By Cheyanne West, C-Hom.
Cushing’s disease is a serious condition found in middle aged and elderly dogs and horses. The most obvious sign is usually hair loss where patches of skin are eventually exposed. However, Cushing’s can be misleading and is over-diagnosed. Typically, a combination of symptoms will be seen, some of which also occur naturally with aging.
All suspected Cushing’s, whether in a horse or a dog, should be thoroughly investigated by a veterinarian. Thyroid problems and other skin conditions (if that is the most obvious sign) should be explored as well. (Homeopathic Formic Acid has been helpful with regards to shedding, where Cushing’s symptoms prevail but the diagnosis is negative. It is known to restore a “shabby” coat to health.)
Thyroid supplementation may be indicated as well. In fact, thyroid problems are often mistaken for Cushing’s. Homeopathic Thyroid 30c at one drop per day for three weeks can return thyroid levels to normal – recheck levels at this point.
Cushing’s disease is due to an excess production of hormone from the outer part of the adrenal gland. It is usually caused by a tumor in the adrenal gland or, more commonly, by a benign tumor located on the pituitary gland (which stimulates the adrenals).
The pituitary gland is the “boss”, so to speak, of the endocrine system. Its main responsibility is for producing hormones which control the various other endocrine glands in the body. The growth of a tumor in either gland causes an over-production of corticosteroid hormones which, when released into the system, produce symptoms such as hair loss. (The over-use of steroid drugs can have the same effect.) Other symptoms (in both dogs and horses) can include sweating, weight loss (in spite of increased appetite), listlessness, increased intake of water, and anemia. However, the most recognizable symptom is hair loss.
Homeopathic remedies have been effective when this condition is diagnosed in its early stages…
Homeopathic Pituitary – This remedy is historically made from the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland and is offered to aid in balancing the actions of the gland. It is given in low potencies (30c) over a long period of time and monitored closely.
Homeopathic Formic Acid has been very effective in early stages and has a history of restoring the health of the animal as well as restoring the coat. A potency of 6x has been most effective, given over a period of 1-2 months.
As an alternative, there are many beneficial herbs you can try:
If your animal is suffering from this condition and is on cortisone, and you wish to take it off of this drug and pursue an alternative treatment, you should find a holistic veterinarian that has experience with this condition.