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Natural Remedies for Cushing's Disease in Dogs

What Is Cushing's Disease in Dogs?

As your dog has gotten older, have you noticed him drinking more water and urinating frequently? Does your pet have hair loss, a pot belly or thinning skin? We tend to assume these are common signs of aging, when in fact these slow and gradual changes could be symptoms of canine Cushing's disease (also known as Cushing’s syndrome in dogs).

Canine Cushing's disease is an endocrine disorder. The endocrine system is responsible for producing and secreting hormones, which are the body's chemical messengers. Cortisol is the "fight-or-flight" steroid hormone that regulates many processes, including metabolism, helping the body respond to stress and modulating the immune system. Cushing's disease (hyperadrenocorticism) results when the body produces too much cortisol. It can weaken the immune system and cause pain and discomfort.

Canine Cushing's disease can be hard to diagnose, and many older pets can display symptoms. It is often an overlooked and undiagnosed condition. The disease is more commonly found in dogs than cats. Many dogs are diagnosed with "probable Cushing's" or pre-Cushing's syndrome, which is also referred to in different terms such as Cushing’s disease in dogs and hyperadrenocorticism, which can create confusion for pet owners about what condition their pet has and what treatments should be pursued.

The three primary causes of Cushing's disease in dogs include a small pituitary tumor, an adrenal gland tumor or the long-term use of high-dose steroids. Almost 85% of Cushing's cases are pituitary based, meaning that the pituitary is sending too many hormones to the adrenal glands, which causes them to overproduce cortisol. An adrenal tumor can trigger excess cortisol production in adrenal-dependent Cushing's disease.

There is a separate condition called atypical Cushing's, that may be misdiagnosed as Cushing's, in which sex hormones, specifically aldosterone, are overproduced. The symptoms are consistent with Cushing's disease, but the adrenal function and cortisol levels are normal. Dogs with atypical Cushing's can often develop liver abnormalities.

Cushing's Disease in Dogs: Symptoms

Concerned pet owners might first notice that there are skin sores that keep recurring or that their dog's drinking and urination patterns have changed. Sometimes symptoms of Cushing's disease in dogs are much more subtle, and in the early stages, pets may only display a few (if any) of the symptoms below.

  • Excess water consumption
  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Panting
  • Bloated, pot-bellied abdomen
  • High blood pressure
  • Hair loss (usually symmetric)
  • Thinning of the skin and fur
  • Susceptibility to infections and diabetes
  • Weakening of skeletal muscles, exercise intolerance

Laboratory tests can be inconclusive and/or show abnormal liver values. You should always ask for copies of your pet's blood work. If values are within or close to normal range, they may not seem concerning. Repeated and progressive elevations in certain enzymes, like alkaline phosphatase (ALP), may be a clinical sign of Cushing's disease. Quite often there is NO definitive diagnosis, just subtle signs. Pet owners can become discouraged because their pet's condition is not clearly diagnosed and symptoms appear to be unrelated. Medications with significant side effects may be prescribed. On the other hand, natural remedies for Cushing's disease in dogs can be used, and they can improve the symptoms of Cushing's disease and overall well-being without the side effects.

Cushing's disease is more prevalent in poodles, German shepherds and terriers such as Yorkies and Boston terriers, but it can occur in any breed. Many dogs with canine Cushing's have a history of allergies and many have taken steroids.


"Max has been using the Canine Cushings Support formula for 4 months with good results. Max's appetite has gone from voracious, always hungry to pretty normal. His thirst was almost unquenchable, drank so much water! We are so happy we found a remedy to help him with his Cushing's Disease." - D. Franke, Wisconsin

Natural Treatment and Remedies for Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Ask Ariel's holistic treatment for canine Cushing's is recommended by veterinarians nationwide. It's important for pet owners to research the side effects of Cushing's disease medication for their dog. Many dogs don't HAVE TO BE on medication, especially not initially if the symptoms are mild. While every dog is different, holistic treatment for Cushing's disease in dogs can be started initially and then medication started later if needed. Many Ask Ariel clients have found that by making diet changes (hypoallergenic diets are helpful) and using natural remedies for Cushing's disease that reduce cortisol levels along with dog liver support supplements, they are able to manage the Cushing's disease symptoms without medication. Side effects from canine Cushing's medication include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea and even hypoadrenocortical crisis. In a research study on the effects of one Cushing's disease medication for dogs, several of the dogs in the study died. While some medications may be necessary depending on the severity of your dog's Cushing's symptoms and advancement of the tumor, in many cases, medications can be delayed or avoided.

