How to Treat Hyperlipidemia in Dogs: A Detailed Guide

Dogs can suffer from the same health conditions as humans, such as hyperlipidemia. This can be caused by eating too many fatty foods, obesity and diabetes among other conditions. This condition occurs when your dog’s liver cannot process fats and cholesterol properly. In this blog we learn how to treat hyperlipidemia in Dogs.

The symptoms of this disease are often not obvious until it has progressed to a more serious stage. If you suspect your dog may have hyperlipidemia, there are some steps you should take right away to help them become healthier and happier!

What is Hyperlipidemia in Dogs

It is a condition where there are abnormal levels of lipids and cholesterol in the blood that can be seen and analyzed in blood samples taken. Sometimes it can cause pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas that prevents it from properly digesting food which leads to malnutrition and weight loss.

This results in fatty infiltration throughout the body including liver cells and heart muscle cells. The most common lipid metabolism disorder in dogs is hypertriglyceridemia which can be secondary to a number of conditions.

Its secondary forms are more often seen as the result of endocrine disorder such as diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism; pancreatic issues like cholestasis or biliary tract diseases (such as inflammatory bowel syndrome).

Obesity coupled with lack-of exercise due to chronic illness . This combination leads many people’s pets onto restricted diets designed specifically for these types of ailments 

Secondary lipids related illnesses may also occur through medication use: drugs that lower good cholesterol levels could cause problems by increasing bad cholesterol levels.

The potential complications of hyperlipidemia in dogs may include pancreatitis, liver disease and atherosclerosis.

Management is achieved by prescribing ultra low fat diet or drugs like omega 3 fatty acids; fibrates; niacin binds with cholesterol to make it easier for the body’s natural systems to break down bad LDL Cholesterol (the kind you don’t want). Lastly, there are statins that reduce high levels of fats within your pet’s bloodstream.

How to Treat Hyperlipidemia in Dogs

Causes And Symptoms of Hyperlipidemia In Dogs 

Dogs are one of the most common animals to have hyperlipidemia. The exact cause for this condition isn’t known, but it’s thought that there could be a genetic predisposition or an underlying disease such as diabetes mellitus or Cushing’s Disease. In addition, high levels of stress, nervousness and environmental changes can also contribute to this issue.

The following are some causes and symptoms for dogs with this condition: 


Hyperthyroidism is the condition of having too high levels of thyroid hormones within the body. High levels of thyroid hormones, most often caused by excessive production from the gland itself or impaired removal from the body. 

Hyperthyroid dogs can be treated with radioactive iodine to stop the production of these hormones, corticosteroids to reduce hormone release or medications that induce vomiting.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is one of the first signs that something may be wrong with your pet. When a dog stops eating and becomes more lethargic, this could be a sign that they are not feeling well and may need to see a veterinarian.

Lack of Appetite And Nausea

Dogs with primary hyperlipidemia may begin to lose their appetite and become nauseous. This is considered as the adverse effects of the condition as it will affect the absorption of nutrients and increase toxins within their body

Skin Problems

If your pet is itchy and losing weight, these could both be signs of canine hyperlipidemia. If they seem to itch more often than usual or if their skin is losing its luster and becoming dry, flaky and dull it could be a sign that something is amiss. In addition, if your cat or dog is producing dandruff this could be a sign that they have high levels of cholesterol.

You also need to take care of some other symptoms as well such as skin discolorations or infections, increased itchiness or even hair loss .

Decline In Energy Levels

Your dog or cat may start to lose their energy and enthusiasm. This could be a sign of the oncoming disease. If your pet is lethargic and seems to lack interest in things they once enjoyed, this will be a sign that something is wrong.

Diabetes Mellitus 

Diabetes mellitus is another condition that can lead to your pet having high levels of the bad LDL cholesterol. There will be a lot of other symptoms that go along with this, such as increased thirst and urination, weight loss and fatigue.


Pancreatitis is another condition that your dog may have if they have hyperlipidemia. This condition occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed and it will lead to them not being able to absorb nutrients properly. They will also become nauseous and uninterested in food.

