Definitive Article on Canine Addison’s Disease

This article separates a couple kinds of Addison’s from the typical kind which has signs referrable to glucocorticoid *AND* mineralocorticoid lack.

But, the “atypical” HoAC doesn’t have electrolyte disorders (low sodium and high potassium) and may be managed with nothing but Prednisone at a dose low enough to manage the glucocorticoid deficiency say, once or twice a day.

Atypical HOAC
Therapy for atypical HOAC consists of replacement of cortisol, usually with prednisone, given at 0.1–0.25 mg/kg/day, as directed for patients with classic HOAC. The goal is to give enough prednisone to control the clinical signs of HOAC, while not causing side effects of prednisone administration.
Additional prednisone (twice normal) is recommended during times of stress.
Dogs with atypical HOAC sometimes develop signs of mineralocorticoid deficiency (electrolyte abnormalities) weeks to months after the initial diagnosis (usually  within 1 year). It is impossible to predict which dogs will develop electrolyte abnormalities; therefore, reevaluation of the electrolytes is recommended at 1 and 3  months following initial diagnosis and then every 6 months thereafter.


Dr Erik Johnson is a Marietta, Georgia Veterinarian with a practice in small animal medicine. He graduated from University of Georgia with his Doctorate in 1991. Dr Johnson is the author of several texts on Koi and Pond Fish Health and Disease as well as numerous articles on dog and cat health topics.