Pituitary vs. Adrenal Cushing’s

When a dog is diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, there are two main root causes. It is helpful to know which is causing the increased cortisol production to better plan treatment for your pup.

Pituitary Dependent Cushing’s Disease

The American Kennel Society shares that more than 90% of dogs diagnosed with Cushing’s have what’s referred to as pituitary-dependent Cushing’s where a small and usually benign tumor grows on the pituitary gland. While the tumor isn’t usually harmful, it does cause an overproduction of ACTH, the hormone that tells the adrenal cortex to make and release more cortisol. This is the root cause of Cushing’s disease that creates a host of other symptoms like hair loss, excessive thirst, energy loss, etc.

Addressing pituitary-dependent Cushing’s in dogs is often treated with a medication to destroy parts of the adrenal cortex but must be closely monitored. This careful dance between stopping the drugs from destroying the cortex and maintaining an ideal cortisol level is treated by drugs that can also come with a range of side effects.

Adrenal Dependent Cushing’s Disease

A rarer manifestation of the disease, adrenal dependent Cushing’s is often more aggressive and harder to treat. In half the cases of this form of Cushing’s, a malignant tumor grows on the adrenal gland located on top of the kidneys. Surgery to remove the tumor is risky and usually doesn’t cure the dog.

Fortunately, this form of Cushing’s only shows up in a small number of dogs who develop the disease. Right now, surgery is the main form of treatment for adrenal dependent Cushing’s.

Iatrogenic Cushing’s Disease

When corticosteroids are administered for a long period of time or given in excessive amounts to combat another health problem, dogs run the risk of developing Cushing’s due to overexposure. Common uses for corticosteroids are to treat allergies, certain cancers, inflammation, or low-levels of cortisol. Thankfully, this condition can be reversed by stopping the medication or lowering the dosage, unlike the other main forms of Cushing’s, which are managed, but are usually never fully cured.

What All Cushing’s Dogs Face

Regardless of the type, a dog suffering from Cushing’s disease faces an overproduction of cortisol. A variety of methods can be used to stop or slow the overproduction to get to the heart of the disease. Surgery to remove tumors that stimulate overproduction is an option, as are drugs used to destroy glandular tissue. Finally, some pet parents use natural supplements that blunt cortisol production as an approach to the Cushing’s problem.

Effectiveness and side effects vary with each method, so it’s best to consult your veterinarian or holistic practitioner to discuss options.

CushAway offers a nutritional supplement as an option for addressing the symptoms of Cushing’s disease in dogs. Our formula uses naturally occurring ingredients to counteract corticosteroid overproduction at the root cause. Find out more about how CushAway can help your Cushing’s dog here.

The CushAway Story: More than Just a Supplement

The CushAway story began years ago when a pet parent learned his sweet dog, Scrappy, had developed Cushing’s disease. Heartbroken, Jim tried to make life better for Scrappy, researching the disease and doing all he could with his chef’s background to find natural elements and ingredients that could impact the Cushing’s. After research and monitored care for Scrappy, Jim found something remarkable. A formula that showed results.

While Cushing’s can’t be cured, it can be managed. That’s what Jim saw in Scrappy. He started with phosphatidylserine (PS), knowing from research that it was shown to blunt cortisol production in athletes. Scrappy improved, with her symptoms of “crazy thirst” and over urination much improved, but then regressed.

More research from a prolific vet at the University of Tennessee suggested using a combination of lignans (an element derived from flax seeds) and melatonin. Combined with the PS, this combo was effective for a while until she regressed again. The aggressive return puzzled Jim and after an MRI, his vet discovered Scrappy had tumors on her adrenal gland, a common problem Cushing’s dogs face.

Rather than give her an aggressive cancer treatment at her advanced age, Jim and his wife resigned to make Scrappy comfortable. Still, a nagging thought stayed with Jim who’d been reading more about a possible link between gut health and Cushing’s. As a last-ditch effort, he added a probiotic to the formula and Scrappy’s Cushing’s indicators started to crash-some even by 90%.

