Hyperlipidemia is a medical condition where there is a high number of lipids or fats found in a dog’s blood stream and can cause gastrointestinal issues, pancreatitis, abdominal pain, paralysis and seizures. Hyperlipidemia can be a result of poor nutrition, overfeeding of lipids, overuse of steroid medications, genetics or illnesses and conditions such as pancreatitis, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cushing’s disease, obesity and kidney disease. Certain breeds such as Collies, Schnauzers and Shetland Sheepdogs, can be more prone to developing this condition than others and may develop hyperlipidaemia as a hereditary condition. Hyperlipidemia can be prevented by feeding dogs a balanced and nutritious diet, providing supplements where necessary, providing regular exercise, limiting the use of steroid medications where possible, performing regular health checks so that any underlying illness which may lead to hyperlipidemia can be identified and treated early, and purchasing dogs from reputable breeders who can provide genetic testing results of both parents and the puppy. If hyperlipidemia does develop treatment, will involve identifying and treatment any underlying conditions which may be causing the hyperlipidemia. The affected dog will need to have dietary changes ensuring that a balanced and nutritious diet which is low in lipids is provided. If the lipid levels have not dropped in around 6-8 weeks, medication may also be prescribed which will aid in lowering the lipid levels, such as fibrates like bezafibrate, gemfibrozil. Niacin can also be provided to aid in lowering the lipid levels at this stage. The lipid levels will need to be monitored regularly for the rest of the dog’s life, and although it is manageable, hyperlipidemia is often a life-long condition.
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