The Most Common Endocrine Diseases in Dogs and Cats – Part 1

The Most Common Endocrine Diseases in Dogs and Cats – Part 1

From Cushing’s to hypothyroidism, a wide range of illnesses can have an effect on your canine or cat’s endocrine system. This two-part article appears at the commonest endocrine illnesses affecting our animal companions.

Your canine or cat’s endocrine system is made up of glands that secrete hormones to have an effect on her physique in varied methods. The glands of the endocrine system regulate a variety of features, together with metabolism, hair development, muscle energy, digestion, and copy. Like different programs of the physique, your canine or cat’s endocrine system can develop varied disorders, the commonest of which embrace diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s illness, and Addison’s illness. This two-part article takes a more in-depth take a look at these endocrine issues, and the way they are often handled utilizing another strategy. Let’s begin with hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Cushing’s illness.

FAST FACT: Most of those illnesses have signs that overlap. One of the earliest and commonest signs is elevated thirst.

wholesale CBD for Pets


Hypothyroid illness, or an underactive thyroid gland, is the commonest hormone imbalance in canine, however is extraordinarily uncommon in cats. The thyroid gland is answerable for metabolism; when it doesn’t perform correctly, the physique slows down, resulting in lethargy and weight problems. The cycle of hair development and shedding is interrupted, and plenty of canine develop bald patches, notably alongside the flanks. The hair will develop into dry and brittle and lack shine. Skin and ear infections are commonplace. Some canine develop into anxious, depressed, aggressive, or develop seizures.

Primary hypothyroidism is attributable to autoimmune thyroiditis, by which the immune system assaults the thyroid gland. Decreased manufacturing of thyroid hormones may happen with age. Large breeds appear to be affected extra typically, with Dobermans, Labradors, and greyhounds main the record.


  • Supplemental artificial thyroid hormone (levothyroxine) — given twice day by day, beginning at 0.05 to 0.1 mg per 10 to fifteen kilos physique weight. It ought to be given one hour previous to or two hours after feeding (not with meals) to make sure correct absorption. Some dietary supplements include floor thyroid gland, which may add thyroid hormone with out artificial supplementation.
  • Healthy, minimally-processed, species-appropriate complete meals weight loss plan — extra protein, much less carbs.
  • Decreased (or stopped) vaccines.
  • Vitamin D — present in cod liver oil, sardines, eggs, kefir, and beef liver, to help the immune system.
  • Kelp — a supply of iodine, which is required for thyroid perform; 1/4 teaspoon for small canine, ½ teaspoon for medium canine, 1 teaspoon for giant canine.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids — 20 to 30 mg per pound of physique weight day by day of EPA and DHA mixed.
  • Herbal thyroid dietary supplements containing licorice root, rehmannia, and ashwagandha.
  • Vitamin A — 50 to 100 IU per pound of physique weight day by day).
  • Ester-C — 100 to 500 mg day by day, dosed to bowel tolerance – use decrease dose if diarrhea develops).
  • Vitamin E — 400 to 1,000 IU per day to help endocrine perform.
  • Thyroid hormone ranges ought to be carefully monitored, as over or under-supplementation can have dire penalties. Be certain to work carefully together with your veterinarian.

FAST FACT: Hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Cushing’s illness generally happen collectively.


Hyperthyroidism, which refers to an overactive thyroid gland, is a illness of cats. When seen in canine, it’s virtually all the time associated to a malignant purposeful thyroid tumor (however has additionally been seen in canine fed diets containing thyroid glands). Cats develop benign adenomas of the thyroid gland; solely 2% to three% have malignant thyroid tumors.

Symptoms might embrace hyperactivity, elevated thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated urge for food with weight reduction, extreme vocalization, racing coronary heart price, hypertension, and probably a palpably enlarged thyroid gland.

FAST FACT: The common age of hyperthyroid cats at prognosis is eight to 13 years.


  • High high quality, excessive moisture weight loss plan — frozen uncooked, home-cooked, or rehydrated freeze-dried uncooked.
  • Yin tonifying (cooling) meats — e.g. rabbit, duck, grass-fed beef, liver, and clams.
  • Milk thistle (5 to 10 mg per pound twice day by day) and/or SAM-e (90 mg day by day) — liver enzymes are generally elevated with this illness so liver help is crucial.
  • Foods excessive in vitamin A — e.g. carrots, kale, spinach, and barley grass; add in small quantities if the cat will eat them; they are often cooked and minced or fed uncooked.
  • L-carnitine — 250 to 500 mg twice day by day for cardiac help; additionally present in excessive portions in purple meats.
  • Taurine — 250 to 500 mg two to a few occasions day by day for cardiac help; additionally present in excessive portions in purple meats, poultry, eggs, dairy merchandise, and fish.
  • Herbs to stability thyroid perform — bugleweed, which has been proven to lower thyroid hormone output; and hawthorn, which can assist decrease blood stress and reduce the work the guts is doing.
  • Acupuncture — can assist stability the immune system and decrease blood stress, in addition to help the kidneys and liver.
  • No extra vaccines.


