Hemp Oil for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease Hemp Oil for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease - SitStay

Hemp Oil for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease

A small white dog laying in a field of green grass
Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM Author of Hemp Oil For Dogs with Cushing's disease

If your dog has recently been diagnosed with Cushing's disease, you may be looking for things you can do to help your dog. Cushing’s disease is commonly seen in older dogs but any dog can be diagnosed with this disease. This article will explain what Cushing's disease is and a natural way you can help them feel better.  


What is Cushing’s Disease in Dogs?

Cushing’s disease happens when the body produces higher levels of cortisol (steroids) than it can handle. This high level of cortisol can either be produced by the adrenal gland overworking or the brain telling the adrenal gland to produce more steroids. Many times, this causes the adrenal glands not to function properly which can cause issues with metabolism, stress level, and blood pressure.

A less common version of Cushing’s Disease is called the adrenal dependent Cushing’s. This occurs when a tumor forms within one of the adrenal glands after there has been an increase in cortisol production; these adrenal tumors may or may not be cancerous.

In the more common cases, tumors will form in the pituitary gland. These tumors will cause an overproduction in hormones signaling the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.


Signs That Your Dog Has Cushing's Disease

A brown and white dog drinking water out of a silver bowl

There are many things that would lead you, veterinarian, to think that your dog may have Cushing's disease. Common signs seen in dogs with Cushing's disease are:

  • Pot Bell appearance: The high levels of cortisol cause water retention and weight gain. This is most commonly seen in the abdomen. Your dog will have a more potty bell appearance.
  • Increase Liver enzymes: Cortisol also affect liver values. A dog with Cushing's disease will usually have high liver values. Many times, these high liver values are the first thing that signals to your veterinarian that your dog may have Cushing's disease.
  • Increase thirst: Your dog may be drinking more water due to the increase steroid’s circulating in the body.
  • Increased urination: If your dog is drinking more water, they are also going to need to urinate more.

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, take them to your veterinarian for an examination. They can test your do to see if they do have Cushing's disease.


 How to Test My Dog for Cushing's Disease

 There are two different tests that your veterinarian can use to test your dog for Cushing’s disease.  These two tests are:

  1. Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test (LDDS): this test measures the cortisol levels in your dog's blood. Then your veterinarian will give your dog a low dosage of a steroid and see how the body reacts to the steroid by measuring cortisol a 4 and 8 hours later. The results of this test will help your veterinarian determine if your dog has Cushing's disease.  
  2. ACTH Stimulation Test: This test is very similar to a LDDS test by measuring cortisol levels after giving a steroid. The steroid used in this test is different than the one used for the LDDS test. The results from this test will help your veterinarian determine if your dog has Cushing’s disease. 

No matter what test your veterinarian uses they can help you figure out if the signs you are seeing in your dog are in fact due to Cushing's disease.


Treating Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Cushing’s disease can be very easily treated when diagnosed in your dog. Many people may confuse Cushing’s disease with Addison’s disease.

Addison’s disease is the complete opposite of Cushing’s disease where the body does not make enough steroid hormones for the body to function. There are certain breeds that Cushing’s Disease is seen more commonly in such as:

These are some of the most common breeds seen with Cushing's disease, but any dog can get Cushing's disease. While there is no cure for Cushing's disease this is a very manageable disease.


Medications available

  • Vetoryl (trilostane) is the most common drug used to treat Cushing’s disease. This medication can be somewhat expensive but will help decrease the cortisol levels in your dog’s body.
  • Lysodren (Mitotane) is an older drug that is not used much by vets due to the side effects. This is a much cheaper option but does come with unwanted side effects such as.
  •  Nizoral (Ketoconazole) is an antifungal that has also shown that it can help treat Cushing's disease that is caused by a pituitary tumor. This is not commonly prescribed by veterinarians since this medication can also cause liver problems if taken long term.
  •  Eldepryl or Anipryl or Carbex (Selegiline) is used to treat Cushing’s disease caused by a pituitary tumor and helps with cognitive dysfunction.

How Hemp Oil and CBD Oil Can Help

With the growing popularity of hemp oil and CBD oil for humans and animals, it's not uncommon to seek out these to products when looking for a more natural remedy for when you or your pet are having pain or health problems.

The difference between hemp oil and CBD oil comes down to which part of the plant is being used. CBD comes from the leaves of the plant and hemp oil comes from the seeds of the plants. Hemp oil can also be compared to other types of carrier oils since it is created by using the cold-compress method.

Benefits of Hemp Oil in Dogs

Hemp oil alone is considered more of a super food. If you purchase on that has no CBD or THC, then it will not provide the pain and stress relieving type benefits that CBD is known for.

The benefits that hemp oil will provide come down to it being a great antioxidant and being high in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids play a huge role in physical and mental health, meaning hemp oil may not provide immediate benefits like CBD does but it could help with the prevention of physical and mental issues.


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Benefits of CBD Oil in Dogs

CBD products can provide great health benefits and can really help manage your dog’s pain. While Cushing’s disease is not very painful there are side effects of this disease such as weight can that can cause your dog’s joints to be painful. CBD oil for dogs can also help decrease your dog’s stress and help with their anxiety. These can also cause a high level of cortisol in your dog’s body.

CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to help increase appetites and increase their overall well-being. By giving your dog CBD products you can help keep your dog healthy and happy. CBD products are a safe and natural way for you to help your pet.

The old saying does hold true with CBD products you do get what you are paying for. Usually, a higher price does mean higher quality. Make sure that the CBD products that you do use are tested for accuracy.

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Key Takeaways

Cushing's disease is a very manageable disease that can easily be diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian. If you notice any of the signs of Cushing's disease, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They can help you figure out what is causing these problems and the best way to treat them. CBD products are a great thing to add to your pet's daily diet to help keep them happy and healthy as there are many added benefits to CBD products.


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Meet The Author 

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM is the author of Hemp Oil for Dogs with Cushing's Disease

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Since she was a little girl, she knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals that makes her a great source of knowledge for others. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the Schnoodle, and Bam-Bam the bunny.