Arthritis
Allergies
Anxiety
Ear Infections
Flea & Tick
Heart Problems
Heartworm
Hot Spots
Hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism
Incontinence
Shedding Control
Skin Irritation
Tear Stains
Urinary Infections
Vomiting/Diarrhea
Weight Management
Worms
See All A-Z
Arthritis
Allergies
Anxiety
Ear Infections
Flea & Tick
Heart Problems
Heartworm
Hot Spots
Hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism
Incontinence
Shedding Control
Skin Irritation
Tear Stains
Urinary Infections
Vomiting/Diarrhea
Weight Management
Worms
See All A-Z
Breath Fresheners
Chews & Treats
Rinses & Water Additives
Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
Ear Cleansers
Ear Infection Remedies
Ear Mite Treatments
Antibiotic Anti-Infective
Artificial Tears & Lubricants
Eye Inflammation
Glaucoma
Tear Stain Removers
Flea & Tick Prevention
Heartworm & Flea Control
Home Flea & Tick Treatment
Oral Flea Treatments
Pet Flea & Tick Control
Tick & Flea Collars
Canned Pet Food
Dry Pet Food
Raw Pet Food
Adult Pet Food
Hypoallergenic
Glucose Balance
Digestive Health & Support
Grain Free
Joint Support
Kitten Food
Puppy Food
Senior Pet Food
Skin Support
Small Breed Dog Food
Weight Loss & Management
Treats
Pet Food Storage
Joint Pain
Joint Supplements
Lifting Harness
Orthopedic Beds
Steps & Ramps for Mobility
Allergy Relief
Antibiotics
Antifungal
Anxiety
Asthma
Compound Medications
Cough Relief
Digestive Health & Enzymes
Diuretics
High Blood Pressure
Hormonal Endocrine
Insulin & Glucose Balance
Motion Sickness & Nausea
Pain
Seizure Disorder
Thyroid
Urinary Tract & Kidneys
Wormers
Beds
Bowls & Elevated Feeders
Carriers
Car Seats & Pet Carriers
Cat Litter
Cesar Millan Training Aids
Crates & Kennels
Drinking Fountains
Elizabethan Collars
First Aid
Furniture
Furniture Protectors
Gates
Grooming Tools
Holiday
Leashes & Harnesses
Life Jackets
Outdoor Cat Pens
Pet Food Storage
Shampoos
Stain Removers
Steps & Ramps
Strollers
Toys
Training Aids
Treats
Wireless Dog Fences
Antibacterials
First Aid
Fish Oils & Omega 3
Fly Control
Grooming Tools
Hairball Remedies
Itch Relief
Ringworm Treatments
Shampoos
Shedding Control
Skin Care Supplements
Skin Medications
Antioxidants
Calcium
Dietary
Digestive Enzymes
Fish Oils & Omega 3
Liver Support
Multivitamins
Potassium
Senior Support
Whole Food Supplements
   
 
 
 
 
Hypothyroidism Info
 
Hypothyroidism Blog Topics
PetMeds Vet Blog with Dr. Dym Dr. Michael Dym
Holistic & Conventional Veterinarian
"Over 19 years of caring for the well-being of pets"
Visit his Ask the Vet blog.
 
 

Sign Up for Pet Health Articles & More

Email:

 
 
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Thyroid Problems in Dogs

  
  Michael Dym, VMD
Dr. Michael Dym
Holistic & Conventional Veterinarian ()
 
 

Proper thyroid gland function is essential for the overall health of your dog's body. The thyroid sits on the throat below the larynx, and produces hormones that control the rate of metabolism. Dogs with hypothyroidism have metabolic rates below normal, and as a result are prone to lethargy and weight gain. Hypothyroidism can cause a wide variety of symptoms in affected dogs, including intolerance to cold, a slow heart rate, irregular or absent heat cycles, chronic ear infections and eye problems, constipation, and anemia. There may be darkening of the skin and symmetrical hair loss down the flanks. The coat and skin may be dry and brittle or oily, as well as having hair that falls out more easily than other pets. Behavioral changes, including aggression may be seen in some dogs with hypothyroidism.

  
The exact cause of thyroid problems in dogs is unknown, but some believe that avoiding overvaccination and overuse of pesticides might help prevent the disease from afflicting your dog.

