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CBD for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s Disease in Dogs: Are there natural alternatives? If your pet has been diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, or if you think that your pet may have Cushing’s, you’re in the right place.

When something is going on with your pet, it can be overwhelming to figure out the issue and get a diagnosis. It can be even more confusing to know what course of action to take and how to keep your pet feeling their best. We’re here to help.

Table of Contents

What is Cushing’s Disease in Dogs?

Cushing’s Disease is an endocrine disorder, also known as hypercortisolism or hyperadrenocorticism. It causes your dog’s body to excessive amounts of the hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that helps control stress, weight, infections, and blood sugar. Too much cortisol, or too little, can wreak havoc on your pet’s overall wellbeing.

Cushing’s Disease in dogs usually occurs in middle-aged or older dogs. There are three types of Cushing’s Disease in dogs:

  • Pituitary Dependent Cushing’s – Caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, and is the most common type, occurring in 80-90% of animals with Cushing’s Disease.
  • Adrenal Dependent Cushing’s – Caused by a tumor on the adrenal glands, and is the second most common, occurring in about 15% of animals with Cushing’s.
  • Iatrogenic Cushing’s Syndrome – Caused by over-prescription of steroids, and is the least common type of Cushing’s.

What are the Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs?

Many of the symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in dogs mimic the signs of aging, making them harder to identify. Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in dogs include:

  • Being thirstier than usual
  • Excessive hunger
  • Excessive urination and more indoor accidents
  • Thinning skin
  • Excessive panting
  • Hair loss or hair growing more slowly
  • Gaining a pot belly
  • Seeming more tired or inactive
  • Getting skin infections or skin growths often

Is Cushing’s Disease in Dogs Common?

Cushing’s Disease in dogs is fairly common, particularly in older dogs.

Cushing’s is more common in certain breeds of dog . Dog breeds prone to Cushing’s Disease include: Beagles, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Dachshunds, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, and Terriers in general.

Diagnosing Cushing’s Disease in dogs can be a struggle and dogs are often misdiagnosed. If you suspect your dog has Cushing’s Disease, your veterinarian can do a blood test, an ACTH Stimulation Test, or a Cortisol-Creatinine Ratio Test. These tests will look for cortisol levels in the blood and urine, and are often used in conjunction with an ultrasound to make the final diagnosis.

CBD for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease

The traditional treatment for Cushing’s Disease in dogs are certain hormone-regulating medications such as trilostane or mitotane. In certain rare cases, veterinarians may elect to go the route of surgery, which can be invasive and dangerous, especially in older dogs.

Instead, natural alternatives, like CBD oil for dogs with Cushing’s Disease, may offer a viable alternative to the stress of surgery or liver-damaging medications.

Based on the available research and the experience of numerous case studies, Full spectrum CBD oil for dogs with Cushing’s Disease may help in a number of key ways. First, by modulating the hormonal imbalance, as well as by shrinking, or even eliminating the tumors causing the issue.

Primary potential benefits of using CBD for dogs with Cushing’s Disease:

  • Targeting the tumors: Cancer cells do not die on their own; continuously spreading unless we do something to stop them. CBD was found to trigger apoptosis (natural cell death) in cancer cells. CBD also reduces the growth of tumors by preventing the formation of blood vessels that feed the tumor. For more info on the anti-cancerous properties of cannabis medicine, check out this blog post.
  • Repairing hormonal imbalances: CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system to bring the body back to balance. This includes hormonal imbalances like that of cortisol produced by the adrenal and pituitary glands.
  • Relieving the symptoms: As CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to bring the body back to a balanced state, symptoms will naturally improve.
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Dosing CBD Oil for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease

The most effective way to administer a full spectrum CBD oil for dogs with Cushing’s Disease is with an oral tincture. Look for Full-spectrum hemp extract with a broad range of cannabinoids, including CBD. We recommend our HEAL: CBD Oil for dogs , which is an 1100mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract.

