An experienced veterinarian will often suspect one or more of these diseases just from examining the patient and listening to the history. But it usually takes an urinalysis, some blood work, and often radiographs and/or an ultrasound to get a confirmed diagnosis
There is a complete site map at the bottom of this page
The Treatment and Discussion
Metabolic, Hormonal, Immune Mediated, Liver,and Other Diseases in
Dogs and Cats
Introduction to Metabolic Diseases
Metabolism is the magic and wonder of what goes on inside our organs and their cells.
Each organ ... the kidneys, the liver, the pancreas, the spleen, the adrenal glands, the sex organs, the gall bladder, the thyroid glands, the bone marrow, and the immune system ... all have special functions in the body.
And when these organs get out of whack all kinds of things start going wrong in the body ... often one thing after another ... because as you might imagine, every function is inter-related.
In the study of medicine, we tend to study one organ system at a time for ease of understanding, but when one organ stops doing it's job well for whatever reason, you can be sure the rest of the body will be affected. Sometimes we forget this.
That said, it IS easier to discuss each organ disease separately, so this page is:
1. A directory to other pages discussing particular problems.
The list of links to our pages about each metabolic problems is at your left, below, and also at the top of this page.
2. A discussion about laboratory testing... our number one tool for detecting and monitoring metabolic diseases
A Directory of Metabolic Diseases:
Addison's disease or Hypoadrenalcorticism: one of the many major diseases that make your pet nauseated, weak, and lethargic. It's a treatable disease, but your vet won't know your pet has this disease unless you permit him or her to do some blood work. Click here to go to our page about Addison's disease.
Cushing's disease or Hyperadrenalcorticism: a hormonal disease that causes skin problems, bloat, excessive appetite, inability to fight off infections, muscle weakness, and excessive drinking and urination. Cushing's patients often also have diabetes and other problems a the same time. Once again, blood work is needed to make the diagnosis. Click here to go to our page about Cushing's disease.
Liver disease: Very common in both cats and dogs as either a primary problem or in combination with other problems. In other words, the liver is almost always affected in the negative by other diseases. Medications and anesthetics also affect the liver. And when the liver is sick, typical symptoms include weight loss, no appetite, nausea, poor digestion, poor general health, and lethargy. Yes, blood work is our main diagnostic tool. Click here to go to our page about liver disease in dogs and cats.
Pancreatic Diseases: The pancreas have two main functions; some cells in the pancreas make insulin and other cells produce digestive enzymes. When the pancreas doesn't do it's job well, this results in either diabetes or pancreatic insufficiency. Infection or inflammation of the pancreas ... a very common problem ... results in pancreatitis. Cancer of the pancreas is luckily much less common, but pancreatic cancer is very serious. Click here for details about pancreatitis and pancreatic insufficiency. For diabetes ... see below.
Cardiology Heart disease in Cats, Cardiac Hypertrophy, Valvular disease, Cardiac Insufficiency, Congestive Heart Failure, Heartworm Disease, and a little history about the milestones in treating heart disease
Cats: general information page and directory of diseases and problems specific to cats including vaccine recommendations, leukemia, feline viral infections, feline upper respiratory disease and cats that just aren't feeling well.
Anemia: The bones do more than just support your body. They're also metabolic factories that make red blood cells for carrying oxygen as well as white blood cells needed for fighting infections. Anemia and other Bone Marrow Diseases:
Immune Symtem Diseases ... coming soon
Sex Hormone and Growth Hormone Disease: ...coming soon
Diabetes is quite common in both cats and dogs. Giving insulin by injection seems scary at first but most people find treatment no big deal after a few times.