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Long-Term Health Conditions from Stress in Pets

  • Last updated on January 24, 2012

Adrenal Gland Fatigue

When constantly under stress, the adrenal gland becomes fatigued. The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system, primarily used to produce hormones to regulate blood pressure, glucose, and stress, among other things. This chronic condition prevents the adrenals from recuperating. Symptoms include fatigue, obesity and increased appetite.

In dogs, adrenal gland fatigue may produce:

  • Canine Addison's Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism)
  • Canine Cushing's Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism) 
  • Pheochromocytomas (Adrenal Gland Tumor)

Behavioral Disorders

Behavioural disorders in pets not only stress the pet, but their owner as well. They are usually caused by stress, the environment, emotional conflicts, genetics, and medical conditions that go unnoticed. There is an event that will trigger the action, but the longer it goes on for, the more the pet disassociates the action with the trigger. 

Common behavioural disorders include:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Elimination
  • Hyper activity
  • Neurotic

A pet that is mentally unstable in any way is not a happy pet. 

Digestive Disorders 

Chronic Stress can cause digestive disorders in pets. Common symptoms include chronic diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, and stomach rumbles. 

The common digestive disorders that may be induced and/or worsened by stress include:

  • IBS
  • Peptic ulcers/ H. Pylori
  • Gastritis
  • Enteritis 
  • Colitis/Crohn’s Disease