High cholesterol levels in the blood are not only affected by humans. Although not very common, our domestic animals may also suffer from problems caused by hyperlipidemia . In this article, we will discuss the symptoms and treatment of high cholesterol in pets. We will also explain the main causes of hyperlipidemia and how to prevent them.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is one of the essential fats or lipids that make up our body. Although it has a bad reputation for problems caused by hyperlipidemia, our body naturally produces cholesterol. In fact, the molecules of cholesterol exist in each of our cells.
Cholesterol not only helps in nutrient digestion, but also helps in the synthesis of vitamin D and the production of certain hormones.
As you know, there are two kinds of cholesterol: HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. LDL is low in density and accumulates in vessels. It is therefore referred to as “ bad cholesterol ”. On the other hand, HDL is highly concentrated. It helps to balance our metabolism, toxins and to remove excess LDLs from our body. Therefore, HDL is called “good cholesterol..
High cholesterol in animals
Hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia is characterized by the persistent presence of elevated fat levels in the bloodstream . Or, to put it simply, cholesterol levels in the blood are always high and exceed the healthy level.
It is therefore necessary to understand the difference between recurrent and occasionally rising cholesterol levels. It is normal to increase cholesterol levels after eating certain foods or after experiencing stressful or strong feelings . Logically, the level should return to normal after a short time.
People and animals with hyperlipidemia have high cholesterol levels even in their daily lives . This poses a major health risk.
Causes of Hyperlipidemia
The causes of hyperlipidemia in animals are similar to those in humans. It is generally related to unbalanced nutrition, sedentary lifestyle , some metabolic disorders or congenital problems.
Let us look at the causes of hyperlipidemia and high cholesterol in animals:
- Meat, milk and fatty foods are predominantly diet style
- Still lifestyle
- Excessive work of the adrenal glands
Nephrotic syndrome (a degenerative disease affecting the kidneys)
Cholestasis (obstruction of the bile ducts)
Congenital abnormalities in lipid-depleting enzymes or lipid-carrying proteins
Symptoms of high cholesterol in animals
Hyperlipidemia is a disease that usually acts insidiously in the bodies of our pets. The first symptoms are signs of general illness and are difficult to understand in animals. Therefore, animal owners may notice the disease in later stages.
It is therefore very important to prevent this disease on a balanced diet. You can also prevent this disease by having your animals regularly tested for blood . The main symptoms of high cholesterol in animals are:
- Abdominal pain
Bruising or scarring on the skin
Dermal xanthomas (yellowish or orange tubers full of fat in the skin)
Changes in the nervous system
Treatment of high cholesterol in pets
After the diagnosis of hyperlipidemia, your veterinarian will recommend a treatment to meet the needs of your pet. These will include a diet change to lower the cholesterol level in your animal’s blood .
Generally, a diet containing fiber-rich high-quality proteins and less than 10% fat is recommended. The veterinarian may also provide a drug or natural supplement to control the fat in the blood.
How to prevent high cholesterol in pets
The best way to prevent high cholesterol in domestic animals is to provide a balanced diet with high nutritional value. You should not give your animal fat, sugar or chemically rich man-made food.
It is also necessary to have daily exercise to keep your pet’s weight and metabolism at a healthy level . Remember that a still lifestyle leads to both behavioral problems and the development of various diseases.
And lastly, you need to give your pet supplements for life. In addition to veterinary visits every six months, you should not interrupt your animal’s vaccines.
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