CBD oil is becoming enormously popular as a holistic health approach in the alternative health market. In fact, it’s becoming so popular that the industry has introduced a sizeable market for dogs as well. CBD oil is known for being an effective approach to a number of issues in canines, from behavioral to physical maladies.
A dog’s body is as complicated as most mammals, and they suffer from many of the same diseases we do, on top of canine-specific diseases. Cushing’s disease is one such malady. When I was a kid, our beagle had Cushing’s disease. I don’t remember much about it, but I do remember it being a struggle at times. Plus, we didn’t have the advantage of CBD oil readily available on the online and physical market.
Cushing’s disease affects a dog’s body in a number of ways, none of which are good. While there are treatments you can get from your veterinarian, CBD oil is a worthwhile option. I use it with my dogs because of its many health benefits, especially with my female. It might seem overwhelming right now, but there are a few great reasons you should consider CBD oil for dogs.
What is Cushing’s Disease?
You should think of Cushing’s disease as an obstacle, not a dreaded thing that ends badly. It certainly doesn’t. Cushing’s disease is not a death knell for your pup. Far from it! While the symptoms are aggravating, it is controllable, and your pup can still live a comfortable and happy life!
Unfortunately, Cushing’s disease causes a dog’s body to make way too much cortisol. As a hormone, cortisol is fine when your pup’s body is strong and they have a healthy immune system. It’s a natural steroid until it’s produced in higher-than-normal quantities. Too much weakens a canine’s immune system, causing a number of unfortunate problems.
The following are all dogs Cushing’s disease symptoms:
- Excessive urination
- Excessive hair loss
- Excessive thirst
- Overabundant appetite
- Thinning skin
- More panting than usual
- Skin infections, redness, flakiness, and inflammation
- Abdominal swelling
- Weakness and lethargy
On their own, none of these issues are surprising or untreatable. Dogs may go through a number of these throughout their lives. Combine many or all of them, however, and there’s no denying that something is wrong. Also, there are three types of Cushing’s disease to consider, which your veterinarian will be able to identify.
The first is pituitary-dependent Cushing’s disease. The second is adrenal-dependent Cushing’s disease. The last is Latrogenic Cushing’s Disease. The latter is human-caused by heavily dosing a dog with steroids. Despite the three, the symptoms of Cushing’s disease remain the same.
Impact of Cushing’s Disease
The impact of Cushing’s disease is apparent from the start. Your dog won’t be particularly happy. Plus, since the disease often shows up with age, your pup is already dealing with the ailments of slowing down and getting older. Your dog will shed a lot as its adrenal and pituitary glands go into overdrive.
Of course, this will increase your pup’s stress response, which makes things worse. You’ll notice the change in her/his coat, some of which can be minimized with a raw dog diet and the addition of coconut oil to your dog’s food.
Dogs with Cushing’s disease will typically be slower than what you’re used to. They’ll pant and urinate far more frequently while increasing their water intake. Without exercise, the water intake will make the urination worse, and your dog may have accidents in the house when it has never had problems retaining it during house training before.
Some dogs develop a sort of pot belly. Cushing’s disease doesn’t always cause abdominal swelling, but it’s something you’ll definitely notice if it does happen. Perhaps the worst part is your dog’s emotional and mental reaction to it. Your pup will probably mope, look sad, smell bad, and spend a lot of time laying down.
It’s enough to break your heart, but the good thing is, it’s also an immense motivator to get out and get your pup some help. Cushing’s disease is not the most common disease in dogs, but many consider it to be a disease that often escapes diagnosis.
So, it’s difficult to come up with a concrete number. However, if your dog is showing many of the above symptoms, you need to sit down and have a conversation about Cushing’s disease with your vet.
Best CBD Oil for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease
Look, there’s no getting around it. Cushing’s disease is not fun to deal with; however, once you get many of the symptoms under control, it will improve over time. CBD oil for dogs contains several properties that help attack the symptoms, though the source should be dealt with by a veterinarian.
