A few months ago, we noticed our Gracie was drinking quite a bit more water. It coincided with warmer weather, so we didn't think too much about it but decided to mention it to her vet on her last wellness check. Blood panel results showed Gracie in very good health for a senior (nearly twelve years old). There were no signs of diabetes, nor any other glaring off-balance diagnosis. The word "Cushings" came up as a possibility.
What is Cushing's Disease?
Cushing's disease in dogs is likely caused by the production of too much cortisol by the adrenal glands, either stimulated by a tumor on the adrenal gland or on the pituitary gland, which regulates the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a stress hormone, a steroid naturally produced by the body, especially in response to stress. It's vital for body function. Yet, too much cortisol produced by the body causes physiological stress and immune challenges. Symptoms of Cushing's disease often include:
- excessive thirst
- excessive appetite
- skin issues, infections, or lesions
- fur loss
- lower activity or reduced interest in activity
- "pot belly"
Testing For Cushing's Disease
Tests can be expensive, yet somewhat important for understanding what may be going on. At minimum, blood and urine tests can show what may be off balance. For Gracie, high cortisol levels showed up in a urine test. An ultrasound to get an internal look at the adrenal glands will cost around $600 and may not provide any more valuable information for us personally. I'm not going to ever give her prescription medication which can have serious side-effects, so choosing my natural protocol is the way for us to go. I know I'm causing NO HARM, and Gracie's life can be improved and balanced with my choices for her.
Natural Care For Dogs With Cushing's Disease
As a healer and animal communicator, I know I'm already doing the best for Gracie with her raw food diet, supplements, detoxification, and "extras". Right now, I'm focused on just stepping up her care to include higher, more frequent doses of detoxification as well as adding acupuncture and additional essential oils. Here's our regimen - most of which Gracie has experienced throughout her life with us:
- Raw food diet, meat, bones, and vegetables
- Detox zeolite (only this one), given often throughout the day
- Essential oils to anoint and give internally, supporting the proper functioning of her glands, reducing inflammation, and balancing her energy. (see below for notes)
- Supplements to support the liver, kidneys, and blood I believe are vital. I chose to add several detoxifying supplements that can be purchase easily OTC; dandelion root, milk thistle, and burdock root are the three extras. See what else we give Gracie for pet supplements.
- Sound Healing with specific tuning forks applied at acupuncture points bring healing vibes directly into her tissues. Tuning forks are easy to use and can provide extra healing power between acupuncture appointments.
- Acupuncture. Find a holistic vet you trust to provide regular treatments for your pet.
- Reducing Stress. This one is a little more challenging for us since Gracie is, by nature, a higher stress breed. As a herding dog, she's keenly aware of every subtle movement, and willing to react accordingly. Stress release for Gracie includes play mixed with quiet time, essential oils for relaxation, and Reiki.
NOTES: The oils I chose for Gracie are specific for her. If you want to work with essential oils, I can only recommend medical grade or therapeutic grade oils. Call me for a consultation. Since tumor activity is involved in producing too much cortisol, I chose to treat Gracie specifically for tumors, whether they are benign or malignant).
Call me for an appointment or private consultation. I can help you on your journey with your pet.
Resource: FDA site