Cushings Disease in Dogs
Cushing's disease is a condition in which the adrenal glands overproduce certain hormones. The adrenal glands are located near the kidneys and produce several vital substances that regulate a variety of body functions and are necessary to sustain life. The most widely known of these substances is cortisol, commonly known as “cortisone.” Decreased or excessive production of these cortisol, may be life-threatening.
Cushing's disease usually strikes older dogs with a bucket-full of symptoms that can mimic other diseases. Increased appetite, increased drinking and urination, panting, high blood pressure, bulging abdomen, skin lumps and discoloring, hair loss, muscle weakness, and nervous system disorders can occur with the disease.
There are Two Forms of Cushing’s Disease
1. Pituitary Gland TumorThe most common cause of Cushing's disease is a tumor of the pituitary gland, which is located at the based of the brain. The tumor may be either benign or malignant. The tumor causes the pituitary gland to overproduce a hormone (ACTH) that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Depending on the size of the tumor, clinical signs other than those of Cushing's disease may be present. If the activity of the adrenal gland can be controlled, many dogs with this form of Cushing's disease can live normal lives for many years as long as they take their medication and stay under close medical supervision. In approximately 15% of all dogs with Cushing;s disease, the pituitary tumor grows, it will affect the brain, often resulting in neurological signs and giving the dog a less favorable prognosis.
2. Adrenal Gland Tumor
Cushing's disease may be the result of a benign or malignant tumor of the adrenal gland. If the tumor is benign, surgical removal will cure the disease. If the tumor is malignant, surgery may help for some time, but the prognosis is much less favorable.
3. Nonsurgical Treatment is the Most Common Treatment for Cushing's Disease in Dogs
Treatment consists of several different options. Depending on the type of disease, surgery can be performed. If an adrenal tumor is identified, then surgical removal may be a viable option. However, non surgical treatment is the most often used treatment for most cases of canine Cushing's disease. About 80% of the cases of Cushing's disease in the dog are of the pituitary type, and since both the adrenal and the pituitary type will respond effectively to some of the oral treatments, many veterinarians do not perform the diagnostics necessary to distinguish between the two different forms.
- Promotes balanced function of the adrenal and pituitary glands
- Supports the health of the endocrine system
- Encourages a healthy appetite
- Reduces stress response in high strung or nervous pets
- Helps relieve excessive urination
- Promotes the healthy growth of skin and fur
- Enhances energy levels & stamina
"My Dog's skin cleared up after one month of using Cushing's Relief Adrenal Support. It was a miracle. He had been on prescription meds for 6 months with no results." ** - Katie M, Las Vegas, NV
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