Last month I visited with my boxer friend, Andy. Normally, Andy and I get along like peas and carrots, but our visit was hampered by a very strange show: he drank water almost non-stop and peed all over my house! Not only that he appeared unlike his usual self: he was thinner in the bod and hair. No, he wasn't drunk. Poor guy, turns out he has dog Cushing's Disease!
My friends, Cushing's ain't cushy. Most common in dogs over 8 (56, in human years), it is an ailment that usually stems from a tumor located in either the pituitary gland (in 85% of all cases), or the adrenal gland (15%). In some cases, dogs on the corticosteroid Prednisone can develop Cushing's, too. Dawg I tell you, side effects are no good. Some breeds are more susceptible, too: beagle, boston terrier, boxer, dachshund, and poodle.
Cushing's disease is caused by an over production of glucocorticoids, which hampaws the regulation of kidney function and salt loss in urine, as well as stabilization of blood sugar levels and urine production. In other words: it can really piss us off!
Symptoms can include an increase in water intake (check), decreased muscle mass (check), thinning of skin and hair loss (check check), and excessive urination (check check check check check). While most cases don't cause death, this ailment must be treated to avoid a lowered immune system, which makes us susceptible to infections. Thank Dogness Andy's human took him straight to the vet (where he met a mighty fine lady, I might add. The best side-effect ever! But I digress.)! A simple blood test diagnosed him as positive; he enjoyed a treat, and then went home to recover.
In most cases where a pituitary tumor is the cause, treatment is by medication for life. Conventional drugs include a cytotoxin to destroy part of the adrenal gland, or ketoconazole, a synthetic anti-fungal drug which releases steroids into the bloodstream. I bark again: Side effects! Side effects! Side effects!
In the less common case of an adrenal gland tumor, treatment is surgery.
Either way, there is a natural alternative to treat this!
My human (bless her) told Andy's human about Supraglan, a naturapathically formulated treatment designed to regulate hormones, reduce inflammation, rebalance and strengthen our systems. Within a month, Andy was feeling and looking much better - and getting ready to become a father! At age 8 (56, in human years people, I bark it again!) he still isn't exactly the springiest of pups, but thanks to Supraglan he is going to make a super doggin' dad.
And he isn't ever going to piss me off, again.
Party on, Buster
Photo Credit: intangible