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Cholesterols are essential fats that all animals need to develop their organism correctly and maintain a balanced metabolism. Although cholesterol has gained a certain "bad reputation " thanks to the consequences of its elevated levels in the bloodstream, it is one of the lipids that the body produces naturally and is present in practically all cells, participating in the digestion, the synthesis of vitamin D and the production of hormones.
The problem arises when cholesterol levels in the blood are constantly excessive, characterizing a clinical picture called hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia. Although it tends to affect humans much more frequently, dogs can also be diagnosed with high cholesterol.
In this AnimalWised article, we'll tell you more about the symptoms, causes, and prevention for high cholesterol in dogs. Of course, we emphasize that hyperlidemia, as well as any other disease or health problem, can only be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. Therefore, do not offer natural remedies or home solutions, or self-medicate your best friend without the prior guidance of a trained professional..You may also be interested in: Hypothyroidism in Dogs - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Index
- What does it mean that our dog has high cholesterol?
- Causes of high cholesterol in dogs
- Symptoms of high cholesterol in dogs
- Treatment for high cholesterol in dogs
- How to avoid high cholesterol in dogs?
What does it mean that our dog has high cholesterol?
The term "high cholesterol " is used to popularly refer to the clinical picture called hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia, which is characterized by the constant presence of excessive levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
In this sense, it is essential to differentiate a eventual or temporary elevation of a picture of hyperlipidemia. When feeding or experiencing complicated situations (high stress, fear, etc.), it is normal for dogs to show an increase in blood cholesterol. However, these levels should normalize after a few hours of feeding or the negative context.
But if we talk about a case of triglycerides and high cholesterol in dogs, we observe that the levels of fats in the bloodstream remain high after having carried out blood tests in a context of fasting from 8 to 12 h.
Causes of high cholesterol in dogs
As with people, high cholesterol in dogs can have different causes. Therefore, it is essential to have the experience and knowledge of a veterinarian who, with the help of technology, will be able to assess the specific cause of hypercholesterolemia in each patient..
In general, pictures of high cholesterol in dogs are often associated with birth defects, metabolic problems, or an inappropriate diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Below, we summarize the causes and risk factors that may be associated with hyperlipidemia in dogs:
- Pregnancy: pregnant bitches can be especially vulnerable to developing hyperlipidemia, so we must pay special attention to the nutrition of a pregnant bitch and appropriate exercises for the gestation and lactation period;
- Nephrotic syndrome: it is a degenerative disease that affects the kidneys and is characterized by complex symptoms that include hyperlipidemia, proteinuria and interstitial edema. Usually develops from a complication of glomerular kidney disease in dogs (GERD).
- Unbalanced diet, with an excess of foods rich in fat, meat, dairy or industrialized products.
- Sedentary or poor physical activity, that is, when the dog does not perform the exercises it demands to maintain optimal health and a balanced behavior.
- Thyroid gland function problems (especially canine hypothyroidism).
- Abnormal and excessive activity of the adrenal glands.
- Cholestasis: consists of the total or partial obstruction of the bile ducts that is usually related to problems in the liver or pancreas.
- Old ageOlder dogs tend to show a greater predisposition to accumulate fat in their body and need special care with their diet and physical activity. They can also be more vulnerable to numerous illnesses and certain behavioral problems. Therefore, it is essential to provide adequate care for elderly dogs, as well as effective preventive medicine..
Symptoms of high cholesterol in dogs
High cholesterol in dogs is usually a silent disease, whose first signs are not very specific and difficult to recognize in our best friends. For this reason, many dogs are only diagnosed when their symptoms are more advanced. This is also why it is essential make preventive consultations to the veterinarian to do the necessary blood tests and guarantee the optimal health of our furry.
Next, we list the symptom that are often associated with high cholesterol in dogs:
- Bruises or patches on the skin.
- Abdominal pain.
- Formation of orange or yellowish bumps on your skin, which are filled with fat (known as dermal xanthomas).
- Alterations in the nervous system (which can lead to alterations in your usual behavior).
Treatment for high cholesterol in dogs
When observing one of these symptoms in your best friend or any alteration in his appearance or behavior, do not hesitate to go quickly to the veterinary clinic. A trained professional will be able to perform the necessary tests to confirm the diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia, as well as establish an appropriate treatment according to the needs of your furry.
Most likely, the vet will recommend a change in diet and exercise routine of your furry, in order to control cholesterol levels and improve their quality of life. Generally, adult patients with hyperlipidemia adopt a dog food with specific high cholesterol or a diet rich in fiber (which helps to metabolize cholesterol molecules), low in fat (maximum of 10%), and with high protein. quality.
Depending on your dog's health and cholesterol levels, the vet will assess the need for administer specific drugs or natural supplements that help reduce blood fat levels and prevent the development of diseases and complications related to high cholesterol in dogs.
¿Danacol can be given to a dog?
Due to the benefits of this product in humans to lower high cholesterol levels, many people wonder if they can also give it to their furry ones. The truth is that dogs can eat natural yogurt thanks to the fact that it is an excellent source of probiotics, but when we talk about its liquid version and, in addition, manufactured especially for humans, we do not recommend offering it. So, as we said, the most advisable thing is to go to the veterinarian so that it is the specialist who determines how to lower high cholesterol in the dog.
How to avoid high cholesterol in dogs?
Preventing high cholesterol in dogs is not only possible, but it is essential to offer an excellent quality of life to our best friends. The best preventive measure is provide complete and balanced nutrition to our furry ones, taking into account their age, size, health status and the specific needs of their body.
For this, the ideal is to always have the guidance of a veterinarian when deciding the best diet for our dogs. In addition, we must never offer them prohibited foods for dogs, as well as greasy, fried or industrialized human foods.
It will also be essential offer an active life our dogs, giving them the possibility of exercising regularly with at least 2 or 3 daily walks of 30 to 40 minutes. On the other hand, preventive visits to the vet every 6 months will allow us to monitor the health status of our faithful companions, as well as to diagnose any imbalance in their body early..
This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.