Cushing’s Symptoms in Dogs: An Herbal Solution

Box Notes:

An 11-pound, 12-year-old Chihuahua has all the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. The ultrasound showed an enlarged liver. She also has a heart murmur. Voracious appetite, increased urination with accidents, thirst, lethargy, cough. She has no skin rashes, sores, or bad coat. Vet was suspicious of Cushing and said it was going to cost her about $1200 to find out. After research it appears that animals do not do well on prednisone/steroids. The treatment is worse than the disease. Question: Some animals do better with Supraglan, others with Cushex. Would it be inadvisable to combine the two? She needs to get better fast. Vet never suggested changing her diet or that natural remedies would help at all.

Suggested procedure:

I am not a veterinarian and do not give medical advice or diagnoses. I also do not interfere with ongoing veterinary protocol. But as a board certified herbalist who specializes in natural remedies for dogs and cats, i would like to suggest a way forward for the chihuahua. If she was my sweet dog, this is what she would do.

Instead of dealing with Cushing’s syndrome at first, let’s take a look at its symptoms from a more basic biological perspective. It is much more likely that your heart, liver, kidneys, and digestive tract are the contributing causes of Cushing’s disease symptoms, or diabetes, worms, or arthritis. The dividing lines are blurred.

But until these organs/systems are in balance and we have a more stable patient to work with, the Cushing or other issue is premature, if not irrelevant.

His enlarged liver and heart murmur are much more suspicious to me than his Cushing’s symptoms, and clearly a better place to start. My naturopathic herbal protocol would begin by nourishing these deeper, larger organs first.

Anyone can do this with minimal effort. You will be working with four of my favorite herbs: milk thistle, hawthorn berry, dandelion root, and burdock root. Buy them in 1-ounce tinctures at your local health food store or Whole Foods, if available. You can also buy pure herbal powder in capsules of 450 to 500 milligrams each.

Go for Mountain Rose Herbs (single ingredient capsules), a safe and trusted source. Capsules are easy to open and “cut” for precise dosing. Whether you use capsule powder or drops of a tincture, you’ll sprinkle it on your wet or dry food twice a day.

Mix the four herbs together in equal parts. and administer once in the morning and again in the afternoon or evening.

(1) If you use liquid herbal tinctures, the label will tell you how many drops to give to an average weight human (150 to 200 lbs.). As a general rule of thumb, you can divide your dog’s weight by the average weight of a human to get the percent of the recommended dose to give your dog. For example, your dog’s 11 pounds divided by 150 pounds equals 7.3% of a standard dose. If the tincture label says 30 drops in a standard dose, give 7.3% of 30, which is 2-3 drops. Add each herb to your food twice a day.

(2) pure herbs dust it’s even easier to work with and doesn’t contain harmful alcohol like tinctures. Simply open the capsules and use a credit card to divide and measure the powder before sprinkling it on your food. Here you will want a slightly higher percentage than the liquid dose of a tincture.

Use a minimum amount of threshold of 200 mg of each herb for her light 11 lbs. With a capsule containing 500mg, for example, measure out about two-fifths of each dose. (Give 200 mg of each herb for dogs up to 20 pounds. From 21 to 50 pounds, give one 450 to 500 mg capsule twice daily. From 51 to 100 pounds, give 1 1/2 capsules of each herb two times a day.Over 100 pounds, give 2 capsules of each herb twice a day).

Remember, dosing with herbal medicines is not as critical as dosing with allopathic medicines. Herbs work with the body, not against it, and the risk of overdose is simply not an issue at these levels if instructions are followed.

milk thistle it will detoxify the liver; repair damaged liver cells and promote the regeneration of new cells.

Hawthorne Berry is specific for the heart and will nourish and tone both the organ and the circulatory system.

dandelion root it helps not only with detoxification of the liver, but is also a “cholagogue” in the sense that it decongests the gallbladder by increasing the flow of bile. It is “choleretic” because it promotes bile production, and it is “antirheumatic” because it helps the body dump metabolic waste into the bloodstream for cleansing by the kidneys.

burdock root it will supercharge your digestive juices promoted by the dandelion root, and it will also help the kidneys to eliminate toxins that can accumulate in the blood.

Continue this protocol for 3-6 weeks. before reassessing symptoms. The odds are pretty good that you’ll have your old furry friend back from the brink and well on the road to recovery with just these herbal nutrients. If so, continue continuous maintenance at approximately half the starting dose. If not, consider continuing with half the starting dose anyway (these four herbs form the cornerstone of good herbal nutrition) while we turn our attention to Cushing’s, if symptoms warrant.

Some natural products compete for the Canine Cushing market. Supraglan and Cushex are often mentioned. None of these I’m qualified to speak to, although I’m sure they are good products.

my recomendation is Primalix® CortiQuel Herbal Extract “Functional Food Drops” specifically formulated to improve and eliminate Cushing’s symptoms in all breeds of dogs.

I also recommend a mineral/herbal detox that already contains 3 of the four herbs mentioned above (milk thistle, dandelion root, and burdock root; all added is hawthorn berry). This product also contains clinoptilolite Zeolites (a group of unique volcanic mineral substances) that have a remarkable ability to cleanse and detoxify the body at the cellular level. It’s called MaxoTox Herbal-Mineral Detoxicant.

Finally, I’m not surprised her vet hasn’t suggested changing her diet or trying natural remedies. Even the best of us fall prey to conventionalism, arrogance, and ignorance that can blind us. The simple truth is that nature has the healing power of the body itself, and it gives it up willingly! Tell everyone you know. Herbs are truly the most miraculous natural healers on Earth!