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- What is the Endocrine System?
- Diagnosing Endocrine Diseases
- Help for Endocrine Diseases
- More Information on Endocrine Diseases
What is the Endocrine System?
The endocrine system of a dog or cat consists of several glands and organs that produce hormones. A hormone is a substance or chemical that when released, passes through the bloodstream and affects other organs within the body. Hormones are essential for growth and development, digestive processes and utilizing nutrients.
The endocrine glands include hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, adrenal glands, and part of the pancreas, liver, kidneys, ovaries and testes. The pituitary gland controls the entire hormonal system. These hormones are responsible for regulating, coordinating and controlling stress responses, sexual activity and blood sugar levels. If there are imbalances in the endocrine gland and their hormones do not function effectively, the overall health of your dog or cat would be severely affected.
The common diseases of the endocrine system include:
- Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism)
- Cushing’s disease (Hyperadrenocorticism)
- Diabetes Mellitus
Diagnosing Endocrine Diseases
The diagnoses of endocrine diseases and hormonal imbalance in cats and dogs are based on the symptoms presented, a thorough physical examination and a review of your pet’s medical history. Certain diagnostic tests such as blood tests to measure the various hormones in the blood, stimulating tests, serum biochemistry tests, complete blood count (CBC) and urinalysis may be confirmed to confirm the diagnosis.
In addition, x-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, radioisotope scans, fine needle aspirates, and biopsies may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis of the endocrine disease.
Help for Endocrine Diseases
Treatment depends on the type of endocrine disease, the cause and overall health of the pet. Various medications are usually prescribed and in more severe cases, surgical procedures may be performed to remove the gland or organ. Most endocrine diseases require life-long therapy but if diagnosed early, animals can continue to live a normal, fulfilled life.
More Information on Endocrine Diseases
Tips to manage endocrine diseases
Although there is no cure for endocrine diseases, there are several things that you can do to strengthen your pet’s immune and alleviate some of the symptoms:
- Feed your dog a healthy, all natural diet without preservatives, colorants or additives, this will also prevent allergy symptoms.
- Always provide clean, fresh water that is easily accessible for your pet
- Make sure that you provide extra padding and softness for your pet’s bed to ease pain and discomfort
- Strengthen your pet’s immune system with immune-building supplements
- Monitor your pet’s appetite and general demeanour to see if there is any change in his condition
- Reduce stress and anxiety pet and prepare or avoid situations that may cause physical or emotional distress for your pert
- Visit your vet regularly for routine check ups