Ask Ariel's Canine Cushing's Support and Liver Support Kit have been used successfully to manage Cushing's disease symptoms in many dogs. Pet Nutritionist Susan Blake Davis offered holistic consultations for pets at several Southern California VCA Hospitals for over 10 years in conjunction with Dr. David Gordon and other veterinary specialists. Her years of experience formulating diet and supplement protocols for dogs with canine Cushing's disease are evidenced by the many testimonials on our website. These natural remedies for Cushing's disease in dogs can be used as a first step, and then you can work with your veterinarian to monitor your pet's progress.

If your dog has been diagnosed with Cushing's disease, we highly recommend using the Canine Cushing's Support supplement along with the Pancreas and Liver Support Kit as a natural treatment for Cushing’s in dogs. Cushing's disease in dogs creates elevated blood alkaline phosphatase, which is why it is so important to use both Canine Cushing's Support and the Pancreas and Liver Support Kit in combination. Cushing’s disease in dogs is a complex endocrine disorder, and it requires a comprehensive approach to try to help your pet. The Kit contains essential probiotics, liver and gallbladder support, and enzymes to help reduce allergy symptoms, skin problems, panting, hair loss and other side effects, making it an excellent dog Cushing’s disease natural treatment.

Canine Cushing's Support is a supplement that naturally helps the body reduce cortisol levels, and it can improve your dog's quality of life and symptoms of canine Cushing's disease. It is the excess cortisol that is causing the symptoms of panting, excess water consumption, immune weakness and pot-bellied appearance, so by reducing cortisol levels, your dog's symptoms can improve. The key ingredient, phosphatidylserine, has been scientifically shown to reduce cortisol levels and is also an important nutrient for brain function. Pets with Cushing's disease benefit significantly from this supplement and can often avoid the need for medication. Please consult with your veterinarian on your pet's specific situation, but many pet owners use the product with excellent results even when their pet has not been diagnosed and is thought to have "possible Cushing's."

Pancreas and Liver Support Kit Many pets with Cushing's disease have elevated liver values, especially alkaline phosphatase. Some may have gallbladder issues and sluggish bile. Our gentle liver supplement has been quite effective in pets with elevated liver enzymes, sluggish gallbladder function and difficulty digesting fats. The liver is the main "clearinghouse" for excess hormones, and in combination with LypoZyme and Power Probiotic, the liver supplement helps to flush out toxic overload. Remember the excess cortisol is putting a lot of stress on your dog's body overall, so it is important to use these natural sweepers together to try to clean out the excess cortisol and reduce the workload on the liver and digestive tract.

Oxicell SE is a one-of-a-kind topical cream that delivers glutathione, SOD and other important antioxidants (vital to the liver and overall health) directly into the body. This product is very easy to administer, helps fight free-radical damage and inflammation, and is also an important product for pets with Cushing's disease.

Diet Changes Can Help Dogs With Cushing's Disease

Dogs with canine Cushing's disease require a hypoallergenic, fresh diet. Diet changes can have a significant effect on your pet's symptoms. Pets with Cushing's disease often have a long history of allergies. They also can frequently have elevated liver enzymes, making it important not to overload the liver with excessive protein and fat. Veterinarians have been recommending our Canine Cushing's Support supplement and diet program since 2005. Many pets have been able to eliminate the need for or substantially delay the use of medications. When ordering supplements, please be sure to include the food you are feeding your pet along with health issues directly on the order form at checkout. We will include FREE diet suggestions on the packing slip that comes with your order.

Need Help? Please email us at Support@AskAriel.com

We understand how challenging Cushing's disease can be for you and your pets. We are here to help. If you need information about a particular pet health condition and the products that can help, please email us for assistance. We do ask for your understanding, however, as we cannot provide any consultative advice due to veterinary regulations that require a physical exam.

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