"Addison's disease is an endocrine system disorder that occurs when the adrenal glands -- located above the kidneys -- fail to produce enough hormones to keep the body functioning normally. The adrenal glands secrete glucocorticoids such as cortisol and mineralocorticoids such as aldosterone; when proper amounts of these are not produced, an animals metabolic and electrolyte balances may be upset. This may occur when the animal's pituitary gland fails to secrete ACTH, the hormone which stimulates the adrenal glands' production of cortisol, or when a disorder causes the body to attack and kill its own tissue ("immune mediated destruction"). The disease is also known as hypoadrenocorticism, adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism. Addison's disease is fatal if left untreated. The only preventable kind of Addison's disease is that which is caused when a dog is abruptly taken off of a steroid medication."
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02/07/2010: Sandy from Carrollton, Tx, Usa: "Canine Addison's Disease
Please add this disease to your pet page. I have not been able to find much on treating Addison's disease in dogs and would like any feedback on natural treatments. I am interested on what to feed, any natural herbs or what treatment actually works. Thank you so much."
EC: Thank you for the suggestion - done!
04/05/2010: Jo76 from North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand replies: "Hi, I too am looking for a natural remedy for my dog who has Addison's. She got diagnosed around 6 years ago when she almost died and collapsed on the vets table. Ever since then she has been on florinef and prednisone. She currently takes 14 Florinef pills daily plus 1 prednisone 5mg. I have tried dropping the amount of prednisone down to 3/4 tablet but each time I reduce the prednisone she gets side effects. I really wish I could give her something natural instead of giving her drugs - pretty much if she doesn't take them she will die. I thought maybe someone out there knows either natural remedies to help dogs with addison's or even natural alternative to prednisone would help - the long term prednisone use (6 years) is really taking it's toll on her body, she has lost a lot of muscle mass, she has gained weight, she's hungry a lot, she has a large tummy where the muscles have have been weakened so it's like a pot belly, she looses her breath quite easily and pants a lot. She is 14 years old and has problems with her front shoulders as well (bone spurs and joint pain), as well as arthritis in her front legs - she can't walk very well so her exercise is swimming."
04/28/2010: Ronda from Vancouver, Wa replies: "esciencenews.com has an article (September 7, 2009) regarding the use of licorice in treating addisons disease in dogs. Licorice herbal supplement was studied in New Zealand on one Addisonian dog. It was found that it normalized the dog's hyperkalemia (high potassium.)"
08/13/2012: Suzanne from Chattanooga, Tn Usa replies: "I have a dog with Addison's also. He is on 10 Florinef pills a day (5 in the a.m. And 5 in the p.m. ) He is also on 3.75 mg of Prednisone a day (in the a.m. Only). I have tried reducing his prednisone but he becomes symptomatic. I have searched for over a year for an alternative treatment for Addisons and have not been able to find one. My dog was diagnosed in May 2010. I was involved in several Addisons support groups but no alternative medicine help. I would like any suggestions."