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“It’s My Hormones!” – What Weight Changes In Pets Sometimes Means


Whilst changes in a pet’s body condition are often related to lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, did you know that there are some cases where significant weight changes in pets can be the result of an underlying medical issue? This includes endocrine conditions (hormonal imbalances), which can actually alter your pet’s metabolism!

What endocrine diseases can cause weight changes?

Endocrine diseases that can cause weight loss include:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypoadrenocorticism

Endocrine diseases that can cause weight gain include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushings disease (hyperadrenocorticism)

How do we diagnose endocrine diseases?

These endocrine diseases will generally cause other noticeable symptoms in affected pets too. Depending on the particular disease, there may be changes in:

  • Appetite
  • Drinking and urination levels
  • Gut health, leading to signs such as diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Skin and coat quality
  • Behaviour

If you notice any alterations in your their normal activities and/or any unexplained weight changes in pets, it’s a great idea to book a consultation with one of our veterinarians for further assessment.

Depending on your pet’s symptoms, Dr Peter, Dr Dylan or Dr Chantal may recommend further diagnostic testing. This is usually best started with general blood and urine tests (measuring red and white blood cell levels, glucose levels, organ function and thyroid hormone levels), where in many cases, we will see “red flags” for these endocrine imbalance conditions.

Based on the blood test results, we will then be able to discuss whether further specific testing is required to confirm your pet’s condition. This can include specialised hormonal blood tests or abdominal ultrasound.

If my pet does have an endocrine disease, can it be treated?

Rest assured that in most cases of an endocrine disease, the condition can be either treated or managed with long-term medication.

Once the condition is under control, your pet’s symptoms should reduce or normalise, including their cheeky weight changes!

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If you notice any weight changes in your pet please book an appointment online with us today!