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J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2009 Sep-Oct;45(5):207-14.

Elevations in sex hormones in dogs with sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS).

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.


Dogs diagnosed with sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS) commonly are presented with concurrent clinical, physical, and historical findings consistent with hyperadreno-corticism (HAC) at the time of vision loss. Thirteen dogs diagnosed with SARDS on the basis of complete ophthalmic examination and extinguished bright-flash electroretinogram were evaluated for steroid hormonal abnormalities. Signalment, case history, physical examination, and clinicopathological findings were recorded. Serum cortisol and sex-hormone concentrations were measured before and after adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation. Clinical signs of HAC, systemic hypertension, and proteinuria were commonly found in dogs with SARDS. Elevations in one or more sex hormones were found in 11 (85%) of 13 dogs (95% confidence interval [CI] 65% to 100%); cortisol was elevated in nine (69%) of 13 dogs (95% CI 44% to 94%). A minority of dogs (three [23%] of 13; 95% CI 0.2% to 46%) exhibited only an increase in adrenal sex hormones. Only one dog had completely normal ACTH stimulation test results. Symptoms of HAC were associated with abnormal ACTH stimulation results. Routine ACTH stimulation testing to evaluate cortisol and sex hormones, blood pressure screening, and urinalysis are recommended in these animals.

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