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Independent Hill Veterinary Clinic

Cushing's Disease

Fluffy orange cat sitting on some rocks at the ocean.

IHVC & Dr. Chang Present Integrative Know How

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help dogs with Cushing’s disease

What’s the Evidence?

In a study published on 2017, the researchers looked at 12 dogs with Cushing’s disease treated with only acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. All of them (12/12) showed improvement on clinical signs after treatment. And in the 8 dogs they performed tests on (ACTH stim or UCCR), all showed significant improvement. No adverse side effects were seen in these dogs.

What is Cushing’s Disease?

Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) in most cases is caused by the adrenal glands chronically secreting too much steroid hormone. It happens most commonly in senior dogs. Clinical signs can include drinking more, eating more, urinating more, pot-bellied looking, hair loss, muscle weakness, lethargy, panting, etc. It is most commonly caused by a benign growth in pituitary gland or adrenal glands, but can rarely be malignant growth (cancer).

What to Expect from Traditional Chinese Medicine?

In conventional medicine, the most commonly used drug for controlling Cushing’s disease is trilostane, which inhibits the production of corticosteroids. The cost of medicine and frequent laboratory monitoring needed for using this drug are the major drawbacks of this medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine can be a safe alternative or adjunct option for managing Cushing’s disease, but it will need long term treatment to correct the underlying imbalance.

Curious if Chinese Herbal Medicine could help your pet?

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