Cushing’s disease or hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) is a condition that increases the cortisol circulation in the body. Cortisol refers to the natural steroid produced by the body which is required to run the normal body processes. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland, which is present next to the kidney.
What is Cushing’s disease in dogs? The two main types of HAC recognized in dogs are pituitary-dependent or PDH and adrenal-dependent or ADH. The vet will first identify the reason that causes Cushing’s diseases in dogs to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Understanding Cushing’s Diseases in Dogs
Adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH is secreted from the pituitary gland present in the brain. This hormone is responsible for regulating the cortisol secretion from the adrenal gland.
When enough cortisol is released into the bloodstream, the adrenal gland decreases the amount of cortisol made, reducing the ACTH production.
● Pituitary dependence (PDH) is the common cause of Cushing’s disease, and it happens when a small and benign tumor gets formed in the pituitary glands and produces an excess of ACTH. This stimulates the adrenal gland to produce excess cortisol. Without the “off” switch in the tumor cell, the adrenal gland gets enlarged due to the excess pressure to produce more cortisol.
● Adrenal dependence (ADH) is caused by excess cortisol produced by the tumors in the adrenal gland. The adrenal tumor cells do not have a switch button, and they thus produce an excess of cortisol. The tumor can be malignant or benign. A benign tumor can be easily removed to cure the problem. In the case of a malignant tumor, the prognosis is complicated.
Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease
If you wonder what is Cushing’s disease in dogs and its symptoms, an obvious sign is an increase in urination and thirst. They will also have an increased appetite. The fur becomes thin and, once clipped, does not grow normally. The belly’s skin becomes thin, and the dog also starts to develop fat around the belly. Cushing’s disease causes an increase in blood pressure and may lead to clots on the legs and lungs in extreme cases.
The doctor may notice changes in the blood work. Cushing’s disease causes an excess of liver enzymes and changes in the white blood cell number. The dog will also start to pant more, develop blackheads, feel lethargic and develop oily skin. The condition could cause sudden blindness.
CDB to Treat Cushing’s Disease in Dogs
Surgery is the traditional way to treat Cushing’s disease in dogs to remove the tumor. Certain hormone-regulating medications are also prescribed.
Surgery, however, can be dangerous, and there is always the risk of side effects when taking hormone suppression medications.
Instead, why not try out a natural alternative for your dog?
A full-spectrum CBD helps to treat Cushing’s disease by treating the hormonal balance. CBD also helps to shrink or eliminate the tumor that is causing the issue. Here is how this compound can show positive results in dogs suffering from Cushing’s disease.
- Targets the tumors – The cancer cells do not die by themselves and keep spreading. CBD triggers apoptosis in the cancer cells. It also reduces tumor growth and prevents the blood vessels from forming, which is responsible for feeding the tumor.
- Repairs the hormonal balance – CBD works along with the endocannabinoid system to get the body in a proper balance. This also includes the cortisol imbalance caused by the pituitary and the adrenal gland, which is the main cause of Cushing’s disease.
- Relieves the symptoms – CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to get the body back to a balanced state. This causes the symptoms to improve naturally.
It is important to take your dog to the doctor for prompt testing and treatment if you notice any one of these symptoms of Cushing’s disease. Your dog will also have to be monitored regularly. Timely action can help in saving your pet from the fatal disease.