Hypothyroidism in Your Pet

posted: by: AHNA Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

The thyroid gland is the mastermind of the body's metabolism.  It controls the rate at which all body organs function.  Because of this, the signs of reduced thyroid function (hypothyroidism) can be quite variable:

  •     hair loss, chronic skin problems, chronic ear problems
  •     weight gain, lethargy
  •     weakness, stiffness
  •     vomiting, constipation

No one knows the exact cause of hypothyroidism, but we do know it is more common in some breeds than others.  It is often diagnosed in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Dachsunds, and Doberman Pinschers.

There is a simple and accurate laboratory blood test to determine your dog's level of thyroid function.

The treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement therapy in the form of pills given twice a day.  The response to treatment is gradual.  Most dogs show improvement in their condition over a period of 6 -12 weeks.  The dosage of thyroid hormone replacement varies greatly from dog to dog, so progress is checked by examination and periodic rechecks of thyroid levels in the blood.

Hypothyroidism requires continuous, consistent medication for the rest of your dog's life.  With medication, your pet can have a normal life expectancy.