Blood tests are performed to confirm a diagnosis. Cortisol levels in the blood of both normal dogs and dogs with hyperadrenocorticism fluctuate greatly throughout the day. As a result, a diagnosis cannot be confirmed by simply measuring the concentration of cortisol in a dog’s blood.
Instead, one of the most commonly used tests to aid in the diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism , the “ACTH stimulation test” is routinely performed. This test assesses the capacity of a dog’s adrenal glands to produce cortisol. This type of test requires the owner to leave the dog with the veterinary surgeon for a few hours or for a whole day.