Taking care of a pet requires a lot of time, commitment and dedication to help them lead a happier and healthier life. For that reason, it is important for every pet owner to be aware of the various ways available out there which can help their furry companion achieve just that.
Unfortunately, just like people, dogs can also be vulnerable to chronic and severe health conditions which can make their lives more difficult to manage.
One of these conditions includes Cushing disease which according to statistics occurs in approximately 100,000 dogs every year in the United States. Therefore, if your dog has been diagnosed with this severe health condition, it is crucial that you try out different natural methods that can help alleviate the symptoms.
In order to help you and your dog get through this illness with as much ease as possible, here are some of the most popular dog Cushings disease natural treatment methods that have proven useful in managing this disease.
What is Cushing’s disease?
Cushing’s disease occurs when your dog’s adrenal or pituitary glands produce too much of the stress hormone cortisol.
Although this chemical is helpful in controlling your dog’s stress symptoms and weight, fighting infections and regulating blood sugar levels, it can result in a serious health issue like Cushing’s disease when there is excessive production of it.
This condition usually affects middle-aged and older dogs. Some warning signs you should look out for include:
- Increased thirst and appetite
- Increased urination
- Hair loss and skin infections
- Pot-belly appearance
When you notice some of these signs, you should immediately take your dog to the vet to do several examinations and see what may be causing your pet’s symptoms.
Some of these examinations include a blood and urine test, ACTH stimulation test and LDDS test. Depending on the results, your vet prescribes the appropriate method for alleviating the symptoms.
Common natural remedies for treating dog’s Cushing’s disease
Incorporate a well-balanced diet
Nutritional therapy is one of the most common remedies for relieving the symptoms of Cushing’s disease in dogs. Not only will this help your dog cope with the disease much easier, but it will also help improve its life span.
Firstly, it is crucial that you avoid feeding your pet treats that are fatty or high in sugar. Instead, vets usually recommend a diet which is low in fat and moderate in fiber. This will help keep the triglycerides and cholesterol levels in check and prevent the elevation of the stress hormone cortisol.
Also, a well-balanced Cushing’s disease diet should include fruits and vegetables as well as highly digestible protein, all with a low level of sodium to help maintain normal blood pressure.
Opt for dog supplements
Besides incorporating a healthy diet, vets often recommended supplements which have also proven helpful in relieving the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. Some of the most popular ones include melatonin and lignans.
For example, the melatonin supplement is useful in regulating hormones, maintaining the circadian rhythms and providing antioxidants.
It works by blocking the increased production of cortisol while inhibiting different enzymes at the same time. In addition to all this, it reduces hair loss which is another common sign of Cushing’s disease.
On the other hand, lignans act as phytoestrogens in the body which reduce estrogen production from the adrenal gland. It also helps support the cardiovascular system.
The dose for each supplement usually depends on your dog’s weight.
Opting for herbal remedies is another natural treatment method that has proven beneficial in managing Cushing’s disease in dogs.
In fact, there are specifically designed herbs which help normalize the production of cortisol by your dog’s adrenal glands.
For example, dandelion is an herb that is known for maintaining the normal functioning of the adrenal glands by posing as a tonic for the liver and kidneys.
Burdock is another herb often regarded as the best one for cleansing and detoxifying the tissues and removing any toxins from the body.
Si Miao San is a Chinese herbal formula which works best for overweight and panting dogs. This remedy helps decrease inflammation in the body, regulate insulin and improve digestion.
Acupuncture and acupressure
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese technique that restores the energy balance in your dog’s body while promoting healing at the same time.
This method includes an insertion of needles into your pet’s body at special acupuncture points where nerves and blood vessels meet.
When inserted, the needles improve the blood circulation which then enhances the healing ability. They stimulate the nervous system and relieve the pain your dog may be feeling.
Acupressure is a similar technique that requires applying pressure to acupuncture points rather than using needles.
This method is well known for supporting the immune system and enhancing your dog’s ability to balance its endocrine system. Acupressure is mostly recommended for those dogs that are afraid of needles.
Depending on the severity of the disease, most vets often prescribe medications along with multiple natural remedies.
In such cases, vets often ask to see your dog on a regular basis to do blood tests and see how well it is responding to the medications and whether the dosage needs to be adjusted accordingly.
On the other hand, if the disease is caused by the tumor on your dog’s adrenal glands, then your vet might recommend surgery to remove it which will certainly cure the problem.
However, if the tumor has spread to other parts of the body or if your dog is suffering from other underlying diseases, then surgery may not be the best solution to cure Cushing’s disease.
Unfortunately, Cushing’s disease is fairly common in dogs and for that reason, it is important for pet owners to be well acquainted with all kinds of remedies available to cure it.
While opting for conventional treatments is one of the most common methods for alleviating the symptoms of this disease, natural remedies such as a healthy diet, supplements, and Chinese techniques are always a better and safer option.
As a pet owner, your job is to provide the best care and help your dog get through this difficult time with as much ease as possible.