Fooding for Life

Cushings 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.

As stated by Dr. Shawn Messonnier in his book titled “Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats”, canine hyperadrenocorticism ​1​, commonly known as Cushing’s disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, results in over-production 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.

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);
  • Hyperpigmentation;
  • 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.

Principal Natural Solutions

  • Glandular Therapy

Supporting Natural Solutions

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:

Dr. Karen Becker Discusses Cushing’s Disease

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

References and Research

  1. 1.

Raw Food for Pets