Veterinary practitioners outside of the US face a unique challenge when trying to treat adrenal exhaustion in dogs. They do not have access to the same types of hormone panels that we have here in the States.
The first of these panels is the Endocrine and Immune Panel available from National Veterinary Diagnostic Services in Texas. This panel measures total estrogen, which includes estrone or adrenal estrogen.
The second option we have in the US is the Adrenal Sex Hormone Panel available from the University of Tennessee. This panel does not measure estrone, but does measure a variety of other sex hormones including progesterone and 17-Hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP).
Progesterone levels may be a way for non-US veterinarians to manage SARDS and adrenal exhaustion cases.
I recently received an email from a veterinarian in Italy. Without access to either of the US adrenal panels mentioned above, she cleverly decided to measure the progesterone level in her patient — a neutered male dog with Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARD). Progesterone was significantly elevated. Here’s what she wrote. My comments continue below the chart.
I assessed the progesterone level using an analyzer that is here in our veterinary hospital. The machine is a Futurlab AIA 360 analyzer, and the range for (female) progesterone is: – ovulation (4-8 ng/mL)- mating (10-24 ng/mL)
I’ve found some other range levels on the internet (image attached to this email) and for a neutered dog (as my patient) the normal levels should be 0.00-0.01 ng/mL. My patient level was 0.39 ng/mL, I think this result is quite interesting!
Thank you again ,
Dr. Lisa Carniello
Dr. Carniello is a private practitioner in Camisano Vicentino, Italy. She is a published researcher in the field of animal reproduction.
Readers: Progesterone activity occurs early in the adrenal sex hormone pathway. When there are elevations in progesterone levels, it’s common to see elevations in other adrenal sex hormones further down the pathway such as androstenedione, testosterone. and estrogen/estrone. See some examples here.
So, when practitioners outside the US do not have access to an estrone level or a full adrenal sex-hormone panel, a progesterone level may be helpful in managing these cases. There is one caveat. The reference range at some laboratories is designed to measure ovulatory activity — that is, large amounts of progesterone produced by the ovaries, rather than the small amount of progesterone produced by adrenal activity. In that case, practitioners might find the reference range (above) helpful.
In this article I explain why the traditional estradiol assay is of little use in adrenal exhaustion cases.
I hope this helps you and your dog.