Thyroid Problems in Dogs: Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism in dogs occurs when the thyroid gland fails to make enough of the hormone, thyroxine. Thyroxine controls metabolism which is the process of turning food into fuel for the animal.

What are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in a Dog?

Canine hypothyroidism is often suspected in dogs that have become overweight or obese and suffer from hair loss and skin problems. This disorder isn’t life-threatening, and it is easily diagnosed with a blood test.

Autoimmune thyroiditis is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in dogs. Dogs may appear normal for years, but then at two to five years of age, the disorder tends to appear.

Dog Thyroid Medication

Treatment for thyroid disease in dogs is usually easy and inexpensive. If a dog has canine hypothyroidism treatment typically involves a thyroid supplement or thyroid replacement therapy taken daily.

Thyroid Testing in Dogs

Periodic retesting for autoimmune thyroiditis, thyroglobulin autoantibody (TGAA) with your pet’s veterinarian is recommended. Dogs in breeding programs should be tested every one to two years to be certain they have not developed the condition or a positive TGAA predicting the disorder is likely to occur. Since most affected dogs will have autoantibodies by four years of age, annual testing for the first four years is recommended. After that, testing every other year should suffice. Unfortunately, a negative at any one time will not guarantee that the dog will not develop thyroiditis since dogs that are negative at one year of age may become positive at six years of age.

For more questions on hypothyroidism in dogs, call a Revival Pet Care Pro at 800.786.4751.

Written by: Marty Greer, DVM

Director of Veterinary Services

Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.

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