Supraglan Replaced By Adrenal Harmony Gold: Different Ingredients, Same Empty Promises

Note. Updated with correction Jan. 30, 2013 (see below)

One of the most widely read, and controversial, reviews I have written was for an herbal combination product called Supraglan which was marketed to treat hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushing’s Disease (and also its opposite, Addison’s Disease). Essentially, the company made numerous dramatic claims about both the safety and effectiveness of this product without any appropriate scientific evidence to support them. But despite the near miraculous results claimed for this product in testimonials on the company web site (which, of course, prove nothing for reasons I have discussed before), shockingly no scientific evidence has come to light in the two years since I first discussed Supraglan showing that it had any benefit at all. Instead, the company has ceased marketing Supraglan and replaced it with another product, the more soothingly named Adrenal Harmony Gold. The new product comes with equally miraculous testimonials.

But I have to wonder why, if Supraglan was so amazingly safe and effective, the company chose to stop making it rather than pursing the scientific research that would have given it legitimacy, and a much wider market. And why, if Supraglan was so successful, did the company use only one of the ingredients from Supraglan in the new concoction? And if Supraglan didn’t really do all the things claimed for it in those testimonials, why exactly should we believe the same kind of anecdotes for the new product?

What are the Claims?
So how are the claims and the evidence for the new product? Sadly, just as empty and misleading as for Supraglan.

  • Promotes healthy skin and coat
  • Helps normal hair growth
  • Supports normal thirst and urination
  • Supports healthy weight, normal appetite
  • Supports proper muscle tone

The herbal actions in Adrenal Harmony Gold are: adaptogenic, antioxidant and will support the nervous system. These herbs are particularly suited to supporting the adrenal glands and its functions. “Adaptogens” are a group of herbs considered to nourish and balance the adrenals, helping the body adapt naturally and have normal levels of energy. Antioxidants counter oxidative (free radical) damage that can lead to degeneration.

Together, the ingredients in Adrenal Harmony Gold target the body systems that help to keep the adrenal and anterior pituitary hormones in a healthy and normal balance. They also contribute to the body’s healthy stress response for normally calm moods and sleep.

Adrenal Harmony Gold targets the HPA axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) to strengthen the body’s internal feedback mechanisms.

These claims and explanations for the supposed mechanism of action of this product are not supported by scientific evidence. The product is claimed to normalize the symptoms associated with Cushing’s disease, but no plausible scientific explanation for why it should is given. Vague claims like “nourishing” and “supporting” the adrenals are meaningless.

As far as the inclusion of supposed antioxidants, I’ve pointed out before that the hype about antioxidants far exceeds the evidence (c.f. this article also) of any real value, and some evidence has developed showing that they have significant potential risks, including increasing the likelihood of some diseases and interfering with some kinds of medical therapy. So while the potential uses of antioxidants deserve further study, the automatic assumption that they are a good idea is increasingly contradicted by the evidence. In any case, there is no evidence that Cushing’s is caused or exacerbated by oxidative processes or that antioxidants would be beneficial.

The notion of “adaptogens” is also not a concept that is supported by much legitimate scientific theory or research. The idea is that certain herbs can, by some vague mechanisms not yet identified, “restore balance” to any system in the body. This concept has more to do with vitalist spiritual beliefs about health and disease being due to “imbalances” in some vague vital energy than with a scientific understanding of homeostasis.

While herbs undoubtedly contain active chemical ingredients which could possibly have medicinal value, there is no reason to think these medicines are fundamentally different from much better studied conventional medicines. The notion that herbs can act primarily to bring a disease organ system “into balance” regardless of the specific disease the patient is suffering from is pure pseudoscience.

The company web site talks a lot about Cushing’s disease caused by excessive use of steroids. This is a form of the disease which is completely avoidable unless a patient has another medical condition which requires prolonged, relatively high doses of steroids. In these cases, there is no “imbalance,” there is simply an adverse effect to a medication needed for another reason, and as always the risks and benefits of the medication have to be weighed. Cushing’s disease may be better than death from autoimmune disease, for example. And if the steroids are not truly needed, then the Cushing’s disease can be cured simply by gradually taking the patient off of them. The only potential use for herbal therapy here would be to minimize symptoms without addressing the cause, and there is no evidence showing this product can do that.

However, most cases of Cushing’s disease in dogs are caused by a benign tumor in the pituitary gland. The “imbalance” is due to excessive production of a pituitary hormone which, in turn, causes too much steroid production in the adrenal glands. The scientific therapies for this are to take away the pituitary tumor surgically (which is commonly done in humans but which is not usually possible in dogs for anatomical reasons), or to reduce the production of steroids by the adrenal glands. Any herbal therapy that is going to effectively treat this disease will need to be able to reduce the amount of active steroid hormone by some means. It is certainly possible such an herbal therapy may be developed, but if it is effective it will act as a medicine, and like all medicines it will have its side effects and limitations which must be considered along with its benefits. It will not, however, magically make the symptoms go away without actually treating the cause of the disease and without any possible risks.

Finally, a few cases of Cushing’s come from an aggressive cancer in the adrenal gland. This tumor is usually not very responsive to medications and needs to be removed surgically in those cases in which that is possible. Sadly, many of these patients eventually die of this cancer. No “nourishing” or “balancing” of the adrenals or “strengthening of the body’s natural feedback mechanism” is going to help these dogs. And delaying real therapy while messing around with an untested herbal remedy only decreases the chances of a good outcome.

Now could herbal therapies reduce symptoms even if not treating the cause of the disease? It’s possible, but like all other medical claims it should be proven by appropriate research, not wishful thinking and testimonials. The company claims is has “integrated the latest scientific research” with the “time-honored, traditional uses” of herbs to create this product. Let’s see what the science actually says about the ingredients in this product.

The Ingredients and The Science
Here are the ingredients listed for the product (with no specific quantities listed) and some of the statements made about them:

  • Fresh Ashwagandha root (Withania somniferum)*: A primary adaptogen in this formula, Ashwagandha assists the adrenal glands directly to respond normally and produce healthy amounts of cortisol. This is a well-known herb for helping      the body’s stress levels and supporting normal, restful sleep.

Coming from the Ayurvedic herbal tradition, this ingredient has the usual thousand-and-one traditional uses, including as a non-specific tonic improving any and every symptom or disease. The plant contains varying amounts of a wide range of chemicals, and there have been some laboratory animal studies (mostly in rodents) indicating these chemicals have a variety of physiological effects. Some studies do suggest the plant can lower steroid hormone levels in rats exposed to chronic stress. This, however, says nothing about the effect on dogs with pituitary tumors or other causes of Cushing’s disease.

There is little research on the use of the herb in humans, and I could find none specifically relating to Cushing’s disease. There is one case report which suggests the herb might raise steroid hormone levels, which would be the opposite of the desired effect in Cushing’s disease. There appear to be no clinical studies on the use of this product in treating dogs with Cushing’s disease.

