Addison's Disease and It's Effect on Your Pet

Friday, April 2, 2010

Addison's disease is a rare condition that can affect dogs and cats of any breed or age. This endocrine disorder occurs when the adrenal glands fail to manufacture enough adrenal hormones.

Certain breeds of dogs are genetically predisposed to getting Addison's disease. Poodles, Airedales, Saint Bernards, and German Shepherds are among these breeds.

The adrenal glands are in the stomach area right in front of the kidneys. These important glands produce corticosteroids, adrenaline, mineralocorticoids and androgens. Without these hormones it becomes difficult for your pet to metabolize their food and maintain a regular balance of potassium, salt and H2O. Blood pressure, stress and heart rate are also controlled by the hormones produced in the adrenal glands.

There are several things that can signify Addison's disease. If you pet is not eating enough, lethargic, dehydrated, weak, depressed or vomiting then they could be suffering from this rare adrenal gland disorder. Make sure you take them to the vet right away. Even if it is not Addison's disease there could be another serious problem brewing.

Your vet will give your pet a complete examination and look over it's medical history. They might run a CBC (complete blood count), urine test, x-rays and an ultrasound. Once other disorders are ruled out they should be able to give you an accurate diagnosis.

Researchers have not discovered the cause of Addison's disease but many of them think it has to do with the adrenal glands being destroyed by the dogs/cats immune system. Heredity, infection, cancer and withdrawal from a steroid prescription can also contribute to causing Addison's.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Addison's disease. If it is caught early a long term treatment plan can be setup and your pet can still enjoy the rest of it's life.

Addison's disease is treated differently depending on how severe the symptoms are. If it is a chronic case then hormone replacement therapy might be in order. For these cases, a salt supplement is often given once a day.

If your pet is in crisis it might need to be hospitalized. An IV will be started and the electrolytes and acids will be monitored. Hormones will likely be given to them while they are still in the hospital.

Chamomilla, zingiber, cratageous, nux vom and lycopus are herbs that can help your pet along because of their effect on keeping the endocrine system in balance and their support for the thyroids. If you decide to use a natural medicine you should still talk to your vet. There might be things you need to do, in addition to a natural routine.

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Pet Memorial March 14, 2013 at 9:49 PM  

Helpful article is written on Addison's disease.
Pet Urn

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