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D2007-04

Dear Daisy Dog

My name is Presley, and I am a dog with a drinking problem. That is, I used to drink too much water. My veterinarian thought it was just part of my quirky, anxious personality until blood work for a routine surgical procedure showed otherwise.

We learned that my excessive drinking was due to overactive parathyroid glands. The defective glands were removed, and now I drink normally. If it hadn’t been for the blood work, I would have become very sick and eventually died.

Please tell your readers to watch their pets’ behavior closely, because even minor changes can signal big health problems.

Daisy Responds

You did it better than I could have. Thanks, Presley.

Your experience is consistent with the results of a study of 90 apparently healthy dogs over seven years of age.

Although veterinarians who examined them found no medical problems, lab work identified a significant number with abnormalities.

For example, 11 dogs had urinary tract infections.

Three were diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, or overactive adrenal glands.

Moreover, 26 dogs had subnormal thyroid hormone levels in the blood.

In short, more than 20 percent of the apparently healthy dogs had significant medical problems that could be diagnosed only through lab work.

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