Mojo is a delightful male, desexed, 13 year old, bichon frise cross. He presented almost a year ago for drinking a lot. He was otherwise happy and well. We tested his urine and it was indeed found to be inappropriately dilute so we ran a comprehensive blood test. It was normal except for an elevated calcium level. Differential diagnoses for high calcium in the blood are lymphosarcoma, chronic renal failure, hyperparathyroidism, hypoadrenocorticism, anal gland carcinoma, Vitamin D toxicoses, chronic renal failure, multipole myeloma – and a few very rare other causes. So we went about differentiating between these options.
Mojo obliged by letting us take radiographs to search for any changes to his bones or any cancer. Happily, we found nothing. We did see small stones in his bladder. After ruling out the other diseases, and because Mojo wasn’t feeling unwell, we concluded that he had hyperparathyroidism.
Primary hyperparathyroidism is caused by increased secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) by the parathyroid glands. Surgical removal of the glands by a specialist after MRI and/or ultrasound is possible, but due to his age and his recent surgery his owner decided to trial conservative therapy which consists of minimising calcium uptake of the intestines by using cortisone tablets daily.
Mojo is doing very well and his calcium level is under control. His lovely owner is delighted to see him happy and well and enjoying life.
If your pet is drinking a lot please make an appointment for a consultation and, if you can, please bring in a urine sample.