Whole Dog Journal Tips August 6, 2012

(Cushing’s Disease #2) Complimentary Care for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease

Because the diagnosis and treatment of Cushing’s disease can be confusing, expensive, and fraught with adverse side effects, many caregivers turn to alternative or complementary therapies.

For those who prefer treatments that have been proven in double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, unconventional therapies are themselves fraught with peril. Product testimonials and anecdotal reports don’t prove anything, and by turning first to an herbal preparation or glandular extract, one might deny the patient an opportunity for effective treatment. Online reviews of nutritional supplements or herbal preparations range from reports about dogs that appear to be cured to heartbreaking stories of dogs whose condition deteriorated rapidly.

Success stories are often not documented by laboratory test results, leaving readers to wonder whether the dogs that improved so dramatically actually had Cushing’s.

At the same time, the cost of veterinary tests, surgery, or prescription drugs for a dog is sometimes simply prohibitive. Because drugs can only relieve symptoms and cannot cure Cushing’s disease or slow its progression, there is little harm in trying alternatives if your dog’s quality of life is not impacted.

For some, the decision to pursue nutritional and alternative treatments is philosophical. Holistic veterinarians look at Cushing’s disease and every other canine illness from a different perspective than do conventionally trained veterinarians. They are likely to try holistic or natural treatments first and turn to symptom-suppressing conventional therapies later instead of the other way around.

For more detailed information on the diagnosis and treatment of Cushing's Disease, purchase Whole Dog Journal's downloadable ebook Cushing's Disease.