Cushing's Disease is a common condition in older dogs. Too often, the symptoms are attributed to the normal aging process. Left untreated, canine Cushing's can lead to serious conditions such as diabetes, pancreatitis, heart disease, seizures, kidney failure, and nervous disorders. However, with the proper natural treatment, pets with Cushing's can go on to live a longer and more comfortable life.
The most common cause of Cushing's is a benign tumor in the pituitary gland. The tumor causes the pituitary gland to over secrete ACTH, (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) which, in turn, causes the adrenals to release excessive cortisol. Because of this faulty mechanism, the pituitary gland does not respond in stopping the release of ACTH.
In a smaller percentage of Cushing's cases, an adrenal tumor is responsible for the secretion of too much cortisol. 50% of these tumors are benign and 50% are malignant with the probability of metastasizing to the lungs and liver.
The third cause of Cushing's in dogs is by overmedication with cortisone, primarily to relieve allergies.
Cushing's can be characterized by the following symptoms:
Other tell-tale signs of Cushing's can be seen by the dog's appearance.
4.A "bony" appearance in his head.
5.Hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Behaviorally, the dog may:
3.Lose interest in daily activities.
Cushing's disease is usually difficult to diagnose. No single test will point to a specific diagnosis. Three specific tests are given for a proper diagnosis: a urine cortisol/creatinine ratio test, an ACTH stimulation test, and low and high dose dexamethasone suppression tests.
Rather than depend on drugs that destroy the outer layer of the adrenal glands, there are natural and homeopathic remedies that will normalize a dog's output of cortisol. Here are some of the best ones:
* Dandelion - Helps normalize adrenal function. It is also an excellent tonic for the liver and kidneys. Dandelion reduces inflammation in the body and also contains vitamins and minerals necessary for hair growth.
* Burdock - Is a cleansing herb that detoxifies the tissues and eliminates unwanted substances from the body. It is effective in balancing blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes.
* Arsenicum - Treats excessive thirst and urination.
* Hepar Sulph - Heals wounds and irritated skin. It is also effective for treating infections.
* Astragalus - Besides strengthening the immune system, it also aids in promoting adrenal balance. It additionally regulates blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
* Mercurius - Addresses thirst and irritability. It is also used for treating bladder infections and diarrhea.
* Sulphur - Reduces thirst, improves skin condition and aids digestion.
In the small percentage where the adrenal tumor is malignant, additional natural measures should be implemented such as Oleander extract (note raw oleander in its natural state is extremely toxic; it is the properly made extract that contains healing properties), Inositol/IP6, Curcumin, Black Seed Oil (Nigella Sativa), Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil, and other cancer and immune strengthening supplements.
A raw diet is of primary importance. It gives the pet the nutrients that nature intended. Grains, additives and fillers found in commercial foods are detrimental to a pet's health. Even the most high quality foods lose important nutrients in cooking. Improvement may be seen by simply modifying a pet's diet to the one nature intended.
The symptoms of Cushing's lead many pet owners to consider euthanasia in order to end their pet's suffering. Yet, properly treated, a pet can go on to live a good quality life.
About the author
Luella May is a natural health advocate helping people to heal naturally. Luella is in the midst of editing her ebook, "The 8 Invisible Stains of Our Souls" which will be available in the next few months. She partners with Tony Isaacs, who authors of books and articles about natural health including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and "Collected Remedies" Luella contributes to The Best Years in Life website for baby boomers and others wishing to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Luella co-moderates the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and hosts her own yahoo group focusing on the natural wellbeing of pets "