s disease, consult your veterinarian immediately.
They’ll perform blood tests to determine whether there’s an actual problem present.
Home Remedies For A Dog’s Fur Color Change
A dog’s coat can change color for many reasons, not the least of which is a medical condition known as Cushing’s disease.
Cushing’s disease is caused by a tumor on the adrenal gland.
The tumors secrete excessive amounts of cortisol (the primary hormone that regulates stress) in an effort to combat the high levels of inflammation and infection the body experiences when it is stressed.
This causes the hair follicles to become very sensitive to changes in temperature and moisture, causing the fur to grow more slowly than normal and sometimes even shedding.
In many cases, a dog with Cushing’s disease will have patches of hair loss around his or her neck, ears, tail, belly, and paws.
The hair loss may be accompanied by a reddish-purple discoloration of the skin in those areas where there is significant hair loss.
In severe cases, the hair loss may be so extensive that the dog develops bald spots on its head.
If you suspect your dog has Cushing’s disease, you should bring him to the veterinarian immediately.
If your dog shows any signs of lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms associated with low blood sugar, he should be seen right away.
There are several treatment options available for dogs suffering from Cushing’s disease.
One of the most common treatments involves surgery to remove the affected adrenal glands.
However, this option is only considered after all other less invasive remedies have been tried unsuccessfully.
Some doctors recommend giving your dog cortisone injections every day for up to two months to try and reduce the amount of cortisol being produced.
While this may help temporarily, it does nothing to treat the underlying problem.
Another option is to give your dog synthetic versions of the hormones found naturally in the adrenal glands.
These hormones include hydrocortisone (also referred to as prednisone), dexamethasone, and methylprednisolone acetate.
These medications must be administered intravenously because they cannot cross the blood/brain barrier.
They also cause a host of side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Although these drugs can be helpful, they do not cure the underlying problem.
And because they are given orally, the medication can be absorbed into the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body.
One of the best home remedies for a dog’s fur color change is to use a topical steroid cream.
Steroid creams work by blocking the action of the hormone cortisol at the cellular level.
By doing so, the fur grows much faster than normal and the color returns to normal within a few days.
Some of the best steroids to use for this purpose include betamethasone dipropionate, fluocinonide, triamcinolone acetonide, and clobetasol propionate.
This type of treatment is especially useful when dealing with large patches of hair loss.
It is also recommended once the dog has fully recovered from surgery to remove the adrenal glands.
While some of the above treatments may seem extreme, they are necessary in order to reverse the physical changes brought about by Cushing’s disease.
If you suspect your pet has the condition, don’t hesitate to contact your vet right away.
A dog’s coat may change color in response to heat, cold or stress.
There are some diseases associated with fur color changes such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease.
It’s important to keep your pet healthy and happy so it continues to live a long life.
You should also be aware of conditions that could cause a change in a dogs fur color.
If you have any questions about a dog’s fur color change please leave a comment below.