AN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO COMMON METABOLIC DISORDERS IN DOGS
Metabolism is a series of complex chemical reactions which take place in the body to maintain activities of life. Metabolic processes simply break down the complex food material in an animal's body into smaller and easily usable nutrients that animals use to run the normal functionality of the body.
Interestingly, dogs have higher metabolism than people. They breathe faster and their body temperature is higher than the humans. Remember, smaller breeds of dogs have faster metabolic rates than larger breeds since they metabolize food so quickly and reserve less energy in their bodies as compared to larger dogs.
Enzymes are major players which speed up the metabolic reactions in the animal’s body. Any disturbance in the proper functioning of enzymes can lead to abnormalities in normal metabolism of the body. This can lead to serious health consequences in dogs which affect the normal growth, development, reproduction and overall well being of the dog.
Here we will discuss a few important metabolic disorders in dogs and some important tips to manage them effectively.
WHAT ARE COMMON METABOLIC DISORDERS IN DOGS?
Foods, liquids and drugs are metabolized by action of various enzymes in the body. There is a specific metabolic pathway for each and every nutrient such as carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism and protein metabolism. Metabolic disorders may be acquired or genetic. It is important to know that acquired (contracted during lifetime) disorders are very much common in dogs.
It is a metabolic disorder. There are two common types of diabetes in dogs. Diabetes insipidus and Diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is less common in dogs and occurs due to inadequate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) that conserves water in the body. In this metabolic condition, dogs experience increased thirst, frequent urination (produce large amounts of diluted urine) and sometimes can’t control outflow of urine.
Treatment strategies include best early diagnosis and ADH supplementations only under the supervision of expert veterinary practitioners.
Diabetes mellitus is a very common metabolic disorder in dogs which can result in high glucose level (hyperglycemia) in blood and urine (glycosuria). In dogs diabetes mellitus can occur due to dysfunctioning of pancreas or any other metabolic condition that causes insulin resistance in dogs. Treatment includes care and attention along with administration of insulin dose twice or as per prescribed by your veterinarian. It is also important to control the diet of your dog, avoid offering them too much sugar. Remember, obesity can also predispose your dog to diabetes.
Thyroid glands secrete thyroxine hormone along with other important thyroid hormones which play a major role in various metabolic processes in the dogs. Hypothyroidism is a low level of thyroid hormones in a dog's body due to any factor. Low levels of these hormones disturb the normal metabolic pathways which lead to increased weight gain (without eating too much food), dry skin, dullness and depression, lethargy, inability to do exercise and puffy face is a key sign of this condition. Remember, spayed and larger dog breeds are more susceptible to this condition.
Treatment includes supplementation of dogs with thyroid hormones as prescribed by the vet. Monitor the condition of the dog. Check the improvement in the skin and coat of your dog.
ADRENAL GLAND TROUBLES
Adrenal glands are located on the top of each kidney. They secrete essential hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone and adrenaline. These hormones play an important role in metabolism and other physiological and psychological functions in the dogs. Cushing disease occurs when a dog's body starts producing too much cortisol due to any adrenal gland abnormality. Important signs are increased thirst, increased urination, appetite, reduced activity, excessive thin or fragile skin, hair loss and recurrent skin infections. Only 10% of dogs can come back to their normal life. It is important to do a timely diagnosis and take veterinary attention to get a timely cure of this condition.
Addison disease is basically reciprocal to Cushing disease in which underproduction of cortisol occurs in the body due to any abnormal condition of adrenal gland. It leads to lethargy, depression, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and lack of appetite in dogs. Well, it is better to know that this condition is not that much alarming. Symptoms can go away on their own within a couple of weeks, if you keep the proper care of your dog. Plus, prognosis is quite better in this condition as compared to Cushing disease in which life expectancy of a dog becomes very low.
Give your dog the super food so he can live the super life
There are many metabolic diseases which affect the overall performance of dogs. This is important to reduce stress on the metabolic system of dogs and provide them balanced and vet approved diets. Designing proper diet strategy and stress relieving plans can save your dogs from life threatening metabolic disorders.
Gayet CB, Bailhache E, Dumon H, Martin L, Siliart B, Nguyen P. 2003. Insulin resistance and changes in plasma concentration of TNFα, IGF1, and NEFA in dogs during weight gain and obesity. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition. 88: p.157-165.
Jericó MM, Chiquito FC, Kajihara K, Moreira MAB, Gonzales R, Machado FLA, Nunes VS, Catanozi S, Nakandakare ER. Chromatographic analysis of lipid fractions in healthy dogs and dogs with obesity or hyperadrenocorticism. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 21:203-207, 2009.
KEY WORDS (METABOLIC DISORDERS) (CANINE DIABETES) (DOG’S CUSHING DISEASE) (DOG’S METABOLISM) ( DOG’S OBESITY)