Can Supplements For Dogs with Cushing’s Disease Help?

When a beloved furry friend isn’t well, we as pet parents want to restore their health and tail-wagging fun as much as possible. Cushing’s disease is a condition that affects a dog’s hormone-producing glands, the adrenal and or pituitary, causing an overproduction of cortisol and even tumors. This fight or flight hormone affects many parts of a dog’s body inside and out, causing various symptoms. Though Cushing’s has no known cure, treatments are available to deal with both the symptoms and root causes.

Read more about the symptoms of Cushing’s disease.

Ways to Address Cushing’s Symptoms

When a dog is diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, careful monitoring begins. This may include imaging like an ultrasound to check for tumors on the pituitary or adrenal glands. Treatment options include surgery, medication, supplementation, lifestyle changes, or a mix of these methods.

The root issue of Cushing’s that causes symptoms is steroid overproduction. This can be addressed in a few ways. Medications are commonly used to kill off or attack the cells of the overproducing glands. Surgery is a risk and is mostly used to remove a tumor that is found to be cancerous. Both of these methods can pose significant risks or side effects to the dog undergoing the treatment.

Supplements for dogs can also address Cushing’s symptoms at the root cause. Using natural elements like lignans which have been found to counteract corticosteroid production can result in lower side effects to the dog. Pet parents who take this gentle route may also decide to introduce lifestyle changes for their furry friend including adding whole foods to a diet, using probiotics to enhance gut health, and offering a gentle exercise routine for their pups.

What Supplements Do for a Cushing’s Dog

While traditionally prescribed medications can help reduce Cushing’s symptoms in dogs, they have also been shown to produce a range of side effects—some drastic. The FDA warns that one such medication called Lysodern “requires careful monitoring and can have severe side effects.”

Supplements for dogs can also impact Cushing’s symptoms without causing as much stress on a dog’s system. They are used to block cortisol overproduction through naturally occurring elements.

What’s in a Supplement for dogs with Cushing’s Disease?

Most Cushing’s supplements focus on lignans as a way to inhibit the body’s production of corticosteroids. CushAway uses a trio of effective elements to both lower and blunt steroid production: Lignans, melatonin, and phosphatidylserine all work to reduce the toxic levels of corticosteroids in a Cushing’s dog.


HMR lignans sourced from spruce trees are an effective means of blocking the two enzymes needed to make cortisol. Studies have shown that these lignans are quickly digested with minimal, if any, side effects.

Read more about lignans for Cushing’s dogs.


Melatonin works to block the adrenal glands form producing the hormone ACHT, a primary cause of pituitary-dependent Cushing’s. The University of Tennessee’s veterinary program studied these elements and concluded that combining melatonin and lignans could lower adrenal hormone secretion in humans as well as dogs.


Phosphatidylserine is a healthy fat that coats cells. It has also been shown to slow or stop the production of the hormone ACHT. Phosphatidylserine works complimentary to lignans, to reduce the amount of cortisol in the body of a Cushing’s dog.

Read more about phosphatidylserine for Cushing’s dogs.

Probiotics for a Cushing’s Dog

Gut health has become a marker for overall health in both the scientific and nutritional community. This is true for dogs as well. Probiotics are a key ingredient to gut health. They help lower inflammation and increase the absorption of key nutrients to keep the body running smoothly. Gut health even plays a role in the immune system, producing germ-fighting compounds.

A dog with Cushing’s can benefit from probiotics in many ways. When paired with supplements for dogs, it will increase the absorption of the natural elements that help battle Cushing’s symptoms and root causes.

Probiotics have also ben found to help decrease inflammation in the gut. This is due to the countless microorganisms (microbiome) that help the digestive system function at its peak. A balanced microbiome leads to balanced health for the entire body.

Probiotics are safe for dogs as long as the type used is suitable for a canine microbiome. Humans and dogs do not share the same gut bacteria and need separate types of probiotic supplements. CushAway uses dog safe probiotics as part of our supplement to help balance the gut and increase absorption of the lignans, melatonin, and phosphatidylserine

A Supplement Success Story

Pet parents often choose natural supplements for dogs because they are concerned about the side effects of chemo-type drugs. Gina Bartucci, founder of All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue, cares for shelter pets suffering from Cushing’s. She knew she wanted to try a holistic approach after seeing a natural path work for a beloved dog with cancer. When her vet suggested trying CushAway for her fur babies dealing with Cushing’s, Gina gave the supplement a try. “Thanks to the CushAway, we saw a night and day difference,” Gina shared.

