Pets never think about things like eating proper proportions, being overweight, or watching our diet, so pets must rely on pet parents to manage what we eat for us. Watch this charming video about a pet parent who really wants to do right for her pet's health.
Molly The WallyMarch 13, 2014 at 7:19 AMOver here across the pond we have the same problem but luckily I am tip top fit with all my hunting and chasing vermin. Breed faqs - chinook owners association, Because this is a rare breed, how long does it take to get a chinook puppy?
Don't buy a chinook - rain mountain chinooks, Don't buy a chinook if you want a guard dog.
Tips for new chinook dog owners - intervale chinooks, Is a chinook puppy dog the right dog breed for your family? Chinook dog, breeders, price, cost, nature and characteristics, Chinook dog, breeders, price, cost, nature and characteristics the chinook is rare sled dog that originated in new england.
A tumor or other abnormal tissue in an endocrine gland often causes it to produce too much hormone.
When an endocrine gland is destroyed, removed, or just stops working, not enough hormone is produced. Endocrine diseases caused by too much of a hormone can be treated surgically (tumor removal), with radiotherapy (such as the use of radioactive iodine to destroy an overactive thyroid gland), or with medications used to block the tumor from over-secreting the hormone.
One can normally treat hormone deficiency syndromes simply by supplementing the missing hormone. Despite its name, diabetes insipidus is not related to the more commonly known diabetes mellitus, and it does not involve insulin or sugar metabolism.
Diabetes insipidus is caused by problems with antidiuretic hormone (ADH or vasopressin), a pituitary gland hormone responsible for maintaining the correct level of fluid in the body.
Increased urination may be controlled using desmopressin acetate, a drug that acts in a way similar to antidiuretic hormone. In pituitary dwarfism, the front portion of the pituitary gland does not fully develop or is disrupted by a large pituitary cyst.
Pituitary dwarfism is most common in German Shepherds and has been seen in the Spitz, Miniature Pinscher, and Karelian Bear Dog.
If growth hormone treatment is undertaken, it consists of subcutaneous injections administered three times weekly for 4 to 6 weeks. Hypothyroidism is the condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. More than 95% of clinical cases of hypothyroidism in dogs come about from damage to the thyroid gland itself (primary hypothyroidism). The most common cause of secondary hypothyroidism in dogs is a tumor of the pituitary gland, which usually causes deficiencies of other pituitary hormones as well. Because thyroid hormone affects the function of all organ systems, signs of hypothyroidism vary. Changes in the skin and coat are common, including dryness, excessive shedding, delayed regrowth of hair, and hair thinning or hair loss (usually the same pattern on both sides), sometimes with increased pigmentation. During the fetal period and in the first few months of life, thyroid hormones are crucial for growth and development of the skeleton and central nervous system. To accurately diagnose hypothyroidism, one must first closely evaluate the dog’s clinical signs and routine laboratory tests to rule out other diseases that affect thyroid hormone testing. We treat hypothyroidism by replacing the missing thyroid hormone with synthetic levothyroxine (L-T4). Hyperthyroidism is a disorder in which the blood levels of thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, are too high. In dogs, hypercalcemia is often associated with a variety of malignant tumors, an underactive adrenal gland (Addison’s disease), or kidney disease. Hypoparathyroidism is characterized by low blood calcium, high phosphate, and low parathyroid hormone concentrations. Diagnosis of hypoparathyroidism is based on history, clinical signs, low blood calcium, high phosphorous, and low serum parathyroid hormone levels.
For hypoparathyroidism and other causes of symptomatic hypocalcemia, the goal of treatment is to normalize the blood calcium level and to eliminate the underlying cause of the hypocalcemia. Diabetes mellitus (often called simply diabetes) is a disorder in which the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (a simple sugar), which is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Meanwhile, the excess glucose circulating in the bloodstream can have harmful effects as well, including development of cataracts, pancreatitis, and skin and urinary tract infections. A diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is based on finding high levels of sugar in the blood and urine.