Your pup’s adrenal glands or pituitary gland is simply producing too much cortisol, and CBD oil will alleviate the discomfort. However, not just any CBD oil for dogs will do. There are numerous things you need to look for, along with our top choice and my personal experience with it.
With two Dobermans, one of whom is a hyper sneak thief, CBD oil is my go-to option, both for her health and her brother’s sanity!
Regardless of the dysfunction of a canine’s adrenal or pituitary glands, THC is a no-no for dogs. They can only tolerate doses less than 0.3%, which isn’t much at all. A pup’s endocannabinoid system is five times more sensitive than ours, so they can’t tolerate THC like we do. Make sure that THC is either completely absent or at the minimal level.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Full spectrum is the best CBD oil for dogs with Cushing’s disease. No, that’s not a brand but a type. Full spectrum dog CBD oil contains the maximum number of helpful cannabinoids, unlike broad range and CBD isolate. That means your pup will get the most out of it. I only use the full spectrum option with my Dobies, and the benefits are obvious every day.
Organic, Organic, and Organic
Always stick with organic ingredients only. In fact, there should be a certification label on the package when you purchase CBD oil, and all dog owners should look for it. Pesticides, herbicides, additives, fillers, and GMOs are the last things your dog needs in its diet.
This is especially true while dealing with Cushing’s disease.
Dosage guidance is important. We already know that THC is a no-go, but that doesn’t mean it’s good to give a dog too much of anything. A good CBD oil for dogs will come with concise instructions on how much of each ingredient is in a single dose and how much you should give your pup.
Sourcing is an important topic, especially when you’re purchasing something that is supposedly organic. I don’t like not knowing where anything that goes into my body or my dogs comes from. Look for the USDA certification, and you should also be able to jump online and see where the ingredients come from.
While the science is still out on the specifics of CBD oil and its usefulness in dogs, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence, along with some studies, showing the efficacy of the right CBD products. Personally, I love CBD oil, and it works well in my dogs.
It improves their skin health, calms them without removing my Doberman Pinscher‘s predilection towards guarding the family and remaining alert, deals with inflammation, and helps during the summer (when hair loss is an issue).
I listed some uses for CBD oil for dogs throughout the article above, but my personal observations are more extensive. My male Dobie (Ares) is relaxed and laid back but has several skin health issues throughout the summer months. I stay on top of flea control, but all it takes is one to get on him, and he’s itching like crazy!
I like to put a regular dose of CBD oil, along with a teaspoon of coconut oil and a raw egg, in his food, and it makes a fantastic difference. It drives down inflammation and his instinctive need to scratch. It helps him maintain his natural oils, keeps him smelling fresh, and makes his coat smooth and healthy.
My female Doberman (Athena) is hyperactive and high-stress. She doesn’t need massive cortisol levels to kick off her stress hormone. Within a week, maybe a week and a half of dosing CBD oil in her diet, she’s like a different pup. She’s still super playful, and her high intelligence requires daily mental exercise. However, her hyperactive, stressful behavior is very reduced.
Part of her stress response included barking, chewing, whining, and acting aggressively around strangers. Training and CBD oils were the answer. She’s like a different animal now, and I continue to use CBD oils in her diet, along with CBD creams for their skin throughout the hot months.
Our Top Choice
I periodically use CBDfx products (since I discovered it); however, my favorite is Honest Paws CBD oils. There are several of them, but my obvious choice is the Honest Paws Calm Oil for Athena, and I use Honest Paws CBD Oil “Well” for Ares.
As I mentioned above, there are various things you need to look for in CBD oils, and Honest Paws checks the right boxes. Their products are third-party lab lab-tested, completely organic, devoid of GMOs, and soy-free.
They also offer chews, topical treatments, probiotics, treats, CBD oils, grooming products, and more. Plus, if you have a cat, Honest Paws manufactures products for them as well. CBD oil also reduces blood pressure and slows the heart rate, which helps with issues like heart disease later in life.
