Main Points of Dr. Zimmerman’s Presentation on Atypical Cushings in Scotties
Marcia Dawson DVM
- The increased liver enzyme ALP activity frequently seen in Scotties is often a type of ALP commonly associated with exposure to excess steroid hormones such as cortisol.
- However, in many Scotties it appears that excess adrenal sex steroids and not the more classically seen adrenal cortisol are responsible for the formation of this special form of ALP. This is a situation described by some as being an “occult” or “atypical” form of Cushings (HAC).
- The lack of involvement of cortisol is why Scotties often do not have the usual symptoms of HAC, and why the tests that your veterinarian runs are not always conclusive.
- Dr. Zimmerman is following the progression of HAC in a group of Scotties to monitor the seriousness of the disorder and the change in test results over time.
- He is looking closely at the complex steroid production pathways in the adrenal gland for a possible answer as to why Scotties have this disorder.
- If he is able to locate the underlying defect, it might be possible for us to treat our Scotties more effectively and more safely in the future.
- It might also be possible one day to screen our dogs and intervene at an earlier time.
- In the meantime, you and your veterinarian may want to try milk thistle, SAM-e products, the lignans found in the flax seed, and melatonin. These products may make a difference for some dogs and for the most part are safe.
- If clinical symptoms of HAC progress in your Scottie, please consult with your veterinarian for further treatment options.