Vetoryl for Cushing’s in Dogs

October 2015

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) had approved a drug to treat Cushing’s Disease in dogs in 2008. The FDA states that Vetoryl (trilostane) is the only drug approved by them to treat both pituitary-and-adrenal dependent Cushing’s in dogs.

Vetoryl stops the production of cortisol in the adrenal glands. Cushing’s Disease occurs when too much of the hormone, cortisol, a natural steroid, is produced by the adrenal glands which are located on top of the kidneys.

When normal amounts of cortisol are produced, weight is regulated, skin condition is good, tissue structure is normal and more. Too much cortisol produced, as in the case of Cushing’s Disease, weakens the immune system leaving the body more open to disease and infection.

Symptoms of Cushing’s include excessive thirst, increased urination, increased appetite, excessive panting, fragile skin, hair loss, skin infections, enlarged abdomen.

Dogs that are pregnant, have kidney or liver disease, take certain heart medication SHOULD NOT be prescribed Vetoryl.

Side effects of Vetoryl in dogs can be loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness. Severe side effects include bloody diarrhea, collapse, sodium/potassium imbalance, possible destruction of the adrenal glands which may result in death.

Additional side effects reported, although Vetoryl may not be the cause, are adrenal insufficiency, shaking, elevated liver enzymes and elevated kidney tests.

A chemotherapy drug, Lysoderm, is sometimes prescribed by vets to treat Cushing’s. But this drug can have severe side effects, must be closely monitored and IS NOT approved by the FDA for use in dogs and is not advised.

Before administering any medications, discuss with your vet the pros and cons of the drugs.

Report any side effects from Vetoryl or any drug to the FDA at http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Safety/Health or call 1-800-FDA-VETS.

For those living outside the United States, contact your vet or local animal organization for information.

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