Cost of Treatment: $500 to $6500
What Is Hyperparathyroidism in Dogs?
Hyperparathyroidism is an endocrine disorder that occurs when the parathyroid glands produce an excessive amount of parathyroid hormone (PTH). This hormone regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. When blood calcium levels are low the body sends a signal to the parathyroid glands to produce more PTH and this hormone enhances the release of calcium from the large reservoir contained in the bones. In cases of hyperparathyroidism, the excessive amount of PTH leads to an increased amount of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), renal damage and pathological bone fractures.
Types of Canine Hyperparathyroidism
- Primary Hyperparathyroidism. Is caused by a tumor in the parathyroid gland and leads to an increase in blood calcium levels. It is most commonly caused by a benign tumor and occurs most commonly in older dogs.
- Renal Secondary Hyperparathyroidism. Is often a complication of chronic kidney disease, in which the kidneys are unable to remove phosphorous from the body, which causes the parathyroid glands to produce more PTH.
- Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism. This form of the disease is caused by a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D or an excess of phosphorous in the diet.
Symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism in Dogs
- Increased urination (polyuria)
- Increased thirst and water intake (polydipsia)
- Decreased appetite
- Enlarged parathyroid glands (these are in the neck area)
- Sluggishness or malaise
- Urinary stones
- Bone fractures
Treatment for Hyperparathyroidism in Dogs
Primary hyperparathyroidism requires hospitalization and surgery to remove the tumor, and it has a good prognosis. In the case of renal secondary hyperparathyroidism, your veterinarian will treat your dog’s kidney disease, as well as, stabilize calcium and phosphorous levels through diet adjustments. Dogs with nutritional hyperparathyroidism need a diet with the adequate amounts of calcium and phosphorus.
Resources for Canine Hyperparathyroidism
Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.