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Treatments for Shrinking a Dog Benign Adrenal Tumor with Medication/Natural Therapy

by Shawna Blaker
(Washignton, PA )

My question is a more complex one on how to shrink an Adrenal Tumor that appears to be benign without surgery. My dogs history is as follows. I have a Collie/Shepard mix Male of about 14-15 years old. His age is in question a year or two as he is a rescue and was thought to be about 5-6 years old when I got him and he was picked up as a stray. I have had him since May of 2002.


He has severe Arthritis and is blind in one eye due to retinal detachment (which he had when I got him) and has Cataracts in both. He has been on Metacam for several years to treat his Arthritis and after seeing a specialist for his eyes I have incorporated Ocuvite to his daily regimen (for a couple of years) as well as MSM & Glucoasamine for his Arthritis.

Over the winter he seemed to start hacking a bit and having trouble breathing and a drastic increase in water consumption. Due to it being winter I had thought perhaps he had a bit of a cold and did not pay it much mind. He had a toe nail that completely came off a few weeks ago ( I have no idea how) and I picked up an Antibiotic at my Vet and explained to the Techs his condition over the winter as it was still continuing, and they indicated that I should get him a check-up as it could be heart related due to his age.

He had blood work done and a chest X-ray and at first it was thought he may have a tumor on his heart so we scheduled an Echocardiagram (sonogram) with a Specialist. They found that there was no tumor on the heart and suspected that it could have been a gas pocket based on the way he was laying and his size playing a factor. He is a medium to large size dog about a 100lbs.

I have tried to keep him on a strict diet to lose weight to no avail and he would eat all the time if you let him. Realistically he should weight about 80-85 lbs. However, during the Echo of his abdomen they found he had a tumor on one of his Adrenal Glands and incidentally found stones in his Kidneys and Bladder that were very small. We then tested him for Cushing's Disease with a Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test as he had many of the symptoms for Cushing's.

My Vet did explain his breathing problems off and on could be due to a Laryngeal Paralysis for which there is no treatment and it does come and go and also of late he has had trouble eating. Today my Vet called and said the test came back inconclusive and he had never had that happen before. His theory is perhaps we may have caught it at its onset and the results were not high enough to say there was a full onset of the disease and he did not have any treatment to offer at this time and was against any surgery for the tumor due to the dogs age and invasiveness of the procedure. He indicated that we should just wait and see what happens or opt for the ACTH Stimulation Test if his behaviors seem to worsen or we could do the test now, but he really had no treatment to offer at this time, just a wait and see approach to see how we may then proceed.

He indicated the cost of the surgery for the tumor, which is not a problem for me, but I do not want to put my dog through such an invasive procedure that he may not come out of as it is best done by someone very experienced as it is a very complicated surgery and is a high risk one at that. The Specialist indicated they felt the tumor was Benign perhaps due to the shape and where it was located on the gland etc. as they have much experience in this.

I have done a lot of research on my own on this and have not been able to find much info that indicated a non-invasive treatment for the tumor without surgery. I have found a hormone balancing liquid formula from Pet Alive called Cushex Drops that I ordered to incorporate and see if that is helpful for him as far as leveling his hormones and my Vet indicated it was okay to try and I just found the Adrenal Super-Boost formulate which by the way is a discontinued product and was wondering if I could give him both products? But really I want to find an alternative to surgery for the tumor as my Vet is NOT recommending it at this time.

In the Sonogram they found no other evidence of tumors elsewhere and the Vet indicated the Adrenal Tumor could grow so I am trying to find a way to shrink or lessen it with Natural or Alternative Therapy. I am trying to not use medication, and that only as a last resort if it is necessary.

Any tips would be very helpful on helping to alleviate the Adrenal Tumor and if it would be possible to give both Cushex Drops and/or Adrenal Super-Boost (whichever is better for him) from Pet Alive at the same time in conjunction with his other medications.

The tumor is my main concern at this time and I still would like to see him have good quality of life for the time he has left as I know he has far out-lived most life spans for the mix breeds that is he. I am leery of any further testing unless absolutely necessary as this round was markedly hard on him as he has always been a very nervous dog (due to prior abuse) and he has taken to getting sick frequently since we came home from the two days of testing and Sonogram.

Any info would be very helpful and I thank you for your time in answering my questions. I would be happy to provide any additional info you may need.



Vet Suggestion Canine Adrenal Gland Tumor Treatment with Natural Remedies or Medications


Hi Shawna,

It sounds from your description that your dog could very well have Cushing’s disease despite the negative low dose dexamethasone suppression test (all tests have occasional false negative results). The finding of the adrenal tumor is very supportive of this diagnosis, as is your dog’s increased thirst and ravenous appetite.

The best way to treat adrenal dependent Cushing’s disease in dogs is to surgically remove the tumor, but I completely understand why both you and your veterinarian are reluctant to consider surgery due to your dog’s age and other health problems.

I think Cushex drops is a better choice for your dog than the Adrenal Super Boost formulate which by the way is a discontinued product. I would not use them together. You might also want to make an appointment with a veterinarian who specializes in complementary medicine (e.g., acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, etc.). He or she could assess your dog’s condition as a whole and come up with a plan to improve his quality of life without resorting to invasive procedures like surgery.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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