Natural treatment without the use of pharmaceutical drugs offers a safer alternative for Cushing’s disease in dogs. Cushing’s is a disease of the endocrine system, a system that regulates metabolism, growth and various other functions in the dog’s body. The various glands of the system produce and secrete hormones, which are extra-cellular molecules. Various hormones are responsible for signaling other organs to perform the desired functions. Excess as well as inadequacy of these hormones are instrumental in causing numerous ailments classified as endocrine diseases.
The pituitary gland controls the secretion of stimulating hormones, which in turn influence the production of hormones by other glands. For example, it secretes adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in times of stress to stimulate the adrenal cortex to produce cortisol. A problem, particularly a tumor, leads to an inability of the pituitary gland to respond to the negative feedback provided by excessive cortisol from the adrenals. As the pituitary continues producing ACTH, the adrenal gland keeps on releasing cortisol, unnecessarily leading to symptoms like excessive thirst and urination, brittle hair and thin skin.
Cushing’s, like other endocrine diseases, is difficult to diagnose and treatment options are also limited. As Cushing’s disease mostly occurs in older dogs, the usual course adopted by many owners is not to treat at all, but to ensure a comfortable life for the dog.
Supplements for managing Cushing’s offered by alternative medicine can help in alleviating the symptoms of Cushing’s disease in dogs. They are safer than pharmaceutical drugs and also provide additional benefits of helping the dog’s natural ability to cure itself.
Both herbal medicine and homeopathy have numerous remedies in their repertory that can effectively provide relief from Cushing’s. Herbal treatment for Cushing’s disease involves the use of herbs like milk thistle, burdock and a Chinese herb Huang Qi (Astragalus membranaceous). In addition rosehips, licorice, kelp, garlic and apple cider vinegar can be used to provide effective support for the functions of other organs. Homeopathic treatment is normally specific to individual patients but generally a homeopathic remedy for Cushing’s disease in dogs that includes a combination of two or more remedies can give excellent support to the adrenal and pituitary function.
Any Cushing’s disease supplement for dogs must necessarily be used in conjunction with changes in the animal’s diet. Your veterinarian is the right person to suggest the changes that you need to make. Generally, a dog’s constitution is best suited to a natural and raw diet of meats and vegetables.