Managing Your Dog’s Cushing’s Disease

Managing Your Dog’s Cushing’s Disease

When a dog is diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, there are limited options when it comes to treatment. Common pharma treatments can have more of a negative impact on a dog’s health than the symptoms warrant while homeopathic and folk remedies may not address the causes of Cushing’s. Though the condition can never be fully eradicated, the goal of treatment is to ease the effects of Cushings disease in dogs and to restore a comfortable and active life with as little risk to your beloved companion as possible.

Traditional Treatments

A veterinary professional will usually prescribe one of two chemotherapy drugs for a dog with Cushing’s, mitotane (Lysodren) or trilostane (Vetoryl). Most vets choose trilostane, a drug once used to treat advanced breast cancer in the US (this drug was voluntarily removed from the market). A study of dogs on trilostane showed that up to 35% suffered at least one negative side effect with 1 in 25 of those same dogs experiencing an Addisonian crisis (leading to lifelong Addison’s disease) or death. (FOIS)

Negative treatment results give pause to many veterinary professionals and owners who must weigh the benefits with the suffering of the dog. One survey showed that more than half of veterinary specialists polled would not prescribe the pharmacological treatments without there being serious clinical symptoms damaging to the dog, even if there were abnormal results indicating the presence of hyperadrenocorticism. (Behrend: Kemppainen: Clark; Salman: Peterson)

Chemo medication like trilostane can also be difficult for pet owners due to high expenses. Because of the risks associated with chemo drugs, quarterly testing is usually required. Therefore, the cost of both medication and tests can run into the thousands annually for many dog parents.

New Options from Nutraceuticals

Until recently, these chemo drugs were the only form of options given to combat the disease. However, many dog parents are choosing to use nutraceuticals, or natural supplements, that can be beneficial for the dog’s ailments.

Nutraceuticals also range in their effectiveness and content. Many use traditional folk medicine such as dandelion and milk thistle to mitigate the symptoms of Cushing’s. However, these remedies do not affect the clinical causes of the disease; they only seek to help heal the ongoing harm the disease causes. A natural approach does seem to limit the adverse side effects caused by the more traditional chemo drugs. Finding the right natural solution is key to managing a dog’s overall health while battling Cushing’s disease.

The CushAway Option

CushAway, a nutraceutical supplement from Best Friends Biotechnics, can bridge the gap between natural remedies and chemotherapy drugs. CushAway uses three main ingredients combined with probiotics to act as a nutraceutical supplement with very little risk to the dog. Unlike the other common natural remedies, CushAway combines natural products that can interact with your dog’s hormones and act to block the overproduction of corticosteroids, the root cause of Cushing’s disease.

CushAway utilizes a melatonin/lignin treatment shown to be effective in reducing corticosteroid production in human adrenal cells. This treatment is combined with phosphatidylserine, which has been shown in independent studies to also reduce corticosteroid levels by reducing corticosteroid and ACTH production. Sports medicine studies of phosphatidylserine indicate that it reduces the production of cortisol as well as blunting the production of ACTH, which regulates the production of corticosteroids.

Studies performed by veterinarians at the University of Tennessee also showed clinical evidence to support the use of melatonin and lignins and one of their leading researchers lists two of CushAway’s active ingredients as treatment option considerations.

Another advantage of Cushing’s disease treatment through the supplement CushAway is the use of probiotics in their formula. These probiotics stimulate gut bacteria for maximum benefit from the active ingredients that combat the effects and cause of Cushings disease in dogs.

Make a Choice

When choosing a care option for a beloved pet battling Cushing’s, you may want to consider the potential results. While chemotherapy drugs are readily available for prescription by veterinary professionals and can be successful at controlling Cushing’s disease, the side effects may outweigh the benefits of the drug. Some of the outcomes can be devastating, even fatal, to the dog. With the high cost of medicine and required maintenance testing, the expense of this kind of treatment can also become very burdensome.

Nutraceuticals may present a lower risk alternative both for your pet’s health and lifestyle. A supplement like CushAway may provide a multifaceted approach to improving your dog’s health and help limit the effects of Cushing’s disease on a dog’s body. While the amount of benefit can vary from dog to dog and may be insufficient to provide enough benefit in more severe cases of Cushing’s disease, there is negligible risk in trying this approach before resorting to the chemo type options.

Ask your veterinarian if they think a low risk, low-cost nutraceutical supplement like CushAway should be your first choice in dealing with your dog’s Cushing’s disease.