When Jim’s vet asked what he was doing to help her, he described the formula he had produced. She told him “you ought to think about making this into a product, it’s working really well for her.”

Often older when they begin showing signs of Cushing’s, Scrappy was 12 when it all began. Remarkably, she lived another seven years after her first treatment with natural formulas. Jim’s vet was astounded. Scrappy was one of the oldest dogs she had ever seen at her practice. What was truly amazing was that despite the Cushing’s, she lived a long and vibrant life right till the end.

After Jim’s wife also commented that he should share this formula with dogs suffering from Cushing’s both to help other pet parents and as a way to honor Scrappy’s memory, the CushAway story began in earnest. Jim began to manufacture his formula, knowing there were other dogs who could benefit from this natural response to Cushing’s symptoms as opposed to aggressive cancer drugs.

Today CushAway is striving to help more Cushing’s dogs, offering free product to shelters that care for these animals and helping pet parents who adopt. You can even find CushAway on Amazon. The key is to help as many dogs and their caregivers who want to step into a gentle way to manage Cushing’s and help their best friends. This is the CushAway story and our mission.

CushAway Gives Back

At CushAway, we care about helping dogs and their caretakers lead happier, healthier lives. That’s why Cushaway gives back.  We’re committed to giving to those who need it and supporting those who work hard to care for dogs who need medical help or a home.

For those shelters that care for Cushing’s dogs, we offer free product. We also support those who adopt a Cushing’s dog with a small supply to help them transition as they leave their routine at the shelter. CushAway also supports The Grey Muzzle Organization and Hope for Paws, donating a portion of our proceeds to help these outstanding charities.

The Grey Muzzle Organization raises grants for shelters and organizations who specifically care for older dogs who may or may not be adoptable. They also support organizations that provide hospice care for older dogs. The Grey Muzzle Organization works to enable these organizations to do what they do for an often overlooked group of canine companions.

Hope for Paws is a non-profit that rescues neglected or suffering animals whether on the streets or in the wild. They work to raise awareness about abandoned animals. Hope for Paws has a dedicated YouTube channel sharing moving stories of dogs abandoned, rescued, and revitalized into a forever home. With 4 million subscribers, they truly are spreading the word.

Recently, after a shelter owner contacted CushAway, we were able to offer support by donating product to help her care for Cushing’s dogs at her facility, All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue. After caring for several Cushing’s dogs, Gina wanted to try something other than the traditional drugs prescribed. When her vet recommended our supplement, owner Gina Bartucci says “Thanks to the CushAway, we saw a night and day difference.

Offering support to the canine community is important to us. Just as each Cushing’s dog needs special care, so do pups with other conditions whether medical issues, aging, or abandonment. Our goal is to see canine companions live well. Thank you for choosing CushAway and helping us with that promise.

Treatment Options for Dogs Diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease

After lots of observations and tests, your dog is diagnosed with a seemingly incurable disease: Cushing’s. Your mind is swirling as you learn about adrenal overproduction and the effects it has on a dog’s body. You consult your vet and are given limited options for treatment. What do you do?

Fortunately, you’re not alone. There is a community of professionals and pet parents offering support and ideas to give your fur baby the best care and a renewed energy even after a Cushing’s diagnosis. There are treatment options for dogs with Cushing’s disease. Let’s take a look.

Traditional Chemo Drugs

Typically, vets have prescribed a few different drugs for shutting down the overproducing adrenal glands. Vetoryl and Anipryl are FDA approved to treat Cushing’s although Vetoryl is the only one that can treat both types of Cushing’s: pituitary and adrenal dependent. Lysodren is another powerful human drug used to destroy layers of the adrenal gland with Trilostane gaining popularity as well.

These are all powerful chemo-type drugs that can isolate the Cushing’s problem, and they can be effective for some dogs. However, these drugs come with a wide range of side effects, some dangerous depending on how the dog reacts.

