Skeeter, a 10 year old Beagle, was drinking & peeing much more than normal.

Blood work showed that his calcium levels were too high.

This can be due to multiple conditions.

An ultrasound of the neck showed an enlarged left para-thyroid gland.

The para-thyroid is (normally) a small gland attached to the thyroid gland.

When it becomes hyperactive, it increases calcium levels, which causes all kinds of issues, including increased thirst and urination (peeing).

After a heart-to-heart with Skeeter’s owner, it was decided to take him to surgery.

After exploring the left side of the neck, there was no mass to be found!

There was no para-thyroid (which is small), but also no thyroid gland (which is much bigger) !!!

Keep in mind, Skeeter’s family vet is an excellent doctor and is excellent at ultrasound.

I have worked with his patients for over 12 years.

I trust him implicitly.

I had him called in the middle of the surgery to brainstorm.

He confirmed what he saw on ultrasound, and was a bit confused as well.

So I kept stubbornly exploring the area, and eventually found 2 tiny, unexciting, areas of possibly abnormal tissue.

There were not at all in the area of the para-thyroid…

For lack of a better option, I removed the 2 tiny “masses” and sent them out to the lab to be biopsied.

Skeeter recovered smoothly from anesthesia.

After 1 night on IV fluids and pain medications, he went home.

Now the wait for the biopsy results started…

After a long week, the results revealed… a classic, benign, para-thyroid tumor (called an adenoma).

By then, the calcium levels had decreased to a normal number.

Also, the amount of drinking and peeing had gone down.

3 months after surgery, calcium was still normal, as was Skeeter’s thirst and urination.

Surgery was a success, despite the odds.

His owner kindly concludes: “His activity level is roughly the same as it was before all of this took place. You are just wonderful people.”

If you would like to learn how we can help your pet with safe surgery and anesthesia, please contact us through

Never miss a blog by subscribing here: 

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ, Fear Free Certified

Pete Baia, DVM, MS, DACVS