Cushing's Disease in Pets
Canine hyperadrenocorticism , commonly known as Cushing’s disease, or hyperadrenocorticism , results in overproduction of adrenal gland hormones, most commonly glucocorticoids . The disorder is relatively common in middle-aged to older dogs and rare in cats. Cushing’s disease usually occurs as a result of a benign (non-cancerous) tumour of the pituitary gland. Rarely, a tumour (benign or cancerous) of the adrenal gland(s) may occur. Long-term administration of corticosteroids causes a steroid-induced Cushing’s syndrome that usually resolves whenever the pet is weaned off the steroids.
The following information is meant as a general guideline, and has been researched from other sources.
There are three dominant causes of canine hyperadrenocorticism, in order of importance:
- pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism - about 80% of canine cases - pituitary adenomas , pituitary adenocarcinomas or sella xanthogranulomas
- adrenal-dependent hyperadrenocorticism - about 15% of cases, caused by adrenal carcinoma or adrenal adenocarcinoma
- iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism - due to long-term glucocorticoid therapy for unrelated problems
Differentiating between a pituitary and adrenal tumour is critical at times in order to determine prognosis and response to therapy.
The differences between Cushing’s (HYPER) and Addison’s (HYPO) are simply the fact that with Cushing’s, there is excessive secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormones (ACTH) from the pituitary gland, whereas Addison’s is the failure of the gland to secrete glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids.
Clinical signs of Cushing’s disease develop slowly.
- increased urination;
- increased thirst;
- Pendulous (swollen) abdomen;
- Bilateral alopecia (hair loss over most of the body surface);
- Thin, mineralised skin;
- Lethargy and weakness.
Cushing’s syndrome is so incredibly diverse because every inch of your pet’s body contains cortisol receptors. Because of this, it is often the immunosuppressive aspect of the disease that prompts the first vet visit.
If, for example, your pet has a recurrent urinary tract infection or one that she can’t get rid of, along with one or two other symptoms – perhaps thinning skin or a developing pot-bellied appearance, you should ask your veterinarian about Cushing’s disease as a possible cause.
The most common therapy is glandular therapy. As with most conditions, the most healthful natural diet will improve the pet’s overall health.
The information provided in this article does not provide or offer medical advice for you or your fur kids. The content we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your doctor or veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition for your fur kids. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site, in this document or those we reference.
Before feeding a pet with a medical condition one of our natural diets, please check with your veterinarian first to make sure the diet does not compromise your pet’s health care.
Principal Natural Solutions
- Glandular Therapy
Supporting Natural Solutions
- Natural diet, antioxidants, herbs: Astragalus, burdock, dandelion root, nettle, Siberian ginseng
Cushings Herbal Support Blend
Start by switching your fur kid to natural raw cuisine. Once your fur kids transitioned to raw, typically between 4 and 6 weeks, introduce our Cushing Herbal Support Blend into the diet. The Cushing’s Support Blend is used to stimulate endocrine, circulatory, immune, and liver and kidney function using 100% natural herbal blend. The Cushing’s Support Blend contains chaste-tree berries, milk thistle seed, kelp, Golden Rod, dandelion leaf, garlic flakes, nettle and rosehips.
These can be used in conjunction with conventional therapies. The natural treatments are widely used with variable success but have not been thoroughly investigated and proven at this time.
Additional Articles and Videos
Good reference articles & videos further reading available at:
- Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, by Dr. Shawn Messonnier (Amazon)
- Cushing's Disease: The Incurable Disease Your Vet is Likely to Miss (http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/09/21/cushings-disease-caused-by-pet-stress.aspx)
- Cushing's Disease In Your Dog - Hyperadrenocorticism - What Happened And What You Need To Do (http://www.2ndchance.info/cushings.htm)
- Natural Solutions For Cushing’s Disease (http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/natural-solutions-for-cushings-disease/)
Dr. Karen Becker Discusses Cushing's Disease (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdx9zI40YSs)
(Part 1 / https://youtu.be/0vByprTTj1c)
(Part 2 / https://youtu.be/v9uysqi5eao)
(Part 3 / https://youtu.be/WsrJY5VKVBo)
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