Archive for October, 2016
by admin on October 7th, 2016
Category: Special Offers, Tags:
by admin on October 7th, 2016
Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:
Margot is currently doing really well, recovering from an operation to correct “cherry eye’.
Cherry eye, or prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid, is quite common in small dogs and refers to a pink mass protruding from the animal’s eyelid;. The prolapsed gland itself rarely causes discomfort or damage to the eye, so the repair is mostly cosmetic. Most people choose to repair it, because it can have a very unpleasant appearance.
The gland contributes about 40% of the total tear-production of the eye and it is therefore imperative to aim to preserve the gland if possible as removal can cause a dry eye which can lead to damaged vision. If this does happen, it is controllable with medications, but it is preferable to prevent it. The most common surgical approach is a technique in which the gland is re-positioned using a mucosal pocket, creating a new envelope for the gland to sit within, but taking care to leave a few millimetres on either side to allow tears to drain freely. The unaffected side is often operated on pre-emptively.
by admin on October 7th, 2016
Category: News, Tags:
What is Addison’s disease?
Hypoadrenocorticism (or Addison’s disease as it is more commonly known) is a disease where the body does not produce enough steroid hormone. Steroids in the body are primarily produced by the two adrenal glands which are found in the abdomen close to the left and right kidneys. The main steroid hormones produced by the body are called aldosterone and glucocorticoid.
Aldosterone is important in the maintenance of normal salt and water balance in the body. Glucocorticoids have widespread effects on the management of proteins and sugars by the body.
Glucocorticoid release from the adrenal glands is under the control of a substance produced in a gland in the brain called the pituitary gland. Aldosterone release is regulated by a hormone system and by blood potassium levels.
What causes Addison’s disease?
Addison’s disease is normally caused by destruction of tissue of the adrenal gland.In the majority of cases the destruction does not have an identifiable underlying cause (this is called ‘idiopathic disease’).In most cases the adrenal glands stop producing both aldosterone and glucocorticoid (known as ‘primary hypoadrenocorticism’). Occasionally, only glucocorticoids are lacking (known as ‘atypical hypoadrenocorticism’).
Sometimes Addison’s disease occurs in combination with diseases of other glands such as hypothyroidism (this is a disease that causes thyroid hormone levels in the blood stream to be low).
Which animals are at greater risk of developing Addison’s disease?
Addison’s disease is a rare disease in the dog; however, it probably occurs more often than is recognised. It is a very rare disease in the cat. Any breed of dog can be affected with Addison’s disease but a predisposition has been shown in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Bearded Collies, Portugese water dogs and Standard Poodles. In addition Great Danes, Rottweilers, West Highland White Terriers and Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers appear to be at greater risk. Addison’s disease appears to be a disease of the young and middle-aged dog. Approximately 70% of dogs with naturally occurring Addison’s disease are female.
What are the signs of Addison’s disease?
Presenting signs in Addison’s disease vary from mild to severe and do not typically focus attention on any one major body system. The presentation of sudden onset Addison’s disease (the so called ‘Addisonian crisis’) is collapse and profound dullness. Some patients have a slow heart rate. Addison’s disease is easily confused with many other diseases. The presenting signs in longer standing disease are vague and may include vomiting, reduced appetite, tiredness, weight loss, diarrhoea, increased thirst and increased urination.
How is Addison’s disease diagnosed?
Blood tests can sometimes reveal characteristic changes in salt levels. Kidney numbers can also be elevated and mild anaemia (low red blood cells) is not uncommon. The salt changes occur as a result of a deficiency of aldosterone and subsequent effects on the way the kidney normally handles these salts. The salt changes, specifically a high blood potassium level, can have serious effects on the heart.
A definite diagnosis of Addison’s disease is made by your veterinary surgeon performing an ACTH stimulation test on your dog’s blood. This is a test where blood is taken, a drug (ACTH) is given to try and stimulate the adrenal gland and then a second blood test is taken one hour later. If the adrenal gland fails to respond to the drug, Addison’s disease is diagnosed.
What is the treatment for Addison’s disease?
The immediate treatment of life-threatening Addison’s disease involves the careful administration of fluids (‘a drip’) into the blood stream. Steroids are replaced by injection into the vein.
Once animals are stable they were traditionally gradually moved onto tablet medication. Most animals with Addison’s disease would have been discharged with prednisolone and fludrocortisone. Long term, the majority of animals were managed with fludrocortisone alone and this drug is given once or twice daily. The fludrocortisone dose often needs to be increased with time. In times of stress or illness (veterinary visits, bonfire night, boarding etc) animals will often need a dose of prednisolone in addition to their fludrocortisone and your veterinary surgeon will advise you on what to do in these situations.
Side effects of fludrocortisone can include increased drinking, increased urination, panting and muscle wastage.
Recently a new injectable medication (desoxycortisone pivalate) has become the first veterinary licensed product available for Addison’s disease and is used in place of fludrocortisone. It is intended for long term administration at intervals and doses dependent upon individual response as evaluated by regular blood tests.
What is the outlook for dogs with Addison’s disease?
Once animals are on appropriate therapy, they will require regular veterinary appointments for re-assessment and monitoring. The outlook for many dogs with Addison’s disease is very good with appropriate monitoring and treatment.