Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disorder in dogs. It occurs when the thyroid glands, located near the throat, are unable to produce enough thyroid hormone.
Thyroid hormone helps regulate and control normal bodily processes & your dog’s metabolism. Think of it as an engine gauge: in simple terms, it controls how fast or slow the body functions. When a dog’s thyroid gland becomes underactive and produces too little thyroid hormone, the engine gauge is on low, leading to a decrease in the body’s metabolism.
The exact cause of hypothyroidism is not known. This disease can affect dogs of any age, male or female, and tends to be more common in larger breeds around 5 years of age or older.
The most common symptom is a decrease in energy or activity level.
Other signs can include:
Weight gain without an increase in food consumption
Sensitivity to cold
Hair loss or excessive shedding
A recurring skin and/or ear infection
So what do you do if you suspect your dog is hypothyroid? Contact your veterinarian who will run some simple tests to determine if your friend has this disorder. A thyroid test, which determines if the thyroid gland is producing too little thyroid hormone
Additional tests may be added on an individual basis. Your veterinarian will recommend the right treatment for your pet.
If your dog is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your veterinarian will most likely discuss medication options. Oral medication is the most common way of treating canine hypothyroidism. With daily doses of synthetic thyroxin, your dog’s symptoms should resolve within several weeks and symptoms of the deficiency should resolve. The medication is inexpensive, well-tolerated, and given once or twice a day
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