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a dog with cushing's disease

Navigating Cushing's Disease: How CBD Oil Can Benefit Dogs in the Battle

Navigating Cushing's Disease: How CBD Oil Can Benefit Dogs in the Battle

One harsh reality of life is the constant possibility of you or your loved ones getting sick. As a pet owner, you are responsible for learning about your pet's health conditions and how to prevent, treat, or manage them.

CBD oil for dogs continually proves helpful when treating and managing Cushing's disease. The use of an ultra-premium hemp oil benefits these dogs by regulating hormonal imbalances like excess cortisol, reducing muscle weakness and hair loss, and even pain relief for Cushing's disease-suffering dogs.

In this article, we will discuss Cushing's disease in dogs, how to recognize and treat Cushing's disease, and the role of CBD (hemp) oil in treating dogs with Cushing's disease.

How CBD Oil Can Benefit Dogs with Cushing's Disease

How CBD Oil Can Benefit Dogs with Cushing's Disease

Cushing's disease, also called spontaneous hypercortisolism, HAC, or Cushing's syndrome, is an endocrine disorder caused by the chronic overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal glands.

This causes an increase in your dog's cortisol levels. CBD oil can help dogs with Cushing's Disease by modulating hormones, shrinking tumors, relieving
joint pains, and improving muscle strength and lethargy. Check out "How CBD Oil Helps Your Dog With Joint Pains".

Cushing's Disease Symptoms: How to Identify Dogs with Cushing's Disease

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that helps in stress response, weight control, and blood pressure and sugar level regulation. When too much cortisol is in the dog's body, symptoms of Cushing's Disease become evident.

This disease also occurs in cats but is most common in dogs,
occurring in 1 to 2 dogs per 1000 yearly. Here are common Cushing's disease symptoms to look out for as dog owners.

Increased Appetite

This occurs because high cortisol levels stimulate appetite by increasing food cravings. This can lead to weight gain past the healthy weight for your dog's size, breed, and age.

dog with increased appetite

Excessive Urination

A study published by the National Library of Medicine shows that too much cortisol impacts the kidney function of dogs by interfering with water absorption and increasing urine production, leading to excess urination.

dog with excessive urination

Pot Belly

Potbelly in dogs with Cushing's disease is the result of other symptoms, such as

  • Movement of fat to the belly due to weight gain.
  • Muscle weakness causes the abdominal muscle to stretch from the weight of their internal organs.
  • Excess urination also leads to holding excess urine in their bladders. This weighs on their bladder, causing a pot-bellied appearance.
dog with pot belly
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

One way Cushing's disease affects dogs is by weakening their healthy immune system. This makes the body unable to fight infection such as Urinary Tract Infection or UTI.

dog with Urinary Track Infection

Skin Changes

High cortisol levels lead to skin changes, such as thinning skin by breaking down the dermal proteins, such as collagen, and weakening small blood vessels. This can further lead to skin infections as their immune system weakens.

Other symptoms of Cushing's disease in dogs include

  • Hair loss
  • Lethargy

hair loss

Common Causes of Dog Cushing's Disease

There are two major causes of Cushing's disease in dogs, leading to three types of dog Cushing disease, with the first two types naturally occurring.

  • Pituitary-dependent Cushing's disease.
  • Adrenal-dependent Cushing's disease.
  • Iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome.

Tumors are the major cause of Cushing's disease in dogs. These tumors can develop in the adrenal and pituitary glands, leading to the overproduction of cortisol.

Dog glands

Pituitary Gland Tumors

The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland near the brain's center and bottom. According to the FDA, 80-85% of dogs with Cushing's disease were a result of a tumor in the pituitary gland. This adenoma is a small and benign growth that produces excess adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), thus triggering excess cortisol production.

Adrenal Gland Tumors

Adrenal glands are hormone-producing glands located in front of the dog's kidneys. Adrenal gland tumors can be benign or malignant, increasing the dog's cortisol levels due to the overproduction of cortisol.


Steroids are sometimes administered as a treatment for other diseases in dogs. However, prolonged use of both oral and injectable steroids as medication can lead to Cushing's disease in your dog. This leads to Iatrogenic Cushing's disease.

Other than the causes described above, some dogs also suffer more risk of contracting Cushing's disease. The following were identified in a study as risk factors for Cushing's disease in dogs.

  • Breed: Labrador retrievers and Border Collies have a decreased risk of naturally occurring Cushing's disease, while Boston terriers and Poodles have an elevated risk of contracting Cushing's disease.
  • Age: Most dogs with Cushing's disease are middle-aged or older.
  • Sterilized dogs suffer a higher risk than unsterilized ones.