The FDA lists several serious side effects for Vetoryl including “bloody diarrhea, collapse, severe sodium/potassium imbalance, and destruction of the adrenal gland” which “may result in death.” Newly included on the package are also side effects of “adrenal insufficiency, shaking, elevated liver enzymes and elevated kidney tests.” Lysodren can also cause “severe side effects” and needs to be monitored closely according to the FDA.

Talking with your vet about the benefits and risks of pharmaceutical treatment option is the best way to make an informed decision if this path will be the best for your pup.

Nutraceuticals

Another option to treat Cushing’s disease is by using a natural supplement or nutraceutical. These nutritional supplements provide a more natural or holistic way to manage symptoms. Using elements known to aid in the reduction of the corticosteroids overproduced by the adrenal glands, many pet parents are considering this gentle approach.

Most nutraceuticals contain one or more natural elements that work to address the root cause of corticosteroid overproduction. Lignans, a polyphenol found in plants and melatonin, a hormone known to minimalize cortisol levels work in tandem to combat Cushing’s, according to a study from the University of Tennessee Veterinary College.

Another compound, Phosphatidylserine, is being used by some supplements as a way to blunt cortisol levels. One study by the International Journal of Sports Medicine has shown this effect in athletes, and Cushing’s dogs may also benefit from a supplement of the same phospholipid. Look for a nutraceutical that contains at least one or more of these elements to best address Cushing’s at its roots.

One more benefit of using a nutraceutical to address the symptoms of Cushing’s is the absence of harmful side effects. Unlike the pharmaceuticals prescribed, supplements are seen as gentler on a dog’s system. Due to extra fiber in some of the supplements, the biggest side effect is usually more frequent stools. The natural management of Cushing’s can be an effective way to bring vitality back to your pup while addressing the root adrenal causes of the disease.

Have a conversation with your vet before any medications are prescribed to address all your choices. Many are open to discussing this newer approach as an option. A holistic vet may be able to offer even more clarity on the subject of nutraceuticals.

Lifestyle and Diet

An additional way to maximize wellness in your pup is through diet and exercise. Though some Cushing’s dogs suffer serious joint and muscle problems, most can and should practice gentle and regular exercise. Big or small, diet changes also have an impact on the way a dog responds to Cushing’s treatment and healing.
Gut health in pets is fast becoming as important a topic as it is for their human companions. Probiotics coupled with nutraceuticals can enhance the effectiveness of the supplements as a healthier gut leads to better absorption of materials.

Separate probiotic supplements for dogs can be found, but check with your vet about the strain. Not all gut health is created equal, and supplements made for humans are not always best for dogs. You can also add a dollop of fresh yogurt on top of your pup’s kibble or raw food. Just make sure the yogurt is plain, as pups and sugar don’t mix well. Always avoid the sweetener Xylotol, which is toxic to dogs, but can be found in some yogurts.

Whatever choice you make, be informed and watch your pup closely. You may decide one way isn’t working and it’s time to try another. In many cases, Cushing’s dogs can add years and vitality to their life with the proper treatment.

About CushAway

Our blog is dedicated to giving you information so you can best care for your Cushing’s dog because our goal is the wellness of your pet. If we can help bring vitality back to your beloved pup, then we’re ready and honored to be part of your journey. Learn more about our Cushing’s supplement here.

Carbs and Cushing’s

America seems infatuated with the carb-less diet. And in truth, cutting carbs that are less beneficial can prove healthy for the gut and other parts of the body. Can we apply the same ideas to our canine friends—do carbs affect Cushings disease?

How do carbs affect Cushings disease in dogs?

Biologically speaking, dogs don’t require carbs to get the nutrients they need. They can physically sustain themselves on fat and protein. However, domesticated dogs have long been fed a diet that includes carbohydrates, says Whole Dog Journal. Carbohydrates include a wide range of foods from dairy products to vegetables. Grains are also carbs, and are the most widely debated, and possibly the most widely used form of nutrients for a dog.

Healthy animals can process grains and derive nutrients from them as well. Complex carbs like whole grains are best, as well as starches and fibrous foods because they don’t impact glucose levels in the blood as much when digested. A diet that consists of good carbs can be tolerated by most dogs. The problem comes when animal protein is eliminated or drastically reduced and foods become supplemented mostly by filler grains.

