Low Thyroid In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Of Hypothyroidism

Low Thyroid In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Of Hypothyroidism

December 30, 2010 | Healthy Dog | Leave a Comment |

What is the Function of the Thyroid?

  • The thyroid is a gland that is found on the front of the neck
  • It is responsible for producing thyroid hormones
  • The hormones produced help regular the metabolism of the body as well as the speed of uptake for other hormones
  • An increase in thyroid hormone levels can cause a sped up metabolism
  • A drop in hormones can cause it to slow down

What Breeds are commonly affected by Hypothyroidism?

The condition can affect any breed but there are a few that are more susceptible to developing the condition:

  • Doberman Pincher
  • Irish Setter
  • Golden Retriever

What Causes Low Thyroid Hormones?

  • Impaired production of thyroid hormones
  • Trauma to the thyroid gland
  • Autoimmune condition causing destruction of thyroid cells
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism – Rare occurrence in dogs

Diagnostic Tests For Low Thyroid Levels in Dogs

If a problem with low thyroid levels is suspected, vets will usually ask for the following tests to help determine the extent of the condition.

  • Baseline T3 Test
  • Baseline T4 Test
  • Free T3 Test by Equilibrium Dialysis
  • Free T4 Test by Equilibrium Dialysis
  • TSH level test
  • TSH Stimulation Test

Low Thyroid in Dogs Symptoms

The symptoms of low thyroid hormones in dogs are:

  • Hair Loss
  • Dry Hair
  • Lethargy
  • Mental Dullness
  • Intolerance to Cold
  • Unexplained Weight Gain
  • Slowness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Skin hyperpigmentation
  • Dry coat
  • Excessive Shedding of coat
  • Anemia – Seen in blood test
  • High blood cholesterol

Treating Low Thyroid in Dogs

  • Daily dosage of thyroid hormone replacing drugs
  • Treating the underlying condition causing the thyroid problems, if applicable

Dogs that have low thyroid hormones may need to receive thyroxine replacement for the rest of his/her life.

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