Just like humans, dogs can be vulnerable to many toxins and hazards that can lead to severe diseases that require long treatments. One disease that dogs can be susceptible to is Cushing’s disease.
According to statistics, this illness is recognized in about 15 to 20% of dogs which may have a naturally occurring Cushing’s syndrome. Generally speaking, the disease affects middle-aged dogs, but it can occur when they are only puppies too. Some dog breeds that are prone to this disease are beagles, Boston terriers, poodles, and boxers.
There are two main types of Cushing’s disease. The first type is pituitary-dependent which is the most common one and it occurs when a tumor is formed on the pituitary gland. The second type is adrenal-dependent and occurs when a tumor is formed on the adrenal glands.
Whatever the case may be with your dog, the treatment for Cushing’s disease will vary based on the type. In fact, there are several natural remedies available that serve as a great alternative to conventional treatments. In this post, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about this disease including the available dog Cushings disease natural treatment remedies.
What causes Cushing’s disease?
The causes of Cushing’s disease depend on the type of illness. With the pituitary-dependent Cushing’s disease, the tumor is located at the base of the brain and it stimulates the excessive release of the hormone that, in turn, stimulates the adrenal gland to produce cortisol. Even though this tumor is benign, dogs still develop symptoms as the tumor grows.
With the adrenal-dependent Cushing’s disease, the tumor is located right next to the kidneys. This tumor is caused by the excessive release of stress hormones that are created by the adrenal glands. In this case, the tumor can be either benign or malignant. Besides these two types, there is iatrogenic Cushing’s disease which is caused as a result of long-term use of steroids.
What signs should you look for?
Regardless of the type, the symptoms for Cushing’s disease are similar. The first sign pet owners should look for is increased urination. Dogs may wake up in the middle of the night with the need to urinate which may lead to future accidents in the house. Also, other signs include increased thirst and appetite, hair loss, exhaustion, muscle weakness, and even skin infections.
The thing with the symptoms is that they are similar to other diseases too which is why it is important that you do all necessary examinations in order to determine the type of Cushing’s disease your dog may have. A simple blood test will reveal the levels of cortisol in your dog’s system and an ultrasound will show where the tumor is located.
Natural treatment for dogs with Cushing’s Disease
Luckily, there are several natural remedies that you can rely on that help treat Cushing’s disease in dogs. The first thing you must do is change your dog’s diet as it helps ease the symptoms. Other natural remedies include herbal treatments and acupuncture which have also proved helpful in treating this disease in dogs. Keep reading to find out what each treatment entails.
Making dietary changes for your dog
When it comes to nutritional therapy, you must avoid feeding your dog treats that are rich in fats and high in sugar. By changing the diet, the high levels of cortisol will be alleviated and any secondary disease processes will be managed.
Since the high levels of cortisol can lead to an increase in triglycerides and cholesterol, it is important that you turn to food that is lower in fat and moderate in fiber. Many pet owners have actually turned to cook the meals at home, so their dog will get all nutritional requirements.
When you home-cook the meals, make sure you stick to a balanced diet. Try not to rely too much on protein or too much on veggies and fruits because additional problems can occur. In fact, many vets suggest that the diet includes 50% veggies, 40% protein and 10% carbohydrates.
Herbs as a natural treatment therapy
Herbal therapies can also help ease the symptoms of Cushing’s disease in dogs. Dandelion, burdock, astragalus, and ginkgo Biloba are some examples of herbs that have many health benefits in treating the disease. For example, dandelion helps normalize adrenal functioning while ginkgo Biloba reduces the amount of cortisol that is released from the adrenal glands. Astragalus helps in improving the immune system and burdock removes the toxins and other unwanted substances that may be present in the dog’s body.
One very popular Chinese formula called Si Miao San has also been used as part of the herbal natural therapy for treating Cushing’s disease. This herbal therapy decreases inflammation, improves digestion, and regulates the amount of insulin that’s produced in the body.
Acupuncture and acupressure
Acupuncture is another Chinese practice that proved helpful in treating Cushing’s disease in dogs. Its biggest benefit is that it restores the energy in the body and promotes healing. This method involves inserting needles at specific acupuncture points in your dog’s body which enhances blood circulation and improves healing ability.
However, since most dogs are afraid of needles, acupressure is an alternative option that refers to the pressure which is applied to the acupuncture points. In fact, this technique is more preferred if there are acupuncture points that are hard to reach with needles.
If left untreated, Cushing’s disease may lead to other secondary health issues for your dog. Luckily, there are many natural treatments you can rely on to help your dog fight this disease.
Whatever type of Cushing’s disease your dog has, it is crucial that you stick to the instructions and recommendations given by your vet. The only way to achieve the desired results is to adhere to the proper dosage and amounts that will be suited according to the condition of your dog.