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How to tell if your dog has hypothyroidism
If your dog's coat is greasy or flaked with dandruff, you might try a variety of pet products like pet shampoo to clean it and restore the skin to health. However, if your dog's skin and coat are not responding to these treatments and the dog has other symptoms, your vet may test it for hypothyroidism.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is characterized by a deficiency of the thyroid hormone. In a healthy dog, this hormone sets the rate at which the cells burn energy, so when there is not enough of it, your dog may seem lethargic in mind, body and soul. That is why the loss of the "sparkle" of a dog's personality is often cited as one of the most obvious symptoms. Hypothyroidism is the most common hormone disease of dogs.
Hypothyroidism is not to be confused with hyperthyroidism, which is characterized by the thyroid gland working too fast. This is common in cats, though hypothyroidism is very rare for them.
Symptoms to watch for
Aside from a sense of listlessness in body and soul, your dog may gain weight and have seizures if it has hypothyroidism. Its coat may become dry and dull and shed constantly, and it may have greasy dandruff. It may also develop bald patches on its trunk and lose the hair on its tail, except for a tuft on the end.
Golden retrievers, Doberman pinschers, Irish setters, Great Danes, Airedale terriers and a handful of other dogs are predisposed to the disease.
What is the treatment?
It is important to treat hypothyroidism in dogs right away, because the disease affects the dog's entire body. Once your vet has diagnosed the pooch with this condition, he or she will likely prescribe pet drugs like Soloxine. This pill is a thyroid hormone supplement that is given either once or twice a day for the rest of the pooch's life. You can make medicine time easier for you and more enjoyable for your pet by investing in Greenies Pill Pockets, which disguise the pill inside a tasty treat.
Your vet may also recommend a homeopathic supplement to restore the health of your pooch's coat and skin. Usually, a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids like Super Pure Omega-3 will help, because the fatty acids from fish oil help produce healthy skin cells.