Our Chihuahua Georgia never exhibited signs that something was wrong, or did she?
Georgia was diagnosed with Addison's Disease on Wednesday (3/13/19) only because she was in a full blown Addisonian Crisis and pretty close to seizure. She spent the day in the ER, is home and continues to recover.
I've read tons of information on Addison's and have friends who I now know had dogs with Addison's. What's weird is they all had the common symptoms of excessive thirst and frequent peeing. Their Addison's was also diagnosed via routine blood work.
Georgia never drank enough as evidenced by her smelly dark pee. She is just not (was not) a big drinker. She just doesn't have any of the typical signs that something could be wrong. Until I found IT.
Since we've had Georgia (6.5 yrs now) I'd tell my husband about her changing color. That when she was upset her face would get darker. He thought I was nuts until I began to point it out and he started to see it for himself. So when we saw that she was stressed we'd fix it (situationally anyway) with cuddles, reassurance, etc..
Hyperpigmentation is a result of an overabundance of ACTH the hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary telling the Adrenal glands to secrete more cortisol so your body can handle stress (biologic or environmental). When you don't have enough cortisol you most likely will experience weakness, fatigue, low BP and low blood sugar which left untreated can result in an Addisonian Crisis, seizure or death! Tah Dah -there is was!
So yes, Georgia probably has had Addison's her whole life and it took a stressful event (a recent two week long extenuating circumstance) for it to be found.
I grabbed my phone to scan pictures of Georgia and made the attached as an example of myChihuahua changing colors. The photos on left are non-stressed Georgia and the photos on the right are stressed Georgia.