This summary of the research identifies a lot of interesting preclinical studies suggesting the chemicals in this plant might do interesting things, but it identifies no reliable evidence to support using it to treat Cushing’s disease in dogs.

 

  • Holy Basil leaf (Ocimum sanctum): Also called Tulsi, Holy Basil is a gentle adaptogen for supporting the adrenal glands. Of key importance, adaptogens will neither cause the body to relax nor become stimulated, necessarily. Rather, their action is to assist the body to adapt as needed and bring it back into balance. For that reason, adaptogens are used for a variety of reasons when normal adrenal function is desired.

Also common in Ayurvedic medicine, this herb has a very similar profile in terms of the evidence available for it. Lots of pharmacology studies characterizing the chemicals it contains. A moderate number of rodent studies showing physiological effects, including a few that suggest it might ameliorate the effects of chronic noise stress. No clinical trials in humans or dogs suggesting any usefulness in Cushing’s disease.

 

  • Fresh Turmeric rhizome (Curcuma longa): One of the best antioxidant herbs      available, Turmeric also supports liver health. Turmeric can be difficult  for the body to absorb. Our extraction method using fresh, organic Turmeric is an extremely potent liquid extract, much stronger than a simple glycerin extraction and captures all of the useful constituents of this herb, including curcumin and other curcuminoids.

Turmeric is one of the most intensively examined herbal agents, with a wide range of proposed uses. With regard to the treatment of Cushing’s disease, I have found no clinical studies in humans or dogs to suggest a benefit. There is one study that found changes in the secretion of steroids by cow adrenal cells in the lab under specific conditions. And there are some of those “chronic stress” studies in rats which suggest some interaction between curcumins and the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal (HPA) system. Does this mean these chemicals could be useful as medicines in diseases involving the HPA system? Sure. Does it mean they are safe and effective for treating Cushing’s disease in dogs? Absolutely not.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine says:

There is little reliable evidence to support the use of turmeric for any health condition because few clinical trials have been conducted.

Preliminary findings from animal and other laboratory studies suggest that a chemical found in turmeric—called curcumin—may have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties, but these findings have not been confirmed in people.

There is even less evidence in dogs. And there have been reports of allergic reactions, liver problems, and other side effects. Any chemical that exerts a substantial effect on the body is going to have unintended effects some of which can be harmful. This is as true for herbal products as for conventional pharmaceuticals.

 

  • Bacopa herb (Bacopa monnieri): Bacopa exhibits uses both as an adaptogen and as an antioxidant. It has also been used for stress and is said to generally contribute to healthy moods and cognitive function.

This herb has been studied primarily for effects on anxiety, depression, memory, and other behavioral conditions. There is a fair bit of laboratory rodent research showing effects on stress response, including steroid levels, but again this is quite different from the physiology of Cushing’s disease. This kind of pre-clinical research is not a reliable indicator of whether a medicine will be safe or effective in actual clinical use. I have found no clinical research in humans or in dogs to suggest this herb is appropriate for Cushing’s disease.

 

  • Sarsaparilla root (Smilax officinalis): A traditional herb of the south western      United States, Sarsaparilla has a long-standing use for helping the body to normally excrete excess toxic materials through the lymphatic system. It has also been used to support liver function and healthy blood pressure levels.

Claims about “toxins” are a mainstay of alternative theories and treatments of disease, and they are mostly nonsense, the “evil humours” of today’s pseudoscience. Given that the idea of mysterious unnamed “toxins” being involved in Cushig’s disease is nonsense, there is little reason to think this herb would be useful for excreting these toxins. As usual, there are no clinical studies in any species that suggest this is safe and effective as a therapy for patients with Cushing’s disease.

 

  • Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceous): Another popular      “adaptogen”, Astragalus helps the body’s normal ability to adapt to stress. It also contains polysaccharides, constituents that assist the body’s normal immune response to fight off bacteria and viruses.

Again, the claims for the concept of “adaptogens” are not strongly supported by scientific evidence, so this is not a compelling reason to use this herb. And while it is true that patients with Cushing’s disease have impaired immune function, the notion of “boosting the immune system” is about as legitimate as “cleansing toxins” or “protecting against stress.” Vague claims about broad and non-specific health effects, which are uniformly beneficial and never harmful, are a clear warning sign of unscientific and unreliable nonsense. In the absence of any actual clinical studies to suggest this herb is beneficial for Cushing’s patients, these arguments are certainly no reason to use it.

 

  • Milk Thistle seed (Silybum marianum): A gentle and effective herb for normal liver function, Milk Thistle assists the liver to metabolize drugs and toxins to be excreted by the body. The liver also plays a role in denaturing some circulating      hormones.

This is one of the few ingredients in this concoction with at least a plausible argument for why it might be useful in patients with Cushing’s disease. There is reasonable evidence that silymarin has protective effects in the liver, and the liver does experience the accumulation of glycogen and other adverse effects of chronically high steroid levels in animals with Cushing’s. However, the evidence for the benefits of milk thistle is generally still weak and mostly concerns toxic and infectious liver disease. There does not appear to be any specific research suggesting a benefit for patients with Cushing’s, so wile the idea is at least plausible, it remains undemonstrated.

 

  • Blessed Thistle flower (Cnicus benedictus): Blessed or Holy Thistle has similar uses as Milk Thislte for liver support. Additionally, it has been shown to exhibit      support for the immune system and digestion.

There is generally very little research on the potential medicinal value of this herb, and none I could find on its use for patients with Cushing’s disease. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database indicates there is insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about claims for any medicinal use.

 

  • Chaste Tree berry (Vitex      agnus-castus): Used for its gentle, tonic action on the anterior pituitary, Vitex is an amphoteric herb, meaning it will help maintain      normal hormonal levels, rather than cause them to go higher or lower. Commonly used for female health matters, Vitex is included in this formula for its affect on the pituitary’s action in adrenal hormone regulation

This is the only one of the ingredients in this product that does appear to have been tested for use in patients with Cushing’s disease. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Lots of anecdotal reports suggested this herb might have benefits in horses with Cushing’s disease, and uncontrolled evaluation by the manufacturer of a chaste tree berry product seemed supportive of these claims. However, a clinical trial comparing this product to conventional treatment concluded:

Vitex agnus castus Extract,the commercially available form of Vitex agnus castus, did not have a beneficial effect in horses with pituitary pars intermedia hyperplasia (Equine Cushing’s Syndrome).

Whether positive or negative, these results may not be relevant to treatment of Cushing’s in dogs, which involves a very different mechanism than in horses. No studies are available in dogs with Cushing’s.

 

  • Prickly Ash bark (Zanthoxylum americanum): Used by many First Nations communities at one time, the bark of the Prickly Ash tree has been termed an      “alternative”, meaning that it will help support normal flow of lymphatic circulation. It also helps maintain normal arterial and capillary circulation.

This herb contains chemicals which have shown some potential antibiotic and antiparasitic properties, though there are no clinical trials of this use. And, almost needless to say at this point, there is absolutely no evidence it is beneficial for dogs with Cushing’s disease. “Supporting normal lymph flow” is not only ridiculously unlikely but not in any obvious way relevant to the needs of patients with Cushing’s disease. And how or why it would maintain normal arterial and capillary circulation (but not venous circulation?), or why this would be relevant for these patients, is also unclear.

