How Can I identify Cushing Syndrome, Prevent it or Treat it?

How Can I identify Cushing Syndrome, Prevent it or Treat it?

Have you ever felt helpless, desperate and powerless when it comes to helping your dog face a difficult health issues? Everyone has a different solution and yet now one really knows what the problem is. Try one and a million things only to find that nothing has lasting effects!! How frustrating and costly!   Be assured that, if this is your case, you are not alone. This situation can, and probably has happened to every one of us pet owners. Sometimes it even seems that right after solving one problem another arises.

Did you know that sometimes problems and diseases are caused by medications given to treat other problems?? This is often the unhappy case with Cushing’s Syndrome…


What is Cushing’s Disease?

Cushing’s disease comes from the adrenal glands producing too much cortisol hormone. If your dog is 6 years or older; chances of Cushing’s can be much greater than other younger dogs. This over production can be caused by a tumor on the adrenal gland (adrenal-dependent) or a natural or chemical imbalance of the pituitary(pituitary-dependent).   Since cortisol affects a lot of different organs, the signs to identify Cushing’s are difficult to pin point. Keep an eye out for the following:   The most common symptoms are:
  • Fur loss
  • Swollen belly
  • Increased appetite
  • Increase drinking
  • Increased urination
  • Tendency to bruise easily
Less common symptoms are:
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing or panting
  • Abnormal walking
  • Adrenal tumor (specific to adrenal-dependent)
  • Enlarged liver

What causes Cushing’s?

As we mentioned above, Cushing’s can be the result of medications given to treat other problems. Dogs that are given too much prednisone, dexamethasone, prednisolone or other similar drugs can develop signs of Cushing’s. It is sad that so many medications given to dogs and other animals often cause other major health problems later on. So especially beware of the above-mentioned drugs to prevent possible Cushing’s later! Unfortunately some dogs naturally overproduce the cortisol hormone in their bodies. Since this hormone weakens the immune system, they are more prone to easily catch any passing bacterial infection. This also tends to complicate the identification process. Your vet may keep treating the different symptoms and infections without realizing that the cause is Cushing’s disease. This means added stress, money and grief for you before getting satisfying relief for your poor pet!  



My Dog has Cushing’s, What Now?

Since there are 2 different causes for this disease, the treatments vary as well. Unfortunately, in most cases, the treatment options usually turn to lifelong medications. Your Vet will be able to pin point which medication would be right for your dog. But be prepared, the initial ‘induction’ period (about 1 week) will probably have serious side effects on your dog. Keep a close eye on them during this period, your poor dog will need you more than ever! Sometimes, even with the medication, the Cushing’s symptoms return later on in their life, so be prepared. If a tumor is the cause of Cushing’s, surgery is the most common treatment, and if all goes well, the problem should be solved! If surgery is not possible, then usually a medication is given to reduce the cortisol release caused by the tumor. There are here again no guarantees even with surgery. However, untreated Cushing’s can be deadly. This article is in no way meant to scare any of you. However, it is important to treat dogs if we want them to live long and happy lives. This is why there are many options available to help these suffering dogs. All-natural remedies to help treat Cushing’s syndrome, are also fast becoming more and more popular. Why? No nasty side effects and it really does work! The importance in this case is to effectively help dogs in their struggle against this difficult disease. Please feel free to consult with a registered Homeopath here to find the right remedy for your dog:  

Prevent Cushing’s Disease Now!

I’m sure that after reading this article, you will agree with me that we want to prevent having to deal with Cushing’s disease!! How can this be done? I have one word to for you: AWARENESS. Know the signs and causes. Get your dog treated early and avoid long-term side effects! Is your dog still taking a medicine that can cause an over production of cortisol? Try and find alternative medicines or treatments and strengthen his immune system with probiotics or other similar boosters. You will find the effort well worth it to avoid serious consequences in the future. We love our dogs so much so let’s do our best to protect them as best we can. Let’s be aware and act! This way we can all enjoy our beautiful furry friends for a long time to come.

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