Read more about All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue and Gina’s CushAway story

What Are the Signs of Cushing’s Disease?

How do you know if your sweet dog has Cushing’s? Since the disease presents with a variety of symptoms, it can be hard to identify. Cushing’s disease is the result of corticosteroid overproduction or internal tumors of the adrenal and pituitary glands. The signs of Cushing’s disease can be slow to show. However, there are certain markers that indicate strong evidence of Cushing’s disease in dogs.

Treatment with Drugs or A Natural Approach?

When a diagnosis for Cushing’s is first made, pet parents have a decision to make. Will you take the often-prescribed approach of strong drugs that says can have serious side effects? Will you choose an approach that includes natural supplements that also address key symptoms of Cushing’s?

No matter what choice you make, the key to helping your pup live a new normal life with Cushing’s is to continue to monitor them. Watch their energy level and appetite, as well as physical reactions like weakness or gastrointestinal issues.

Early Warning Signs of Cushing’s Disease

Older dogs are the most likely to develop Cushing’s. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), owners first notice something is wrong when their dogs show extreme thirst and therefore need to urinate more frequently, often during the night. Many pet parents just chalk this up to old age or other conditions like diabetes in dogs. Thus, the disease advances until other symptoms develop and the dog is finally tested for Cushing’s. If you see your dog suddenly developing possible signs of Cushing’s Disease such as an excessive thirst or urinating more, it’s time to check with your vet.

Certain dog breeds are also more likely to develop Cushing’s as they get older. AKC lists the Poodle, Dachshund, Boston Terrier, Boxer, and Beagle as possible breeds prone to Cushing’s disease. As your dog ages, be extra vigilant if they are an at-risk breed.

Other Minor Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s can also present a range of minor symptoms that can be hard to pin down as just Cushing’s. However, if you notice these happening to your pet, it’s best to check in with your veterinary doctor.

Dr. Mary Gardener DVM with Lap of Love shared that pet parents should look out for the following signs that may point to Cushing’s disease in dogs:

• Pot belly (abdominal muscles sag)
• Thin skin
• Panting more
• Hyper-pigmentation (extra markings like freckles appear on the skin)

How is Cushing’s Diagnosed?

Dr. Mary also shared the most likely steps your vet will take to identify Cushing’s. Your pet will get a blood test to look for certain chemical markers. After blood tests confirm something abnormal, your pet may be recommended for an ultrasound to see if an adrenal gland carries a tumor, or if the glands show anything abnormal.

An ultrasound will help determine the type of Cushing’s disease present in your dog. Adrenal dependent Cushing’s will show a tumor on the adrenal gland that can be benign or malignant. Pituitary dependent Cushing’s usually shows that both glands are enlarged due to steroid over-production. Knowing the type of Cushing’s can help determine the course of treatment.

How to Address Cushing’s Symptoms

A variety of treatment options are available for Cushing’s. You’ll need to consider several factors to determine the best option for your dog.  Often, vets prescribe medication that will essentially kill off the cells of the adrenal gland to address the tumor. These medications can be effective but may also come with harsh side effects.  Another option for treatment includes surgery to remove the tumor, though many vets state this process can be risky.

One more approach is to use supplements that act as a natural answer to Cushing’s symptoms.

At CushAway, our founder watched his beloved dog respond to a supplement formula that uses naturally occurring elements like probiotics and lignans (from flax) to address symptoms at the root cause. Read our story and decide if this approach can gently soothe your Cushing’s dog.

After a Diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease

Once a diagnosis is made and treatment is chosen, it’s important to continue with that treatment to keep symptoms at bay. Although it can be managed, Cushing’s is not something that can be cured. However, you can help your dog adapt to and live a new normal routine. Keep up with exercise at your dog’s pace, and maintain a healthy diet. Adding whole food to your dog’s kibble may even add more vitality post-Cushing’s.