Hyperadrenocorticism, or Cushing’s illness, happens in canine however is never seen in cats. Symptoms embrace elevated thirst and urination, extreme panting, hair loss, muscle weak spot, pot stomach, liver enlargement, and continual pores and skin or urinary tract infections. Hormones launched from the adrenal gland embrace cortisol in addition to estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This illness could be attributable to a tumor within the adrenal gland (could also be extra widespread in giant breeds), a tumor within the pituitary gland (could also be extra widespread in small breeds), or by over-administration of steroids. If testing reveals main adrenal manufacturing, an belly ultrasound is really useful to rule out an adrenal gland tumor; these could be extremely malignant and aggressive and troublesome to take away surgically.

FAST FACT: Pituitary gland tumors are rather more widespread, occurring in about 85% of canine with Cushing’s. These benign, slow-growing tumors often don’t unfold to different areas of the physique.

Dogs with Cushing’s illness generally have hypertension, which ought to be monitored and handled. They may have elevated calcium ranges which may result in the manufacturing of bladder and kidney stones. Pancreatitis is a standard complication.


  • Melatonin — 3 mg twice day by day for small canine, and as much as 6 mg twice day by day for giant canine; lower dose if animal is simply too sleepy or torpid.
  • Flax seed lignans or HMR lignans — 20 to 40 mg as soon as day by day.
  • Glandular merchandise — together with floor adrenal, pancreas, and thymus glands.
  • Antioxidant nutritional vitamins — vitamin A (50 to 100 IU per pound of physique weight day by day); ester C (100 to 500 mg day by day dosed to bowel tolerance – lower dose if diarrhea develops), and E (400 to 1,000 IU per day).
  • CoQ10 — 100 to 400 mg day by day as an antioxidant.
  • Chinese natural formulation — Si Maio San, Ophiopogon, Liu Wei Di Wang, or Rehmannia at 0.5 gm per 10 to twenty kilos physique weight twice day by day; your holistic veterinarian will select the natural formulation that most accurately fits your animal.
  • Acupuncture — lowers blood stress and will increase power and muscle energy.
  • Hawthorn berry — lowers blood stress; feed 1 teaspoon of floor berry per one pound of meals or ½ teaspoon of hawthorn tincture day by day.
  • Milk thistle (5 to 10 mg per pound of physique weight twice day by day) and/or SAMe (90 mg for small canine, 225 mg for medium canine, and 400 mg for giant canine) – liver perform ought to all the time be supported.
  • Healthy, top quality weight loss plan — good high quality protein sources, minimal or no carbohydrates, loads of leafy inexperienced greens, decrease calcium ranges to stop formation of bladder stones.
  • No extra vaccines.
  • Minimal stress.


The causes of hyperthyroidism in cats are nonetheless not utterly recognized. PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether), a chemical flame retardant utilized in many industries; and BPA (bisphenol-A), used to coat the within of pet meals cans, have each been incriminated. However, BPA is probably not the reason for the issue. PBDE is present in ocean fish resulting from air pollution, so the affiliation may very well be with the chemical compounds within the fish, not the can. The quantity of iodine in cat meals (an excessive amount of or too little) may play a job, in addition to the addition of soy, which may disrupt thyroid perform.


If you watched your canine or cat may need one of many endocrine issues mentioned on this article, it’s important to take her to a holistic or integrative veterinarian for a correct prognosis, and to comply with his or her steerage on the subject of therapy. Do not give your canine or cat any new complement or treatment with out first discussing it together with your vet.

Veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan is licensed in acupuncture, meals remedy and chiropractic take care of canine and cats. A sought-after speaker and blogger, she integrates Eastern and Western medication at her two practices in New Jersey ( She has authored two books — From Needles to Natural: Learning Holistic Pet Healing and What’s For Dinner Dexter? Cooking For Your Dog Using Chinese Medicine Theory.

error: Content is protected !!