If you are a dog parent, you may not speak your dog’s language, but you certainly understand what they are saying. The bond you share is so strong that even when your pet isn’t feeling well you know that something is wrong.
Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to many diseases. One such that can occur in dogs is Cushing’s disease. According to statistics, about 100,000 dogs are diagnosed with this illness in the United States every year. Dogs are most likely to get it when they are six years of age or older, but it could also occur when they are very young.
Luckily, there are many remedies that you can use to manage this disease and some of them are actually regarded as natural cures. So, in order to better understand what this disease entails and how it can be treated, we are going to talk about the most important information you need to know, as well as the available dog Cushings disease natural treatment therapies.
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What is Cushing’s disease and what causes it?
Cushing’s disease which was previously known as hyperadrenocorticism is an endocrine condition. This disease generally occurs from a benign tumor on the pituitary gland. The gland plays an important part in the endocrine system which produces various hormones such as the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). This hormone further stimulates the overproduction of cortisol which weakens the immune system leaving the body vulnerable to Cushing’s disease. In fact, there are two types of this disease where about 80-85% of the disease is pituitary-dependent, while the other 15-20% is a tumor on one or both adrenal glands.
Symptoms of Cushing’s disease
Even though it basically occurs inside the body of the dog, there are signs that you should watch out for to see if your dog has this disease. Some common symptoms include increased thirst, urination and appetite, lack of energy, pot-bellied appearance, hair loss and bruises. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should immediately go to the vet. However, diagnosing your dog with Cushing’s disease is quite difficult because you may have to do several tests just to be sure. A regular blood test will show any additional signs of this disease. For example, high cholesterol, high blood glucose or proteins in urine are some of the signs that point to Cushing’s disease. If your dog has some suspicious lab results, then it is recommended that it does further examinations.
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Treating Cushing’s disease
In general, the treatment depends on the cause of the disease especially if it is due to a tumor. In that case, the location of the tumor will define the treatment that the vet will suggest. There are several ways of treating Cushing’s disease and these include the traditional approach as well as the natural remedies. Since going for the traditional approaches of surgery or radiation may bring some complications and risks, opting for natural remedies is a better option. So, here is a list of a few things you can do to help treat your dog.
1. Eating right
Food is always the best medicine as it will have a great influence on your dog’s overall health. Feeding it a raw diet or home-cooked meals is always a better option than relying on other traditional medications. For example, you can give your dog food which includes high, digestible protein to prevent muscle wasting, fresh vegetables and fruits, low-fat foods to avoid high cholesterol and maintain low calcium consumption to avoid bladder stones. Feeding your dog this way may certainly ease many of the Cushing’s symptoms. Just make sure you also avoid giving it processed food which includes the treats too.
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Homeopathic ingredients, which are considered an alternative to Western medications, stimulate the body’s natural healing process and boost the immune system with the help of herbs, minerals and other natural substances. There are many homeopathic remedies which help in managing some symptoms such as pain relief and treating skin problems. Also, the Chinese have a special cure for this disease called Si Miao San. This helps reduce inflammation, improves digestion and reduces insulin. Some common herbs used for treating this disease are dandelion, ginkgo biloba and burdock. For example, dandelion helps restore normal functioning in the adrenal glands and the ginkgo biloba slows down the adrenal hormone release. Also, if your dog is thin and weak, there is a formula called Eight Treasures which treats blood deficiency and helps with digestion and absorption.
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Implementing supplements is another way of treating Cushing’s disease in dogs. For example, two common supplements that help reduce inflammation are fish oil and flaxseed oil. In addition, the combination of melatonin and lingnan has also been very beneficial for treating the disease. Melatonin helps regulate hormones and provides antioxidant benefits and lingnan regulates the production of estrogen from the adrenal gland, thus managing the disease. Lastly, there are many types of probiotics that help with the digestive system in dogs and balancing any bacteria in the gut.
Acupuncture is a simple, but very effective method for treating Cushing’s disease. This remedy has proven helpful in improving dogs’ lives and normalizing the endocrine system. Applying gentle pressure to a certain acupressure point on your dog’s body enhances the ability to balance the endocrine system and to reduce inflammation. At the beginning of the diagnosis, your dog usually goes to acupuncture sessions every three to five days. Afterward, these sessions are done every two months as part of a maintenance program once your dog’s health has been stabilized.
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Even though this disease is something that must be managed for the rest of your dog’s life, there are many ways to treat it and make your dog’s life easier. Just remember that adding a few changes can go a long way to making your pet feel better. You can even try combining all these natural remedies together and you will be surprised to see that your dog will start feeling better in no time.