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Pituitary Centre

SASH is one of the few veterinary hospitals in the world able to offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic testing and treatments for pituitary disorders.

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The Pituitary Centre at SASH is a unique service, with nothing else of its type in the country. It is one of the very few veterinary hospitals in the world able to offer a comprehensive range of testing and treatments for pituitary disorders.

The Pituitary Centre takes its name from the group of diseases that affect the pituitary gland, a major endocrine (hormone secreting) gland of the body. Located at the base of the brain, the pituitary gland produces many hormones that regulate important bodily functions.

Abnormalities of the pituitary gland are common in pets. Often involving tumours, they can cause a variety of disease states including:

  • Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) in dogs and cats
  • Acromegaly (hypersomatotropism) – a common cause of diabetes in cats

Diagnosis of pituitary disorders is challenging. Signs of disease may reflect hormonal disturbances or brain dysfunction and can present a confusing clinical picture. Often, the tests required to make a definitive diagnosis are not available to most veterinarians. Pituitary diseases can also be difficult to manage, and the quality of life of pets and their families can be impacted significantly if they are not adequately controlled. In some cases, highly specialised surgery, radiation therapy, and/or complex medical management are important for providing the best long-term outcomes for patients and families alike.

SASH The Pituitary Gland

The Pituitary Gland (yellow) sits at the base of the Brain (purple)

About the SASH Pituitary Centre

At SASH we have assembled an experienced, multidisciplinary team of veterinary specialists across the following departments:

As a team, the specialists across these seven departments have expertise in diagnosing and treating complex pituitary disorders. With access to the state-of-the-art diagnostic, radiation, and surgical facilities at SASH Sydney, this highly skilled and collaborative team can offer patients with pituitary disorders a level of care that is among the most advanced and comprehensive in the world. In keeping with our commitment to standards of excellence, we are also in regular contact with specialist colleagues around the globe, often publishing together to further knowledge and understanding in the field of pituitary disease.

Many of our patients will need to spend some time in hospital, either for diagnostic testing or surgery. The dedicated teams of Specialists in Critical Care, experienced veterinarians, and highly trained veterinary nurses at SASH ensure that patients receive the attention and supportive care they need, throughout their stay with us.

While many pets referred to the Pituitary Centre at SASH have already undergone some diagnostic testing, more information is often needed. Some patients may actually be referred to the Pituitary Centre specifically for the purpose of diagnosis.

Diagnostic testing offered at the Pituitary Centre includes:

  • Advanced endocrine testing
  • CT and MRI scanning, interpreted by specialist radiologists, to identify and assess pituitary tumours

Once a diagnosis is established, we draw on our experience to help families make informed decisions about the most suitable approach to treatment. Our experienced, multidisciplinary team can provide a comprehensive range of treatment options, including:

  • Medical therapies (use of drugs to control the condition)
  • Transsphenoidal pituitary surgery (surgery performed via the base of the skull)
  • Radiation therapy (including stereotactic radiation)

Although surgery and radiation result in partial or complete loss of pituitary gland function, these procedures result in significant improvements in quality of life for the pet. The impact of loss of function can be medically managed. The advantages and disadvantages of each procedure will be discussed with owners at length by our team of specialists after an assessment of the patient.

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Contact one of our friendly team using the details below