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This Months April's News Letter
In Pet Wellness:
"Endocrine System Problems in Dogs"
The endocrine system is composed of issues that secrete hormones. Some of
the most important organs in the endocrine system are the thyroid glands,
the parathyroid glands, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, the pituitary gland
and the ovaries and testes.
This conditions occurs when a dog's pancreas doesn't produce insulin or,
less commonly when a dog's tissues are unable to use insulin, which the
cells need to absorb glucose, their energy source.
The causes are uncertain, but some dogs, particularly females of all breeds,
as well as male and female. Obese dogs are at risk.
Infection or presence of another disease, such as Cushing's syndrome may cause
diabetes. Common signs are increased appetite and water intake coupled with
increased urination and continual weight loss. Cataracts causing vision loss
can develop. Without treatment, the result is ketoacidosis, a life-threatening
condition in which the blood is dangerously acidified; signs include dehydration,
weakness and vomiting.
Dogs that suffer from diabetes can lead long lives if they are given daily
insulin injections, monitored carefully (water intake, urination, and body
weight), and placed on a high-fiber diet. Spaying female dogs is also recommended
since female sex hormones affect blood sugar , especially during heat.
Cushing Disease affects the adrenal glands (bean-size glands adjacent to
each kidney, which produce a number of hormones necessary for life. There
are three causes of Cushing's syndrome: a pituitary tumor that releases a
hormone that stimulates the adrenal glands; a tumor of the adrenal glands;
and excessive administration of steroids meant to treat other disease, such
as skin disease or arthritis. Signs of Cushing's syndrome include dramatically
increased water intake (possibly three to four times normal consumption),
increase urination, abdominal enlargement, thin skin and gradually worsening
generalized weakness. Pituitary tumors causing Cushing Syndrome are usually
quite small and can be treated with medication. However, pituitary tumors
large enough to cause neurological signs (such as lethargy, blindness, circling,
or clumsiness are rarely treatable. If an adrenal tumor is detected or strongly
suspected, medication or surgical removal of the affected adrenal glad is
recommended; cure is much more likely if the tumor is benign rather than malignant.
This condition occurs when a dog's body under produces thyroid hormones,
causing a generalized slowdown of the dog's metabolism. The most common cause
of hypothyroidism is atrophy or immune-medicated destruction of the thyroid
gland, although the reason for the destruction is poorly understood. Signs
usually develop during middle age and may include a dull, dry coat; laziness;
mental dullness; symmetrical hair loss on the neck, back, chest, legs, and
tail; weight gain; and a tendency to seek warm places. Hypothyroidism can
also cause chronic skin infections. To treat, daily thyroid hormone medication
must be administered throughout the dog's life (without treatment, dog could
develop cardiac complications) and periodic thyroid tests must be carried
out to make sure the dog is getting the correct dosage. Signs usually go always
within two months after treatment begins.
This condition occurs when the outer layer (cortex) of the adrenal glands
shrinks or is destroyed, causing a shortage of steroid secretions that influence
the function of many organs in the body. The condition is most common in middle-aged
female dogs. The exact cause of this damage to the adrenal cortex is unknown.
Addison disease is called the great pretender because it can cause signs associated
with other diseases, such as gastrointestinal, neuromuscular, heart, and kidney
disease and can therefore be difficult to diagnose. The most common signs
of Addison's disease are vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and depression. A veterinarian
will also look for a slow heart rate, abnormal kidney function, dehydration,
and high potassium and low sodium levels. Addison's disease may be intermittent,
with signs coming and going; or acute, with a sudden onset of illness quickly
progressing to collapse. Lack of treatment can lead to coma and death.
A veterinarian will treat Addison's disease will intravenous fluids, and
steroids. Most dogs need steroids for the rest of their lives, usually administered
by daily pills or monthly injections. The vet may also recommend keeping the
dog out of stressful situations, such as kennels.
This is a condition in which a dog's blood-sugar level is abnormally low.
The most common causes of hypoglycemia are an excess of insulin given to a
diabetic dog; a pancreatic tumor that lowers blood sugar; and malnourishment,
especially in young toy puppies that have a lot of worms. The most common
signs of hypoglycemia are weakness, collapse, and seizure, occur after eating,
exercise, excitement, or fasting, and require immediate veterinary attention.
A veterinarian who suspects hypoglycemia is likely to give the dog a sugary
solution such as corn syrup or orange juice in order to alleviate symptoms
within a few minutes. In addition, anticonvulsant medication and intravenous
fluids containing dextrose and steroids maybe necessary. Without treatment,
a hypoglycemic dog may suffer permanent brain damage or death.
As always your Veterinarian is the best source of
treatment for questions or problems that may exist.
If you have any suggestions or comments or would like
to add to our "Monthly Newsletter",
mailto: CaroleMiller@In-Memory-Of-Pets.com>> Carole
mailto: JohnMingo@In-Memory-Of-Pets.com>> John
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and our "Message Board" and for the continued support for all that
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Bless all who come to "In Memory Of Pets" in sharing loving feelings
for their beloved ones.
John, Carole and Staff
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