Endocrinology (Hormones)

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  • May 16, 2011
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thyroidIdentifying endocrine problems as early as possible is important in 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 2 very common endocrine disorders found in cats:

  • Diabetes mellitus is caused by a deficiency in or resistance to the hormone insulin. (any age group)
  • Hyperthyroidism, which frequently affects cats, indicates that the cat has high levels of thyroid hormones. (older than 8 years old)

Contact us if your pet begins changes in behavior, energy levels, appetite, weight, water consumption, or urination.