Hepatic (Liver) Disease 

If your dog or cat starts to get jaundice, this could be a sign of liver disease such as cirrhosis. This condition occurs when the liver becomes damaged and is unable to function properly. This may be caused by hyperlipidemia or other underlying diseases. If you notice that your pet is starting to get jaundice, you need to take them in for veterinary care immediately.

Pancreatic Neoplasia 

Pancreatic neoplasia is another condition that can cause your pet to have high cholesterol. They will experience a loss of appetite and may vomit or have diarrhea. They will also become dehydrated and lethargic.

Difficulty Breathing 

If your pet is breathing heavily and seems to be short of breath, this could mean that they have hyperlipidemia and it’s causing problems with their cardiovascular system. 

Vomiting or Regurgitation 

If they are vomiting or regurgitating, this could be a sign of gastrointestinal problems such as pancreatitis. This will also cause them to lose their appetite and they will become nauseous and lethargic. If your pet starts to vomit or regurgitate, you need to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Pale Gums And Weak Pulse In Dogs With Liver Disease 

When the liver becomes damaged, it will cause your pet to have pale gums and a weak pulse. This is because the liver needs to produce more cholesterol than usual and it cannot produce enough bile.

This will lead to your pet becoming exhausted quickly after simple activities, such as running around or simply walking from the sofa to the TV.

Increased Heart Rate

If your pet has a high heart rate, this could be a sign that they have hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease. The heart has to work harder than usual because the cholesterol is clogging up the pathways that it needs to pump blood around the body.

If you notice that your dog has an increased heart rate, this could indicate other problems as well such as hyperthyroidism.

How to Treat Hyperlipidemia in Dogs

It is important to know the dog’s weight before you try any chronic treatment method so that you can keep track of how it goes and if there are any side effects or problems along the way. This will allow for a safer experience overall, which benefits both you and your pet without any adverse effects in many ways.

When dogs are diagnosed with primary hyperlipidemia, or secondary hyperlipidemia they can be treated by a veterinarian or at home. The vet will usually prescribe medication that is either injected or given orally. If you would like to try treating your dog’s condition on your own, there are different things you should do.

1.Do not give your pet table scraps or human food, as this will cause an increase in their cholesterol levels. Give them only specially made dog food and treats.

2.Decrease their meat intake, as this will also help lower cholesterol levels and keep them healthy overall. Instead of giving them a lot of meats (such as beef), start to give your pet different kinds such as chicken or turkey instead. If you would like to try out some new recipes for the home made dog food, there are many online that you can find.

 3.Antioxidants play a big role in helping lower cholesterol levels for dogs too just like they do for humans. You can find antioxidants in many fruits and vegetables, so you can give your dog small amounts of these each day.

In Addition,

Monitor how much food the dog eats per day 

The key to effective treatment of primary or secondary hyperlipidemia is monitoring how much food your dog eats per day. It is also important to feed them a low fat diet that is high in fibre. If you feed them too much, the condition will worsen. If you feed them too little, they will starve. Be sure to monitor your dog’s intake

Decrease Your Dog’s Cholesterol Intake

Another important thing to do is decrease your dog’s cholesterol intake. Make sure they are not eating too many fatty foods or meats that have high levels of cholesterol in them. You can also try to give them healthier treats instead of the ones they usually eat.

Add omega-3 Fatty Acids To Its Dietary Intake

Omega-­‐three fatty acids are not only good for you but they are great for your dog’s health too. They can be found in foods such as salmon, flaxseed oil and walnuts. In order to add omega-­‐three fatty acids into their diet, you can give your dog a small amount of these healthy treats or oils each day.

These are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce cholesterol concentrations naturally within normal range without adverse effects.

Give Your Dog Antioxidants 

Antioxidants are important because they help stop free radicals from causing damage within the body. They are found in many fruits and vegetables, but you can also give your dog supplements that have antioxidants in them as well.

Antioxidants play a big part in lowering cholesterol levels for people, so it does the same thing for dogs with secondary hyperlipidemia too.

