Adrenalectomy in a Golden Retriever

Other Titles


A 10 year old female spayed Golden Retriever was presented to Cornell University Soft Tissue Surgery Service for surgical removal of the left adrenal gland. The patient had originally presented to the referring veterinarian for evaluation of polyphagia, polyuria, alopecia, hindlimb muscle atrophy and skin lesions. ACTH stim tests confirmed a diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism. An abdominal ultrasound was performed 2 months prior to presentation to Cornell, and revealed a mass on the left adrenal gland. Treatment with Trilostane was instituted, but did not ameliorate the patient’s clinical signs, so the owner elected left adrenalectomy.

On presentation to Cornell the patient was bright alert and responsive with vitals within normal range (T 101.8F, P 108bpm, R 32bpm). Physical exam revealed bilateral alopecia around the elbows, slight hindlimb muscle atrophy and a healing sebaceous cyst on the right hindlimb. Surgical options for adrenalectomy were discussed with the owner, and an open laparotomy was decided upon. Pre operative bloodwork was submitted for CBC and chemistry panel. The chemistry panel showed increased cholesterol (557mg/dL; ref: 138-332mg/dL) and triglycerides (314mg/dL; ref: 22-125mg/dL). An abdominal ultrasound was repeated prior to surgery to confirm the appearance of the mass, assess vascular involvement and rule out metastases. Additionally, chest radiographs were done to rule out metastases. An exploratory laparotomy and left adrenalectomy were performed without complication. IV dexamethasone was given intra-operatively to prevent an Addisonian crisis upon removal of the adrenal gland. Post operatively the patient was monitored in the Intensive Care Unit, and was maintained on intravenous fluids and a continuous rate infusion of Fentanyl for pain management. She received an additional dose IV Dexamethasone SP. and treatment with subcutaneous Fragmin was started to prevent thromboembolic events. An ACTH stimulation test performed 24 hours post-operatively revealed some response, though the value was well below reference range (pre 0.25ug/dL; ref 1.8-4ug/dL; post 3.74ug/dL; ref: 6-16ug/dL) Two days post-operatively fluids were discontinued and the patient was transitioned to oral prednisone and Omeprazole for gastroprotection. She was discharged the following day. Histopathology of the adrenal tumor revealed a locally extensive cortical adenoma.

Prednisone therapy was gradually weaned and an ACTH stimulation test was performed at the referring veterinarian 3 weeks after surgery, revealing a positive response (pre 3.6ug/dL; post 14.4ug/dL). Clinically the patient continued to well, with improvement of all clinical signs.

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue



Date Issued




Dogs; Adrenalectomy; Golden Retriever; Case studies


Effective Date

Expiration Date




Union Local


Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Degree Discipline

Degree Name

Degree Level

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)


Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document




Other Identifiers


Rights URI


dissertation or thesis

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record