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Thread: Hello

  1. #1

    Default Hello

    I think my 11 yo beautiful girl Windsor has cushings- not confirmed but has all the symptoms- ACTH bld test was elevated also.
    We are probably not go with recommended treatment due to cost & how it will affect her- we are keen to try natural treatments- any suggestions? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    12,817

    Default Re: Hello

    Hello from me, too! You'll see that I've moved your post to our main Questions and Discussion forum -- this way, more of our members are likely to have a chance to reply to you.

    I'm sorry Windsor is having problems, but very glad you've joined us. If you'd care to share some specifics about her overall health history, her symptoms, and her actual test results, that would be great. The more we know, the better our feedback can be.

    As far as treatment, if Windsor does have elevated cortisol levels per the ACTH test, then I'm afraid I must tell you that we are unaware of any non-prescription alternatives that will lower cortisol consistently and sufficiently enough to eliminate symptoms. I'm afraid it's as clear-cut as that .

    So your decision re: treating may hinge on several factors. Is Windsor a big dog for whom 11 years already makes her a "senior," or would she otherwise have several more years to her natural lifespan if the chronic damage from Cushing's is controlled? How uncomfortable are her symptoms? Does she suffer from arthritis or other inflammatory problems that Cushing's treatment might actually worsen (cortisol can act as a natural anti-inflammatory).

    All of these questions may factor into your decision as to whether or not you'd consider prescription medication after all. If you do want to consider that route, there are some cost-cutting suggestions that we can make in terms of monitoring tests and medication sources. So please feel free to share more info about your girl, and then we can all put our heads together as far as the best path forward.

    Marianne

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hello

    Thanks- Windsor is 11 yo mastiff x ridgeback- so big girl & yes senior. She has had knee surgery both back legs & yes arthritis would be a factor for her. We have been told by vet that she is displaying symptoms- thirst, frequent wee's & reduced hair growth recent surgery. Occasionally loud panting, a bit of a tummy. Always hungry- but has always loved her food! Apart from that she is a happy, dog- still active & seems to enjoy life & have quality.
    The vet has explained procedure to confirm cushing's & treatment. We are reluctant to do this- what's your thoughts re this? Would love to hear of other's experiences- & natural remedies to help with symptoms?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,402

    Default Re: Hello

    Hi and welcome to you and Windsor.

    If your boy were mine, I would most likely choose not to treat as well. He is at his life expectancy for Mastiff or Rhodesian Ridgeback and I believe he will pass from old age well before the complication of uncontrolled cushings would become debilitating or fatal. His arthritis would be a huge concern for me as the pain that would be unmasked by treatment would most likely compromise his quality of life very quickly. If Windsor is a happy guy and you can deal with the symptoms, then enjoy and cherish every moment you have together.

    If you would like to try a holistic approach, which as Marianne has already mentioned has not been proven to effectively reduce cortisol, I recommend that you search for a licensed holistic veterinarian in your area. If you are in the U.S. you can search using the AHVMA website. I've provided the url below.

    http://www.ahvma.org/

    Glynda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    12,817

    Default Re: Hello

    Thanks for this additional info, and I agree with Glynda, I probably would be hesitant to treat Windsor unless her symptoms really seem to hurt her quality of life. For senior dogs, I'm much less concerned about longterm, chronic damage caused by uncontrolled Cushing's, and much more concerned about daily comfort and function.

    I also agree with Glynda that a holistic vet would be your best and safest resource for nonprescription medications. However, I will mention that a possible option might be to try either melatonin, or the combination of melatonin and lignans. These two supplements are available over-the-counter and are generally safe. They are being used here in the U.S. for the treatment of some dogs who suffer from elevated adrenal hormones other than cortisol ("Atypical Cushing's"). And they also may have a modest cortisol-lowering effect as well, even though it is generally not enough to provide relief to dogs suffering from conventional Cushing's. Here are a few links for you to look at, though, if you're interested. The veterinary service at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has done the most research in this area, so here are links to two of their factsheets that relate to treatment using melatonin and lignans:

    http://vetmed.tennessee.edu/vmc/dls/...iderations.pdf

    http://vetmed.tennessee.edu/vmc/dls/...NFORMATION.pdf

    Both of these factsheets are found in the post at the bottom of this thread on our Resources forum that discusses Atypical Cushing's in much greater detail:

    http://www.k9cushings.com/forum/showthread.php?t=198

    We have been warned that for dogs suffering from Atypical Cushing's, the combo of melatonin/lignans can take several months before positive changes are seen. So even at best, unfortunately you may not see rapid improvement. Do let us know how things proceed for Windsor, though, regardless of what you decide to do.

    Marianne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    15,783

    Default Re: Hello

    I just want to say hello and welcome to the forum.

    I agree with both Glynda and Marianne, for a large dog of 11 years with arthritis, the higher cortisol is probably helping to make him feel better.

    A holistic vet and/or the combination Marianne mentioned is probably your best option at this point.
    Sharlene and the late great diva - Molly muffin (always missed and never forgotten)

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