The thyroid is a gland found in your dog’s neck. The thyroid is responsible for controlling your dog’s metabolic rate. Canine hypothyroidism occurs when the gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, causing your dog’s metabolism to decrease significantly.
Hypothyroidism is the most common hormone imbalance that dog’s suffer from. Elderly dogs are commonly affected. Also, certain breeds will develop the condition more often than others. The breeds that are most affected include Golden Retrievers, Doberman pinschers, Boxers, and Great Danes.
An immune disorder is the main reason why dogs develop hypothyroidism. The immune system will treat the thyroid gland as if it were a foreign body and start to attack it. Hashimoto’s Disease or autoimmune thyroiditis are two other names for this condition.
Dogs commonly develop a dry coat, suffer from hair loss, or have frequent skin infections because of hypothyroidism. Lethargy and obesity are two other common signs. Dogs may develop anemia or suffer cardiovascular symptoms such as decreased heart rate and abnormal heart rhythms.
It is also common for dogs suffering from hypothyroidism to experience recurring ear infections. If your dog has hypothyroidism, then he will likely become depressed too. Dogs may start behaving more aggressively, tilting their head, or even having seizures.
A thorough physical exam and medical history are needed to diagnose this condition. If hypothyroidism is suspected by the vet, then he will likely take a sample of blood for testing.
This blood test is useful for various reasons such as checking the level of thyroid hormone. However, it’s important to note that the test may show normal levels of the hormone even though your dog really is suffering from hypothyroidism. In order to get an accurate diagnosis, other tests will also be conducted.
In order to treat this condition, your dog will need to take thyroxine twice a day on a daily basis. Thyroxine is a synthetic thyroid hormone. Frequent vet visits for checkups are also mandatory. Your dog’s dosage may need to be adjusted. If your dog takes this medication everyday for the rest of his life, he should lead a normal and happy life.
This unfortunately isn’t one of the only diseases in pets that you need to be concerned about as an owner. Make sure that you’re aware of the common signs that there is something wrong with your dog. You should get your dog to a professional veterinarian as soon as you notice that there is something wrong with him.
Author: Darrin Swain