Animal Endocrinology Care
Hormonal disorders, such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes, are all endocrine conditions that can affect cats and dogs. They can usually be treated successfully with the right medical intervention.
Most endocrine disorders are chronic in nature and require a long-term plan to keep the disease in check. Blood tests are our primary tool for diagnosis, though we may also use imaging if deemed necessary.
An Overview of Endocrine Diseases
- Hyperthyroidism—Very common in older cats, hyperthyroidism may be the cause for your older cat losing weight despite an increased appetite. Hyperthyroidism is caused by overactive thyroid glands and can be successfully treated with common anti-thyroid drugs or surgery.
- Hypothyroidism—This disease of thyroid deficiency occurs often in medium- or large-breed middle-age dogs, though it can affect any dog, including mixed breeds. Signs include weight gain, lethargy, and a slow heart rate. Hormone replacement therapy can effectively treat this disease.
- Diabetes—A common disease of both dogs and cats, diabetes occurs when either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or because cells do not respond to insulin that is produced. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the more easily it is treated.
- Cushing’s disease—This disease refers to the overproduction of the hormone cortisol by the adrenal glands near the kidney. It occurs commonly in dogs but is rare in cats. Hair loss, increased appetite, and increased drinking and urination are all signs of the disease. Treatment for the disease is a lifelong medication, though sometimes surgery is also required.
- Addinson’s disease—When the adrenal glands fail to produce enough hormones for normal function, it is called Addison’s disease. The disease primarily affects young to middle-age female dogs, though male dogs can also get the disease. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and muscle weakness.
Veterinarians Mike or Lila Comalli will conduct a thorough diagnosis of your pet to determine the cause of any abnormal symptoms you notice and will discuss treatment options so that you are comfortable with the ongoing medical care required. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to address all of your concerns.