A dog exhibiting a sudden weight gain or rapid hair loss could be suffering from hypothyroidism.
What is hypothyroidism in dogs?
Hypothyroidism occurs when the dog’s thyroid glands do not produce sufficient levels of the hormone thyroxine. This hormone is responsible for controlling a dog’s metabolism which is what helps turn food into fuel.
What causes hypothyroidism in dogs?
There are several causes for hypothyroidism: the dog’s thyroid shrinks, the thyroid gland develops a tumor, or in some instances, the dog’s own immune system attacks the thyroid glands.
Is hypothyroidism in dogs breed specific?
Hypothyroidism is common to the following breeds: boxers, cocker spaniels, dachshunds, Doberman pinchers, golden retrievers, and Irish setters, but it can affect any dog breed. In addition, it is most prevalent in medium to large size dogs and adult dogs (4- to 10- years of age).
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs?
Typical signs include: weight gain, loss of muscle mass, lethargy, a slowed heart rate, and infections of the ear and toenail. A dog with hypothyroidism will also exhibit hair loss particularly around its trunk, back, and hind legs.
How is hypothyroidism in dogs diagnosed?
A veterinarian will conduct a panel of blood tests in order to fully determine if a dog is suffering from hypothyroidism.
Is hypothyroidism life-threatening?
Fortunately, it is not life-threatening. However, if left untreated hypothyroidism will greatly affect the dog’s quality of life.
How is hypothyroidism treated?
A veterinarian will prescribe a hormone replacement therapy. The treatment consists of the oral administration of manmade hormones such as Levothyroxine or L-thyroxine.
Thyro-Tabs Canine provides thyroid replacement therapy for dogs afflicted with hypothyroidism. Thyro-Tabs (Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets, USP) provide levothyroxine (T4) as a substrate for the physiologic deiodination to liothyronine (T3) in the highest quality available. Available in 0.1 mg, 0.2 mg, 0.3 mg, 0.4 mg, 0.5 mg, 0.6 mg, 0.7 mg, 0.8 mg and 1.0 mg tablets in bottles of 120. This is the only veterinary drug approved by the FDA to treat canine hypothyroidism.
In summary, hypothyroidism is when a dog’s thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroxine. Hypothyroidism can affect all dogs, but it is most common in medium to large sized breeds, and occurs when a dog is between 4- to 10-years old. Signs a dog might have hypothyroidism include weight gain, hair loss, lethargy, and ear and toenail infections. To determine if a dog has hypothyroidism, a veterinarian will perform a panel of blood tests. Treatment consists of hormone replacement therapy administered orally. Results should occur within four to six weeks.
Has your dog been diagnosed with hypothyroidism? If yes, please share with us how well the treatment worked.