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Learn about Cushings Disease in dogs & what your treatment options are

Cushings disease in dogs is a terrible disorder that usually affects older canines. Most often it can be mistaken for the dog's natural aging process, due to similar symptoms. While Cushings is the common name for the disorder, a more accurate medical term is actually hyperadrenocorticism, so if your veterinarian gives a diagnosis with that term, do not be alarmed, your dog actually has Canine Cushings Disease. It is marked by the generation of far too many hormones, such as corticosteroids, from their adrenal glands, giving rise to their ailments.

So how do you know if your animal has canine cushings disease or is simply getting old? Well, Cushings Disease in dogs is generally characterized by increased appetite, drinking and urination, as well as massive shedding and heavy panting. While these are all symptoms of an aging, or perhaps diabetic dog, there are also specific traits to look out for. Cushings Disease dogs will have noticeable thinning of the skin, and an increased amount of skin infections. Furthermore, be aware of hard lumps under the skin, as this could be a sign.

If you notice any of the symptoms above, consult your veterinarian for a diagnosis. Don't worry; the process is simple and relatively painless for your pooch. The main method of diagnosis is a simple blood test how high the adrenal gland hormone levels are. If the veterinarian determines the levels are far above normal, Cushings Disease in dogs may be too blame, and your animal will undergo a series of x-ray tests to determine the extent of the problem. It is generally caused by tumors in either the pituitary gland or the adrenal gland, so the x-ray is helpful in determining which gland should pinpointed for therapy.

What are the treatment options?

Some of the most promising and newest remedies for Cushing's are natural treatments that can normalize adrenal function and reduce circulating levels of corticosteroids such as Cushex Drops from Pet Alive Natural Products.

Cushings Disease dogs will greatly benefit if they have an adrenal gland tumor, as the practiced treatment for such ailment is to simply remove the whole gland. Unfortunately Cushings disease in dogs is blamed on an adrenal gland tumor only fifteen percent of the time, so a good eighty five percent of cases are due to pituitary gland tumors. In the case that cushings disease in dogs has manifested itself in your animal's pituitary gland, then a mechanical removal becomes out of the question since risk of damage to the gland is too high to be considered practical.

Instead, the common chemotherapy for cushings disease in dogs is to use either Lysodren or Ketaconazole to destroy the tumor. Much like with human chemotherapies, expect some adverse results to the chemicals. The symptoms to watch for include: lethargy, lack of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting. As always, be sure to let your veterinarian know if your dog is exhibiting any of those symptoms.

Maybe you're not a fan of treating cushings disease dogs with powerful chemicals. If that's the case, then perhaps a diet change is all a dog really needs. A natural diet, consisting of raw meats and plenty of vegetables may be just what the doctor ordered as a healthy alternative cure for cushings disease in dogs. There are various diets available that help balance the metabolism to support a normal relationship between the adrenal glands and the rest of the dog's systems. Also, since a buildup of corticosteroids ultimately damages your canine cushings disease stricken dog's immune system, you can get diets consisting mostly of antioxidants to combat tumors and strengthen immune systems with one fell swoop.

Recently, two new drugs have become available to treat cushings disease in dogs. These include Anipryl and Vetoryl. Vetoryl is currently undergoing FDA approval for animals, but Anipryl is fully approved in the United States for treating cushings disease in dogs. Anipryl takes longer to take effect in animals, but has a very high effectiveness in the long run. Also, since Anipryl is not a chemotherapeutic drug, it has no adverse side effects. So you may want to consider it as a first choice for treating your dog's Canine Cushings Disease.

more than cushings disease in dogs on our Dog Health Problems home page


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