Even after a Cushing’s diagnosis is made, you can find ways to love and care for your dog so they are full of life and comfortable.


Can Dogs Live a Normal Life With Cushing’s?

We’ve learned recently that normal can be redefined to create the best environment for someone’s well -being, and for dogs it’s much the same. For a dog, achieving a normal life with Cushing’s disease may involve providing a new nutrition and supplement regimen or adapting a less strenuous exercise routine. The key is to identify the symptoms and ways to mitigate those reactions in a Cushing’s dog.

Treatment with Drugs or A Natural Approach?

When a diagnosis for Cushing’s is first made, pet parents have a decision to make. Will you take the often-prescribed approach of strong drugs that says can have serious side effects? Will you choose an approach that includes natural supplements that also address key symptoms of Cushing’s?

No matter what choice you make, the key to helping your pup live a new normal life with Cushing’s is to continue to monitor them. Watch their energy level and appetite, as well as physical reactions like weakness or gastrointestinal issues.

Exercise and Play

Continue a normal schedule as much as possible with gentle exercise and play that fits your dog’s needs. Often, as symptoms abate with treatment, your pup can retain much of the vitality they are used to.

Dietary Changes

Consider their diet. You can incorporate probiotics which help eliminate inflammation and increase nutrient absorption to help a Cushing’s dog regain more energy. Many pet parents have seen positive results from this natural approach that uses supplements that address Cushing’s symptoms and whole food additions to kibble to lessen inflammatory processed grains.

Keep the Veterinarian Involved

While each dog handles the disease a bit differently, it’s possible to reach a maintenance level with Cushing’s so regular trips to the vet and a continued treatment plan keep debilitating symptoms at bay.

CushAway began with a pet parent who wanted to give his pup the best life, and we believe Cushing’s dogs can benefit from a supplement that uses probiotics and naturally occurring elements that block the release of corticosteroids, the root problem of Cushing’s. Read more of our story and decide if CushAway can help you  give your dog their best life.

Keep Your Cushing’s Dog Hydrated

When warm months are upon us, it’s important to be mindful of a dog’s water intake. Since Cushing’s dogs are prone to symptoms like excessive thirst, it’s especially important to care for your pup’s hydration when the weather gets hot.

Foods that Hydrate

Since a whole food diet or a kibble diet with whole food additions can be beneficial for a Cushing’s dog, it’s easy to add in foods that are also hydrating. This comes in the form of fruits and veggies.

Watery fruits and veggies like cucumber and watermelon can be a delicious and hydrating treat for a dog. Remove the seeds and rind, then let your pup chow down. Other fruits and veggies that pack on the hydrating power are apples, other melons like cantaloupe, and leafy greens. Berries are great too and can be served frozen plain or mixed with yogurt for a pup pop. Just remember, no grapes. They can cause kidney problems for pups.

Water Access

According to, “Providing access to an abundance of clean, cool water is critical.” It’s easy to set a bowl out for pups staying outside, but if the water if left to heat in the sun, it’s not as appealing to your dog. Keeping water refreshed is important too. Try a bowl that recirculates water to help you manage your pup’s supply.

Work Hydration into Play

Give your pup an icy treat by filling a toy with water and freezing it. Add an element of play and hydration beyond ice cubes by using puzzle or regular chew toys for this. also suggests freezing a dog treat in the middle of an ice cube for a fun and hydrating surprise.

Keeping dogs cool in the heat goes a long way to preventing dehydration. Incorporate kiddie pools or sprinklers into your outdoor time in the summer, especially if your pup spends time outdoors on a regular basis. Toss balls or other toys into the kiddie pool and let your dog fish them out! They’ll cool off and gulp a bit of water in the process.

Probiotics and Dogs: FAQ’s

What Are the Benefits of Probiotics?

Taking probiotics has been linked to a lowered risk for cancer, tumorous growths, and chronic diseases. It increases energy and strengthens the immune system. A healthy gut means more nutrients are released and absorbed into the body, providing fuel for every system to excel.

The Innovative Veterinary Care Journal states “a balanced intestinal microbiome is crucial to good health in dogs and cats, as well as in humans.” The microbiome is the world of microorganisms that live in the digestive system. When these good bacteria thrive, a dog’s body has the potential to as well.

