Hyperlipidemia is defined as an increase in lipids (fats) in the blood. This may include triglycerides, cholesterol or both. Although hyperlipidemia is seen as a primary disease in Miniature Schnauzers and Beagles, there is usually a secondary condition that causes the increased fat levels.
The most common cause of secondary hyperlipidemia is an improper fast before drawing blood. Hyperlipidemia occurs normally for a short time after a meal, then the serum returns to the correct level. Dogs should be fasted for 12 to 16 hours before drawing blood to obtain an accurate lipid count.
Other secondary causes of hyperlipidemia are renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, Cushings disease and liver disease. In the case of secondary hyperlipidemia, correcting the underlying cause will usually correct the hyperlipidemia.
For dogs with secondary hyperlipidemia treatment for the underlying disease is the first course of treatment. For dogs with primary hyperlipidemia, a low fat (8 to 12%) diet is the chosen method of control. If diet alone does not control the hyperlipidemia fish oils (Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat) and medication may be added.
©2003 -2009 Canine Seizures All rights reserved
Last Updated August 2009