Canine Addison’s Disease: What is a glucocorticoid?Posted: August 3, 2009
Prednisone–one of the drugs used to treat canine Addison’s disease–is said to have a glucocorticoid effect. Unlike mineralcorticoids, a lack of glucocorticoids isn’t likely to cause an immediate, life-threatening situation. However, a lack of glucocorticoids means that your dog will not be able to physically deal with stress; this can lead to an Addisonian crisis.
Glucocorticoid activity in a dog’s body comes from cortisol (also called hydrocortisone). Every cell in the body has cortisol, and every system is affected by a lack of cortisol. However, the most notable problems with a lack of cortisol include aiding the body maintain proper glucose levels and maintaining the immune system.
Cortisol is released when adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is released from the pituitary gland. ACTH is released when your pet is under stress–this could be as simple as leaving them alone in the house, a thunderstorm, or raising your voice. The lack of glucocorticoids will interfere with the complex regulatory systems that deals with stress; without glucocorticoids, an Addison’s dog will go into overload and will suffer from an Addisonian crisis.
R. Bowen. Glucocorticoids. Colorado State.