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Endocrine disorders can occur as your pet ages so identifying these disorders early on is important for better health management.
The endocrine system is made of glands that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth and development, and reproduction and are distributed to different areas of the body. When the hormonal balance is disrupted, a disorder can develop.
“Hyper” refers to an excess of hormones.
There are several different common endocrine disorders in both dogs and cats. They include:
1. Diabetes mellitus: Caused by a deficiency in or resistance to insulin hormone
2. Hypothyroidism: Animal has low levels of thyroid hormone; most commonly found in dogs
3. Hyperthyroidism: Animal has high levels of thyroid hormone; most commonly found in cats
4. Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism): Can affect both cats and dogs although Cushing’s is rare in cats
Common symptoms of endocrine disorders include:
1. Skin issues such as hair loss or dull coat
2. Changes in behavior
3. Energy levels (increased or decreased from norm)
4. Appetite (increased or decreased from norm)
5. Weight (increased or decreased from norm)
6. Water consumption (increased or decreased from norm)
7. Urination (increased or decreased from norm)
Again, it is imperative that endocrine disorders are caught as early as possible. Endocrine disorders can be diagnosed by performing bloodwork and other blood tests. The sooner the disorder can be managed, the better your pet will be. If you have any concerns, schedule an appointment today!