How CBD Works Against Cushing’s Disease
Prescription hormone regulators are the commonly prescribed treatments for Cushing’s disease. However, when a dog’s pituitary gland or adrenal glands are overproducing, and cortisol levels are through the roof, CBD oil is a great backup option.
Dogs like my Athena, with high stress and hyperactivity, are generally getting that from overproductive glands. Studies from the National Institutes of Health and Cornell University College of Medicine have shown that CBD helps with these hormonal imbalances that cause a variety of behavioral changes in animals.
Benefits of Administering CBD Against Cushing’s
Cushing’s and high levels of stress are inextricably linked to the same hormone. My experience with Athena, along with the above-linked studies, shows a commonality between treating Cushing’s disease in dogs and treating high-stress dogs in general.
CBD dosage at the rate of 1 mg per 10 pounds of body weight is all that’s needed twice per day. If you have a 5-lb dog, go with 0.5 mg. It’s important to establish a routine, dosing at the same time every day and never missing a dose.
The first and most important benefit of CBD against Cushing’s disease is the moderation of cortisol levels, the driving force of the symptoms your dog experiences. I can state, through personal experience with a high-strung dog, that overproductive adrenal glands and pituitary gland causes a whole host of other problems.
That means the benefits of Cushing’s disease are often compiled.
- CBD Oil boosts skin health, with skin often being a victim of Cushing’s disease
- CBD oil reduces hair loss and inflammation caused by a lack of skin health
- It reduces hyperactivity
- Moderates cortisol levels from overproductive adrenal glands and the pituitary gland
CBD oil won’t cure Cushing’s disease; however, it will help moderate it, which is exactly what the prescription hormone treatments do. Another benefit is the financial one. CBD products can be expensive, but they aren’t nearly as expensive as frequent vet trips and long-term prescription medications.
Since dogs with Cushing’s disease deal with elevated cortisol levels, CBD seems like the perfect match. In fact, two studies conducted on the effects of CBD on cortisol levels in dogs show that CBD has enormous potential for helping with Cushing’s disease.
The first study, published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, showed a significant reduction in stress thanks to the reduction in cortisol levels. A second study, released in the same publication, showed a long-term benefit in balancing cortisol levels.
When Will the Effects of Using CBD Oil for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease Become Noticeable?
The effects of using CBD oil for dogs with Cushing’s disease become noticeable within a few days, possibly sooner. CBD has a calming effect because it reduces cortisol levels, the driving force behind the disease.
Is CBD Oil a Potential Cure for My Dog Cushing’s Disease?
As of right now, no, there is no cure for Cushing’s disease outside of surgery for tumors specifically related to adrenal-dependent Cushing’s disease.
How Is Cushing’s Disease Treated by Vets?
Vets will typically prescribe medications known as prescription hormone regulators—Vetoryl and Anipryl, depending on whether it’s pituitary or adrenal. Surgery may be recommended if there is a tumor(s) on the adrenal glands, but only if the risk is not significant.
What Are the Side Effects of Using CBD Oil for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease?
CBD side effects are generally minimal. However, if the CBD oil contains 0.3% THC, your pup may react with panic attacks, nausea, dry mouth, excessive salivation, red eyes, and increased appetite.
How to Store CBD Oil for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease?
You can store it in a cool, dry place, such as the pantry. However, it’s better to store it in the refrigerator and only open it when it’s time to give your dog a dose.
If you’re unwilling to give your dog prescription hormonal medications, CBD may be the right answer for you. Several studies have shown that it can effectively reduce cortisol levels in dogs, which is one of the primary factors that impact dogs with Cushing’s disease.
Besides, CBD offers a lot more, and I don’t hesitate to give it to my dogs on a regular basis. Its health benefits are numerous, and most of those benefits coincide with the benefits of combatting Cushing’s disease symptoms.