Dog Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disease characterized by a deficiency of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is common in dogs and humans and can lead to a reduction in metabolic rate and can cause a variety of systemic complications.
In mammals, the thyroid is located in the neck. The dog’s thyroid gland is divided into two lobes, located on either side of the trachea (trachea) below the larynx (speech box). Lung lobes look a bit like small deflated balloons, but they play an important role in regulating the body’s metabolism. The pituitary gland regulates the production of thyroid hormone by producing and releasing thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) as needed. Then, the thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones called T4 and T3, which are used throughout the body.
Hypothyroidism is sometimes called hypothyroidism. If the thyroid cannot produce the required amount of hormones, the metabolism will slow down and many of the body’s normal processes will be disturbed. In dogs, thyroid disease is almost always hypothyroidism.
Causation of Dog Hypothyroidism
There are many potential causes of dog hypothyroidism, and the exact cause cannot usually be determined. Most commonly, canine hypothyroidism is immune-mediated. The immune system attempts to destroy the thyroid gland, often causing atrophy of the glands. Some dogs are genetically susceptible to this disease, so if you know the dog’s parents or litters, you can investigate this. Certain dog breeds are at greater risk of hypothyroidism, such as the golden retriever, American Staffordshire terrier, terrier, ancient British shepherd and cocker spaniel. Hypothyroidism can occur in dogs of any age, but it is most common in dogs between four and ten years old. Gender does not seem to affect the risk of hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Dog Hypothyroidism Disease
Dog hypothyroidism can manifest in many ways, and the symptoms may be unclear. Unfortunately, these symptoms may also indicate the presence of another disease, so if you find any signs of the disease, be sure to consult a veterinarian. The most common symptoms of dog hypothyroidism include:
Hair loss on the body and tail
Boring dry hair coat
Skin problems, such as infection or flaking
Otitis media (ear infection)
Drowsiness and weakness
The less common but potentially serious complications of hypothyroidism include vestibular dysfunction (vertigo) and other neurological diseases, heart problems, and various health problems related to obesity.
Dogs hypothyroidism may experience one or more of the above symptoms, but even dogs without symptoms may have the disease. Therefore, your should take your dog to the vet at least once or twice a year for a health check and routine blood tests.
Treatment of Dog Hypothyroidism
There is currently no treatment for dog hypothyroidism, but the disease can usually be easily controlled by medications. Normally, synthetic thyroid hormone (T4) is prescribed orally to dogs with hypothyroidism, orally once or twice a day. The drug name for these thyroid supplements is levothyroxine or levothyroxine. The common trademarks for levothyroxine and levothyroxine are Soloxine and Thyro-Tabs, respectively. However, other brand names and generic forms can also be used. In rare cases, dogs that cannot convert T4 to T3 are prescribed to use thyroxine (T3).
The good news is that using thyroid supplements has few side effects. Like any medicine, an accidental overdose may occur. Symptoms of overdose include excessive drinking and urination, restlessness, wheezing, diarrhea and increased appetite.
Dogs with hypothyroidism must be treated for life. Although the cost of thyroid supplements is quite low, it does increase over time. Expect to spend about $30-60 per month on drugs (depending on dosage and brand). This does not include the cost of regular blood monitoring. Make sure to include the cost in your pet budget.
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