There is only one way to give a firm diagnosis of Addison’s disease in Addison dogs, and that is to perform an adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation (ACTH) test.
The ACTH test for Addison dogs involves several steps:
- A blood test is taken to determine the cortisol levels
- An injection of ACTH is given.
- An hour or two later, another blood test is taken and cortisol levels are measured.
When an ACTH injection is given, a normal animal will produce cortisol in response to the ACTH injection. Addison dogs will not produce cortisol.
The ACTH stimulation test is the gold standard to diagnose Addisonâ€™s diseaseâ€”without the test, your pet will not have a confirmed diagnosis.