Understanding the Effects of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Cushing’s disease is a condition that affects many dogs, but it can be hard to recognize. Cushing’s disease in dogs often shows symptoms similar to those of other conditions, so dogs may end up suffering from it without their owners even realizing it.

While most Cushing’s disease cases are not life-threatening, they can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, osteoporosis, and even death if left untreated.

Therefore, understanding the signs and effects of the disease becomes imperative to maintain their health. This article will help you learn just that.

What is Cushing’s Disease?

Cushing’s disease is a disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce and use cortisol, an important hormone responsible for regulating metabolism, body temperature, and the immune system. As a result, a few different symptoms can occur, including weight gain and changes in skin color.

Weight Gain

Dogs with Cushing’s disease often pack on pounds, even though they’re not eating any more than usual. This weight gain can put a strain on your dog’s back, hip, and leg joints.

The added pressure makes it harder for them to move around, which means they become less active overall—not good for their heart health. Up to 50 percent of dogs are obese, and Cushing’s disease could be one possible reason for obesity in dogs.

Lack of Muscle Mass

One potential effect of Cushing’s disease in dogs is a decline in muscle mass and strength. This can lead to skeletal and joint problems such as osteoporosis, which causes your dog to lose bone mass and become more likely to fracture bones.

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Losing muscle mass also negatively affects your dog’s ability to exercise, increasing his risk for obesity and diabetes.


While it is not necessarily caused by low blood sugar, lethargy can develop due to stress on your dog’s adrenal glands. A vet can help you determine whether your dog has Cushing’s. Even if he doesn’t have an illness like Cushing’s, stress may cause him to feel sluggish and tired.

If it shows signs of lethargy that continue for more than two weeks, contact your vet right away. It could indicate something serious that needs immediate treatment, like diabetes, or something easily treatable with medication or natural remedies.

Hair Loss

Cushing’s disease in dogs can make them suffer from excessive hair loss. This is a physical effect that psychological effects such as increased irritability and aggression may accompany. Hair loss can also lead to an increase in hot spots and skin irritation, leading to infections like mange or folliculitis.

While hair loss is most noticeable on their bodies and faces, dogs may experience it throughout their entire body, leaving them looking worn with bald spots all over their body.

How Can CBD Help Deal With Cushing’s Disease?

There is no known medication for Cushing’s disease, but CBD oil has been shown to help reduce the symptoms in some dogs. The cannabinoids in CBD oil help reduce the amount of cortisol in the body, which helps balance out the hormone and alleviate some of the symptoms.

CBD oil is a natural and organic remedy that can be used with traditional treatments your vet prescribes. It can reduce some of the symptoms enough to make life easier on your dog until you and your vet find a way to treat it more seriously.

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The Bottom Line

Cushing’s disease treatment involves recognizing the symptoms and then taking steps to correct them. There are several treatment approaches, including medications and surgery, so you must seek veterinary care to find the best option for your dog.


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