Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Endocrine Disease

Nutritional Hyperparathyroidism

General Information
Nutritional hyperparathyroidism occurs in young animals fed diets containing improper amounts of calcium and phosphorus. It is most common in young cats. The disease develops in the following
manner:

A balanced diet for your pet contains nearly equal amounts of calcium and phosphorus. Most meats, however, contain very high levels of phosphorus in relation to calcium. Beef liver, for example, contains 52 times as much phosphorus as calcium. When such a food constitutes the main diet, more phosphorus than calcium enters the animal’s bloodstream.

The parathyroid glands (small glands in the neck) produce a hormone that restores the proper proportions of calcium and phosphorus. If little dietary calcium is available, the needed calcium must come from the only other available source: the animal’s own bones.

Removal of calcium from the bones severely weakens them, and signs begin to develop. If the condition is untreated, the bones may bend or even fracture. Eventually the animal cannot walk or support its weight, and it may die.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Radiographs (x-rays) are necessary to evaluate damage to the bones. Blood tests are used to monitor calcium and phosphorus levels.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

  • Upon arrival, owners can call us from the curb in front of the clinic and we will have a technician assistant come to your car and bring your pet inside.
  • From here, your pet will be examined and the doctor will develop a treatment plan which he will then communicate via phone with the owner.
  • At the end of the visit, an invoice will be brought out to your car and payment can be taken via phone.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.