Glycogen storage disease, or glycogenosis, occurs when the body cannot metabolize glycogen due to deficient or defective enzymes. This is a rare pet health condition, which is known to be inherited. If your pet has this disease, glycogen will accumulate in its body and can damage the heart, liver and kidneys.
How Glycogen Storage Disease Affects Your Pet
A certain amount of glycogen is essential to store carbohydrates in your pet's body and convert them into glucose whenever energy is needed. However, when there is too much glycogen stored, fatal health problems can result. As stated above, an abnormal amount of glycogen can damage your dog or cat's heart, liver and kidneys. However, in early stages of the disease, your pet will only experience such conditions as hypoglycemia, depression and/or muscle weakness. Some animals may also develop hemolytic anemia and hemoglobinuria. While most cats that are affected with this disease die before birth, the ones who survive will experience fevers, generalized weakness and muscle tremors.
Common Symptoms of Glycogen Storage Disease
Since glycogen storage disease is most often fatal, it is important that you recognize the symptoms of the condition. The signs that your pet may display will depend on whether it is a cat or dog, what breed it is, and how far the disease has progressed. However, the following symptoms are the most common of Glycogen Storage Disease in Pets: Fevers, Generalized Weakness, Muscle Tremors ,Slow Development (Young Animals),Depression, Hypoglycemia, Vomiting, Cardiac Abnormalities, Hemolytic Anemia and Hemoglobinuria.
Treatments for Glycogen Storage Disease
Treatment for glycogen storage disease on pets will vary depending on your pet's unique case and what symptoms it may be displaying. However, in many cases, an IV of dextrose will be necessary to help reverse low blood sugar. A special diet that is high in carbohydrates can help manage hypoglycemia as well. Unfortunately, there are no cures for this condition, and your pet will need to be continuously monitored and treated for any symptoms it may display. The best way to handle glycogenosis is to avoid breeding any animals known to have the condition. In this way, you can save any puppies from suffering from the disease in the future.
There are four different types of glycogen storage diseases that can affect dogs and cats, and some breeds are more vulnerable to some types than they are to others. While the following breeds are not all of the animals that can develop the disease, they are some of the most common. Breeds commonly affected by Glycogen Storage Disease: Maltese (Type I), Lapland Breeds (Type II), German Shepherds (Type III), English Springer Spaniels (Type IV) and Norwegian Forest Cats (Type IV). Glycogen storage disease is a fatal pet health disease that can occur in both dogs and some cats. Unfortunately, this condition is nearly always fatal; however, IV fluids and special diets can help control your pet's hypoglycemia. Additionally, it is recommended to spay or neuter any affected animals to prevent future cases of the disease.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.