iPet’s Ally Weekly Q&A Round-up 11-1-21: What is/are the things you have to be mindful of in Cushing’s disease?

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1. What is/are the things you have to be mindful of in Cushing’s disease?

What you have to be really mindful of is if your pup did actually get diagnosed with

Cushing’s disease or is his/her alkaline phosphatase just super high, which there’s a huge

difference with. Diagnosis of Cushing’s disease involves using ACTH or cortisone to do a pre

and post-test to make sure that it matches up and really that there is indeed, Cushing’s disease. A

lot of vets will do these tests because the ALP is high and those tests can be positive but then

does the dog really have Cushing’s disease or are the balance of hormones simply out of whack

and things needs to be taken care of?

The other thing that’s really crucial here is that there are two forms of Cushing’s disease:

One is in the pituitary gland where there’s too much ACTH or adrenocortical stimulating

hormone produced thus creating too much cortisol production from the adrenal glands. The

second is an adrenal tumor, which is frankly, a lot easier to address if it is not involving a lot of

the vena cava or the arteries. So, you need to make that distinction. If his/her symptoms are mild

– not panting constantly, puking, drinking tons of water, urinating tons of water, not having tons

of polyphagia, eating a lot, losing weight, calcinosis cutis where they actually form little calcium

nodules into the skin, losing fur and things of that nature, then I would take a much more

conservative approach.

In clinical practice, this is the disease I hated the most because once we committed to

medication regardless of the form, it just was almost impossible to keep under control. So, what I

would suggest is to use things like Standard Process. Adrenamine is a good one, but liver hepatic

support is actually a better one because in many situations, what’s going is that the liver is just

flat overwhelmed and it can’t get rid of the excess amount of hormones. When I saw patients that

we could treat early on, we used liposomal glutathione and hepatic support. We used a very low

carbohydrate diet. It was not quite keto but pretty close because the more sugars the more

inflammation the more the hormones get out of whack, and then make darn sure that thyroid

function is normal.


2. How to deal with year – round itch?

This is where I would consider allergy testing and looking specifically at dust mites,

grain storage mites and molds. Heska did a good version of this test and they were also able to

develop a hypersensitization therapy, which is oral and that seemed to create a great deal of relief

for many of my allergy patients in South Carolina.

3. Dottie’s trouble jumping into the car:

Usually, this means that there’s something going on in the front end. Often in the neck,

shoulder and things of that nature. Probably there is some discomfort happening and so what I

would do is take a look at how is she moving. Do you notice her head bobbing? Do you notice

her having difficulty going up the stairs and things of that nature? Get your veterinarian to take a

look in the head and the neck region and see if something can get pointed as to the cause. This is

a situation where an Assissi loop can be super useful once you have kind of pinpointed the area

that’s coming from. Frequently, it’s going to be in the low cervical vertebrae and then in the

upper thoracic vertebrae where there is an issue. And if you’re not using joint supplements, then

please do add that in so either ArthriSoothe because this does not have chicken, or ArthriEase

GOLD or some other supplements that would work for the girls based on their food sensitivities.

3. What is the Dog Aging Project?

I signed up for this a year ago and I got a couple of emails but that’s kind of it so I never

saw really anything else come out of this. I know that they are working on getting surveys out

and thing of that nature, and that’s designed to be a 10 – year study – Framingham study for

dogs. This one is out of University of Washington and Texas A&M, but I’s kind of going to be

interesting to see kind of what they come up with. This is going to be 10 years before we get any

solid results and what I’m hoping is that by looking at the gene profile of individual patients that

we can begin to make some recommendations about what to do and what not to do as far as

supporting pets’ nutritionally and with supplements in terms of keeping them healthy.

4. Pet Food Revolution by Ernie Ward findings:

The other thing that’s pretty interesting is that I ran across a book called Pet Food

Revolution by Ernie Ward and a couple other authors. What they’re doing is actually exploring

the fact that our pets are eating something like 25% to 30% of the proteins produced in the

United States and at some point, we have to start changing things or the environment will change

things for us. What they’re trying to do is to incorporate more plant – based proteins. The NRC

recommendation for protein is at something like 8% to 10% per day and most pet food is at 20%

to 27% depending on what they are, and then of course raw diets are going to be much higher.

Obviously, for cats, it’s higher because of them being obligate carnivores but it’s really quite

interesting to see the changes that are coming in terms of our understanding of nutrition.

Now, do we have a lot of real-world experience and what dogs look like at that lower

protein level? What I can tell you is that yes, actually, we do, but not in the United States. If we

think about dogs that live in other countries where protein just is not affordable or it is just not

sustainable for their ecosystems, for instance, in Mexico or Asia and things of that nature, then

we can see that dogs do live reasonably well on lower protein diets. Now that is going to cause

the raw folks to really just kind of loose their cookies on me but I’m not the only one out there

that’s saying this. So, I’ll update you more as time goes on. We’re starting to see that in humans

at any rate, high protein diets actually have really pro – inflammatory effects. After the firs

several incarnations of the keto diet especially the Atkin’s diet, what they’re finding is that if you

really want keto in a straight keto, then you have to be in a 10% protein or less. In fact, in terms

of the caloric content of your diet; for instance, for me that would be about 45 grams of protein a

day and I normally eat somewhere around 80 to 90.

Hopefully, we’ll have a better internet set – up next week and I think I have a solution for

this rural area so this is not such a horrible slog. Thanks so much! See you next week. Take good

care and give everybody a big hug and a kiss for me.