Dogs with chronic illnesses like Cushing’s however, may not benefit from grains, especially those that contain the plant protein gluten. According to Dogster.com, “gluten has been implicated in contributing to a variety of inflammatory health issues.” Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and spelt grains.

A Cushing’s dog is already battling inflammation caused by the overproduction of cortisol, and adding a carb-heavy diet on top of this can lead to more problems. Thus, eliminating or drastically reducing grains can be an important step in minimizing the symptoms of Cushing’s disease.

Carb versus Grain Free

Grains are carbs but not all carbs are grains. A Cushing’s dog may benefit from a whole food diet that is grain-free, but incorporates some good carbs like vegetables and yogurt. Giving your Cushing’s dog cabs like fruits and vegetables also provides antioxidants, a compound known to help immunities and combat bad cells in the body.

Because kibble is cost-effective and readily available, it can be difficult for pet owners to simply craft or purchase raw or protein-based dog food. Try finding a grain-free kibble and supplementing it with whole foods. Grain-free dog foods still contain carbs, so look at the label to see where those carbs are coming from. Peas and potatoes are often found in grain-free kibble, but are complex carbs that provide nutrients.

Read more from our blog about helpful whole food additions for Cushing’s dogs.

Diet and Cushing’s

It’s not surprising that focusing on your pup’s gut can be an important step in managing Cushing’s disease. Since so much of the body’s functions are helped or hindered by what happens via the good bacteria found there, reducing inflammation from grain sources can prove helpful to a Cushing’s pet.

A common side effect of most drugs prescribed for dogs suffering with Cushing’s is linked to digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea. You can help your dog’s gut by choosing a nutraceutical that works to block the overactive adrenal gland with natural ingredients and by adjusting your pup’s diet. CushAway is a nutraceutical developed to address the root causes and soothe the gut with probiotics.

If your fur baby is suffering from Cushing’s disease, you may want to consider an approach that focuses on a gentler approach with less side effects to address the symptoms. Starting with a hard look at the types of carbs your dog consumes on a regular basis, you can begin a plan that can lead to increased vitality and a lessening of symptoms. A grain-free diet supplemented with a nutraceutical and whole foods might be the change your dog needs.

Is Phosphatidylserine Safe For Cushing’s Dogs?

What is Phosphatidylserine?

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a lipid compound called a phospholipid that covers and protects cells. Produced both naturally in the body and in foods or plants, you can find PS as a human supplement that promotes brain health and cell function. Lately, it’s been looked at for properties that could impact dogs with Cushing’s disease.

Phosphatidylserine and Cushing’s Disease

So, is Phosphatidylserine safe for Cushings dogs? A study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that “PS supplementation promotes a desired hormonal status for athletes by blunting increases in cortisol levels.” The impact of this for Cushing’s disease in dogs is something startling. PS can potentially help slow the production of ACHT, the chemical that makes the adrenal gland produce corticosteroids. For a Cushing’s dog, overproduction of corticosteroids is the root problem. Blunting ACHT production means addressing the root cause of the disease.

Using Phosphatidylserine for Cushing’s

With the move towards holistic care for both humans and pets, many pet parents are turning to new options instead of the long-touted chemo drugs given to relieve Cushing’s disease in dogs. A natural supplement can address Cushing’s symptoms with little to no side effects using elements like PS, melatonin, and HMR lignans. Combining these three natural compounds creates a healing triangle that addresses the steroid overproduction in Cushing’s dog. PS is an integral part of this. Phosphatidylserine has been shown to increase the absorption of melatonin, which can also work to stop overproduction of corticosteroids.