To successfully manage diabetes, you must understand the disease and take daily care of your dog. Diagnosis is based on a history of periodic weakness, collapse, or seizures, along with tests indicating low blood sugar. Removing the tumor surgically can correct the low blood sugar and nervous system signs unless permanent brain damage has already occurred. Cushing’s syndrome, also called hyperadrenocorticism, is chronic excess of an adrenal cortex hormone, cortisol. Common clinical signs include increased thirst and urination, increased appetite, heat intolerance, lethargy, a “pot belly,” panting, obesity, weakness, thin skin, hair loss, and bruising. Most dogs with hyperadrenocorticism can be treated with drugs such as mitotane (Lysodren™) or trilostane (Vetoryl™). A theory has arisen that the clinical signs of atypical hyperadrenocorticism result from excess adrenal secretion of sex hormones rather than cortisol.
Dogs with this atypical disorder generally respond to drugs like mitotane or trilostane, similar to dogs with typical or classical Cushing's disease. Addison’s disease, also called hypoadrenocorticism, is a disorder in which the adrenal gland (adrenal cortex) does not produce sufficient hormones. With complete adrenocortical destruction, the dog develops both cortisol and aldosterone deficiencies. Signs of Addison’s disease include repeated episodes of vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, and gradual, but severe, weight loss. A veterinarian may suspect Addison’s disease based on the dog’s history, clinical signs, and certain laboratory abnormalities, such as low serum sodium and high potassium concentrations. To evaluate adrenal function in dogs with suspected Addison’s disease, we collect a blood sample to measure the level of cortisol. Pheochromocytomas is a tumor of the adrenal medulla that secretes epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline), or both.
Diagnosis is often made based on clinical signs, presence of hypertension, and the finding of an adrenal mass on ultrasound examination. Hypogonadism is a disorder of the gonads or sex glands (testes and ovaries) producing little or no sex hormones. In the female dog, hypogonadism is more difficult to define because the sex hormones normally rise and fall during the phases of the estrus cycle. Like people, dogs can and do develop high blood pressure (hypertension), especially with advancing age. High blood pressure becomes an issue when a blood pressure to too high for the vessels carrying the blood. The retina of the eye is especially at risk; blindness is often the first sign of latent hypertension. Without obvious signs of hypertension, such as blindness, we discover hypertension through screening, as in humans.
In addition to correcting the underlying cause of the hypertension, medication to actually lower blood pressure is often in order. By far, the most common explanation for an overweight pet is simple: lack of exercise and too much to eat. There could be a number of reasons your dog is still overweight, including hereditary, temperament, and overall activity level. Hypothyroidism is deficient thyroid hormone, and it causes alterations in cellular metabolism that affect the entire body.
Cushing’s syndrome (hyperadrenocorticism) is chronic excess of a glucocorticoid hormone, cortisol.
Adequate exercise and proper diet are essential for all animals, but if your dog is overweight and you suspect an underlying disease, see a veterinarian for a thorough physical exam including laboratory tests. Feline acromegaly is caused by a tumor of the pituitary gland that secretes growth hormone.
Feline acromegaly causes diabetes mellitus relatively earlier in the course of this disease, so we expect to see the normal signs of diabetes, such as increased thirst, urination, appetite, and weight.
Other clinical signs will also develop in cats with acromegaly, addition to the severe diabetes. A tentative diagnosis of feline acromegaly is based upon compatible clinical features including insulin-resistant diabetes.
While acromegaly can be treated symptomatically in the short-term, medicating the signs of acromegaly does not address the cause of the condition – the GH-secreting pituitary tumor.


For the best long-term treatment results, external radiation therapy offers the greatest chance of success. Hyperthyroidism is a disorder in which the blood levels of two thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, are too high. Veterinarians diagnose hyperthyroidism based on the cat’s history, clinical signs, and physical examination finding.
Veterinarians treat hyperthyroidism by three main methods: radioactive iodine (radioiodine, I-131) therapy, surgically removing the thyroid gland, or administering antithyroid drugs for the remainder of the cat’s life. Daily treatment with methimazole or carbimazole, two similar antithyroid drugs, blocks the production of thyroid hormone. In older cats, hypothyroidism is usually caused as a complication of treatment for hyperthyroidism. Because deficient thyroid hormone affects the function of all organ systems, the signs of hypothyroidism vary.
