Hypothyroidism In Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $30-$60 a month throughout your dog’s life

What Is Hypothyroidism In Dogs?

Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder where the thyroid glands do not function properly. The thyroid glands are in charge of producing the hormones thyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T3) and calcitonin. The hormones T3 and T4 regulate the metabolism. Dogs with hypothyroidism have decreased levels of either T3 or T4, or both. Hypothyroidism is often suspected in dogs that have trouble with weight gain or obesity and suffer from hair loss and skin problems. The causes of canine hypothyroidism include congenital disease, iodine deficiency, cancer and medical treatment (iatrogenic).

It is common in medium to large-sized dogs of 4 to 10 years of age. The breeds with higher predisposition include Doberman pinschers, Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, old English Sheepdogs, Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, Boxers, Poodles, and Cocker Spaniels.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism In Dogs

  • Lethargy
  • Generalized weakness
  • Dry hair coat
  • Excessive scaling
  • Recurring skin infections
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Mental dullness
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Excessive hair shedding
  • Poor hair growth

Treatment for Hypothyroidism In Dogs

Hypothyroidism requires life-long treatment with hormones and dietary restrictions at home. The deficient hormones are given in synthetic form. Most clinical symptoms will resolve after a few months. Your veterinarian can adjust the dosage of hormones based on your dog’s progress.

Resources for Hypothyroidism In Dogs

  1. Merck Pet Health Manual-Thyroid Disorders

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

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