Are There Clinical Differences Between Postmenopausal Women and Postmenopausal Canines?

Posted on December 5th, 2016

Over the years as a veterinarian with my own clinical studies, I have wondered what the difference was between postmenopausal women and surgical induced, postmenopausal canines.

I have also been interested in what types of hormonal therapy are usually prescribed for postmenopausal, human females.

It is uncommon to see a postmenopausal female canine that has had her ovaries removed, which are no longer producing estradiol.

The clinical signs of a postmenopausal, female canine according to the literature, after undergoing an ovario-hysterectomy (spay) are as follows;


Weight gain


Hair loss

It is fairly rare to see any of these postmenopausal signs in these ovario-hysterectomized (spayed), female canines, because they normally produce adequate amounts of adrenal estrogen, from their inner layer, adrenal cortex.

NOTE: Clinical symptoms are described by the patient and clinical signs in a canine, are described by their owner

What clinical symptoms can a woman expect as she enters menopause or becomes postmenopausal?

The medical literature indicates the following clinical symptoms that may occur;

Hot flashes

Vaginal dryness

Possible vaginal bleeding

Mood swings



Weight gain


Once again, it is fairly rare to see these postmenopausal, clinical signs in female canines, because their inner layer adrenal cortex normally produces more than adequate amounts of adrenal estrogen, as can postmenopausal women.

The amount of adrenal estrogen that is produced in a postmenopausal, female human is very important to measure before prescribing an estrogen supplement, because if the patient is producing adequate amounts of adrenal estrogen, placing the patient on an estrogen supplement, can increase the amount of total estrogen and may cause the patient to develop allergies, autoimmunity

and cancer.

The human medical literature indicates that estradiol in a female, should never be more than, 40 pg/ml.

I would think it would be important for any postmenopausal, human female check her estradiol, and also check her total estrogen, which measures adrenal estrogen, and if her estradiol or total estrogen are above 40pg/ml, an estrogen supplement can cause her to be estrogen dominant, and expose her to developing allergies, autoimmunity and cancer.

NOTE: I would think any woman or canine in general, that may have allergies, autoimmunity or cancer, should definitely have their total estrogen measured.

The human medical literature also indicates that some sort of progesterone is also normally used with an estrogen supplement for a postmenopausal, human female.

What also needs to be realized is that when the proper transference enzymes are present in the patient, the progesterone is transferred into cortisol, which will fund the negative feedback mechanism to the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, which in turn will cause a reduction of the adrenal estrogen.

The following cycles should help indicate this.

  • Regarding progesterone, the medical literature indicates this following which can only be completed sequence, if the proper transference hormones, are present;

Cholesterol > Pregnenolone > Progesterone >  Cortisol.

  • When the natural Cortisol is metabolically reduced, the decreased amounts of Cortisol will stimulate the hypothalamus to release its Cortical Releasing Factor, which in turn causes the pituitary gland to release its ACTH, which in turn will cause the middle layer adrenal cortex, to release more cortisol. When the middle layer adrenal cortex cannot respond by producing increased amounts of Cortisol, the hypothalamus continues its production of Cortical Releasing Factor, as does the pituitary with its release of ACTH, which stimulates the release of increased amounts of adrenal estrogen from the inner layer adrenal cortex. When this cortisol deficiency, sequence occurs, it may subject the patient to allergies, autoimmunity and cancer.
  • It is also important to realize why allergies, autoimmunity and cancer can occur with a postmenopausal patient with low estradiol, when she is prescribed only an estrogen supplement, in order to increase her deficient estradiol.

The elevated adrenal estrogen may cause the following;

It can disallow the proper use of thyroid hormone.

It can cause inflammation of all the endothelial cells that line all the arteries in the body.

It can deregulate the immune system, causing both B and T lymphocytes to lose their protective abilities for the patient, and also lose recognition of self tissue, which may lead to autoimmunity.

When the production of IgA from the B-lymphocyte is reduced below a certain level, malabsorption from the intestines will occur. My clinical studies indicate in canines and felines, anything below 58 mg/dL will lead to malabsorption.

In humans, the studies that I have been associated with, indicate an IgA level of less than 68mg/dL, will also lead to malabsorption. This is an important reason why proper hormone supplements DO NOT work.

It has been reported, that when a drop of estrogen is exposed to normal tissue, it will cause uncontrolled, tissue growth.

This is why it is so important to measure ovarian estradiol and total estrogen in a postmenopausal woman.

If only an estradiol supplement is prescribed for a postmenopausal woman, using a progesterone supplement at the same time, will help reduce her adrenal estrogen because her progesterone will be transferred into cortisol, which will fund the negative feedback mechanism to the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, and reduce her adrenal estrogen and help avoid allergies, autoimmunity and cancer.

Without the use of progesterone and only using an estrogen supplement, hopefully you can now realize the problems that may occur when improper amounts of elevated estrogen are created.

The following concepts may be important, in order to prescribe the necessary amounts of hormones to properly treat a postmenopausal woman;

  • Please realize why progesterone is so important to use for a postmenopausal woman, if only an estrogen supplement is prescribed.
  • Please realize why both estradiol and adrenal (total)  estrogen must be measured, before prescribing an estrogen supplement for a postmenopausal woman.

Hopefully some of my thoughts as a veterinarian will make sense and will help, when prescribing the proper hormones in their proper amounts, for a postmenopausal woman.


Dr. AL Plechner