To accurately diagnose hypothyroidism, one must first closely evaluate the cat’s clinical signs and routine laboratory tests to rule out other diseases that affect thyroid hormone testing. Hypothyroidism is easily treatable; it only requires synthetic thyroid hormone supplements. In cats, the two most common causes for hypercalcemia are idiopathic hypercalcemia and chronic kidney disease. Hypocalcemia is an abnormally low level of calcium in the blood, leading to twitching, muscle tremors, and seizures. A major cause of hypocalcemia is surgical removal or damage to the parathyroid glands (either as part of treatment for hyperparathyroidism or hyperthyroidism), which causes hypoparathyroidism (low parathyroid levels).
Other causes of hypocalcemia include kidney disease (renal failure) and calcium imbalance in nursing females. Hypocalcemia causes the major signs of hypoparathyroidism by increasing the sensitivity, or excitability, of the nervous system. The goal of treatment is not only to return the blood calcium level to normal, but also to eliminate the underlying cause of the hypocalcemia.
Diabetes mellitus (often called simply diabetes) is a disorder in which blood sugar levels are too high. With its cells starving for energy, the body begins to break down its protein, stored starches, and fat. Veterinarians diagnose diabetes when animals have high levels of sugar in the blood and urine after fasting. To successfully manage diabetes, you must understand the disease and take daily care of your cat. Does my pet need to lose a few pounds to get to an optimum weight for long term health and well being?" It's an important topic to discuss with your vet, just as Mommy did when I had to lose a little weight. Hormone excess disorders often begin with the prefix “hyper.” For example, in hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Hormone deficiency disorders often begin with the prefix “hypo.” For example, in hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.
Either the pituitary gland does not secrete enough of this hormone (called central diabetes insipidus), or the kidneys do not respond normally to the hormone (called nephrogenic diabetes insipidus). The urine is very dilute even if the animal is deprived of water (normally, urine becomes more concentrated when an animal is dehydrated).
This can lead to deficient secretion of a number of pituitary hormones; including growth hormone (GH), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Canine growth hormone is not yet available for therapeutic use; the only available treatments are porcine (pig) and human growth hormones.
By 3 to 5 years of age, affected dogs are usually bald, thin, mentally dull, and lethargic. Most signs are directly related to a slowing metabolism, which results in lethargy, unwillingness or inability to exercise, and weight gain without an increase in appetite. In more severe cases, the skin can “thicken,” especially on the forehead and face, resulting in a puffy appearance and thickened skin folds above the eyes. Females may have irregular or no heat cycles and become infertile, or litter survival may be poor. Dog that are born with thyroid deficiency or that develop it early in life often show dwarfism and impaired mental development. Usually, it takes 4 to 8 weeks of treatment before the coat and body will improve substantially. In both dogs and cats, hyperthyroidism is caused by a tumor of the thyroid gland that produces the excess thyroid hormone. Unfortunately, in contrast to cats, where this disease is generally benign, most dogs with hyperthyroidism have thyroid cancer. The signs associated with this condition depend on how high the calcium level is, how quickly it develops, and how long it lasts. Less common causes include an overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism), vitamin D overdose, and granulomatous disease. The most common causes of hypocalcemia in dogs include previous surgical removal of the parathyroid glands (leading to hypoparathyroidism), kidney disease or failure, and calcium imbalance in nursing females. It is uncommon in dogs, but can be caused by previous removal of the parathyroid glands as a treatment for hyperthyroidism or for a parathyroid tumor. If an animal is having muscle spasms or seizures because of low calcium levels, immediate treatment with intravenous calcium is needed.
First, the body’s cells cannot absorb glucose without insulin; they begin to starve despite the abundant glucose. Treatment involves a combination of weight loss (if obese), diet, and insulin injections generally twice daily. Initially, signs may include weakness, fatigue after exercise, muscle twitching, lack of coordination, confusion, and changes of temperament.
However, if the tumor has already spread (metastasis is common), blood sugar levels may remain low after surgery. Rarely, calcinosis cutis develops, a condition in which minerals are deposited in the skin and can appear as small, thickened “dots” on the abdomen. Laboratory test results may be inconclusive and dogs suffering from other diseases commonly show false-positive test results for Cushing’s syndrome. Some reports suggest that melatonin and flax seed oil may also be effective in some dogs with this disorder. Aldosterone is the main mineralocorticoid hormone, and it affects the levels of potassium, sodium, and chloride in the blood.
Because the clinical signs of Addison’s disease are vague and nonspecific, it can be difficult to diagnose in the earlier stages of disease.