Despite common misconceptions, dosing has very little to do with your pet’s size or weight. Finding the right dosage depends on your pet’s age and metabolism, their specific ailment, and other individual health factors.

Based on research and our experience, we recommend starting with 35-50 mg daily of CBD oil for dogs with Cushing’s Disease. Within that range we recommend you start low and adjust based on your pet’s response to determine your optimal dose. You may also find that your pet needs less as they recover over time.

For the fastest and best absorption, lift the lip and apply the dosage directly onto the gums. This is the most direct way into the bloodstream. You can also add it to food, but it can take significantly longer (30-45 minutes) to reach the bloodstream, as it works its way through the gastrointestinal system.

If Cushing’s Disease in your dog has also caused skin growths, you can also apply a Full Spectrum Hemp topical CBD salve directly to the growth. Because dogs have endocannabinoid receptors throughout the layers of their skin, topical CBD salves are extremely effective. We recommend REMEDY, our 300mg Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Salve, to be applied twice a day until the growth is gone.

Research to support the use of CBD for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease

There are several relevant studies on the possible benefits of CBD for dogs with Cushing’s Disease. CBD has been shown to have beneficial effects in studies involving animals affected by tumors, pain, hormones, inflammation, and more.

In a research study conducted by the A.B. Hancock Jr. Memorial Laboratory for Cancer Research, Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt Ingram Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. In the study, researchers concluded that the effects of CBD are promising in the treatment of cancer and tumors.

Another recent study found that CBD inhibited the growth of cancerous cells in mice, as well as preventing future tumors. The conclusion of this study noted that CBD could be a viable option to treat tumors in both humans and animals.

Yet another research study conducted by the Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, at Southern Illinois University. There researchers found that CBD could have profound effects on the release of hormones, including cortisol.

Case Study: CBD for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease

Meet Potato! Potato is a 15-year-old Shih Tzu who came to Fire Flake Farm with many medical issues, including Cushing’s Disease. Potato’s owner was overwhelmed and unsure of how to best help Potato.

Potato was having mobility issues, joint pain, and more. When we groomed her, we found wart-like growths all over her body. Because of the success we’ve seen with CBD oil for dogs with Cushing’s Disease, we decided to try our HEAL CBD oil for dogs, as well as our Remedy CBD salve for dogs. We gave her a full-dose of HEAL – CBD Oil in the morning and evening. We also applied our R EMEDY salve on her growths each day. Now, she is doing well, running around, upbeat, and acting younger than ever.

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Adrenal Disorders in Dogs with Dr. Ruth Roberts

Recently I did a podcast with Dr. Ruth Roberts, integrative veterinarian, holistic health coach, longtime pet advocate and your pet’s ally. Dr. Ruth is also the creator of The Original CrockPET Diet, a balanced home cooked diet for pets. Through her diet and practice, Dr. Ruth has supported thousands of dogs and cats to overcome health hurdles like kidney disease, GI illness, allergies, and cancer. She joined us on It’s A Dog’s Life to discuss the adrenal diseases and disorders that are so prevalent in dogs today, and what we can do to prevent them or support our pets after a diagnosis.

Listen in to the whole episode:

Table of Contents

Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Cushing’s Disease, also known as hypercortisolism or hyperadrenocorticism, involves the production of too much cortisol hormone. Cortisol helps control stress, weight, infections, and blood sugar. Too much cortisol, or not enough cortisol, can wreak havoc on your pet’s overall health.

Pituitary Dependent Cushing’s Disease is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, and is the most common type, occurring in 80-90% of animals with Cushing’s Disease. Adrenal Dependent Cushing’s Disease is caused by a tumor on the adrenal glands, and is the second most common, occurring in about 15% of animals with Cushing’s. Iatrogenic Cushing’s Syndrome is caused by over-prescription of steroids, and is the least common type of Cushing’s.