Bottom Line
Like Supraglan, this product contains a hodgepodge of herbal ingredients with rationales that are mostly based on traditional use, anecdote, or the findings or in vitro laboratory studies, none of which on their own justify clinical use of any medicine.  Many of the theoretical rationales for the selected ingredients, such as “boosting the immune system” or “excreting toxins” are complete nonsense. There are potentially plausible rationales for the use of a couple ingredients, such as the milk thistle. There is not, however, any clinical trial evidence to support the use of this product for Cushing’s disease in any species. The only ingredient which appears to have been tested for use in patients with Cushing’s disease is the chaste tree berry extract, which failed to show any benefits in a clinical study in horses.

This product will undoubtedly be promoted not only with dubious rationales and a lack of real scientific data showing any benefit, but also with miraculous anecdotes and testimonials supporting its effectiveness. I expect to see passionate, even angry comments from users of the product who are certain, based on their personal experiences, that it works. Apart from all the usual reasons why such uncontrolled observations are not useful in establishing safety and efficacy for any medical therapy, I will point out right from the beginning that the same miraculous testimonials supported the benefits of Supraglan, which many people claimed to have cured their dogs of Cushing’s disease. So why, exactly, did this miraculous product suddenly disappear, replaced by another with almost none of the same ingredients? And why, if the testimonials for Supraglan turned out to be as unreliable as testimonials usually are, should we take those for Adrenal Harmony Gold any more seriously?

** Update Jan. 20, 2013:

Having looked into these products in more detail, it appears that the initial report I found stating Supraglan had been discontinued was inaccurate. Petwellbeing distributed it from 2007 until 2012 and then ceased distributing it and replaced it with Adrenal Harmony Gold. But NHV Natural Pet Products still manufactures Supraglan.

This doesn’t change the substance of this post, since Petwellbeing marketed Supraglan with all the claims and testimonials discussed in the post on that product and then replaced it with a different product containing different ingredients and marketed in the same way. Both products lack sound scientific evidence to support the claims made for them.

The Petwellbeing.com page on Supraglan at the time of the original review can be found HERE.

 

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50 Responses to Supraglan Replaced By Adrenal Harmony Gold: Different Ingredients, Same Empty Promises

  1. v.t. says:

    It would be interesting to know if they were getting too many complaints with the product (didn’t work, or adverse effects), or far reaching I know, perhaps they discovered adulteration of one or more ingredients?

    It seems many of their “gold” products are super special.

    Life Gold helps to ensure that the body’s vital systems of detoxification are working well. The liver, kidneys, bowel, lungs, and skin all work to remove the body’s waste products. The herbs in Life Gold also help to address the lymphatic system, a vital part of the immune system.

    Life Gold supports your pets long-term vitality.

    I wonder how does one “address the lymphatic system”?

    And this little gem…

    Even if your pet is healthy, Life Gold can be used once or twice each year, to ensure that the body’s detoxification systems are working optimally and to help reduce oxidative stress. This provides a foundation for long-term health.

  2. Adam says:

    Well see, I’ve read the reviews as well and I just bought a bottle. I have a 17 year old miniature poodle who has Cushings disease. In the last couple of years her urinating has gotten worse, to the point where she will wake up in the middle of the night and urinate on her bed before recognizing where she is at. She also has very thin or no hair along her spine, skin tumors, and drinks way too much water for her size. It got worse this past year, and along with a urinary tract infection I was ready to put her down. I came across this product and its the last thing I’m going to try before having her put down. I refuse to use the FDA approved medicine due to her age and the side effects. I haven’t even asked the vet to perscribe it for her. I’ll make sure to come back in a few months and post whether it has had a positive or negative effect on her.

  3. Adam says:

    Well the product worked as described, but the warning on the bottle about the product being a GI Irritant came to fruition last night. Missy started pooping mucus which turned into water, as of today the stool is still a little loose but it has a normal shape to it. When I called customer service they didn’t give me any problems and told me to return it and they would refund me 5-10 days after they recieved the product.

  4. Adam says:

    Well my grandfather has come to terms as have I. I picked missy up last week and looked into her eyes and I could tell she was sad and in pain. Tomorrow at 9:30 my sister and I are going to put her down. She will be creamated and put in my grandmothers urn.

  5. v.t. says:

    Adam, I’m sorry to hear about Missy. While 17 years is a good, long life, I know words are inadequate right now, losing a treasured friend is never easy.

  6. I hear that supraglan has changed to Adrenal Harmony gold and there have been a lot of improvements. I came across this review and am not sure if this is a product which i want to endorse any further. The testimonials on the site and plenty others too state that its a great product. Am totally confused now.

  7. skeptvet says:

    Supraglan is still being manufactured, however the major distributor has discontinued it and is selling Adrenal Harmony Gold instead. If Supraglan was the miracle therapy described on the web site and in all the testimonials, it’s hard to explain why they would make the switch. And in any case, there is no evidence to support the usefulness of either product apart from testimonials, which exist for every single product sold and can’t really be trusted.

  8. Rhonda says:

    I have a 12-year old Shitzu who began to suffer significant hair loss, increased urination and increased hunger about 3 months ago. I have not seen excessive thirst or the “pot belly” that have been described. So far, we have ruled out UTI, diabetes and thyroid disease. His cholesterol was normal. The vet mentioned Cushings. I have researched the recommended therapy as well as the natural treatment for this disease and am trying to decide if I should proceed with testing for Cushings or try the natural treatment first. I need some advice.

  9. Michael says:

    Typical conventional, big pharmacuetical-pushing, brain-washed approach to medicine. Nothing natural works unless it’s been subjected to clinical trials, etc…but, of course, no pharmacuetical companies will ever poney up the $$ needed to conduct such trials because there is ultimately no $$ to be made with natural products. Same bs approach I’ve seen over and over again in the world of oncology. Oh, only chemo and radiation are “proven” to work. More like proven to kill, time and time again, over and over, year after year after year. Tons of natural approaches that work far more effectively than chemo and radiation, but try getting a conventionally trained oncologist to agree, no matter how many personal experiences, in vitro studies and testimonials you bring t his or her attention. And before I’m attacked by some big-pharma drone, let it be known that I am a cancer survivor. And that I only survived after abandoning conventional treatments (chemo and radiation), which were abysmal failures and only spurred my cancer growth on, for holistic/natural and “unproven” treatments. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of legit testimonials supporting this Adrenal Gold product, much like there are thousands of holistic cancer survivors, but to the medical-trained, pharma-brainwashed geniuses, they all mean little….hilarious….

  10. skeptvet says:

    Why do you think pharmaceutical companies should pay for alternative medicine research? Shouldn’t the people pushing and selling alternative medicine do that?