Diagnosing Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Diagnosing Cushing's disease in dogs can prove difficult. As such, many tests exist to simplify the process.

ACTH Stimulation Test

This test measures the response of the dog's adrenal gland to the ACTH hormone. This is the hormone that prompts the production of cortisol in the body.

Cortisol Creatinine Ratio Test
Cortisol Creatinine Ratio Test

This test measures the Urine Cortisol Creatine Ratio, UCCR, in the dog's body. It is conducted using urine samples obtained by the dog's owner. If the results show the dog to have elevated UCCR, then a follow-up test, the low-dose dexamethasone test, is carried out.

Dexamethasone Suppression Test

Dexamethasone is a synthetic type of cortisol. The two types of dexamethasone suppression tests determine the dog's Cushing's disease type.

Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression (LDDS) Test

This test is used to screen for the presence of Cushing's disease by administering a low dosage of dexamethasone to the dog.

High Dose Dexamethasone Suppression (HDDS) Test

This test is conducted when the result of the LDDS test confirms the existence of Cushing's disease in the dog but is inconclusive about the type the dog suffers from.

Treatment of Dogs with Cushing's Disease

The treatment option for dogs with Cushing's disease depends on the type of Cushing's syndrome they suffer from. Common treatments for Cushing's disease in dogs are


Medications like Mitotane, Trilostane, Ketoconazole, and Selegiline hydrochloride are used in the treatment of Cushing's disease caused by pituitary gland tumors.

dog surgery

If an adrenal tumor causes Cushing's disease in the dog, then abdominal surgery is the way to go. The dog's health will likely return to normal if the tumor is benign and the surgery goes well. However, if the tumor is malignant, other methods must be used to manage the disease.

Steroid Withdrawal

Even a gradual reduction of steroid treatments could cause a relapse in the disease being treated by the steroid.

Hormone-regulating medications are also introduced in the case where the steroid has already caused adverse effects to the adrenal glands. These medications help mitigate the hormonal imbalances caused by the steroid.

CBD For Dogs With Cushing's Disease

Surgical methods used to treat tumors can be invasive, particularly for older dogs with Cushing's disease. They are also not feasible if the dogs with Cushing's disease have a malignant adrenal tumor. Fortunately, dogs have shown progress in the use of CBD.

A study in 2018 on cancerous cells in mice found that CBD oil inhibited the growth of those cells and helped prevent future tumors.

This shows CBD oil has the potential to be a natural solution for dogs with Cushing's disease.

The right CBD oil could help relieve your dog's Cushing's disease. Find out more about Happy-Furever™ now.

a dog being given cbd oil
CBD to Cure Cushing's Disease: Health Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs with Cushing's Disease

CBD oils are a non-psychoactive full-spectrum hemp extract known for numerous benefits. CBD oil provides the following benefits for dogs with Cushing's disease.

  • Modulates hormonal imbalance by regulating the production of cortisol.
  • Relief of joint pain
  • Improvement from muscle weakness and lethargy
  • Promising effects in treating cancers and tumors are seen in the study by the Cancer Research Laboratory of the Vanderbilt University School.

CBD Oil Dosage
Dosing CBD Oil

Finding the correct CBD oil dosage for your dog starts by choosing the best CBD oil in the market. This is none other than Happy-Furever™ Paw Origins' full spectrum CBD oil, a clinically backed natural solution that improves the immune system, offers pain and stress relief, and reduces inflammation. Also check "CBD Dosage Chart for Dogs".

We recommend you start with 1-5mg of CBD oil for 2-20 lbs, working your way up to 30-60mg for 86-150 lbs until you find a suitable dosage for your dog. You can store CBD oil in a cool place away from the sun and its original packaging.

When administering CBD oil, it is best to apply it to the gums as that results in faster absorption. You can also add CBD oils to your dog's food, although this takes up to 30 minutes to start working. Alternatively, administer other CBD products like the Jumbo CBD Full-Spectrum Chews.

dog in a field of grass
Outlook of Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Treating and managing Cushing's Disease in your dog is not impossible. Even better is the prevention of the disease in your dog.

Some ways to do this include regular checks of your dog's pituitary and adrenal glands, preventing the excessive use of steroid treatment, and using only the best CBD oil to care for your dog.

As pet owners, we are expected to prioritize our dog's health in every way possible. If you are looking for ultra-premium hemp oil to revitalize your dog, then it is time to start shopping for the best CBD oil and other products at Paw Origins.

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