Addison’s Disease in Dogs

Addison’s disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism, is when the adrenal glands no longer produce, or cannot produce enough hormones, specifically cortisol and aldosterone. It is commonly caused by some type of immune-mediated response resulting in destruction to the adrenal tissue. It can less commonly be caused by trauma, infection, or cancer.

The other form of Addison’s may be caused by a tumor or some type of pituitary defect. This may occur when a dog has been treated with steroids long-term or has abruptly stopped taking any medication. Iatrogenic hypoadrenocorticism can also develop in dogs after ending long-term steroid use.

CBD for Adrenal Disease in Dogs

One of Dr. Ruth’s first steps for pets diagnosed with adrenal disorders is to start them on CBD, to encourage homeostasis in the body. CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system to bring the body back to balance. This includes hormonal imbalances like the cortisol imbalance from the adrenal or pituitary glands. CBD is also helpful in the case of adrenal disorders caused by tumors, as CBD has been found to trigger apoptosis (natural cell death) in cancer cells. CBD has also been found to reduce the growth of tumors by preventing the formation of blood vessels that feed the tumor’s growth.

For dogs with adrenal disorders, we recommend CBD Dog Health’s HEAL: CBD Oil for dogs , which is an 1100mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract. Based on research and our experience, we recommend starting with 35-50 mg daily to treat Cushing’s Disease or Addison’s Disease in dogs. Within that range we recommend you start low and adjust based on your pet’s response to determine your optimal dose.

Your Pet’s Ally

Pet parents may not be able to protect pets from disease, but we can support our pet by becoming their best ally. We believe when you know better, you do better. So take back control of your pet’s diet and be your pet’s advocate when it comes to what is entering their system. Whether that’s synthetic pharmaceuticals, processed food, toxic flea and tick medications, household chemicals, or even over-vaccination.

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Support your pet’s endocrine system, and don’t spay or neuter too early. When it comes to the question of when to spay a dog or when to neuter a dog, the answer isn’t clear-cut. Most integrative or holistic veterinarians will suggest pet parents not spay or neuter in the first year. However others may suggest not to spay or neuter your pet in the first five, six, or even eight years of age.

To support your pet’s overall gut health and immune system, we recommend a fresh, species-appropriate diet, which can be supplemented with probiotics.

To book a consultation with Dr. Ruth Roberts, or to learn more about The Original CrockPET Diet, any of the recommended supplements in this article, and access many more resources from Dr. Ruth Roberts, visit her website .

About Angela Ardolino

Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years. She operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. In addition, she owns Beautify the Beast , a natural pet salon and shop. Moreover, Angela got her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine. Next, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets.

Accordingly, she uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day since 2016. Angela has five dogs. Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, and Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle. In addition, she has 4-10 more any time she is fostering or boarding. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Veterinary Cannabis Association. In fact, Angela has educated hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians on the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals.

About Dr. Ruth Roberts

Dr. Ruth Roberts is an integrative veterinarian and holistic pet health coach, as well as being your pet’s ally. Like most veterinarians, her journey began with the love she developed for her childhood pets. While in veterinary school, it became apparent to her that her role as a veterinarian went well beyond checkups and surgeries. Dr. Ruth realized that she was more than a doctor to our furry friends, she was also their friend and advocate.

Unfortunately, her textbook knowledge and many years spent practicing traditional Western veterinary medicine only took her so far. Dr. Ruth began pursuing acupuncture and Eastern Veterinary Medicine at the Chi Institute in Florida. This opened up many new avenues for her. But most importantly, it revealed the healing powers of acupuncture, as well as herbal and food therapy. She realized that what our pets eat is the first step in preventative care and maintaining good health. Dr. Ruth realized that in order for our pets to meet their bodies’ nutritional demands, they needed real food. And thus, The Original CrockPET Diet™ was born. Soon enough, acupuncture, herbal therapy and food therapy became her preferred treatments and recommendations. Integrative veterinary medicine gave her the chance to become not only an advocate for pets, but an ally.