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Overview of the Parathyroid Glands and Disorders of Calcium Metabolism

By Mark E. Peterson, DVM, DACVIM, Director of Endocrinology and Nuclear Medicine, Animal Endocrine Clinic

The physiology and disorders of calcium and phosphate metabolism, the function of vitamin D (which acts more like a hormone than a vitamin), and the formation of bone are all tied together in a common system along with two other regulatory hormones—parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcitonin. Therefore, PTH, calcitonin, and vitamin D are discussed in this chapter together with the associated disorders of calcium homeostasis.

Because aberrant calcium and phosphorus metabolism is reflected in the skeletal system, specific syndromes are presented in that section. (Also see Dystrophies Associated with Calcium, Phosphorus, and Vitamin D.)