Sources of supplemental Phosphatidylserine once came from bovine sources. However, concerns about diseases like mad cow in the 1990’s prompted a new way to harvest the phospholipid compound. New sources of PS are soy derived, according to PubChem, a research directory produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

By reducing the production of ACTH in a dog’s body through Phosphatidylserine, you reduce the production of corticosteroids in a different but complimentary way than from how lignans and melatonin work (by interfering with the “ingredients” that the dog’s body uses to make corticosteroids), thus increasing the benefit. PS decreases both the demand for corticosteroids and a dog’s ability to make them.

Phosphatidylserine in Cushing’s Supplements for Dogs

Many dogs suffering from Cushing’s symptoms can find relief through a nutraceutical, or natural supplement. Naturally-occurring compounds can effectively blunt corticosteroids without the use of side-effect laden chemo drugs.

One supplement, a nutraceutical named CushAway addresses the PS findings in a new way. While HMR lignans and melatonin are more common in nutraceuticals for Cushing’s dogs, the addition of Phosphatidylserine to CushAway’s formula is unique. This natural element works complimentary to the lignans and melatonin to halt corticosteroid production. Not only is Phosphatidylserine safe for Cushings dogs, it’s proven quite beneficial.

CushAway was developed in the wake of a beloved pet’s passing. After years of refining, CushAway serves the pet community in helping pet parents find a natural choice for Cushing’s symptoms. While the disease can never truly be “cured,” many have found relief for their fur babies.

Owner of All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue, Gina Bartucci, used CushAway to help her Cushing’s dogs. “Thanks to the CushAway, we saw a night and day difference,” Bartucci shared. She had been on a Cushing’s journey with her own fur baby, Oz, and turned to a holistic approach for his care. When a vet recommended CushAway for her shelter pups, she was ready to give it a try. “Had we found the product sooner from what we had seen from the other two dogs, we think it could have been her miracle,” she said.

Phosphatidylserine is a piece of the Cushing’s puzzle that can address the root cause of Cushing’s disease. CushAway uniquely offers this as part of our supplement because we believe every Cushing’s dog deserves relief and vitality. We offer free bottles of our product to shelters and give a discount to pet parents adopting fur babies with Cushing’s. Read more about our story here.

CushAway Partners with Shelter All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue

CushAway is proud to partner with All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue (ATLB). For years, this shelter has helped foster some of the neediest dogs and other animals. Those with hard to place behavior quirks and medical problems can find a home through ATLB.

Located in Morris, Illinois, ATLB started as a home-based foster rescue in 2012 and quickly grew. Founder Gina Bartucci says it all started when she lost her sweet dog Oz to cancer. When she was ready to find another furry best friend, Gina found out just how overloaded the adoption system was. Once she saw how many dogs needed help, Gina knew what she had to do, and All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue was born in memory of Oz.

While dogs and cats are their most common rescue, Gina says they’ve also fostered 2 pot-bellied pigs and even a few guinea pigs. When they get a call about an animal they can’t foster, like a horse, Gina is connected with other shelters that can help get these animals placed in a safe home.

All Those Left Behind is also a sanctuary for those animals who have trouble getting adopted due to health or behavior concerns. To date, they’ve sheltered several dogs with Cushing’s disease. When her vet recommended giving the dogs CushAway, Gina was willing to give it a try. After using holistic treatments for Oz’s cancer and seeing results, she knew she didn’t want to try chemo drugs. “Thanks to the CushAway, we saw a night and day difference,” Gina shares. She wishes they had known about CushAway earlier since they had to put down a sweet pup with multiple health issues along with Cushing’s. “Had we found the product sooner from what we had seen from the other two dogs, we think it could have been her miracle.”

When Gina contacted CushAway founder James Marshall to ask for help getting more product for their non-profit, he was happy to hear about their efforts in fostering Cushing’s dogs and other needy animals. CushAway’s policy is to donate product for free to shelters and rescues. CushAway also donates a 6-month supply to pet parents who adopt a Cushing’s dog to encourage more people to take these fur babies home.

All Those Left Behind has operated for years out of the homes of generous volunteers, some who even help care for hard to place animals on a permanent basis. Now, ATLB is poised to open a 6,000 square foot facility to house these pets as well as sanctuary animals who need a forever home. ATLB is still raising funds to help move this non-profit pet rescue and shelter into a permanent home after hiccups in the building process have delayed the opening and stretched their budget. If you’d like to help, use the link on the right-hand side of their website to donate through FundRazr.