    “try getting a conventionally trained oncologist to agree, no matter how many personal experiences, in vitro studies and testimonials you bring t his or her attention. ”
    Exactly. A trained oncologist understands how science works well enough to realize that these are deeply flawed and unreliable kinds of evdience. It’s not prejudice, it’s good sense.

    “There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of legit testimonials supporting this Adrenal Gold product, ”
    About as many testimonials as there are for the reality of alien visitation and abduction or psychic phenomena, and not nearly as many as used to support bloodletting. Again, this only means people believe, it doesn’t mean they are right to believe.

  11. Mary says:

    Rhonda, I was checking for information on Cushings in dogs. Our Shitzu has Cushings
    for about 6 months. His belly looked like a pig and wanted to eat everything in sight along with constant drinking. He has lost a lot of hair and has sores on his skin. I would get him check for Cushings. Out little guy is 8 yrs old. Out vet has him on
    medication daily and checks his levels every few months and so far so good, but I
    know we will eventually lose him. With Cushings sometimes they can do surgery and
    remove the tumor and if it is not removable then dogs have to take medication for the rest of their lives. Good luck with your doogie.

  12. sharon pergoda says:

    yes.,we all know about the clinical trials scam…results are held back until the initial profits are in..then mysteriously ,the public starts having side effects that no one expected..please, this is just a pro Big Pharm webpage…let’s see..even Pfizer admitted it’s pursuing vaccine research to make up for profit loss with antibiotic sales falling off and the advent of drug resistant bacteria…now let’s wreck immune systems with vaccine overloads ..and they will need every drug we can make to combat new diseases from that.. the public is not stupid..nor this nurse of 40 years…they are just being manipulated with fear

  13. skeptvet says:

    As you would know if you read my blog or checked out some of the links on the front page, I am well aware of the bad behavior of Big Pharma, and am an active participant in activities such as the All Trials Initiative to hold them to account and set higher standards of evidence. However, that has nothing at all to do with whether clinical trials in general are better evidence than anecdote, and it has nothing to do with the complete lack of evidence to show Supraglan works.

    It’s what’s known as the tu quoque or “you too” fallacy. You say that someone has done something wrong, and you implies that it negates what someone else has done wrong. But of course it doesn’t. Yes, Big Pharma does bad stuff. No, that doesn’t mean Supraglan isn’t snake oil.

  14. v.t. says:

    Sharon, the public may not be stupid, rather a percentage of them are ill-informed, vulnerable, or easily persuaded and therefore heavily biased against science and effective medicine.

    So, do you believe that CAM or CAVM shouldn’t be held to the same standards as real medicine? If not, why?

    Funny how anyone who expects evidence for bogus claims is automatically labeled a pharm shill. You lose the argument when you invoke such nonsense.

  15. B! says:

    My 13 yr old female mutt hasn’t been tested but has most of the signs of cushing’s: incontinence; shaky/weak hind legs; excessive thirst/hunger; excessive panting; pacing at night; slow healing etc. I’ve been using Cushex to no avail so far (couple months). I was thinking of trying Supragland or that new formula. Funny thing is, I went to the link of the case study that shows ashwagandha increasing hormones, and I find that It actually lowered corticosteone by 69% as well as other steroid hormones! It seems they made a typo that it raised them earlier in the abstract. So may actually just try ashwagandha for my girl…thanks!

  16. skeptvet says:

    I have to comment that I feel your pet would be better off if she had proper testing and diagnosis rather than simply trying a number of remedies of unknown safety and efficacy for a disease she might not have.

  17. B! says:

    Indeed. I will be taking her to get tested very soon. What do you think of my previous statement on ashwagandha, though, if she is cushingoid? Did I read the study abstract wrong? At first, I believe it said ashwagandha increases hormones. Then later said that the women, after 6 months of using the herb, lowered her corticosterone by 69% as well as other steroid hormones dramatically. I’m inclined to think the first statement was a typo or misunderstanding?

  18. elly says:

    There is study which looks promising about using lignans and melatonin for chushing’s syndrome on dogs, one must also change the dog’s diet to raw proteins only eliminate chemical loads such as vaccinations, flea chemicals etc and give liver support herbs such as milk thistle, tumeric some enzymes and probiotics, best to consult a natural vet. Medications for chushing’s syndrome may cause symptoms that are worse than the disease itself and are expensive they also require careful monitoring and they do not fix the problem or prolong the dog’s life so they are useless and a waste of money, I rather try something more gentle that might work without causing further toxicity and suffering. My vet suspects my dog is suffering from cushing’s and is having some tests meanwhile she has started natural treatment, she is improving slowly has become a bit more interested in going for walks and her hunger has lessen I am happy slow improvement is better than getting worse. Good luck to you all in your battle against this horrible disease.

  19. skeptvet says:

    You list a hodgepodge of therapies and typical alternative medicine “bad guys” such as “toxins” and vaccinations, yet there isn’t any evidence that any of these claims are true. If there is scientific research supporting the use of lignans and melatonin, please feel free to post it. However, even if such a study exists, it has nothing to do with all the nonsense about vaccines and raw diets that have no plausible connection to Cushing’s disease at all.

  20. Suzie says:

    My Flat Coated Retriever has been quite ill recently, e coli in his bladder
    And now I think he has Cushings, he is going for 2 blood tests next week
    that will identify the problem. He is panting and drinking gallons of water
    Bit otherwise seems happy and is still energetic. I dont want to put him on
    Drugs to fight this, I would rather use a herbal medicine, I thought Harmony
    Gold was my answer but it seems not after reading your review, so I dont
    Really know what to do now.. Any ideas? And how would I know the dose
    Of herbs turmeric etc… Thanks your review and peoples comments have helped.

  21. skeptvet says:

    I’m sorry you’re friend is having this trouble.

    The distinction you are making between “drugs” and “herbal medicine” is going to lead you astray. Herbal medicine are chemicals in and derived from plants that have physiological effects on the body. So are most drugs. The only difference is that drugs are isolated and studied extensively before one is allowed to sell them as medicines and herbal remedies are not. The evidence is clear that any medicine that has a benefit will also have side effects, so we can’t help our pets if we don’t know what the risks and benefits are, and this means research. Pharmaceuticals are generally much safer than herbal remedies because we have done the research to know what their risks and benefits are, whereas with the herbal products we are largely guessing.

    If he has Cushing’s disease and the blood tests confirm this, and if he is sick because of it, then there is not going to be any alternative therapy that has been shown to do anything useful. The signs are chronic, and they often come and go, but the only medications consistently used with real effect are trilostane and lysodren. They absolutely have risks as well as benefits, but at least we know what these are, and delaying treatment by experimenting with untested therapies will have risks too.

    Good luck!

  22. Pam says:

    My dog was diagnosed with Cushing’s 2 months ago. We have had him on a relatively new drug for Cushings’s called Vetoryl which my vet told me was the best out there for the treatment of Cushing’s. My dog has been on it for over a month with little positive results. My vet would like to increase the dose which will cost approximately $300.00/month. I realize there isn’t a cure for this disease but I am getting desperate. I can’t afford the cost of this drug and was desperately hoping to find something to manage his symptoms and found the reviews on the Adrenal Harmony Gold. Can all the people that wrote the reviews on this product be wrong? I am not left with many options and I am not prepared to euthanize my dog yet. What do I do?

