Alternative Methods for Treating Cushing's Disease in Dogs

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Tess Thompson

Cushing’s syndrome is a disorder of the endocrine system, caused by excessive secretion of cortisol by the adrenal cortex. The underlying cause can lie with the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland, which controls adrenal secretions of ACTH, a hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland. A pituitary adenoma (benign tumor in the gland, also known as Cushing’s disease), adrenal tumor or other conditions that lead to excessive production of ACTH may also lead to a series of symptoms associated with Cushing’s syndrome.

Common symptoms of Cushing’s disease include hair loss, weight loss despite proper diet, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and anemia.

The conventional approach to treating endocrine disorders is to use immunosuppressive drugs or hormonal replacements, as the case may be. Conditions caused due to an adrenal tumor may require complete removal of the gland. However, in cases of pituitary tumors, it may not be possible to remove this delicate gland.

The disturbing factor associated with conventional treatment is that Cushing’s disease may also occur due to a complication resulting from treatment, especially steroid use. Administration of steroids can lead to the most recognizable symptom, hair loss.

Alternative therapies like homeopathy and herbal medicine offer a safer option to alleviate symptoms of Cushing’s disease in dogs. Homeopathic remedies for Cushing’s disease not only provide relief from the debilitating symptoms of Cushing’s but also provide active support to aid in treating associated endocrine disorders like diabetes. Homeopathic remedies used for Cushing’s include sulphur, mercurius, aresenicum and hepar sulph for managing symptoms of excessive thirst, irritation in skin, indigestion and infection.

Other options are herbal and natural remedies for Cushing’s. There are specific herbs for adrenal and pituitary support. Kelp, Astragalus, burdock, rosehips, wormwood, milk thistle, garlic, ginger and vinegar are time-tested herbs and natural substances that can be used to maintain overall health of your dog.

If you have made up your mind to provide a good quality of life to your dog with Cushing’s, it will be better to gather some information about herbs. Herbs do not have any hidden side effects, but they must be bought from accredited manufacturers, because some of them are toxic unless diluted or prepared according to specifications provided by ancient therapies.

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