King William Veterinary Clinic

Mixed up Metabolism

Posted by Lindsey Haile on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dozing Dogs & Chaotic Cats

The thyroid gland in pets rebels against conformity.  Instead of functioning at the same speed throughout life, it changes its pace.  This change can be due to shrinkage of the thyroid gland or hyper functioning nodules that develop on the gland.  In dogs the metabolic rate drops.  This decrease results in weight gain, a slower heart rate and sleepiness. Skin disorders, neurological abnormalities, behavioral changes and even reproductive, gastrointestinal, and heart conditions may subsequently develop.  In cats the metabolic rate climbs.  This increase leads to weight loss, a faster heart rate, and increased activity.  Additionally they usually have a ravenous appetite, an unkempt hair coat, gastrointestinal disturbances and at times, aggression.  We diagnose thyroid disorders with lab analysis of a blood sample and treatment is aimed at regulating the metabolic rate.  In dogs treatment consists of a daily medication to supplement the thyroid hormone.  In cats there are several options to down regulate the overactive thyroid gland.  Options include surgery, radioactive iodine therapy or anti-thyroid drugs.  Thyroid conditions can be very well managed.  Once we diagnose and manage the thyroid dysfunction, the pet’s metabolism returns to normal, and clients are delighted to have their pets healthy and happy once more.  If only our metabolisms could be fixed so easily! 

Lindsey N. Haile, DVM

King William Veterinary Clinic

(804) 769-3200


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