Cassie Handley is a 13 year old Labrador who has been a patient at the clinic since she was a puppy. She visited the clinic for her annual vaccination in July last year. At this visit Cassie’s dad was a bit worried that Cassie had put on a lot of weight (6 kilograms or 21% increase since the last visit 6 months previously) and that she seemed to be quite lethargic.
Dr. Liberty Hogg examined Cassie and had a discussion with Cassie’s dad about our health care recommendations for ageing pets. A blood screen was performed and the results confirmed Dr Hogg’s suspicion that Cassie was suffering from hypothyroidism (under activity of the thyroid glands). This means her thyroid glands were not producing enough thyroid hormone, a hormone that is important for controlling the body’s metabolism. Ninety percent of all cases of hypothyroidism in dogs is caused by inflammation or shrinkage of the thyroid gland generally due to an autoimmune condition. Rarely it can be caused by cancer.
Signs of hypothyroidism can include:
Cassie was started on medication to support her thyroid hormone levels and also Hills Metabolic Mobility Prescription Diet. After responding extremely well to the diet and medication, along with great dedication by Cassie’s owner, she has lost 6.5kgs!
We are just thrilled with the results and so glad that Cassie is feeling and looking so much better.
Interestingly, older cats commonly suffer from hyperthyroidism or over activity of the thyroid glands (the exact opposite of what Cassie had).
Signs of hyperthyroidism include:
We strongly recommend 6 monthly checks on all of your senior pets. We know that from 7 years old these regular examinations and blood screening tests if indicated perform a vital role in detecting the early signs of disease.
In human terms, from 7 years old, your pet is physically equivalent to a human that is between 45 and 55 years old and aging at the equivalent of 4-5 human years per year of actual time!
The Kangaroo Island Veterinary Clinic team are able to perform a full blood screening of your pet in approximately 15 minutes in house while you wait. This enables them to detect, delay the onset of or treat many of the conditions that cause suffering in our older patients such as heart disease, dental disease, osteoarthritis and kidney disease.
If you have a four-legged senior citizen that is overdue for a check-up or if you have any concerns about their health please don’t hesitate to call the Clinic on 8553 2485.