Journal of Animal Research: v.5 n.1, p. 203-207. April. 2015
DOI Number: 10.5958/2277-940X.2015.00033.9
Steroid induced hyperadrenocorticism in dogs- A Short study
M. Sandhya Bhavani 1* , P.S. Thirunavukkarasu 2 , S. Kavitha 1 , B. Nagarajan 1 ,
G.R.Baranidaran 1 and Abid Ali Bhat 1
1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Madras Veterinary College, TANUVAS, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA
2 Department of Clinics, Madras Veterinary College, TANUVAS, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA
*Corresponding author: MS Bhavani; Email:
Received: 21 February, 2015
Accepted: 12 March, 2015
The present study screened ten dogs with the history of prolonged exogenous glucocorticoid administration. The dogs
were subjected to detailed clinical examination and special diagnostic procedures to study the clinicopathological changes
associated. The most common signs observed were thinning of skin and asymmetrical alopecia. Serum alkaline phosphatase,
alanine aminotransferase, triglyceride and cholesterol were elevated. The adrenal glands were found to be atrophied on
ultrasonography. The cortisol levels were within normal range in Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test LDDST.
Iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed in these dogs and were advised withdrawal of steroid. Initial improvement of
clinical signs was observed at 8 weeks after corticosteroid withdrawal.
Keywords: Exogenous corticosteroids, skin lesions, atrophied glands, withdrawal
Iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism (IHAC), a form of
of glucocorticoids through oral, parenteral or topical
Design of Study
medications which are used for the treatment of a variety
Ten dogs presented to Madras Veterinary College Teaching
of allergic, autoimmune or inflammatory diseases. The
Hospital, Chennai with the history of skin disorders and
development of clinical signs depends on the dosage and
treatment with oral, parenteral or topical corticosteroids
duration of the glucocorticoid exposure. The effects also
for more than one month were selected for the study. These
vary among animals owing to inter individual differences
dogs were subjected to detailed clinical examination,
in cortisol sensitivity. Exogenous corticosteroid causes
laboratory examination (hematology, serum biochemistry
sustained suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-
and urine analysis), radiography, ultrasonography and
adrenocortical axis (HPA axis) and thus there is less
endocrine tests like Urine Cortisol – Creatinine Ratio
secretion of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)
(UCCR) and Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test
(Peterson, 2007). Depending on the dose and the intrinsic
glucocorticoid activity of the corticosteroid, the schedule
and duration of its administration and the preparation
or formulation, this suppression may exist for weeks or
Special diagnostic tests procedure
months after cessation of the corticosteroid administration
Ultrasonographic examination of adrenal glands was
(Kooistra and Galac, 2010). The purpose of this study is
done to assess the size and shape with ultrasound scanner
to describe the clinicopathological changes, diagnosis and
(Esaote, Italy) using high frequency probe (7.5- 10MHz)
outcome of dogs with Iatrogenic HAC.
as per standard procedure suggested by Hoffmann (2003).
For LDDST, a basal blood sample was collected for