What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is made up of a group of glands that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth, development, and reproduction. When a hormonal balance is disrupted, an endocrine disorder can develop. These conditions can be life threatening if not treated promptly.

Some common endocrine disorders include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism, where an animal has low levels of thyroid hormone.
  • Hyperthyroidism, where an animal has high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Addison’s and Cushing’s disease, which are diseases that affect the adrenal glands

If your pet develops an endocrine disorder, you will often see changes to their behaviour and appearance. These include changes in eating and drinking, urination, energy levels, behaviour and weight. You might also see panting, hair loss, dull coats, and other skin issues in certain disorders.

If your pet shows any of these symptoms, we recommend that you make an appointment with your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian will diagnose the disorder by performing a complete physical exam, and running blood tests. Once you have a diagnosis, our veterinary team will work closely with you to treat and monitor your pet’s condition.