Amyloidosis in Dogs (May 2019)

Happy Wednesday, guys! Today we’re going to talk about amyloidosis, something that plagues the dog population but isn’t really all that well-known in owners.

There are a lot of potential problems that owners need to keep track of to ensure their dogs are safe, healthy, and happy. Fortunately, this is an easy one to understand and keep and eye out for.

What is Amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis occurs when proteins are deposited abnormally on a cellular level. In short, these protein deposits are not able to be properly broken down in a dog’s digestive system, and are then distributed elsewhere into the body.

Unfortunately, these deposits typically end up in various tissues throughout the body, including major organs.

These proteins are known as amyloids, hence the name of amyloidosis. They damage and then entirely replace the normal cells in the tissue and organs they are deposited into.

Safe vs. Unsafe Amyloidisis

As a dog ages and becomes a senior pup, it’s perfectly normal for minor amyloid deposits to make their way throughout the body.

However, moderate to severe deposits of amyloids is not a normal occurrence. Significant damage and the often fatal disease of amyloidosis will happen.

The majority of dogs are diagnosed with amyloidosis after the age of 5, but it can happen at any point in a dog’s life.

Aside from aging, it can be caused by certain types of cancer, chronic inflammation, and chronic infections.

Symptoms of Amyloidosis

Unfortunately, it can be hard to pinpoint symptoms of amyloidosis because it all depends on where the amyloid deposits are being moved to.

Listed below are the general symptoms of amyloidosis:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fluid building up under the skin, chest cavity, and/or abdomen
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood clots
  • Difficulties with breathing
  • Weakness in the rear legs

As I mentioned before, it can be hard to pinpoint where amyloidosis is occurring because it can happen in various areas of the body.

Catching it Early

If caught early, amyloidosis can be treated and managed to ensure the dog can be as stable as possible to live a long, happy life.

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