April 16, 2013

Cushing’s Disease in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

cushing's disease in dogsCushing’s disease is a dysfunction in the adrenal glands, where there is too much of the hormone glucocorticoid being produced. The cause of the overproduction of this hormone is usually connected to two issues:

1. The pituitary gland in the brain sends a signal for the adrenal glands to produce more hormones.

2. A benign or cancerous tumor in the adrenal glands can cause over-production of the hormones (this is less often the case).

Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in your dog may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urinating
  • Pot-belly-like appearance
  • Thin coat and skin
  • Increased appetite
  • Unusual skin bumps
  • Skin and/or bladder infections
  • Hyperactivity

The symptoms of Cushing’s Disease are similar to many other diseases. For this reason, it can be a complicated disease to diagnose, which requires the skill and expertise of a professional. If your vet suspects Cushing’s Disease, they will often take a blood test in order to test hormone levels and adrenal gland function.

Holistic treatment for a pet with Cushing’s Disease includes glandular treatment, homeopathic treatment, and herbal treatment.

Glandular treatment is whereby your pet is fed animal tissue or tissue extracts in order to help them heal. In the case of Cushing’s Disease, an animal would be fed adrenal gland tissue.

Homeopathic treatment may include administering arsenicum, hepar, mercurius, or sulphur to your pet. Whereas herbal treatment may include astragalus, dandelion root, burdock root, or ginseng.

Personally, I treat Cushing’s Disease with a combination of homeopathic remedies, which include Quercus robur (English Oak) and ACTH (a hormone produced and released by the pituitary gland). These remedies will be used in combination with a herbal liver tonic, glandular supplements, and a nutritious diet.

If your pet is diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, seek treatment as soon as possible. Leaving the disease untreated may lead to further health problems such as liver, lung, and kidney disease.

Although generally Cushing’s Disease is more prevalent in dogs, in rare cases it may also develop in cats.

Dr. Loridawn Gordon




Dr. Loridawn Gordon


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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.