Diet for Cushing's
May 19, 2012 at 12:16 am #8894
Hi Dr. Lena,
Thank you for your article on treating Cushing’s natural. It was very informative. I have a question about diet. My 10 year old cocker spaniel was recently diagnosed with Cushing’s. I have been feeding him a natural (cooked) diet for about 6 years already along with supplements. I have a holistic vet in addition to my regular vet because the holistic vet is about an hour’s drive away from me. I went to see him when Spencer was diagnosed with Cushing’s because I prefer to take an all natural approach to these things. I got some new supplements and Spencer also had an acupuncture treatment (which I’ve seen great results from already!) and he also made some diet recommendations which is what I’m concerned about.
I had been feeding about 1/3 meat (usually ground turkey, chicken, or beef) 1/3 veggies (various root and greens), and 1/3 grains (millet, brown rice, or oats).
I was expecting the holistic vet would tell me I should eliminate grains and increase the meat and veggies but instead he told me that I could continue grains since Spencer seems to handle them well, but that I should increase the veggies and reduce the meat to only about 15% of the diet in total (and only white meats, no more beef). Only 15% meat seems very low to me. Normally when he gives me advice I can research online and find similar recommendations and feel more confident but not for this one. Since the appointment I’ve been following my gut feeling…I reduced the meat a bit but I just can’t bring myself to reduce it THAT much. I would have definitely felt better if he’d told me 2/3 veggies and keep my 1/3 meat.. That is my question, do you think only 15% meat is too low?
Thank you!May 19, 2012 at 5:01 am #11614
I have found the opposite. In my experience upping the meat and cutting all grain has made the largest difference in the animals I treat. This is a diet approach supported by Dr. Steve Marsden who is one of my favorite veterinary herbalist and teachers out there. He used to have some amazing lectures online but looks like they are not up anymore. I prefer over 50% meat and the rest veggies for my Cushing dogs.May 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm #11615
Thanks so much for your response, I think I’ll go with that. Sometimes you have to follow your instincts no matter how much you trust someone 🙂 I will also look up Dr. Marsden to see if I can find anything.
I was also thinking about starting to add some raw meat. I would want to buy it from a raw pet food company such as Healthy Paws (at least for a start). However a lot of these raw foods made specifically for pets also contain a mix of meat, organ meat, and ground in bone. Some sources say that Cushingoid dogs should not be given organ meats because of high purine levels? Would you agree that organ meats should be avoided? I assume the ground in bone would be okay. Thanks again! AndreaMay 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm #11616
I find my cushings dogs do fine with a little organ meat. If you don’t have the ground bone you need another source of calcium, most of the dog foods use the ground bone because it is the easiest. In dogs I haven’t seen an issue with it.May 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm #11617
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