Hypothyroidism in DogsLast updated: August 02, 2016
Similar to people, dogs can also suffer from a condition called Hypothyroidism. Although this condition is easy to treat, it can be hard to diagnose because many of its symptoms in dogs are related to other conditions and illnesses.
Understanding Canine HypothyroidismThe thyroid, which is located in the throat, secretes hormones such as T3 (liothyronine) and T4 (levothyroxine) to regulate metabolism in the body. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of these hormones. It is commonly seen in dogs between the ages of four and ten years. Although any dog can have this condition, it more commonly occurs in larger breeds and spayed females rather than intact females. Some breeds that seem to be predisposed are cocker Spaniels, Airedale terriers, golden retrievers, dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, Irish setters, and boxers.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in DogsThe symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs include depression, hair loss, loss of appetite, lethargy, dry or greasy skin, reproductive problems, slow heart rate, weight gain, cold intolerance, and recurring skin infections.
DiagnosisHypothyroidism can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to many other conditions or illnesses. Your veterinarian will ask about your dog's history and symptoms. Diagnosis is completed through a blood test to check your dog's thyroid hormone levels. Sometimes the only way to be 100 percent sure that your dog has hypothyroidism is to see if he responds positively to treatment.
Hypothyroidism in Dogs TreatmentThe treatment for hypothyroidism is giving thyroxine (levothyroxine), a synthetic thyroid hormone, for the rest of the animal's life. One common synthetic thyroid medication is Thyro-Tablets, which contains the levothyroxine hormone.
Living with HypothyroidismOnce treatment is started, most symptoms of hypothyroidism will go away. Your veterinarian may need to evaluate your dog more frequently so that he can adjust the medication dosage and monitor your dog's response to the medication. He may also suggest that you modify your dog's diet.
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