  23. skeptvet says:

    Yes, all of those people can be wrong. In fact, there is strong evidence that such testimonials are misleading.

    The question isn’t whether or not this product is safe and effective and will help your dog. Without the research, no one can know. And part of the reason it is cheaper than Vetoryl is that the company has chosen to sell it without testing it to see if it works and is safe. We know the strengths and weakness of licensed drugs. Stuff like these supplements are just rolling the dice.

    So the question is whether rolling the dice is appropriate in your situation. When using licensed medicines isn’t possible, due to cost or other factors, sometimes doing nothing, or doing something with great uncertainty about the outcome, is necessary. If your dog is suffering, so doing nothing is not an option, and if you cannot afford the medication and monitoring required for the best available care, I won’t say it is wrong to take a chance on something unknown. It is just important that you have all the facts you need to make that choice. And that includes the fact that no one knows, regardless of what they claim, whether this product works or is safe.

    Good luck to you and your companion.

  24. Kelly says:

    Let me just start by saying that this was a very interesting topic, and I totally comprehend that what you say is true, that there are no studies shown to show if Adrenal Harmony Gold works long term or the side effects it may cause in the long run or immediate for that matter. We (as pet owners) can not see what’s going on internally. But I will say, when my boxer turned 5, her hair was falling out along her spine and the vet diagnosed her with alopecia. She had no other health issues besides allergies, which she said is typical for a boxer. The vet said to give her melatonin daily in her food. I did and her fur did come back, but in all black, she was a brindle color before and it looks very different, but its back. We have had no more problems with her fur really since then. But here we are 3 years later (I stopped giving her Melatonin, per another vets recommendations 3 months ago). My dog is now 8, she has excessive thirst while drinking everything in site, frequent urination (urinating for 2 minutes straight), pot belly, excessive eating, urinating in the house 4-5 times a day (which she would never ever ever do), excessive panting, breathing heavy, making snorting sounds, weight gain, lack of energy, and weakness in hind legs. My boxer always was muscular, and everyone commented on how good she looked before, even the vet records state “muscular” on all their notes. We would even be stopped by strangers commenting about how muscular she was. Which brings me to now, the only thing I could think is “what happened to my dog”? I took her to a new vet because I recently moved to a different state, and I will leave their name nameless, cause I was so angry at what they said. They ran routine blood work, did a physical, and urine analysis and came back with….”the dog is fine, no abnormal results. If you don’t want the dog urinating so much, hold back her water and all water from other animals in the house, and she won’t urinate so much”. Oh my God, Wrong answer to tell me. I was angry! Who says that? She did not recommend further blood work or hormone testing or what ever testing for cushings and her diagnosis cost me $320 for nothing. I came home and wanted to know what is causing everything, and holding back water was not the answer I was looking for. I was desperate to find the answer, and I spent many many hours researching on line for what it could be. I used the “routine” blood work as a guide and came up with cushings. I just wanted my dog back. I switched my dog to raw feeding meats and veggies (She was on an expensive grain free dog food her whole life because of allergies). I bought some adrenal harmony gold. While I was waiting for it to come in the mail, I started raw feeding. Come the second day of raw feeding (my dog was loving it), she stopped with her frequent urination and excessive drinking. Yeah me, no more peeing in the house! But what remained was the panting, snorting, etc. A couple more days went by and the Adrenal Harmony gold came in. With in the first week, she stopped the remaining breathing symptoms. Its been a month now, and her hind legs are muscular again, she is running out back like she used to. She is totally full of life, and walking her is great again. She is no longer acting like she is dying of thirst, like she was before, on a very short one block walk. She is the goofy, very energetic dog I remember. I ran out of adrenal harmony gold, and I’m gonna do a test now without ordering anymore and see if her symptoms return. I can keep ya updated if you like? What I’d say to anyone who is going beyond vet recommendations, is that you can/are putting your dog at risk by trying methods not tested. Every dog is different, and outcomes can be different. But as a pet owner, we all love our dogs and we want the best possible way to help our dogs without additional side effects or expensive surgeries or pills. I know I cant afford neither, that would be taking food from my family as I’m on a tight budget myself, so some of us really don’t have a choice.

  25. skeptvet says:

    Unfortunately, without appropriate testing it is impossible to say your dog ever had Cushing’s disease, so we can’t say if the things you did were effective treatments. The list of things that can cause excessive drinking and peeing, which we all have to memorize in vet school, has dozens of disease on it, and Cushing’s is only one of these. It is not a slam dunk diagnosis even with extensive testing, and without this testing we have no idea what was really going on with your dog and why it got better. I’m glad she’s doing well, but this is exactly why such anecdotes don’t help us figure these things out.

  26. Barb H says:

    Just wondering why you seem to think so many of those positive reviews for Adrenal Harmony Gold are bogus? How can so many people see improvement in their pets after using it, unless it works? I rely alot on reviews from others, for everything on the internet, including products for me, my pets, movies, doctors, dentists, handymen, dog sitters, etc etc. Are you saying there is no way to know if these reviews are truly from users? If that’s not what you are saying, then why don’t you trust all the reviews about AHG on their site? My dog has all the symptoms of Cushings but the test was negative. Don’t know where to go for real advice.

  27. skeptvet says:

    You’ve either not read or ignored my previous comments on this subject. I’m not saying these people aren’t honestly reporting their experiences. I’m saying that such testimonials don’t reliably indicate whether the product actually works or not. I’ve posted numerous other articles on why this is, and it’s the basis for the entire process of scientific research and large sections of the field of cognitive psychology. Our experiences are very emotionally compelling, but they often mislead us into thinking the world is one way when it is really another. Here, again, are a couple of articles to help explain why:

    Why Bogus Therapies Seem to Work

    Testimonials Lie

    Medical Miracles: Should We Believe?

    As for where to go for real advice, NOT the Internet! If you don’t have confidence in your vet, find another or, better still, find a board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialist. Does it really make sense that a bunch of strangers with no medical background on the web can be trusted when your doctor can’t?

  28. Michele says:

    I am not sure if you are in Canada, but there is a very interesting Marketplace on the CBC that will certainly give you pause regarding ‘user’ reviews and testimonials. Check it out. Certainly makes it far more difficult to make informed choices based on fellow consumer’s opinions. I almost ordered the product too, but now I am certainly hesitant. Thank you everyone for contributing.