However, one must specifically evaluate adrenal function to definitively diagnose Addison’s disease.
Often, there are no clinical signs, and the tumor is found by chance while performing an abdominal ultrasound for the workup for an unrelated condition.
Like the male dog, the most common cause of hypogonadism in the female is ovariohysterectomy (spaying). In dogs, primary hypertension is unusual; there is almost always another disease causing it. The kidney can also be affected, as it relies on tiny, delicate vessels to filter toxins from the bloodstream.
But what if you feed your dog sensibly, exercise adequately, and your dog still has a weight problem?
The dog may not feel like exercising and may gain weight because calories consumed are not matching calories expended.
This hormone is essential for functions such as maintaining blood glucose levels, metabolizing fats, keeping major organs functioning properly. Acromegaly produces severe” insulin resistance,” so most of these cats will require very large daily doses of insulin to control their diabetes.
Because growth hormone is anabolic, parts of the cat’s body, such as the legs, paws, chin, and skull may become progressively larger with time. This is the only available treatment that will destroy or shrink the size of the pituitary tumor and lower the high GH levels responsible for the cats’ clinical signs.
The most common signs include weight loss, excessive appetite, hyperexcitability, increased thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased fecal volume. They then confirm the diagnosis with one or more specific blood tests that measure thyroid hormone levels.
If the tumor affects only one side of the gland, only that half is removed and the cat will likely not require synthetic thyroid hormone supplements. In cats, signs include lethargy, loss of appetite, hair loss, low body temperature, and occasionally decreased heart rate.
Common signs include muscle tremors and twitches, muscle contraction, and generalized convulsions.
However, the hypocalcemia that occurs with kidney failure does not produce the nervous system signs that hypoparathyroidism does.
In severe diabetes, muscle is broken down, carbohydrate stores are used up, and weakness and weight loss occur.


However, older, overweight, and neutered male cats are predisposed to developing this disorder. But extra weight adds up quickly for a pet, causing health issues, just as it can for humans. In real life, normal conditions, 88% of dogs and cats that participated in our feeding trial lost weight without having to greatly change their life style.
However, canine and human growth hormones are different enough that dogs develop antibodies against human growth hormone.
Because the dog’s growth plates in the long bones have already closed, the dog will not grow significantly. These changes result because the dog is progressively losing pituitary function and the pituitary cysts is continuing to expand. Breeds most commonly affected include the Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Irish Setter, Miniature Schnauzer, Dachshund, Cocker Spaniel, and Airedale Terrier.
This puffiness, together with slight drooping of the upper eyelid, gives some dogs a “tragic” facial expression called myxedema.
They may also develop a large thyroid gland (goiter), depending on what is causing the hypothyroidism. Signs reflect increased metabolism, including weight loss, increased appetite, and increased heart rate. Therefore, the first step in the workup of dogs with hyperthyroidism is to take a chest x-ray and biopsy to exclude a malignant tumor. Supportive therapy, including fluids, diuretics (“water pills”), sodium bicarbonate, and glucocorticoids, is often needed to lower the level of calcium in the blood and stabilize the dog. Treatment in this situation usually involves dietary restriction and therapy to lower the blood’s phosphate concentration.
Diabetes often develops gradually, and owners may not notice the signs during the initial stage of the disease. Usually after being diagnosed with diabetes, dogs are hospitalized for a day or two, and multiple blood samples are taken to measure the blood sugar level throughout the day. Unfortunately, insulinomas are often malignant, and affected dogs often live only around a year. Miniature Poodles, Dachshunds, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Beagles are particularly vulnerable. The pituitary tumor produces a hormone (ACTH) that causes the adrenal gland to grow and oversecrete cortisol. However, once we have diagnosed Cushing’s syndrome, the next step is to determine whether the disease stems from a tumor of the pituitary or of the adrenal. However, dogs with atypical Cushing’s syndrome show normal or borderline cortisol levels on standard endocrine testing.
Low levels of aldosterone cause potassium to gradually build up in the blood and, in severe cases, cause the heart to slow down or beat irregularly. Therefore, severe consequences, such as shock and evidence of kidney failure, can develop suddenly in some dogs. When clinical signs are present, they may include increased thirst and urination, increased heart rate, restlessness, and a distended abdomen. Male dogs with hypogonadism have testicular atrophy, characterized by small and soft testes.
