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D2011-05

Dear Daisy Dog

My dog Buddy is being tested for Cushing’s disease. I checked the Internet and learned that one of three drugs is commonly used to treat the disease: Anipryl, mitotane or trilostane. Which do you recommend?

Daisy Responds

Cushing’s disease, also called hyperadrenocorticism, develops when the adrenal glands produce excess steroid hormones, usually because of overstimulation by the pituitary gland.

Treatment varies, depending on such factors as whether the pituitary is involved. But when medication is chosen, the drugs you mention are the most common ones prescribed. So let’s look at each.

Anipryl, also called selegiline and deprenyl, is used only for pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism. Unfortunately, it is less consistently effective than the other two medications.

Mitotane (trade name Lysodren) and trilostane (trade name Vetoryl) decrease adrenal production of steroid hormones. Mitotane generally is given twice weekly, whereas trilostane usually is administered twice daily.

Effectiveness is comparable, and monitoring requirements are similar. However, medication costs may differ.

If Buddy does have Cushing’s disease, please follow your veterinarian’s directions closely. Your vet is in the best position to recommend the treatment that is right for Buddy.

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