We’d love to see more Cushing’s dogs get adopted, wouldn’t you? Thank you All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue for caring for these dogs and for sharing your CushAway story.

Whole Food Dog Treats for Summer

When the temperature rises, cool treats are a fun snack for dogs and humans alike. However, giving Fido a big cone of ice cream may not be the best for his tummy. The mix of milk, cream, and sugar can be hard for dogs to digest, especially if your pooch is lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy. Fortunately, there are lots of great alternative whole food dog treats for dogs to enjoy while you lick that cone.

Key Ingredients to Use

Yogurt

Yogurt is a great substitute for milk and can also be found in lactose free varieties. It’s gentler on the digestive system and contains gut-healthy probiotics. It’s easily blended into smoothie pops or ice cubes. Look for plain yogurt with no added sugar or chemical sugars like xylitol which is toxic to dogs.

Fruit

Use fresh fruits to add a touch of sweetness. Watermelon and cantaloupe are both good for dogs as are blueberries and bananas. Be sure to remove seeds then freeze the fruit a few hours for better blending. Work in some yogurt and pour into cups or ice pop molds. A few hours in the freezer and you’ve got a doggy pop fit for any four-legged friend. Use edible sticks like bully sticks, salmon skin rolls or other stick-like chews. You can also use nylon dog bones as a chewable stick for after the treat is gone. Remember, no grapes, they’re toxic for dogs and can cause extreme kidney damage.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter may seem an unlikely treat for summer, but it can also be added to popsicle blends to add creaminess and texture. Find a no-salt added jar and spread some at the bottom of the pop mold or simply freeze in an ice cube tray. Peanut butter also mixes well with bananas or yogurt.

Meat Broth

Some dog experts suggest freezing broth as another cold treat. Using unsalted beef or chicken broth is the best choice. You can pour this into virtually any mold and mix it with peanut butter to thin down the recipe.

Make Frozen Fun

Popsicles and ice cubes aren’t the only way to play. Does your dog have a food puzzle toy? You can always add a little frozen treat to that, provided it doesn’t take too long to get at it. Any toy with a fillable inside will work. Simply use a liquid like broth, plug the hole with peanut butter, and freeze. The American Kennel Club shares that not only will this cool your pooch down, “the work it takes to get every last drop of broth will keep your dog busy and provide mental stimulation.”

Use fun molds to create a doggy-friendly frozen treat. Bone molds are popular and you can reuse them for your own fall festivities. You can even create a toy within the ice cube by adding a treat to the middle. Your dog will have fun licking until they get to that blueberry or meaty chunk in the center of the frozen liquid.

CushAway Cares

Keep your Cushing’s dog healthy and hydrated in the heat. Whole food dog treats can enrich a dog with Cushing’s disease and gentle exercise is important to improve mobility as long as your dog is able. Are you navigating a Cushing’s diagnosis? We’re here to help you walk through the process. While Cushing’s can’t be cured, supplements can enhance a dog’s vitality without the scary side effects of traditional drugs. Read more about the CushAway story to see if we can help you and your four-legged friend.

Protect Your Dog from the Heat

Summer time is a great time for play with longer days and more recreation time. For pups as well as humans, the glaring heat can also be a danger. To avoid heat stroke in dogs, practice play smarts by planning the best times and ways to enjoy the outdoors, hydrating, and knowing when to cut things short for a panting pooch.

Cushing’s dogs need exercise in moderation and getting out for a walk is important, but in the summer months, heat stroke in dogs is a real concern. Keep your dog cool with some fun and simple changes in your routine.

1. Swim Time

If you don’t have your own pool, finding an inexpensive kiddie pool and filling it up can be a fun playtime for your pooch. They might even be more likely to jump into a smaller pool just to splash their feet. You can toss rubber toys in to entice them. Just make sure your dog can step over the lip of the pool without straining. Just remember, like kids, dogs need supervision at all times in a pool.