Inform your veterinarian 

Be sure to inform your veterinarian about any changes you make, so they can help monitor the pet’s health and progress. This will also allow them to offer extra support if needed as well. 

Your vet may even give some suggestions on how to treat canine hyperlipidemia at home based off of previous knowledge that they have about the condition.

Increase the exercise that your dog gets. 

One last thing you can do to help treat your dog’s condition is by increasing the exercise they get. This will increase their metabolism, reducing the chances of metabolic disorder which in turn speeds up how fast cholesterol leaves the body and reduces blood lipid levels overall. 

It also helps keep them at a healthy weight so that extra fat does not build up within their system either. This will also keep them healthy overall, which is very important for dogs that have hyperlipidemia.

Types of Treatment For Hyperlipidemia In Dogs

There are several different treatments for hypertriglyceridemia in dogs. Most veterinarians will suggest that you monitor how much cholesterol the dog has in its body and then recommend a treatment based off that. 

For example, if the dog’s cholesterol levels are extremely high, they will suggest that you put the dog on a treatment right away.

This might be something like giving the dog certain supplements or medications that are normally used for people with hyperlipidemia. If the dog’s cholesterol levels are only slightly high, then they might suggest that you just monitor it for now to see how bad it gets over time.

If the dog’s levels get worse, then they will come up with a treatment plan for you to follow at that point in time. In addition, if the dog’s hyperlipidemia is extremely severe at first, there might be some other underlying causes for it that need to be looked at as well so the vet does not miss anything 

How to Treat Hyperlipidemia In Dogs With Diet And Exercise 

If your dog has hyperlipidemia, then it is best to treat this condition with a low fat diet. This can be done easily by feeding them foods such as vegetables, fruits and lean meats that are lower in fat.

In addition to getting your pet on a healthy diet, you should also increase their exercise levels as well. This will make sure that they are burning fat at a faster rate, which is exactly what you need.

Dogs with Hyperlipidemia can be treated quite easily if you monitor their weight and give them healthy food to eat everyday.

Its best for the treatment of hyperlipidemia to start as soon as possible so that it does not get any worse than it already is.

 If you want to treat hypertriglyceridemia in dogs, then reducing their weight and encouraging them to exercise will help speed up the process.

Also, making sure they are eating healthy foods even if it means giving them treats like walnuts or flaxseed oil every now and then will also help. 

This is especially true if the dog’s levels were not extremely bad when you first started treatment.

Keep in mind that it is impossible to give an exact time frame for how long it will take before your dog feels better, but most dogs start to improve within a few months or sooner.

How to Treat Hyperlipidemia in Dogs with Pharmaceuticals 

 If your vet does not want to try diet or exercise first or if their hyperlipidemia levels are extremely high, then they might suggest that you put the dog on a small dose of pharmaceuticals to help get their levels down.

These medications will help lower cholesterol in the body and will also be safe enough to give them for extended periods of time.

These types of medications can take anywhere from two months up to six months before the patient starts to feel better and before their cholesterol levels start dropping.

Keep in mind that if you do put them on medications, then you still need to encourage exercise and give them healthy foods as well. This is because the patient’s weight will also factor into how they are feeling overall and how their lipid levels look on paper 

If your vet does not suggest any treatment for your dog’s hyperlipidemia, then you should bring this topic up to them at your next visit. Keep in mind that there are several different types of treatments for this disease and not all of them require the use of medications. 

If diet and exercise alone can lower their lipid levels, then that would be the best fix overall. However, if your vet recommends medications, then do not worry as they will be safe for your dog and they should start feeling better within a few months or sooner.


When your vet diagnoses your dog with hyperlipidemia, you should follow their instructions so they can monitor your pet’s progress closely for any signs of improvement or worsening symptoms. 

I hope that you’ve found our blog post helpful and informative in answering how to treat hyperlipidemia in dogs. If this article has helped you better understand what to do when dealing with an animal diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, please share! Your friends may also benefit from reading this information on our website as well.

If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to comment below or contact us at your convenience.