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Natural medication for Cushing's Disease
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Natural medication for Cushing's Disease

What is your opinion of using the OTC natural remedy Supraglan to treat Cushing's Disease. Have you had any success with this product or know of any legitimate positive results?
Type of Animal
:  
dog
Age of Animal
:  
Approx. 11
Sex of Animal
:  
Female
Breed of Animal
:  
chow mix
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
September 01, 2009
City
:  
Richmond
State/Province
:  
VA
Blood Test Results
:  
ACTH results: 21. Huge appetite, increased thirst. pot-bellied appearance, skin extremely flaky. Still has good mobility.
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234713_tn?1283530259
Thank you Dr. Goldman for your knowledgeable answer.

Cushing's disease is usually not a disease treated successfully with just herbal remedies, including Supraglan.  Generally, herbal remedies for Cushing's disease are most beneficial as adjuncts to traditional remedies.   Supraglan is fine as an adjunct to traditional therapy and ideally may even help reduce the amount of traditional medication that your dog requires, but there are no guarantees.

Supraglan is a collection of Eastern and Western herbs that have shown to be beneficial to the adrenal glands, and immune system.  The active ingredient in Supraglan is Eleutherococcus senticosus and the herb is currently being researched in Russia and Korea.  Thus far, in human studies, when Eleutherococcus senticosus is taken regularly, it enhances immune function, decreases cortisol levels and the inflammatory response.  The human subjects of this research, I believe,  did not have Cushing’s disease, however.

I have personally tried herbal formula’s on my Cushing’s patients,  and though many of the formula’s have been effective in the beginning,  eventually the patients did have to take traditional medications.  

2 Comments
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931217_tn?1283484935
Dear Beakus,

As I do not practice in a manner consistent with the theme of this Board, I will comment, rather than formally answer your question.

Cushing's disease, as you know, leads to a number of serious consequences which negatively affect a dog's quality of life, and health. There are currently two effective treatments in common use by veterinarians, both of which diminish the ability of the adrenal gland to produce and release cortisol. The chemical names of these are mitotane and trilostane.

While both have potential adverse affects, the upside is that they are known to be effective in reducing or eliminating clinical signs of Cushing's disease. In experienced hands, the liklihood of a good outcome with their use is high.

There is literature which indicates that treatment of Cushings disease does not change
length of life after diagnosis, however, it is widely acknowledged that quality of life is much improved after eliminating or avoiding secondary effects of Cushings disease such as recurrent infections including skin infections and ear infections, calcification of skin, secondary diabetes, hypertension and numerous others, not to mention the increased thirst, urination and appetite.

I would not hesitate or delay in definitively treating my own dog with a known effective medication, and I have treated my own dog with mitotane. I would focus most on known treatment effectiveness, rather than avoiding potential adverse consequences of available definitive treatments. The disease is a serious one.  Finally, I have never heard of, nor do I know what the active ingredient may be in 'Supraglan'.

Respectfully,

Arnold L. Goldman DVM, MS
Canton, CT
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234713_tn?1283530259
Aleda M Cheng, D.V.M., C.V.ABlank
American Animal Hospital
Randolph, NJ
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