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Feline Endocrine Disease

Feline Endocrine Disease What is an Endocrine Disease?

Endocrine is a term that is used to describe the secretion of hormones within the body. The most typical endocrine diseases that we see in our feline patients are related to the thyroid and pancreas organs.

What does Hypo– vs Hyper– mean?

Hypo– means to be abnormally low or deficient.
Hyper– means to be abnormally high or excessive.

These word elements are used to describe the level of function in regards to a particular endocrine gland.

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

This is a disease process that relates to the inability of the body to make insulin or respond to insulin that is produced by the pancreas. Normally, the pancreas will secrete insulin in response to a rise in body sugar (glucose) due to recent ingestion of food. The insulin helps channel the glucose (energy) from the blood into the body’s cells. If insulin is not available then the level of blood glucose will remain high in the blood. When the glucose gets to above a certain level in the blood then it will pass through the kidneys (at normal glucose levels this should not happen). Glucose is a very large molecule and when it passes through the kidneys it drags water with it due to osmosis. The end result is an animal that is peeing more and therefore needs to drink more! Diabetes is a very serious disease if it goes undiagnosed or untreated and can ultimately lead to death.

What is Hyperthyroid Disease?

Hyperthyroid disease is the most common hormone imbalance seen in cats. It is a disease caused by a functional tumor of the thyroid gland resulting in an excess of thyroid hormone. More than 95 % of feline thyroid tumors are benign tumors (they do not spread to other body tissues). Hyperthyroid cats are in a hyperactive state and the most common clinical signs include increased appetite and concurrent weight loss, increased activity and restlessness, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Feline Endocrine Disease:

Disease

Clinical Signs

Diagnosis

Treatment

Prognosis

Hyperthyroid Disease

Eating more in the face of losing weight, increased thirst and urination, unkempt haircoat, excessive vocalization, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea.

Chemistry Panel, Complete Blood Cell Count, Thyroid level, and Urine analysis.

Oral Medication daily (methimazole), Surgical removal of thyroid tumor, Iodine 131 injection (radiotherapy).

Excellent to good depending on response to treatment.

Diabetes Mellitus

Increased thirst and urination, weakness, weight loss, and urinary tract infections.

Chemistry Panel, Complete Blood Cell Count, and Urine analysis.

Insulin therapy and an appropriate diet.

Good with response to insulin and diet therapy.

 

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