2. Cold Dog Treats

Ice cream for dogs? Sure. Frozen peanut butter or meat? That can work too. Even plain old ice can do the trick. You can make it extra fun with molds that freeze food into shapes for Fido. Round molds will double as a ball toy. Yogurt is a perfect treat to add into the mix as it will do wonders for the digestive system.

PetMD.com recommends watermelon, blueberries, and cantaloupe as three of the ten best fruits for dogs. All could be blended and mixed into ice molds with or without yogurt or just served up in sweet, cold chunks.

3. Hydrate Against Heatstroke

Unlike their human besties, dogs often don’t know when to stop, so you’re their number one safeguard for protecting against heat stroke. Doctor Steven Berkowitz told Dogster.com, the online companion to the former Dog Fancy magazine, that “dogs are often too loyal to stop playing with you even if they’re starting to get overheated and tired.”

The key is to make sure your dog drinks often from a source of cool water. Be careful of leaving dishes or other containers of stagnant water out in the heat, as bacteria and insects can become a concern. Instead, consider buying a stainless-steel faucet adapter that can be used outdoors. You can also find filtering pet fountains that are safe for both indoor and outdoor use. Some suggest dogs even prefer drinking from running water more than stagnant water. Savvy pet owners have even hacked a DIY version if you’re looking to cut costs or have a fun project.

No matter what your outdoor activity, watch your pet for any signs that they are overheated, as their health can rapidly deteriorate if not corrected. Dogster.com lists 6 common signs of heat stroke in dogs that you should be on the lookout for.

– Rapid Panting
– Thick/Sticky Saliva
– Bright Red Tongue
– Weakness
– Diarrhea
– Vomiting

Enjoy time outside with your pooch, just make sure to beat the heat with breaks and water. Save longer times of outdoor play for cooler hours in the morning or evening when extended walks or runs are best. Whatever you choose, we hope you savor the season.

The Two Types of Cushing’s Disease: Pituitary Dependent vs. Adrenal Tumor Hyperadrenocorticism

When your dog suffers from Cushing’s disease, also called hyperadrenocorticism in the veterinary world, there are two main causes. The first is a tumor on the pituitary gland, which is termed Pituitary-Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism (PDH). This tumor accounts for about 85% of Cushing’s cases, according to vetinfo.com. The other, less common manifestation of Cushing’s is a tumor on the adrenal gland, referred to as Adrenal Tumor Hyperadrenocorticism (ATH). Both types of tumors produce the same result: elevated levels of cortisol in the dog’s body.

Pituitary Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism

While small dogs of certain breeds are more likely to contract PDH, this is the dominant form of Cushing’s disease. An ultrasound is the best way for a vet to determine that a pituitary tumor is present. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment options may become necessary as symptoms progress. Surgery is an option, though until recently it was considered risky and many vets wouldn’t practice removing a pituitary tumor. Many vets will also prescribe a medication that mimics a chemotherapy drug.

Adrenal Tumor Hyperadrenocorticism

Larger dog breeds more commonly contract ATH. In the case of a tumor on the adrenal gland, surgery is not the most popular recommendation by veterinarians. Vets are more likely to prescribe a chemo drug to shrink the tumor and destroy parts of the adrenal gland.

Other Ways to Address PDH and ATH Symptoms

While both PDH and ATH can be treated through medication, vetinfo.com points out that “medical treatment of Cushing’s disease controls the symptoms but does not address the underlying problem of a pituitary or adrenal gland tumor.” This underlying problem is the overproduction of corticosteroids, which may be addressed in a nutrition-based approach to Cushing’s that many holistic vets are recognizing.

CushAway is a natural supplement that does address the root causes of Cushing’s. CushAway uses three active ingredients that research has shown to block or deplete corticosteroids: phosphatidylserine, melatonin, and HMR lignans. Using a natural supplement to assist in the treatment of Cushing’s poses little to no side effects like surgery or chemo drugs.