Q: My Cocker Spaniel has been diagnosed with Cushing's disease. I would like to try to treat his condition holistically, and I have limited income. Are there dietary or vitamin supplements that may be used to treat Cushing's disease?
A: I am sorry to hear that your dog has developed Cushing’s disease. As I am sure your vet has told you, Cushing’s disease, also called hyperadrenocorticism, is cause by the overproduction of cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid which is normally produced by your dog’s adrenal glands.
The only holistic medication that I know of which has been used in association with Cushing's disease is Maca. Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable that balances the hormonal system, and it should be inexpensive to purchase. Some holistic veterinarians will reccomend using Maca in conjunction with a raw food diet. If you decide to try to treat your dog with Maca and the raw food diet, I must advise you to spend the money to consult with a holistic vet as to the appropriate dosage of Maca and raw food ingredients tailored specifically to your dog. However, I must also tell you that giving your dog Maca with or without putting him on a raw food diet, has not been approved and may not be effective in treating Cushing's disease. Therefore, in some ways, it may be more cost-effective over the long-term to use a traditional approaved medical approach to treating your dog's Cushing's disease. To learn more about Cushing's disease, including treatment options, click here.
Your question has been answered by the following veterinarian:
Daniel Lauridia, DVM
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