Hypoadrenocorticism, also called Addison’s disease, is an endocrine disorder that results from a deficient production of adrenal gland hormones. The most common cause of Addison’s disease is destruction of the adrenal gland tissue by the pet’s immune system. In Addison’s disease there is usually a deficiency of cortisol and a mineralocorticoid (aldosterone). Cortisol is responsible for combating stress. Aldosterone regulates the water, sodium, potassium, and chloride concentrations in the body.

Addison’s disease is an uncommon disorder in dogs and is extremely rare in cats. It is thought to be inherited in Leonbergers, standard poodles, and Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers. Certain other breeds may also be predisposed, such as the Airedale, bearded collie, German shepherd dog, German shorthair pointer, Great Dane, St. Bernard, English springer spaniel, West Highland white terrier, wheaten terrier, and Portuguese water dog.

Addison’s disease most often affects young to middle-aged dogs. About 70 percent of affected dogs are female.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Addison’s disease can be difficult to diagnosis since it mimics many other diseases. It is generally diagnosed by a thorough history, physical examination, bloodwork, urinalysis and an ACTH stimulation test.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Pets with Addison’s disease are treated with cortisol and mineralocorticoid replacement therapy.  Some will need fluid and electrolyte support. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.


What to Watch for*:

  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Walk Ins: Check-in starts at 9:45am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)


Saturday Hours

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM


24 Hour Emergency Care:


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA



4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA

VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA

Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue

North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd



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