Cushings disease is common in Small dogs. In a short survey of 158 dogs affected with Cushing diseases, 8 were Chihuahua. And in the age group category, out of 142 dogs, 122 dogs were above the age of 10. Only 20 dogs below 10 years were diagnosed with cushings disease with the youngest being 5.5 years old.
The youngest chihuahua to be diagnosed in the survey was 9 years old and the oldest one was 15 years old.
The details were obtained from surveys from a leading natural remedies website for dogs, petwellbeing.com and came from patients who purchased medication for Cushings disease for their dogs.
Cushings disease, otherwise known as hypercortisolism is the condition were excessive cortisol is released. The problem could be adrenal dependent or pituitary dependent. In very rare cases (5%) it could also be due to side effects of some medication (Steroids) which creates high cortisol. Diagnosis is usually done in 2 ways , the ACTH test or the LDDS test. These tests will be administered by your vet to confirm Cushings disease in your dogs. The treatment and course of action will follow based on diagnosis and how young or old your dog is.
The 2 common drugs used to treat cushings disease are lysodren and trilostane. Lysodren is known to have a lot more side effects and is not commonly used. Trilostane is the preferred drug by most veterinarians.
Symptoms of cushings disease in your Chihuahua
- Overweight , specially in the stomach area
- Excessive Hunger and thirst
- Excessive urination
Cushings disease can be due to various reasons but the primary reason is old age. Your dog starts to lose efficiency in some organ or the other over age. Sometimes its the kidney, others have heart problems and then there is cushings. While there are pet owners who believe its the commercial dog food that creates a problem, there are others who blame vaccinations or other medications.
Food could be a problem for cushings disease and you may want to change the diet of your dog. Add more fiber, filling foods which are light. Going vegan temporarily is not a bad idea as long as your dog will eat. Avoid grains for a few days if possible. Add more vegetables. Fish is a good source of vitamins and minerals and will encourage your dog to eat. Flushing out the toxins in your dog is a good idea and the first thing you need to do.
Adding more protein and less carbs should be good to start with. Ensure that your dog eats enough. The first 2-3 days may be difficult but the quantity they eat will increase gradually. Do not feed anything processed. This includes traditional, packed dog food. Do not feed your dog raw meat. If you plan to feed raw meat, microwave it for 5 minutes to ensure that the food is free from all bacteria which may create even bigger problems for your dogs. Avoid Eggs altogether or only feed cooked eggs, preferably only white.
Simple measures to keep your dog healthy with food.
Circumin : Turmeric is a natural source of circumin which is known to reduce the symptoms of Cushings in humans and dogs. It is safe to add half a teaspoon of circumin to your dogs diet even if it does not have cushings or any other issue. Treat it as a supplement. Adding Turmeric to your dog food could help cure the dog over a period of time. Do not expect to see results overnight. IT takes up to a week to see results. Circumin is an anti inflammatory compound with many health benefits. Its also an anti tumerigenic which helps prevent the pituitary gland or adrenal tumor from growing. It also generates cortisol efficiently. You will find results of thesis and research on Circumin for Adrenal gland tumor and cushings below.
Apple Cider vinegar : Adding 2 table spoons of apple cider vinegar in tthe water bowl will help your dog with a lot of problems. ACV is known to remove toxins from the body and helps your dog retain its skin. Overall ACV is known to be one of the most beneficial , simple food additive your dog can have. Its safe and benefits range from Better skin coat, healthier digestion, controlled appetite and more.
CBD Oils : CBD Oils have been researched to have a range of benefits in dogs from being anti inflammatory, Anxiety to reducing pain. Its known to reduce symptoms of cushings disease and easing your pet a lot. Though this is not a cure for cushings disease, it will control the symptoms of your dog, specially anxiety. CBD oils have been tested and have gone through a range of research, In 2018, a research shows the benefits of Cannabinoids in treating a long list of conditions. More information is available on https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
Life expectancy of a Chihuahua after diagnosis of cushings disease
Experts say that your dog will most likely die of old age as opposed to cushings disease because most dogs are diagnosed with cushing during their later stages of life. This does not mean that you ignore or overlook the problem. You could easily correct it naturally and even with medication. Most Chihuahua will live 2-4 years easily with treatment. There are dogs which have lived up to 5 years with reduced to no symptoms at all after treatment and proper care. The first thing most pet owners should do is understand the problem and address the issues. Food, Exercise, small changes to diet may be required for you pet. Addressing these small issues could get your pet to live a smooth and happy life with reduced symptoms.
Why Natural medicines are Better than Trilostane or Lysodren?
Its mostly a question of choice and making a decision based on pros and cons. Trilostane works and so does lysodren (though with some side effects) but if you take your dogs age into consideration, you would want to think again. Many pet owners compare Trilostane and lysodren treatment to chemotherapy in humans. Its isnt completely true but cannot be overruled either. The purpose of both these drugs are to remove the tumor in your pet, roughly the same purpose as chemotherapy. The drugs do come with a bit of side effects and some dogs seem to lack the energy after treatment. Your Chihuahua will feel a lot lethargic after treatment and the treatment usually continues through out their life. Pet owners dont really enjoy seeing their loved once upon a time playful dog looking dull and pained. Many would simply like to see their dogs happy during their last few days of their life.
If your dog is young enough to go through the drug process, we do recommend trying Lysodren or Trilostane. Its clearly tested and works. But if your dog is old (more than 10 years) we recommend that you dont pain it with drugs for the rest of its life. Chances are you could see your dog a lot more healthier with natural remedies which will show results and keep your dog happy.
One other reason is the cost. Treatment of Trilostane would cost you anywhere between $2200 – $2500 per year. If you opt for surgery, the costs could go up to $5000. Some pet owners cannot afford that kind of money and find natural remedies more affordable.
Complications due to Cushings disease
SARDS Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome is a rare disease in dogs which can be triggered by cushings disease. A few cases of SARDS were noted in dogs with cushings disease and is suggested that Cushings is the reason for the same. More information on the study is available on https://muffinshalo.com/sards-affects-dogs-everyday
Prevention, diagnosis and tests.
Cushings, though it looks a lot like an age related issue, most of the time, it is not diagnosed. Veterinarians recommend that your pet be tested for cushings from the age of 6. Early testing could get your dog to be treated effectively without drugs and most of the time, you would notice a change in diet is all it needs to get back to normal or at least not getting the condition worsen. EArly diagnosis will save you a lot of pain and money. Treatment would be much simpler and less painful for your dog.
Prevention of cushings is a debatable topic. You could add circumin to your dogs diet every now and then. But there is nothing to guarantee that you would be able to prevent the condition.