Endocrinology (Hormones)

Endocrinology

Identifying endocrine problems as early as possible is important in dogs and cats. These serious, potentially life-threatening conditions are much more manageable when caught early, allowing us to begin proper treatment.

The endocrine system is made up of a group of tissues (mostly glands) that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth, development, and reproduction and are dispersed to different areas of the body, depending on the hormone’s function. When a hormonal balance is disturbed (by a tumor or autoimmune disease, for instance), an endocrine disorder can develop. “Hyper” refers to an excess of hormone, and “hypo” refers to a deficiency in a hormone. Treatment varies depending on the disease.

There are several common endocrine disorders found in dogs and cats:

  • Diabetes mellitus is caused by a deficiency in or resistance to the hormone insulin.
  • Hypothyroidism, which is often diagnosed in dogs, indicates that the animal has low levels of thyroid hormone.
  • Hyperthyroidism, which frequently affects cats, indicates that the animal has high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) can also affect both species, although Cushing’s disease is rare in cats.

Contact us if your pet begins panting excessively, develops any skin issues (such as hair loss or dull coat), or shows any changes in behavior, energy levels, appetite, weight, water consumption, or urination.

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Monday8:00am – 5:30pm
Tuesday8:00am – 6:30pm
Wednesday8:00am – 5:30pm
Thursday8:00am – 6:30pm
Friday8:00am – 5:30pm
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Monday thru Friday - Doctors arrive around 9:00am. Please schedule accordingly to see a doctor for your pet! Emergency Process For after hours emergencies please contact St. Francis Animal Hospital at 360-253-5446 or Columbia River Veterinary Specialists (emergency services) at 360-694-3007. Please call with any questions, we do not communicate over email with clients. Thank you!