We’ve all been taught that the term “steroid” means cortisol and its cousins cortisone, prednisone, methylpred, etc. Medical and veterinary personnel fall into this trap, as well. Doctors say things like, “I’m going to write you a prescription for a steroid.” So, we all tend to equate “steroid” with cortisone and prednisone.
When we discuss SARD dogs it becomes clear just how inaccurate and impractical this description is.
A steroid is a molecule with a particular shape — four rings of carbon atoms. More importantly, it’s a molecule with a mission. A steroid signals cells to do their work. It’s called a signaling molecule. There are hundreds of steroids produced by the body in addition to cortisol and cortisone.
Surely, you’ve heard stories of bodybuilders taking testosterone injections. They do this because testosterone is a steroid that signals muscle development. In fact, all of the sex-hormones are steroids: androgens, progesterones, and estrogens.
We know that when SARD dogs are tested, there is a high incidence of elevated sex-hormone production. These steroids signal many cells in the body. It’s the reason these dogs suffer such a wide variety of problems including hunger, thirst, obesity, lethargy, seizures, liver degeneration, etc.
So, when a SARD-dog owner says, “I would never put my dog on steroids” as though it’s a dirty word — Guess what!? — that dog is already experiencing high levels of steroids circulating through its body.
This information may make some readers angry. Other readers will ignore it. These are normal methods of coping with grief and loss of control. A few readers will have questions. Please see Part 2. And a very few will “be in a place” where they are ready to address the problem. I truly wish all of you the best. Click here for Part 2.