Not only is kidney disease an important cause of high blood pressure, but also it progresses far more rapidly in the presence of high blood pressure.
There are different types of Cushing’s with many symptoms and causes, so it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. The pituitary tumors that cause acromegaly grow slowly and may be present for a few months before clinical signs appear. We always rule out acromegaly in the workup of all diabetic cats that have severe insulin resistance (on more than 8-10 units twice a day). Internal organs, such as the heart, kidneys, and liver are become progressive larger over time. Cardiovascular signs include increased heart rate, murmurs, shortness of breath, an enlarged heart, and congestive heart failure. The radioactive iodine concentrates within the thyroid tumor, where it irradiates and destroys the overactive thyroid tissue without affecting other tissues. If the tumor affects both sides of the gland (the case in 70% of hyperthyroid cats), the entire gland must be removed and the cat will require synthetic thyroid hormone after surgery. Obesity may develop, especially in older cats that become hypothyroid after treatment of hyperthyroidism. To lower the calcium level in the blood, your cat may require supportive therapy, including fluids, diuretics (“water pills”), sodium bicarbonate, and glucocorticoids. Diagnosis is based on history, clinical signs, low calcium and high phosphorous levels, and a low serum parathyroid hormone level.
Treatment for chronic kidney disease and associated hypocalcemia includes special renal diets that help lower the phosphate concentration in the blood. As fat is broken down, substances called ketones are released into the bloodstream where they can eventually cause diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe complication of unregulated diabetes. Hair is gradually lost on both sides of the body, and truncal hair loss often becomes complete except for the head and tufts of hair on the legs.
As the disease progresses, signs may include reduced appetite, vomiting, constipation, weakness, depression, muscle twitching, and seizures. This information is used to determine the amount and timing of your pet’s meals and the dosage and timing of insulin injections.
We can often improve these dogs’ quality of life by modifying their diet and administering medications to increase their blood glucose level.
Less commonly (10–15% of cases), the adrenal glands themselves develop a cortisol-secreting tumor.
This can be done by further endocrine testing or by imaging techniques such as abdominal ultrasound.
Most veterinarians consider high adrenal sex steroid levels diagnostic for atypical Cushing’s syndrome. Some dogs have such a slow heart rate (50 beats per minute or lower) that they can become weak or go into shock. Hypogonadism decreases the animal’s tendency for marking and roaming, and lessens the aggressive behavior toward other dogs. In addition to hemorrhage, high blood pressure also increases the risk of embolism: tiny blood clots that form when blood flow is abnormal. Hypertensive dogs being treated with blood pressure medication should be rechecked every 2 to 4 months to keep their blood pressure in a healthy range.
Finally, despite the uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes, acromegalic cats usually gain weight (remember that most diabetic cats experience some weight loss).
In cats that are born with hypothyroidism (or that develop it at a young age), signs include dwarfing, severe lethargy, mental dullness, constipation, and decreased heart rate.
Common signs include increased thirst and urination, increased appetite, weight loss, recurrent infections, and an enlarged liver. In some cases, a TSH stimulation test or thyroid imaging (scintigraphy) is necessary for diagnosis.
After this initial stabilization, your veterinarian will provide appropriate instructions on managing this regimen at home. Long-term use of corticosteroid drugs (prednisone, dexamethasone, etc.) used to decrease inflammation or treat an immune disorder is a common cause of Cushing’s syndrome. Untreated hypothyroidism means a lower quality of life for your dog, but with the proper thyroid supplementation, this condition can be easily controlled, allowing your dog to enjoy a good quality of life. In some cases, such as after an endocrine tumor is surgically removed, the remaining gland will recover and hormone replacement will no longer be needed. Dogs with poorly controlled diabetes often develop cataracts, which commonly leads to blindness.
She was so unhappily surprised that I weighed 14 pounds when I should only weigh 11-12 pounds.
And we love giving you adorable little looks to get you to give us a treat, a bite, or a nibble of food.
The cause of the Cushing’s syndrome determines the treatment, which is also influenced by the overall health of the dog. Also my dog sister Angel has been sick and we got extra food sometimes in order to help her want to eat.
There will only be enough for one dog in the starter kit, so she can give the info for you Mitzi Jo.



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