Can Dogs Take Human Probiotics?

No. Probiotic supplements are formulated with strains of bacteria specific to the human gut. While research is ongoing, it’s clear that different animals utilize different bacterial strains that aid gut function. Look for supplements specifically formulated for dogs.

Eating yogurt, however, can be good for dogs as a whole food addition to kibble or even as a frozen treat. Just make sure there’s no added xylitol, a sugar substitute harmful to dogs. Plain yogurt is best as there’s usually no sugar added.

How Do You Choose a Probiotic for your Dog?

Probiotics are effective when the amount of bacterial strains are in the millions at least. This may sound excessive, but these little guys need strength in numbers to work.

Make sure you choose a probiotic that’s formulated specifically for dogs. Look for that high number of strands. You can check with a natural veterinarian or traditional vet for suggestions.

How Do You Give Your Dog a Probiotic?

There are a few different ways to deliver a probiotic to your pup. First, some pet foods include probiotics as part of their formula. However, the strains may not be strong enough to be effective through digestion. As mentioned previously, adding a dollop of fresh yogurt to your dog’s meal may be just as effective and an easy whole food addition to their diet.

Another way to provide a probiotic for your dog is to give them a supplement in pill form. This can be added to food for an easier delivery. Supplements can be shelf-stable or refrigerated.

You know your pup, which will help guide you to the best option for your pet. It’s a good idea to consult your vet before starting a probiotic regimen.

How Do Probiotics Affect a Dog with Cushing’s?

Since medical research shows that gut health can benefit overall health, dogs with Cushing’s receive the same benefits. Probiotics help lower intestinal inflammation which in turn promotes improved brain and immune function, among other benefits.

Some pet parents choose to treat Cushing’s symptoms with a natural supplement rather than chemo-type drugs. Probiotics can help with the absorption of nutrients and aid the overall effectiveness of the supplement. This is why CushAway uses probiotics as part of their natural supplement formula for Cushing’s disease in dogs.

Cleaning Safety for Dog Owners

Keeping a clean home is important, but certain products can cause pet parents’ concern. Irritated eyes and skin, as well as breathing problems could be the result of cleaning products according to You can keep your pup safe and maintain a healthy, happy home by keeping a few tips for cleaning safety for dog owners in mind.

1. Keep Products Out of Reach

Just like kids, pets are at risk from discovering and using products without supervision. That’s why it’s best to put chemicals away in a pet-safe place. Are low cabinets the only option? Using kiddie locks may not be a bad idea to keep your pups out. Make sure no dog items are stored in the same area.

2. Check Product Labels

Some products will tell you specifically whether they’re pet-safe or not. However, the best bet is always to follow instructions from the manufacturer and be vigilant.

If you’re not sure about a product, err on the side of caution and don’t use it unless you consult your vet. Some fumes can be harmful for dogs, making it best to avoid certain products. This doesn’t mean always going natural is the safest route either. Essential oils can be harmful for pups as well, according to the American Kennel Club.

3. Keep Doggy Away

The best approach when cleaning an area is to make sure your pup can’t get near until everything is dry. Make sure your dog’s toys and bowls are safely out of the way of sprays and fumes too. You could even work cleaning your pup’s items into your routine. While everything dries, it’s the perfect time to take a walk so you can both enjoy some fresh air.

4. Pay Special Attention to Your Dog’s High-Touch Areas

If your pup is known to take a sip from the toilet bowl or if he likes to lick the floors in your kitchen, then plan on being really choosy with your cleaning products in those areas. Air fresheners are best avoided in general as they can lead to irritation in any part of the house.

5. Consider Using Your Own Simple Solution

Vinegar, baking soda, and water go a long way to clean surfaces. Mixed in a 1 to 1 ratio, a vinegar/water solution can be sprayed on counters or used to mop floors. Baking soda can be used to clean your toilet or sinks, or even sprinkled on laundry to freshen odors instead of using heavily scented detergents.

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 (pituitary vs adrenal Cushings) 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 (pituitary vs adrenal Cushings vs Iatrogenic), 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.


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.