Volume 3 Issue 4

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Page 11 of 47

Page 12 | Abby's Magazine - Steroid hormones are produced by the endocrine glands (adrenal gland and gonads) and are critical for the animal's body to function properly. These hormones have many important jobs, which include acting as anti- inflammatory agents. There are 5 classes of steroid hormones: * Androgens and Estrogens affect sexual development and function. * Progestogens help in the female heat cycle and pregnancy. * Mineralocorticoids help with salt and water retention/ secretion through the kidneys. * Glucocorticoids are involved with protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism. * Cholesterol plays a critical role in that it is the precursor to steroid hormones, bile acids and provitamin-D. "Good fats" versus "Bad fats" As carnivores, dogs and cats are designed to eat animal meat and animal fat. The concept of good fat versus bad fat are not relevant in dogs and cats like it is in people. Instead the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American College of Veterinary Nutrition categorize fats for companion animals as either facilitative or functional. Facilitative fats are saturated fats that provide taste, energy and aid in digestion. Functional fats are mostly the essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6's) and they should be in proper balance. It is important to use a source of "grass fed" meat and fat (grass fed means the animal source in the diet was grazing on grasses, not fed or finished on GMO corn), and avoiding GMO's, hormones and pesticides. The most common cholesterol disorder is hyperlipidemia, a condition in which there is an increase in cholesterol and/or triglycerides. Though this disorder may be primary or genetic, the most common underlying cause is eating a species inappropriate diet (kibble and canned food with excessive carbohydrates and fats) that promotes the onset of contributing diseases. Contributing diseases include kidney degeneration, adrenal gland disease (Cushing's disease also called hyperadrenocorticism), low thyroid, diabetes mellitus, and blocked bile ducts. Patients with hyperlipidemia are at a high risk of developing a fatal bout of pancreatitis! Unlike in humans, dogs and cats are resistant to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) associated with hypercholesterolemia. Many patients start out not showing symptoms of hyperlipidemia. Often the disease is identified on routine annual blood work or preoperative screenings. Symptoms range from abdominal pain, skin disorders, seizures or other nervous system disorders. Whether the condition involves primary hyperlipidemia or is secondary to other diseases resulting in hyperlipidemia, the treatment involves feeding a species appropriate balanced raw diet with omega-3 fatty acids. If it is determined that the hyperlipidemia is secondary to another Cholesterol and Your Pets

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