Hyperaldosteronism is a condition that is caused by excess aldosterone, which is a mineralcorticoid hormone produced in the adrenal glands.
· Mineralocorticoids are hormones; they serve to modulate fluid and electrolyte balance
· Aldosterone functions to increase sodium absorption as well as potassium excretion by the kidneys
Hyperaldosteronism can either be primary or secondary. If primary, it is caused by a mass on the adrenal gland(s) or secondary to a serious illness
Clinical signs in dogs with hyperaldosteronism include anorexia, weakeness, lethargy and increased thirst/urination
On physical exam, patients with hyperaldosteronism have high blood pressure (hypertension; on labwork, these dogs have high potassium (hyperkalemia) and on imaging, they can have a mass on one or both adrenal glands.
The most commonly recommended treatment is surgical removal of the adrenal mass (adrenalectomy).
While the focus on this article is on canine hyperaldosteronism, it is important to note that this condition can affect cats too, though it is often not diagnosed or mistaken for renal disease.