Causes of Thyroid Problems in Dogs

In most cases, hypothyroidism is caused by autoimmune thyroiditis, which results in the destruction of the thyroid tissue. This is believed to be an inherited disease. A less common cause of hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland atrophies (wastes away) for unknown reasons. Environmental and dietary factors are also believed to be involved, including polyvalent (multiple) vaccinations, and/or rabies vaccination, which may lead to hypothyroidism in some susceptible dogs. Hypothyroidism mostly occurs in middle-aged medium and large breed dogs, but the disease may be documented in many breeds. Some common breeds affected include the Miniature Schnauzer, Dachshund, Shetland Sheepdog, Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Greyhound, and Doberman Pinscher to name a few.

 
 
  

Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid) in Dogs

An underactive thyroid means that there is a subnormal level of thyroid hormones produced from the glands, which results in the clinical signs described above. The two main hormones produced by the thyroid are thyroxine (T4) and triodothyronine (T3), both of which control the rate of metabolism. While both of these hormones may be measured when screening dogs for hypothyroidism, it is usually essential to measure other hormones such as a Free T4, TSH, and thyroglobulin auto-antibodies to properly diagnose this disease. When a dog is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the most common form of treatment is by supplementing with T4, which most commonly comes in the form of Levothyroxine or Soloxine. Dogs are usually started on twice daily treatment, and will typically have thyroid levels re-checked four to six weeks after starting medication, and then once to twice a year as needed. Only in rare cases is T3 supplementation needed in dogs. For holistically oriented dog owners, a more natural form of thyroid supplementation known as armour thyroid may also be tried, in addition to thyroid glandulars available from certain nutritional supplement companies.

  

Prevention of Hypothyroidism in Dogs

There is no proven preventable measure for hypothyroidism in dogs, but avoiding exposure to unnecessary vaccination, as well as avoiding overuse of pesticides is recommended. Since iodine and selenium deficiency may be involved in some cases of hypothyroidism, it is recommended that dog owners consider adding a digestive tract enzyme to meals in order to help dogs with nutrient and mineral absorption.

 
 
  

Thyroid Cancer

Environmental factors like soil iodine levels and exposure to toxins and pesticides are suspected in playing potential roles in thyroid adenocarcinoma (cancer) development in dogs, but the cause of thyroid cancer is still unknown in most cases. Symptoms of thyroid cancer may include a movable mass over your dog's trachea covering the larynx, difficulty breathing and swallowing, weight loss, hoarse barking, as well as increased thirst and urination. This type of cancer is rare, but when found it can be quite aggressive with the potential to spread to other tissues and organs, such as the lungs. Treatment options will include surgical removal of the thyroid mass, as well as possibly chemotherapy and/or radiation if spread is suspected or confirmed.

 
 
  

  
 
Vet Tip: Allow plenty of water for your dog to drink when giving Soloxine. This medication may be given directly or placed in your dog's food. - Michael Dym, VMD  
  

 
 
   
Help / Customer Service
My Account
PetMeds® Sites
PetMeds® Programs
Our 100% Guarantee
About Us
Contact Us
FAQs
PetMeds® Help
Privacy Policy
Printable Order Form
Site Map
Testimonials
Vet Directory
Request a Catalog

Home
Login
Email Preferences
Reorder
Easy refill
Track my order
My Account Page
My pet has passed away
PetMeds® Blog
PetHealth 101®
PetMeds® Charitable Causes
1-800-PetMeds® Careers
PetMeds® Investor Relations
pet meds
Pet Meds Photos
Pet Meds News
Pet Health Articles
Affiliate Program
Corporate Program
Shelter & Rescue Program
 
Join our Social Network
 
    PetMeds® on Facebook
    PetMeds® on Twitter
    PetMeds® on YouTube
    PetMeds® Google+
    PetMeds® LinkedIn
Copyright © 2014 PetMed Express, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
   
 
Vet-VIPPSVETERINARY-VERIFIED INTERNET PHARMACY PRACTICE SITES(CM) Online Veterinary Pharmacy Services
 
1800PetMeds.com has earned Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites(CM) (Vet-VIPPS(CM)) accreditation through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®).
Verisign Secured Click for the BBB Business Review of this Pharmacies in Pompano Beach FL 1800PetMeds.com is rated ELITE by STELLAService.