Canine Cushings Disease Diet

Canine Cushings DiseaseCanine Cushing’s disease is a condition in which the dog’s body makes too much cortisol. The pituitary gland sends the chemical messenger ACTH to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands make glucocorticoids like cortisol. Glucocorticoids control many essential bodily functions in the dog. Canine Cushing’s disease generally develops in dogs that are middle aged or older, but can develop as early as two years of age. Cushing’s disease in dogs is most often caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland, although it can also be caused by a tumor in the adrenal glands.

Sick dog symptoms that you will notice if your dog has canine Cushing’s disease include drinking excessive amounts of water, very frequent urination, and even urinating in the house. Your dog may develop a pot belly because the elevated cortisol levels cause the body to store fat in the abdomen. You may notice that your dog is losing hair, that the skin is becoming thin, or that the dog is bruising easily. Your dog may start eating a lot more than usual, root in the garbage for food, or even begin hoarding food.

Once a dog is diagnosed with canine Cushing’s disease, the veterinarian will recommend a treatment. Surgical removal of a tumor is possible, but it is not the most common treatment. Lysodren for dogs is used when the pituitary gland is the culprit. The drug destroys cells in the adrenal gland that make corticosteroids. If your dog is on this medication, she should have regular blood work done. Vetoryl for dogs is the brand name for trilostane. This drug works by blocking hormones involved in the production of corticosteroids.

Dogs with canine Cushing’s disease need special attention given to diet. Here are some guidelines:

1. Don’t give your dog foods like liver and kidneys.

2. Allergens can make Cushing’s disease worse. Avoid wheat, soy and corn as ingredients.

3. The first ingredient listed on the label should be protein that is high quality.

4. Carbohydrates like grain should be limited because these dogs can have blood sugar issues.

5. Look for foods that are preserved with Vitamin C or Vitamin E rather than chemicals.

With the proper medical management and care, your pet can continue to live a happy life in spite of canine Cushing’s disease.

People can also develop Cushing’s disease. Cats can get affected by feline Cushing’s disease and horses might be diagnosed with equine Cushing’s disease.