Bones, muscles, and organs all develop excessively as a result of acromegaly. High GH levels lead to organ expansion, causing a lot of suffering.
Acromegaly is a disorder that causes the body to produce too much growth hormone. It’s most commonly seen in dogs older than eight, especially if they are large or giant breed dogs, and large dogs mean large dog beds. Acromegaly occurs when a tumor forms in the pituitary gland and begins producing excess growth hormone (GH).
GH is responsible for stimulating tissue growth throughout the body, so acromegaly causes excessive growth of many tissues, including bones, muscles, and organs. When GH levels are elevated over time, they can increase organ size, putting pressure on surrounding tissues and causing pain and discomfort until your dog’s veterinarian seeks medical treatment.
What Is Acromegaly?
Acromegaly is a disease caused by a benign tumor on the pituitary gland. The name comes from the Greek word "acromegaly," meaning "giant." The pituitary gland is located at the base of your dog's brain.
Normally, this gland produces hormones that regulate growth and development. Too much growth hormone released can cause enlarged upper facial bones and enlargement of other parts of your dog's body, such as his paws or tongue.
Symptoms Of Acromegaly
The symptoms of acromegaly are varied and can occur at different stages of the disease. Some symptoms may be mild, while others can be severe enough to cause disability.
Increased appetite and thirst: A dog with this disease will have an increased appetite, requiring more food than normal to maintain weight specialized diets from Royal Canin dog food can help in the easy maintenance of a healthy weight. They'll also drink excessive water, which can lead to dehydration.
Increased activity level: Dogs with acromegaly tend to become hyperactive or restless as the tumor grows larger in the pituitary gland (the organ that produces hormones), causing it to compress other parts of the brain that control behavior. This results in a higher level of energy than normal for your dog's breed or individual personality type, so it's important to monitor them closely for signs like pacing or panting excessively when they're not hot/thirsty/exercising outside on hot days and costing you a fortune in calming treats for dogs.
Enlarged jaw: The growth hormone produced by tumors causes rapid enlargement between bones and soft tissues, such as muscle tissue, over time, leading to death if left untreated.
Causes Of Acromegaly
Acromegaly is a condition that causes your dog to grow larger than normal. A tumor causes it in the pituitary gland (a pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain).
Knowing the signs of acromegaly is important to get your dog treated as early as possible.
Other things that can cause acromegaly include Cushing's disease, which is caused by high levels of cortisol in your pet's system; this hormone is usually released as part of our “fight or flight” response to stress but sometimes becomes overactive for no reason at all. This means it stays active even when there isn't any danger around. This leads to health problems like diabetes and more besides.
Acromegaly is a serious condition that can be difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are some pet medications and treatments available, including:
Surgery to remove the tumor. In some cases, surgery may be used to remove the tumor. However, if your dog's acromegaly was caused by an insulinoma (another type of tumor), then removing the abnormal growth would not stop it from coming back because it will continue to grow until it causes health complications such as diabetes mellitus (a disease characterized by high blood sugar).
Radiation therapy to shrink the tumor is given in small amounts over 2 to 5 weeks. If your veterinarian believes radiation could help in treating your dog's acromegaly. Still, if you're concerned about its side effects on his health and well-being, talk with him about ways that you can reduce their severity; for example, by making alterations in diet or exercise routine.
Life Expectancy In Dogs With Acromegaly
A dog with acromegaly can live a life of normalcy. However, the disease is progressive and will eventually cause severe organ issues. Although it happens in fewer than 10 percent of cases, you should know that if your dog develops acromegaly, he will likely not live as long as other dogs in your household.
The average life expectancy for a dog with acromegaly is 6-7 years old. However, this number could be shorter or longer depending on his health level at the time of diagnosis and how well he responds to treatment. Dogs who are diagnosed early can have an increased lifespan compared to those who are later diagnosed because they tend to respond better to treatment. It’s also possible for some dogs with late-stage acromegaly to go into remission without surgery or any kind of treatment.
Diagnosis And Treatment Help Your Dog Live A Full Life
Your dog can live a full life even with a diagnosis and treatment. Arthritis is a common complication, but it’s treatable with Dasuquin advanced, Galliprant, and Previcox for dogs. These are readily available at a pet pharmacy, or get pet meds online. Dogs with acromegaly may be at risk for diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and other conditions associated with aging. Regular vet visits will help manage these risks by monitoring your dog’s health.
Dogs affected by acromegaly have an increased survival rate compared to their unaffected counterparts because they have better access to medical care. Long-term studies show that dogs diagnosed early tend to live longer than those who are not diagnosed or treated appropriately until the late stages of the disease (when symptoms become more severe).
Acromegaly is a serious condition that can cause many health problems but is not necessarily fatal. With proper diagnosis and treatment, your dog can live a full life. If you think your pet might have acromegaly, talk to your veterinarian right away.