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Hydrocortisone in the management of acute hypoadrenocorticism in dogs

E. Gunn, R. E. Shiel, C. T. Mooney

HYPOADRENOCORTICISM is a well recognised endocrine disorder of dogs that is characterised by deficient mineralocorticoid and/or glucocorticoid production. The aim of this retrospective study was to describe the efficacy, outcome and adverse effects associated with intravenous hydrocortisone and fluid therapy for the management of acute hypoadrenocorticism in dogs.

The case records of 23 dogs with primary hypoadrenocorticism that were referred to a veterinary hospital between August 2005 and August 2015 were reviewed. All dogs received intravenous fluid therapy for a period of time before hydrocortisone infusion. Each dog then received a dose of 0.5 or 0.625 mg/kg/hour hydrocortisone sodium succinate intravenously. An adrenocorticotrophic hormone stimulation test was performed and biochemical and haematological analyses were carried out before and after treatment in all dogs.

An excellent clinical response was observed, with all dogs surviving to discharge. The median time from the start of hydrocortisone infusion until discharge was two days. Circulating potassium concentration normalised in 68.4 per cent of cases by 12 hours and 100 per cent of cases by 24 hours. Plasma sodium …

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