Open Veterinary Journal

Open Veterinary Journal

Peer-Reviewed Journal 
ISSN 2218-6050 (Online), ISSN 2226-4485 (Print) 

"Original Research"

Cushing’s Syndrome – An epidemiological study based on a canine population of 21,281 dogs

Gaia Carotenuto(1), Eleonora Malerba(1), Costanza Dolfini(1), Francesca Brugnoli(2), Pasquale Giannuzzi(3), Giovanni Semprini(4), Paolo Tosolini(5) and Federico Fracassi(1,*)

1- Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO), 40064, Italy

2- Ospedale Veterinario I Portoni Rossi, Zola Predosa (BO),40069, Italy

3- Ospedale Veterinario Pingry, Bari, 70126, Italy

4- Centro Veterinario Bolognese, Bologna, 40131, Italy

5- Ambulatorio Veterinario Schiavi, Udine, 33100, Italy



The epidemiological characteristics of spontaneous hypercortisolism (HC) were derived from 21,281 client-owned dogs selected from 4 private veterinary clinics and 1 university reference centre for endocrinology. The odds ratio (OR) method was employed to investigate the risk of developing HC related to breed, gender and sexual status. The estimated prevalence of HC in the 4 private clinics was 0.20% (95% CI, 0.13–0.27) and was significantly different compared to the university reference centre (1.46%; 95%CI, 1.12–1.80). Sex, breed and age resulted in risk factors for HC. Mean (±SD) age for dogs with HC was 9.8 (±2.5) years. Females had higher risk for HC compared to males (OR 1.85; 95%CI, 1.24–2.75); all neutered dogs (both males and females) had higher risk than intact dogs (OR 2.54; 95%CI, 1.72–3.73); and neutered females had higher risk compared to intact females (OR 2.61; 95%CI, 1.54–4.42). Using the mixed breed dogs as a control population (OR=1), the risk of developing HC was significantly higher in the standard schnauzer (OR 58.1; p<0.0001) and fox terrier (OR 20.33; p<0.0001). With regard to HC, this study identified an overall prevalence of 0.20%. The data support the existence of sex predisposition, with the highest risk for neutered females.

Keywords: Cortisol, Hyperadrenocorticism, Hypercortisolism, PDH.


Cite this paper:
Carotenuto, G., Malerba, E., Dolfini, C., Brugnoli, F., Giannuzzi, P., Semprini, G., Tosolini, P. and Fracassi, F. 2019. Cushing’s Syndrome – An epidemiological study based on a canine population of 21,281 dogs. Open Vet. J. 9(1), 27-32.