How Much Does Addison’s Disease Treatment for a Dog Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

Addison’s Disease, also referred to as canine hypoadrenocorticism in the medical world, occurs when the dog’s adrenal glands either stop or reduce the production of their natural hormones.  The main cause is considered to be immune-mediated, meaning the immune system will attack the adrenal glands; however, it can also be caused

While some dogs, albeit rare, are diagnosed in their early stages, most confirmations, unfortunately, come in a time of crisis.  If left untreated, it will eventually lead to death.

Sad Dog by rubixcom, on Flickr
Sad Dog” (CC BY 2.0) by rubixcom

How much does Addison’s Disease treatment for a dog cost?

The costs of Addison’s Disease treatment will greatly depend on the severity of the diagnosis.  Unfortunately, as stated, most confirmations will be made when the dog is already critically ill, and in most cases, the dog will stay at the vet hospital for a few days to monitor their activity during its first diagnosis.  During this time, the vet will use a combination of intravenous therapy to help combat the hydration and use a combination of cortisol-like drugs to help regulate the hormone levels.  He or she will perform a physical, check the heart rate, look for dehydration and weakness.

The first visit, including the IVs, blood tests, medication and doctor care, it can easily exceed $1,000+, depending on the tests being performed and your vet’s billing practices.  Emergency care at a 24/7 vet facility could be much more.

Even after the initial treatment, the costs will not stop here as you will have to continue administering a mineralocorticoid medication, which is a daily hormone pill given orally, for the rest of the dog’s life.  Another option for those who don’t want to administer the medication can object to an injection, which is often done every 30 days.  Depending on the situation, your dog may need a glucocorticoid added as well, and close to 50 percent of dogs with Addison’s Disease will require.

On top of the medication, a dog owner must also prepare to visit the vet at least every 90 days for the first year to check on the dog’s progress, which, during this time, the doctor will want to monitor your dog’s kidney function  Recurring costs for the entire year, including shots, medication and bloodwork, can average $250~ a month.   These prices, in the end, will depend on your dog’s weight, the prescriptions you purchase, where you purchase them and the dog’s treatment plan.

Refer to our table below to see what the average pet medications for treating Addison’s disease in dogs can cost:

Type of MedicationAverage Cost
Prednisolone$0.22 per 5 mg tablet
Fludrocortisone$1.05 per 0.1 mg tablet
Percorten-V$200 per 25 mg/ 4 ml vial
Florinef$0.75 per 0.1 mg tablet
Prednisone$0.31-$0.50 per 1-20 mg tablet

NOTE:  Plan on administering one of three at least once a day for the rest of your dog’s life.  The dosage will greatly depend on your dog’s weight, with 0.1 milligram per 10 pounds being recommended.  These are the costs for the medication only and will not include any additional lab work, vet visits or additional tests/medication not mentioned here.

According to an anonymous reader at Dog-Health-Guide.org, her Basset Hound, who was recently diagnosed, cost her up to $300 a month when the injection, the prednisone, electrolyte monitoring and the occasional kidney function tests are factored in.

The treatment plan

To confirm the diagnosis, a blood test will more likely be administered; however, it won’t be definite as it can only help narrow down the underlying cause.  A blood test is usually used to help examine the function of the dog’s critical organs such as the kidneys, pancreas, heart and liver.  Ultimately, an ACTH stimulation test will provide a definite result as this test will check the cortisol levels

When your vet confirms the diagnosis, a lifelong treatment plan will be implemented, regardless of its severity.  In most cases, symptoms will often be treated with drugs and supplements to help replace the deficient hormones, either orally or via an injection, but it’s very important an owner sticks to this regime as failing to do can lead to stress or illnesses.  These medications, known as a mineralocorticoid, will help replace a hormone known as aldosterone.  This medication will help correct the electrolyte levels in your dog.  Also, cortisol and glucocorticoids may be necessary if the adrenal glands have stopped working as well.

Regular retesting, for the rest of your dog’s life, will be done to consistently monitor your dog’s hormone levels to ensure the dog is receiving the correct dosage.

Dogs can live a normal and active life as long as the medication is administered according to the timeline.  Working closely with the vet and, again, administering the medication in the proper dosages at the right time, can allow your dog to live a long, healthy life.

Symptoms of Addisons Disease with dogs

Tips to know

Close to 80 percent of dogs that are found to have this disease are said to be females and are about four years old on average.

Research over the years has shown that the disease is genetic, but the exact method of its inheritance, at this time, is unknown.

How to save money

As you can see, your dog will need to take the medication the rest of its life, but there are some ways to save.  For one, ask your veterinarian if they are willing to write a prescription for Percorten-V.  This injection, as compared to the oral methods, can be much cheaper if you learn how to administer the injections on your own.

Dog owners have claimed you can save more than 40 to 50 percent off if you were to purchase from a Canadian pharmacy.  As long as you have a prescription from your vet, you will be able to scan it and send it over, being no different than going to a local pharmacy, with the exception of the shipping delay.

AddisonDogs.com recommends finding a local compounding pharmacy that’s able to create either a capsule, chew or liquid made to your vet’s specifications.  These prices are generally much lower than the name brands, and to find one, you can do so by searching the official International Academy of Compounding Pharmacist website.


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