  29. terry kelley says:

    I have 1 orthodox vet,1 holistic ,1 surgical vet that work with me for my animals health and wellbeing.my best friend maltese puppy(14 yrs old)became very ill and almost died.I was camping in another state and without a car.Bad situation.I went to a wonderful western orthodox veterinarian clinic.First vet wanted to give steroid shot,i refused(steroids have to be detoxed out of body and they mask the real root problem in most cases.they gave him antibiotics.24 hours later he was even worst.I went back at an earlier time than scheduled and the vet said “she isn’t suppose to be here until this afternoon”so they put me with a retired vet who came out of retirement to help out with the large load of patients.Thank God..
    He agreed with me on what I wanted to do and took the lead and did full bloodwork and gave him Baytril.I went back to campsite called my holistic vet who said get b-complex and intravenous liquids in him for 2 plus days and make bone soup and get as much down him as comfortably possible.His fever was down he was eating and drinking and standing after 24 hours.I took him in for 9 days and he would go home with me each evening as the doc said as I did that he would be better with me at night.He had intro fluids for 2 days and 36 mls of bone soup and Bcomplex added to his intro fluids.WE had found out thru his alk numbers being high that he was diagnosed with cushings)AFter 9 days of testing liver enzymes every day and fluids and care and anti biotics we went home without the prescription drugs which shocked all the vets.I told them his doctor and I would work out what was best as all his symptoms were under control and he was functioning and acting in recovery mode as well as no fever since the 4th day…yay! I put together a diet and supplement program and all his signs were gone by the time we arrived back in Florida.
    He is on fresh cooked turkey,vegetables,barley,vit c,muti vitamin mineral,gingko biloba,silymarin,adrenal gold harmony,lignans,silinium,crushed almonds for magnesium,bone soup every day.measured for his weight.eats twice a day and has 2 tiny snacks in between plus melatonin every night at 8pm…..His blood work shows he doesn’t have cushings only we monitor and care for him as if he does and assume he does.I have his liver enzymes tested every 30-60 days to make sure his numbers are healthy…..This was a nightmare in the beginning and doing research on the internet was not an option as the info was so negative and dismal it killed my heart just to read it….I am so very grateful for his health and will just keep doing what I am doing with the full support of my holistic vets and the astonishment and interest of the vet who was amazing that retired as he gets fax from my other vet…..I wrote this in a hurry and apologize for not doing it justice with more details…just wanted to share my story for the first time…

  30. terry kelley says:

    oops the vitamin b6 complex was added to his intravenous fluids,not the bone soup..haha I gave that to him through a puppy feeding syringe(no needle)

  31. Hikari says:

    I would like to hear your opinion re: the use of melatonin and ligands for the treatment of Cushing’s. I have a dach with ths problem who is 12 yo. It sounded like there is some merit to therapy with melatonin. Thank u. I appreciate your comments on The herbals. I currently have my dach on Vetoryl and started the melatonin. Waiting for the ligands to come and will do tht as well.

  32. skeptvet says:

    There is really very little evidence to suggest lignans and melatonin have beneficial effects in dogs with Cushing’s disease. They are pretty cheap and there is not much risk, but I would continue to the trilostane as the primary treatment:

    Adrenal steroid hormone concentrations in dogs with hair cycle arrest (Alopecia X) before and during treatment with melatonin and mitotane
    Vet Dermatol. October 2004;15(5):278-84.
    Linda A Frank1, Keith A Hnilica, Jack W Oliver
    1 Department of Small animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee, C247 Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Knoxville, TN 37996-4544, USA. lfrank@utk.edu

    Abstract
    The purpose of the study was to evaluate intermediate adrenal steroid hormones (ISH) in neutered dogs with hair cycle arrest (Alopecia X) during treatment with melatonin, and to see if hair re-growth is associated with sex hormone concentrations within the normal ranges. Twenty-nine neutered, euthyroid, and normo-cortisolemic dogs were enrolled in the study (23 Pomeranians, three keeshonds, two miniature poodles, and one Siberian husky). Coat assessment and an ACTH stimulation test were performed pre-treatment and approximately every 4 months for a year post treatment. Melatonin was administered initially at 3-6 mg, every 12 h. Based on clinical progression, each dog was continued on the current dose of melatonin, given an increased dose of melatonin or changed to mitotane. Partial to complete hair re-growth occurred in 14/23 Pomeranians, and partial re-growth in 3/3 keeshond and 1/2 poodle dogs. A Siberian husky dog failed to re-grow hair. Fifteen dogs had partial hair re-growth at the first re-evaluation. Melatonin dosage was increased in eight dogs but only one had improved hair re-growth. On mitotane treatment, partial to complete hair re-growth was seen in 4/6 dogs and no re-growth in 2/6 dogs. No significant decrease in sex hormone concentrations were seen during melatonin or mitotane treatment. Concentrations of ISH in dogs with hair re-growth did not differ significantly from pre-treatment values. At the completion of the study, androstenedione, progesterone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone were still above reference ranges in 21, 64 and 36%, respectively, of dogs with partial to complete hair re-growth. In conclusion, 62% of dogs had partial to complete hair re-growth. However, not all dogs with hair re-growth had concentrations of ISH within the normal range.

    Am J Vet Res. 2011 May;72(5):675-80. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.72.5.675.

    Effect of combined lignan phytoestrogen and melatonin treatment on secretion of steroid hormones by adrenal carcinoma cells.

    Fecteau KA1, Eiler H, Oliver JW.

    Author information

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE:

    To investigate the in vitro effect of the combination of lignan enterolactone (ENL) or lignan enterodiol (END) with melatonin on steroid hormone secretion and cellular aromatase content in human adrenal carcinoma cells.

    SAMPLE:

    Human adrenocortical carcinoma cells.

    PROCEDURES:

    Melatonin plus ENL or END was added to cell culture medium along with cAMP (100?M); control cells received cAMP alone. Medium and cell lysates were collected after 24 and 48 hours of cultivation. Samples of medium were analyzed for progesterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, aldosterone, estradiol, and cortisol concentration by use of radioimmunoassays. Cell lysates were used for western blot analysis of aromatase content.

    RESULTS:

    The addition of ENL or END with melatonin to cAMP-stimulated cells (treated cells) resulted in significant decreases in estradiol, androstenedione, and cortisol concentrations at 24 and 48 hours, compared with concentrations in cells stimulated with cAMP alone (cAMP control cells). The addition of these compounds to cAMP-stimulated cells also resulted in higher progesterone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations than in cAMP control cells; aldosterone concentration was not affected by treatments. Compared with the content in cAMP control cells, aromatase content in treated cells was significantly lower.

    CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

    The combination of lignan and melatonin affected steroid hormone secretion by acting directly on adrenal tumor cells. Results supported the concept that this combination may yield similar effects on steroid hormone secretion by the adrenal glands in dogs with typical and atypical hyperadrenocorticism.

  33. Kathy Falbo says:

    How much extensive training has been done on Genetically Modified dog food, the type most of our dogs get now. Has there been much done on that, looking for explanations on why so many of our dogs are sick with one disease or another? My vet who has been in practice for 38 years is shocked at the cancer, diabetes, arthritis and other diseases she sees on a daily basis, diseases she rarely used to see. I see how passionate you are about the intensive laboratory testing that is done on man made chemicals that Americans swallow to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Have you ever read the book Our Daily Meds by Melody Peterson, because you should, there is some information on how detailed the studies truly are and how many times drugs made in labs cure our disorders. We are given meds that kill people in this country, and unfortunately not just one or two patients but sometimes thousands, but because the big pharmaceutical companies make billions on that drug it’s not taken off the market. I understand the plants we use for natural healing contain their own chemicals which can be either helpful or not there is something about chemicals isolated in a lab that seems to harm the body much more than natural herbs, plants. I was so curious to find out how many dogs you have cured of Cushings? Can you share that with us?

