Trilostane For Dogs: Dosing, Side Effects, And More

Trilostane For Dogs

Trilostane for Dogs: Trilostane is a medication used to treat Cushing’s disease in dogs. It works by blocking the production of cortisol, a hormone made in the adrenal glands. In dogs with Cushing’s disease, the adrenal glands make too much cortisol, so trilostane helps rebalance cortisol levels to a normal range.

Trilostane For Dogs

How Does Trilostane Work to Treat Cushing’s Disease?

Trilostane works by inhibiting an enzyme in the adrenal glands called 11-beta-hydroxylase, which helps produce cortisol. By blocking this enzyme, trilostane reduces the amount of cortisol in the body to normal levels.

Reducing Cortisol Levels

In dogs with Cushing’s disease, the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, a stress hormone. Excess cortisol causes increased thirst, increased urination, increased appetite, and skin problems. By lowering cortisol, trilostane can help relieve these symptoms and control the disease.

Finding the Right Dose

The correct dose of trilostane depends on your dog’s individual needs and is determined through blood tests. Your vet will start with a low dose and check your dog’s cortisol levels regularly to determine if the dose needs adjusting. It can take several months of testing and dosage changes to find the right level. But with patience and monitoring, trilostane can be very effective at managing Cushing’s disease for years.

Potential Side Effects

Trilostane is usually very well tolerated in dogs, but possible side effects include lack of appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea. More serious side effects include weakness, collapse, and electrolyte imbalance. That’s why close monitoring, especially when starting trilostane or changing the dose, is so important. Blood tests will check for any negative effects and allow dosage adjustments to be made right away.

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By understanding how trilostane works and the importance of close monitoring, you can feel confident helping your dog live comfortably with Cushing’s disease. With the right dosage and care, trilostane gives dogs a chance at a good quality of life for years after diagnosis.

Trilostane Dosage and Administration

The typical dosage of trilostane for dogs is 1 to 5 milligrams per pound of body weight, given once or twice daily with food. The exact dosage will depend on your dog’s specific condition and response to the medication.

Starting Dose

Your vet will determine an initial dosage based on your dog’s adrenal function tests and current symptoms. The starting dose is usually on the lower end of the range, around 1 to 2 milligrams per pound. This helps minimize the risk of side effects as your dog’s body adjusts to the medication.

Monitoring and Adjustments

Your vet will recheck your dog’s electrolyte levels and perform an ACTH stimulation test 7 to 10 days after starting trilostane or after any dosage adjustments. The goal is to find the lowest effective dose, so adjustments are often needed. If symptoms are not improving or electrolyte levels are still abnormal, the dose may need to be increased. If your dog shows side effects like lethargy or poor appetite, the dose may need to be lowered.

When to Administer

Trilostane should be given with food, as this helps with absorption of the medication. For the best results, give trilostane at the same time(s) every day and avoid missing any doses. Consistency is key. If a dose is missed for any reason, do not double up the next dose. Simply resume the normal dosing schedule.

Duration of Treatment

Once the proper maintenance dose has been reached and your dog’s symptoms are stable, trilostane treatment will likely continue for the rest of your dog’s life. Follow-up monitoring, especially in the early stages of treatment or after any dosage changes, will help ensure the medication continues working properly with minimal side effects. With close monitoring and dosage adjustments as needed, trilostane can be a very safe and effective long-term treatment option for canine Cushing’s disease.

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Potential Side Effects of Trilostane in Dogs

1. Digestive Upset

As with any medication, trilostane can cause some side effects in dogs, the most common being digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. These effects are usually mild but can occur within the first few days of starting treatment or when the dosage is increased. To minimize GI upset, give trilostane with food and plenty of water. If symptoms persist for more than a couple of days, contact your vet.

2. Lethargy

Some dogs may experience temporary lethargy or drowsiness when they first start taking trilostane or have a dosage increase. This typically only lasts a couple of days as their body adjusts to the medication. While lethargy can be normal, watch your dog closely for any severe or prolonged changes in behavior or activity levels and notify your vet right away if noted.

3. Electrolyte Imbalance

Although rare, trilostane can potentially cause sodium or potassium imbalance in some dogs which may lead to more serious side effects. Your vet will monitor your dog’s electrolyte levels with blood tests, especially when the medication is first started or the dosage is changed. Watch for symptoms like weakness, collapse or seizures and contact your vet immediately if observed.

4. Other Effects

Other less common side effects may include skin reactions, elevated liver enzymes, and suppression of the adrenal glands. Your vet will check for these with routine blood work and may adjust or temporarily discontinue the medication if certain side effects are detected. While trilostane is generally a very safe medication when properly monitored, any severe or unusual symptoms in your dog should be reported to your vet right away.

By knowing the potential side effects of trilostane beforehand and closely monitoring your dog during treatment, you can help minimize risks and ensure the best results from this medication. Be sure to give the medication as directed, provide any supplements or diet changes recommended by your vet, and schedule follow-up checkups and testing as needed to keep your dog as happy and healthy as possible.

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FAQ

How often should I give my dog trilostane?

Trilostane is usually given once or twice daily, depending on your vet’s recommendation for your dog. The most common regimen is to give trilostane every 12 hours. It’s important to give the medication at the same times each day for the best results.

What should I do if I miss a dose of trilostane?

If you miss a dose of trilostane, give it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses. Missing one or two doses should not cause any problems, but if you frequently miss doses, let your vet know. They may need to adjust the dosage or frequency.

What side effects can occur with trilostane?

The most common side effects of trilostane include:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea: Usually mild but can sometimes require a dosage adjustment. Let your vet know if these side effects persist or worsen.
  • Lethargy or weakness: Can sometimes occur within the first few weeks of treatment as the body adjusts to the medication. These effects are usually temporary, but contact your vet if your dog shows these signs.
  • Poor appetite or thirst: Occasionally seen in some dogs. Watch your dog to ensure they stay well hydrated and inform your vet if the signs persist or worsen.
  • Skin problems: Rare, but may include hair loss, skin infections, or skin lesions. Contact your vet if you notice any unusual skin changes in your dog.

How long will my dog need to take trilostane?

Trilostane is usually a lifelong medication for dogs with Cushing’s disease. It helps control the disease and the symptoms, but does not cure the underlying problem. Your vet will monitor your dog’s condition with regular checkups and blood tests to ensure the medication is working properly and the dosage remains appropriate. Dosage adjustments or medication changes may be needed over time as your dog ages.