Endocrinology:

Regulating Your Pet’s Hormone Function

Dog with staff

The endocrine system is responsible for the creation of hormones which are used to control various functions throughout your pet’s body. These range from managing your pet’s body temperature and appetite level to regulating your pet’s overall metabolism, development, and sexual function.

Each endocrine gland plays a significant role in your pet’s health. When something goes awry, your pet may display a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Excessive drinking or urination
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Unusual hair loss or growth

Because these symptoms could indicate a variety of conditions, it’s essential to work with veterinarians who are knowledgeable about all aspects of pet health. At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we have extensive experience in treating a variety of endocrine disorders. Some of the many conditions we treat include thyroid, liver, pituitary, and adrenal diseases, as well as chromosomal deficiencies.

Thyroid and adrenal diseases are the most common disorders we encounter among pet patients. These conditions are more likely to develop in middle aged and senior pets. Senior cats are especially prone to hyperthyroidism, which leads to symptoms such as weight loss, rapid heart beat, and a significant increase in appetite. Dogs often develop hypothyroidism with age and display symptoms that range from lethargy and weight gain to hair loss in the collar and tail regions.

If your pet is exhibiting signs of an endocrine disorder, we will use advanced veterinary diagnostics to determine the exact nature of his or her illness. Blood tests will enable our veterinarians to check your pet’s hormone levels and organ function. Veterinary ultrasound will allow us to examine your pet’s glands for changes in size or structure.

Treatments for endocrine disorders will vary depending upon the specific diagnosis. Drug therapy is often used with great success.

The earlier an endocrine disorder is diagnosed, the better it will be for your pet’s health. That’s one of the reasons why regular dog and cat wellness exams are so essential. They enable our veterinarians to give your pet a complete examination and discuss any physical or behavioral changes that may be taking place. These could provide critical cues to underlying health conditions and enable us to diagnose and treat them before they become more serious.