  34. skeptvet says:

    To begin with, where’s your evidence that 1. our dogs eat mostly “genetically modified” and 2. that GMO causes illness? And where is your evidence that the chemicals in plants are safer than those isolated and used as medicine? You can believe whatever you like, but you are simply making things up here, and that isn’t a reason for anyone else to take your beliefs seriously.

    As for curing Cushing’s disease, do you even know what this disease is or how it works? If you do, then you must realize that the only way to cure it is to eliminate the tumor (pituitary or adrenal, depending on the type of Cushing’s) that causes it. No medical therapy, conventional or alternative, does that, so anyone claiming their product can cure Cushing’s disease is lying.

  35. Kathy Falbo says:

    My “evidence” is that most all of the grains in the US right now unless clearly marked USDA Organic are more than likely genetically modified, I don’t bet my pets health on the hope that it isn’t. There are hundreds of books, movies, research done on the damage being done to animals and humans by GMO grains and food. Not surprising to me that you don’t know much about it, most physicians tend to focus on drugs and prescriptions aimed at masking symptoms but never really curing anything and with the introduction of toxic chemical drugs into a body already under attack things tend to deteriorate. Monsanto and the other big Ag companies refuse to allow testing of their genetically modified, heavily pesticide dowsed foodstuffs and our bought and paid for FDA allows these companies to regulate themselves. The FDA just passed another regulation where they allow our beloved Big Ag companies to spray crops with many of the chemicals used to make Agent Orange. The isolated chemicals used to make prescription drugs are just that “isolated”. In nature they are accompanied by many other active enzymes, minerals and so on.
    I will be sure to write the authors of the hundreds of books I’ve read and tell them the research done on chemicals used to treat disorders and diseases and the studies they quote from are all made up. I listen to and read from some of the most well known, respected, illustrious physicians on the planet, from different countries specializing in human and animal health. I would be happy to share the names and works of the doctors and the seminars, books, research papers, etc. they have published.

  36. skeptvet says:

    Oh well, if someone wrote a book about it, then it must be true. As it happens, the anti-GMO conspiracy theory nonsense you are promoting is not “evidence,” just more anti-science hysteria. The science doesn’t support these claims any more than the others you’ve made, and I’d be happy to share the names and works of all the scientists who can explain why. But I doubt you would pay any attention to any opinion or evidence that didn’t fit your Evil Industry/Government Conspiracy view of the issue. If you have to assume that anyone who disagrees with you is ignorant or a tool of some conspiracy, then you are impervious to reason and evidence, and debate isn’t likely to be productive.

  37. Leah says:

    I came to the site because I was looking for more information on the wonder drug “adrenal harmony gold”. Lucky, my 10 y/o black lab was recently diagnosed and put on Vetoryl. She had exhibited the symptoms long before diagnosis, despite routine vet checks (2+years). Excessive panting, bloated belly (constantly diagnosed as overweight), bleeding from sores in ears, increased appetite (she’s a lab, it was thought as normal) restlessness at night, pacing, lethargic after physical exertion, etc.
    I was so happy once it was diagnosed and we had started the Vetoryl treatment (70 lbs @ 90mg). The first week was amazing, she had spunk and tons of energy, the panting stopped. By day 10, she because agitated, appetite disappeared and panting returned. I have decided that the Vetoryl is maybe not the best option for us. I also forgot to mention that about 5years ago, lucky contracted a fungal disease called Cryptococcosis. The vet gave her a week from diagnosis, before she would develop seizures, and projected a month before I would have to put her down if I didn’t start treatment ASAP ( treatment was a minimum of $1000/month with a 50/50 chance of survival, for the rest of her life). Instead of buying into the pharma BS, I opted for the holistic approach, which was a serious regim of colloidal silver water and oil of oregano (treatment lasted about a year). Within 10 days her symptoms vanished and she has been healthy and happy, fast forward 5 years later and now we are dealing with the onset of Cushings.
    Which brings me back to where I started, I came looking for another option to the pharmaceutical approach, as it is not working for my girl! Any tips you may have will be appreciated.

  38. Dan Stevenson says:

    Ok, granted maybe Adrenal Harmony won’t work for every dog in every situation but for my 12 year old miniature beagle the stuff is a lifesaver, literally. After my vet diagnosed her with cushings I was ready to say goodbye and have her put down because the tests had already started draining my bank account and the prescriptions were out of my budget and she was looking so bad I couldn’t stand to watch her in that condition. As a last ditch effort I bought a bottle and in less than a week the improvement was dramatic. Ever the skeptic, my wife convinced to to stop giving it to her after the first bottle was gone. Tonight she is looking horrible again after just three days without the drops. She’s panting, walking around aimlessly and the pain in her back and neck has returned. It may not be a very scientific trial but I’m convinced the stuff works. I am ordering another bottle tonight.

  39. skeptvet says:

    As always, I’m glad your pet is doing well, but such stories don’t tell us anything about whether or not these products are safe or effective. The same kind of story can be told for everything from bloodletting to ritual sacrifice to every supplement or medicine ever invented. Living beings are complicated, and though it may seem obvious when we do something that what happens next is because of what we did, it turns out not to be true surprisingly often.

    Why We’re Often Wronghttp://www.skeptvet.com/index.php?p=1_13_Why-We-re-Often-Wrong

    The Role of Anecdotes in Science-Based Medicinehttp://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=33

    Why We Need Science: “I saw it with my own eyes” Is Not Enoughhttp://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=729

    Don’t Believe your Eyes (or Your Brain)http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2015/02/dont-believe-your-eyes-or-your-brain/

    Medical Miracles: Should We Believe?http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2012/07/medical-miracles-should-we-believe/

    Testimonials Liehttp://skeptvet.com/Blog/2014/08/testimonials-lie-more-evidence-for-why-you-cant-trust-anecdotes-or-personal-internet-reviews-of-medical-treatments/

  40. Dan Stevenson says:

    So, I’m guessing I would have been better off giving up on her and having her put down?
    Seems like your over complicating the situation with psychology and science. I’ll choose to believe the end results. I gave it too her and she improved. I stopped and she relapsed. That’s enough proof for me…

  41. skeptvet says:

    No, I’m not saying you should do anything differently. I’m just saying that your story doesn’t prove that this product worked any more than the thousands of stories for homeopathy and bloodletting and Lourdes water prove they work.

