05-29-2016, 08:14 PM
Join Date: May 2016
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My beagle has hyperparathyroidism
Hey everyone! I am new to this forum and came here because I am desperate and don't know what to do. My 13-ish year old beagle Rooster has recently been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism, a rare disease that causes the parathyroid gland to become hyperactive, causing large amounts of calcium to be produced. This was discovered only via bloodwork as Rooster appears active, healthy, and happy otherwise. We have two courses of action: do nothing or have surgery. If we do nothing, the excess calcium will eventually destroy his internal organs, most likely the kidneys, and he will die. But we don't know how long that will take. If we go the surgical route, the hyperactive gland (there are four of them) will be removed and the other three will remain in place. This in and of itself presents its own issues. First off, this is such a rare disease that our vet hasn't even treated it before. She would be doing this for the first time (we think. we actually haven't talked to the surgeon directly, but Rooster's primary vet said she has never treated it before) and experience is crucial. Even if the surgery is successful, most likely the other glands have shut down to some extent since this one has been so dominant. He would most likely dip into hypoparathyroidism, or not producing enough calcium. This can be treated with supplementation BUT can cause serious complications, especially within the first week. His calcium could plummet causing siezures or potentially death. Even if he makes it past the worst of it (first week or two) we could still be in for constant evaluation and supplementation. I would hate to do that too him. He really hates the vet, and we can't explain this to him. The surgery has the potential to fix his problem and extend his life significantly. It also has the potential of killing him faster, or causing him a lot of pain. And, he really is an old dog. He has had heartworm in the past, he is lyme positive (although shows no symptoms) and is arthritic. Who knows if the surgery will buy him more time, although I really hope so. I feel like not doing the surgery is prematurely giving up on him but I also feel that doing it could do more harm than good. Anyone out there who has had this problem? Any advice on what to do or who to talk to? Any responses are greatly appreciated.