It can be frustrating to hear that your favorite canine has been diagnosed with a disease. Do you know what is even scarier? When you have never heard of the said disease. Addison’s disease is such a disease.
Most fur parents do not know about it as it is rare in dogs. It targets certain breeds of dogs and often results in fatal cases. However, you can save your dog if the diagnosis is made early.
Know More About Addison’s disease in Dogs
Also known as hypoadrenocorticism, Addison’s disease is a medical condition characterized by inadequate production of hormones by the adrenal glands.
Aldosterone and cortisol are vital hormones.
Cortisol: It is responsible for healthy stress response and helps manage and metabolize protein, fat, and sugar in the body. It is also known for its role in memory formulation, tissue repair, and inflammation reduction.
- Aldosterone: This hormone is located in the kidneys. Here, it helps manage sodium and potassium levels in the blood and impacts blood volume.
Generally speaking, the body's trifecta of sugar, salt, and water must be kept in balance by the adrenal glands.
While Addison’s disease can affect any dog, it is more prevalent in young and middle-aged dogs. Only dogs with damaged adrenal glands can develop Addison's disease. Its symptoms vary in severity and are often confused with other less serious medical problems.
Causes of Addison’s Disease
These are the common causes of Addison’s disease in dogs:
- Autoimmune Disease: This is responsible for most cases of the disease. Autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system turns against the body. When the adrenal glands are targeted, their outer layers are destroyed.
- Cancer: This and long-term infections such as blastomycosis are less common culprits.
- Pituitary Gland Disease: This is also a less common culprit. Pituitary gland disease inhibits the production of the ACTH hormone. ACTH is directly associated with cortisol production.
Types of Addison’s Disease
The well-known types of Addison’s disease are three:
1. Primary Addison’s Disease
This is the most prevalent form of Addison’s disease in dogs. It’s characterized by the complete shutdown of adrenal glands.
2. Secondary Addison’s Disease
It occurs when the pituitary glands cease producing the ACTH hormone. Resultantly, the adrenal glands will stop cortisol production. The treatment plan for dogs diagnosed with secondary Addison’s disease involves medication that helps in cortisol production.
3. Treatment-induced Addison’s Disease
This form of Addison’s disease results from the use of prescription drugs. It typically occurs when you put your dog on long-term steroid medication and wean them abruptly. The weaning off should be slow and gradual.
This is because the steroid increase hormone levels in your dog's body, and when you stop the medication suddenly, the adrenal glands can stop producing hormones.
Breeds More Susceptible to Addison’s Disease
There is no research to validate this, but for some reason, these dog breeds are more likely to develop Addison’s disease:
- Bearded Collies
- Basset Hound
- Standard Poodles
- Saint Bernards
- Portuguese Water Dogs
Signs of Addison's Disease in Canines
Addison’s disease symptoms range from mild to severe. As a pet parent, you shouldn't brush off the mild symptoms as they can quickly escalate into more extensive issues that are harder to manage.
Look out for the following symptoms:
- Muscle weakness
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Blood pressure changes
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Slowed heart rate
Addison’s Disease and Stress
Stress is among the most prominent signs of this disease. When stressed, a dog's adrenal glands naturally produce increased cortisol levels. However, if your dog has Addison’s disease, it cannot generate sufficient cortisol and consequently can’t deal with the stressful situation. Therefore, Addison’s disease symptoms are exacerbated when a dog is stressed.
Unfortunately, early Addison's disease symptoms are usually mild, and most dogs aren’t diagnosed until the symptoms have progressed and they experience a crisis. A crisis is often a medical emergency that results in your dog going into shock from a sodium and potassium imbalance. This collapses their circulation system.
Most times, a dog going through an Addisonian crisis appears extremely ill. They may exhibit lethargy, extreme dehydration, and even heart failure.
CBD Oil for Addison’s Disease: Does It Really Work?
As you may have read above, signs of Addison’s disease become more pronounced when your dog is under stress. This is why an anti-stress treatment is needed. And what better option to go for than CBD oil? But first, what is CBD, and how can it help dogs with Addison’s disease?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol. It is a chemical compound extracted from the cannabis plant and is known for its numerous health benefits. CBD products are available in tinctures, treats, and even topical applications.
How CBD Reduces Stress in Dogs With Addison’s Disease
To understand how CBD functions to reduce stress, it is essential to first .know about the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a regulatory framework in mammalian bodies that regulates vital physiological processes like sleep, mood, appetite, and pain response. It maintains a state of homeostasis between various organs and systems, including the nervous system.
The ECS has CB1 and CB2 receptors in essential organs such as the lungs and brain. Cannabinoids like CBD interact with the ECS by binding to these receptors. When your dog is stressed or anxious, neurons start firing out of control. In response, the ECS naturally releases endocannabinoids to restore the electrical balance in the brain. It blocks the effects of cortisol and induces physical relaxation.
Additionally, CBD interacts with the serotonin receptors located in the brain to modulate the GABA receptor’s activities. The GABA receptor serves as the nervous system’s handbrake. It reduces the nerve cells’ hyperactivity.
Other Ways CBD Oil Can Help Dogs With Addison’s Disease
Besides stress reduction, CBD can help treat Addison’s disease in the following ways:
1. Appetite Control
Adrenal fatigue leads to lower aldosterone production. Resultantly, your dog experiences increased urination, eliminating essential minerals like sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
They may start craving salty foods, and this is where CBD comes in. It helps control your dog’s appetite by sending satiation signals to certain parts of your dog’s food. Therefore, it alleviates your pet’s desire to consume more of a particular food.
2. Boosting Immune Response
Addison's disease in dogs is characterized by low cortisol levels. Because of this, your dog becomes susceptible to diseases and infections. CBD has antioxidant attributes. It boosts your immune response by stimulating the endocrinal glands to secrete enough hormones and respond accordingly to toxins.
3. Improved Sleep
Imbalanced adrenaline and cortisone levels can make your pup feel like they are never fully rested. CBD affects the nervous system and helps with homeostasis regulation during sleep. It enhances adequate hormone production in the glands, helping your dog fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for longer. This reduces poverty.
To conclude, dog ailments are a nuisance to your furry bestie and you. And that is understandable. However, with modern medicine, you can effectively manage Addison's disease in your dog. It is important to note that a dog with this disease can still lead a normal life and live long, just like healthy dogs.
If you know the signs of the disease and what course of action to take when they manifest, you can help your dog stay healthy. Let your vet know if you suspect your four-legged friend has Addison's disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Natural Treatments for Addison’s Disease in Dogs Viable?
You can use natural remedies and products to treat Addison's disease in dogs. You could start your dog on a fresh food diet to help improve their overall health.
You can also opt for glandular therapy. It involves using adrenal gland extracts or whole animal tissues. Herbal remedies and antioxidants are other options you can consider.
Will My Dog With Addison’s Disease Require a Special Diet?
Yes. Besides treatment, dogs with this condition should be fed a diet low in salt and high in balanced nutrition.
What Worsens Addison’s Disease in Dogs?
Signs of Addison’s disease exacerbate when they get stressed. During stressful situations, a dog’s adrenal glands secrete more cortisol that helps them cope with the stress.
Because dogs with this disease cannot produce sufficient cortisol, they are incapable of handling stress. As a result, the signs of Addison’s disease may worsen during such situations.
CBD oil has once again proven its invaluable role in treating dog diseases. From stress and anxiety relief to boosting the immune system and improving sleep, you can trust CBD products to keep your dog in perfect health.
Are you interested in how CBD oil treats Addison's disease in dogs? Visit our website today and have a look at our vast collection.
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