The following commentary discusses borderline Cushing’s disease — cortisol production that is only slightly elevated. This information is presented here because a period of elevated cortisol frequently precedes SARDS. In this author’s opinion, borderline Cushing’s is essentially the resistance or “overdrive” phase of the stress response — the result of chronic irritation. Remove those irritants and in many cases cortisol production will return to normal along with alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
– Caroline Levin
Treating Borderline Cushing’s Disease, Naturally
By Kathy Thom
In April, 05, my 10-year old Miniature Schnauzer, Meesha was diagnosed with borderline Cushing’s Disease through ACTH stimulation tests and ultrasound. (May I also note: in January her blood work had been all “normal” with the exception of high triglycerides). Outward signs included excessive thirst, frequent urination, lethargy, and limping in her hindquarters. Other blood work showed high alk/phos, GGT, ALT, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, also indicative of Cushing’s disease.
Veterinarians don’t usually treat borderline Cushing’s with medication. We could wait and do nothing until she had the full-blown disease (but her symptoms would only get worse in the meantime) for treatment with one of the medications: Lysodren (a chemo-type drug) which has other risk factors in itself.
Or, I could research other options on my own…
I began researching the disease on the Internet, I also read a book called “Dogs, Diet, and Disease” written by Caroline Levin RN. The book has a wonderful, in-depth, natural as well as allopathic approach to several disorders common to Mini Schnauzers (and other breeds) covering Cushing’s, Pancreatitis, Diabetes and more.
I followed Levin’s holistic approach to Cushing’s and within three weeks I saw a noticeable change in Meesha’s excessive thirst. Her symptoms continued to improve over the next few months. At three months we re-ran her blood work. There was a drastic improvement in all her blood work: alk/phos had dropped 1500 points, triglycerides 1300 points, and the others are now in the normal range. She also no longer exhibited any of the symptoms I described when she was first diagnosed.
I have a friend with an 8-year old Mini that also has borderline Cushing’s. I encouraged her to buy the book and try the protocol. Within one month her dog’s blood levels dropped in half. My vet is so impressed with Meesha’s progress that she wanted to try it on another client with a Cushingoid dog.
This is one book I highly recommend to anyone with a dog that has any of the health problems described above.
– Originally published in “The Mini Magazine”, October 2005. Reprinted with permission.