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Objectives: To assess the effect of canine hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) on parathyroid hormone (PTH), phosphate and calcium concentrations.

Methods: PTH concentrations and routine biochemical parameters were measured in 68 dogs with HAC. Ionised calcium was measured in 28 of these dogs. The results obtained were compared with an age- and weight-matched group of 20 hospital patients that did not show signs of HAC.

Results: There were significant differences between the PTH, phosphate, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine and albumin concentrations between the two groups. Total and ionised calcium concentrations were not significantly different. Most of the dogs (92 per cent) with HAC had PTH concentrations that were greater than the reference range (10 to 60 pg/ml), and in 23 dogs they were greater than 180 pg/ml. There were significant positive correlations between the PTH and basal cortisol, post-adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) cortisol and alkaline phosphatase concentrations, and also the phosphate and post-ACTH cortisol concentrations.

Clinical Significance: Adrenal secondary hyperparathyroidism is a cause of increased PTH concentrations and may be associated with abnormalities in calcium and phosphate metabolism in dogs with HAC. The findings of this study could explain why canine HAC may cause clinical signs such as calcinosis cutis that are associated with altered calcium metabolism.