Having high cholesterol is one of the health problems that people can have and to avoid it, certain actions are taken such as improving diet and exercising more. However, did you know that your dog can also have this condition? Dogs can suffer from high cholesterol as a consequence of a disease known as hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia. Although it can derive from different factors in your pet, it should be treated in time to avoid major problems.
It is important to know that cholesterol is an essential fat for the correct functioning of the organism. But when cholesterol levels in the blood are too high, problems begin in people as well as in dogs.
Risks of high cholesterol in your pet
A dog with high cholesterol can have a variety of problems. This condition could affect your pet’s cardiovascular health, because excess cholesterol tends to build up in the arteries. In turn, this could result in serious diseases in the dog. For example, in the most severe cases, it could cause strokes, heart attacks and circulation problems.
Experts say that while any dog could have high cholesterol, there are some breeds that are more prone to it. This is the case of the poodle, the Shetland Shepherd, the Breton spaniel, the border collie, the beagle and the miniature schnauzer. While any dog can have this condition, it tends to be more common in older dogs.
Another risk factor is obesity. A poor diet with a lot of fats and dairy products that are not suitable for dogs can cause high cholesterol. A dog that does not get enough exercise may also have this condition.
Some symptoms of this problem in dogs can be:
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Blood in stool
- Bruising and fatty lumps on the skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Apathy, fatigue and lethargy
For any of these symptoms, you should visit your veterinarian to evaluate your dog’s health status. To determine what is affecting you, you will likely have a blood test. In case you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a specific diet and daily exercise. On some occasions he may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication.
How to avoid high cholesterol
The most important thing is that your dog can count on good quality food. It is recommended that the veterinarian be the one to indicate the best diet, since different dogs may have different dietary needs. This may vary depending on your breed, your age and your physical condition. Also, avoid giving him any food that is not suitable for dogs.
Another very important aspect to follow is that your dog should be physically active on a daily basis. If your dog lives in an apartment, you should walk it every day. In this way, you can run, jump and expend energy. This will help you stay in top shape and improve your overall health.
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