Novartis Animal Health just got the Food and Drug Administration nod for Percorten V, the first approval for the treatment of Addison's disease in dogs.
Novartis Animal Health just got the Food and Drug Administration nodfor Percorten V, the first approval for the treatment of Addison's diseasein dogs.
Dr. G.C. Ritchie, product manager for Novartis, says this disease iseasily and often misdiagnosed. "What we have found out is that Addison'sdisease is currently and dramatically underdiagnosed," he says. "Thereason it is underdiagnosed is because the clinical signs are relativelybenign and veterinarians are confusing these dogs with having other problems.Typical symptoms, for example, in Addisonian dogs may be weakness and lethargy.Canine Addison's disease occurs when a dog's adrenal glands do not produceenough hormones and other chemicals that help regulate bodily functionslike metabolism, blood pressure and stress response, Novartis says.
Ritchie adds that Novartis is launching a major educational campaignfor veterinarians to help them better understand the diagnosis. Ritchiesays that a common misperception in practice is that Addison's disease israre. He adds that it is probably much more common than believed. In addition,Addison's disease is not a difficult diagnosis; you just have to start lookingfor it. The disease is not breed specific; the most common diagnosis ofthe disease is in mixed breeds.
Studies have found that 70 to 85 percent of dogs with canine Addison'sdisease are female and that the dogs most often affected are between 4 and7 years old. Some breeds seem to be affected more commonly than others.These breeds include Great Danes, Portuguese Water Spaniels, Rottweilers,Standard Poodles, West Highland White Terriers and Wheaten Terriers.
"The reason for the campaign is to help raise awareness among veterinariansand to clue them into the fact it could be Addison's disease," Ritchiesays. For example, one of the key biochemical indicators is a low sodiumand potassium ratio. "In other words, sodium levels are low and potassiumlevels are high. Any time a veterinarian sees that, they should considerAddison's disease," Ritchie says. "The other time veterinariansshould think about Addison's disease is if a dog has recurrent signs, likevomiting, lethargy and diarrhea," he adds. Dogs with Addison's diseaseare often confused with gastrointestinal problems or renal disease. "Itis not a disease most veterinarians see every day, but there are a significantnumber of dogs out there with the disease we think are going undiagnosed.The reason we think that," Ritchie explains, "is because we foundsome veterinarians may be treating anywhere from eight to 10 cases. Thereare other veterinarians who say they haven't seen a case for five to 10years, and there is no reason there should be that kind of variation inthe number of cases between clinics."
Percorten V is an injectable administered about every 25 days, intramuscularlyor subcutaneously.
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