    It may seem complicated to recognize the limitations of our own experience and use scientific methods to test treatments instead of trial-and-error, but doing so is why we have doubled our life expectancy, dramatically reduced maternal and infant mortality, and made all the other dramatic improvements in our life and health that we have made thanks to science. Trying therapies and waiting to see if the patient got better or not is how we have tested medical therapies for thousands of years, and for all those thousands of years, we filed to improve our health and life expectancy significantly at all. That shows pretty clearly that such a method doesn’t work, no matter how obvious the outcome seems to be in individual cases. Understanding this is important to making the best medical decisions for our patients and our pets. It’s not about judging you, but about understanding how science helps us to make our pets’ lives better, and why it can be dangerous to trust the conclusions of these kinds of stories.

  42. Janie says:

    The evidence is often in the hands of the dog and cat owners. They see the results themselves. It’s that mindset that the only good things for us and our pets are created in a lab dish.

    Myself, my husband and our pets have seen the results of eliminating GMO, Wheat and going back to the very basics of feeding and healing our dogs with little help from traditional veterinarians. My lab had a Fibrosarcoma on her paw. The vet wanted to charge me $250 a month for a supplement; the surgeon wanted to cut her leg off. I treated her myself. The tumor has shrunk tremendously and she looks and feels amazingly well.

    Trying to compare scientific results with “Real Life” results are different animals in themselves. For one, the lab animals being used are be treated WHOLE.

  43. Janie says:

    Meant to say “are NOT being treated WHOLE.”

  44. Cynthia says:

    To everyone who read the very long and dismal post by Skepvet please read my post. My little dog was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and her symptoms were typical where she had an insatiable thirst, a pot belly and was lethargic. I had two choices- put her on the standard medication that could potentially have other harmful side effects or try Harmony Gold which had no adverse side effects; save a possible upper GI problem. I chose to try the Harmony Gold and frankly I was not confident that it would work. Day one, I noticed that she was not drinking as much water. Day two, she appeared to have a little more energy. A full week on Harmony Gold and she was moving faster, drinking far less water and her appetite was once again normal. Let me be clear- I am not an easy sell and I am very, very skeptical when products claim to cure a particular ailment. Also, it is very rare that I will go on-line and write about my experience with any product, but this one warrants a response and if my note helps just one other pet to live a better life then my time has been well spent. Just give it a try and I bet you will be very happy that you did. My little girl has more energy and she meets me at the door with a little smile on her face. Thank you Harmony Gold from Cynthia and Chloe!!

  45. skeptvet says:

    As I have pointed out many times, anecdotes like this exist for every therapy ever tried, including things like bloodletting and ritual sacrifice which no one today would recommend. They are inherently misleading, and the unprecedented success of modern science in more than doubling our life expectancy and improving our quality of life tremendously has come about by specifically decreasing our trust in such anecdotes and placing it in controlled research instead. Science works and stories don’t, so the reason to challenge stories like yours is to help people avoid being misled, as we have for thousands of years, by such stories.

    Why We’re Often Wrong
    Testimonials Lie
    The Role of Anecdotes in Science-Based Medicine
    Why We Need Science: “I saw it with my own eyes” Is Not Enough
    Don’t Believe your Eyes (or Your Brain)

  46. Jo Ann says:

    All very interesting. If it was my child there would be no way I would experiment with untested natural remedies. I am a nurse for 40 years. I have seen how lab values can be misleading because parents have been using natural hearbs.Science based evidence is always best. But, for my dog, who is a 12 year old lab I am giving it a try. Can’t afford and not willing to pay for the expensive testing and medications. Already spent 3000 in last year on her. She has had a happy life. So, trying cushex. So far seems better. But also can be coincidence. We also stopped the steroids she was on for allergies and her ear infection and changed her dog food to lamb. I have often used melotonin when she is anxious from fireworks or grandchildren are visiting. It helps her to be calm. So who knows. But, she seems more comfy and hopefully she will be around a while longer. Sometimes, even with People it is trial and error to see which treatment works best. No one thing or medication works the same for all people. However, if I had unlimited funds, I would go with tested scientific medication first.

  47. Jo Ann says:

    In 40 years of nursing I have seen alot of changes and progress. 27 week old priemies did not survive, and if they did they would have many health issues from the treatment. Now many more survive with alot less sever problems. Also so many more kids survive cancer. Why? Because of science and research and testing. Unfortunately, most of us do not go to same lengths for our pet children. Like me, many of us don’t or can’t spend the money and time for testing and medication. Just to find out if my Sugar had Cushing was going to be alot more money. Then the medication and further monitoring would be on going. If we all did this , there would be more progress made at faster rate. We would see what works and doesn’t and then make it better. Maybe if pet insurance was more reasonable and covered more we would do more for our pet children.

  48. L says:

    I understand, when my corgi had some vague symptoms at age 9 (poor appetite, dry non-productive cough, occasional vomiting) times 3 days, no prior health concerns, I took her to the emergency place. It took about an hour, lab work, ultrasound, x-rays, physical exam, to diagnose with hemangiosarcoma. About $700, then about another $300 to keep her comfortable.
    No treatment options (mets to the lungs), about 1 month left, care and comfort or euthanasia.
    Sometimes, there is no explanation why these bad things happen, but I don’t regret getting an accurate diagnosis, if you catch these things early, then maybe….

  49. San says:

    My 16.5 year old shih-tzu was diagnosed with Cushings. I took her to a holistic Vet who did acupuncture on her and also prescribed 4 Marvels (Chinese meds) which is supposed to heal the underlying condition of Cushings. Unfortunately, it didn’t benefit our dog. She was on Cushex S and Cushex M for two weeks before the 4 Marvels and was doing much better so we put her back on the Cushex S and Cushex M and she is much improved and moving around again. after 4 weeks, she doesn’t have the symptoms of Cushings. We will be taking her in again to test her levels.

  50. Az GuynGal says:

    Our 12 year old furbaby was diagnosed with Cushings about a year ago. At first they thought it was pancreatitis and was treated medically. After a short period of time the same symptoms appeared and many tests were done including a CT, Sonogram, Echocardiogram, chest x-rays, extensive blood tests, etc. The diagnosis was then Cushings. He was placed on Vetoryl, 5mg – then more blood testing, then 10mg- then more blood testing, then 15mg- then more blood testing and finally 30mg. After the 30mg X2 daily we started seeing, more excessive thirst, excessive hunger, periods of excessive panting with eyes bulging, labored breathing, small coughs with a high pitched wheeze afterward (every couple of hours), more urination trips, more “skin tags” appearing.
    When we called the Vet, no response for two days. I called again and was told to take our fur baby to the Vet ER for a “check-up” and evaluation. WHAT!! We told her we were going to discontinue the high-dosage Vetoryl recently changed (doubled). She highly recommended that we not do that. We also told the assistant we were going to start giving our fur baby the Adrenal Harmony Gold because everything they had done for him had not helped at all and that his health was declining on a daily basis. We still haven’t heard back from the Vet. We feel the first diagnosis of pancreatitis was incorrect and that he had Cushings much longer than predicted. We know it’s a hard disease to diagnose however, from this point we’re going to change his food diet and use the Adrenal Harmony Gold. What do we have to lose at this point. We will monitor carefully to made sure our little guy isn’t suffering. Thank you for your time.

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