Many people have never heard of Hypothyroidism in dogs. Hypothyroidism in dogs is a serious disease that needs to be diagnosed and treated before further complications occur.
If you neglect your dog’s Hypothyroidism, the symptoms of thyroiditis can worsen over time, leading to life-threatening complications.
But, how to detect Hypothyroidism in dogs? Do not worry! We tell you everything you need to know about this disorder and how to treat it. Our information comes from specialists who are highly experienced in treating canines.
What is Hypothyroidism in dog
Hypothyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones for an individual’s or animal’s growth and development. The thyroid gland is found in your neck.
Its hormones are responsible for:
- Regulating metabolism
- Heart rate
- Cholesterol levels
- Body temperature
- Weight gain or loss
- Muscle strength
- Insulin levels
- Reproductive system functioning
- Bone health
- Immune system functioning
When the thyroid gets abnormal, the body does not develop properly. The most common cause of Hypothyroidism in dogs is an autoimmune disorder called thyroiditis. It may also occur due to medication and many other things.
Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism In Dogs
Hypothyroidism is not that hard to detect. Even the early signs can be noticed if observing your dog’s health and behavior is your daily habit.
To take proper care of your dog, you need to know how to detect the noticeable signs of a possible disease.
Here are the signs and symptoms of a dog suffering from Hypothyroidism.
Early signs of Hypothyroidism in dogs:
- Subtle weight gain even if your dog gets the same amount of healthy food every day.
- Changes in behavior can be seen, such as unusual aggression and lack of focus.
- Your dog might show trouble digesting food.
If you notice these signs in your dog, you can suspect Hypothyroidism, but note that other diseases can cause these symptoms as well. Now, you will know what you will see in a dog already suffering from Hypothyroidism for a while.
Symptoms of ongoing Hypothyroidism
- Hair loss is a common sign that can help you detect Hypothyroidism in your dog. You will notice bald spots on your dog’s skin. You may also see less to no hair on your dog’s tail.
- Your dog will be cold intolerant and shiver a lot.
- Shedding is another sign. Hypothyroidism makes the dog go through hair loss.
- Skin infections can occur often, and previous skin infections may reoccur.
- Your dog may get joint pain.
- GI problems occur pretty often, such as diarrhea.
- Getting tired quickly is another sign of Hypothyroidism in dogs. However, this symptom can also be a sign of other diseases.
- You may see that your dog’s eyes are not glossy like they should be. Dry eyes are another sign of Hypothyroidism in your dog.
- Weight gain even though your dog doesn’t have a huge appetite.
- You may see heavy panting and breathing even after your dog is not being active.
- You can also feel enlarged thyroid glands by touching your dog’s neck.
- Black or brown patches on the skin.
- Scaly or flaky skin can also be seen in dogs with Hypothyroidism.
If you see these signs in your canine, it is indeed concerning. However, Hypothyroidism is not fatal in dogs if treated as soon as possible.
So, what treatment should you give to a dog with Hypothyroidism? If you are curious, it shows how much you are willing to learn for your fur buddy. Read on to know what treatment a dog with hypothyroidism dog receives
Treatment for Hypothyroidism In Dog
First, the vet will run a few tests on your dog to determine the disease. If the result confirms Hypothyroidism, the vet will prescribe the medications and dosage for your dog.
Most hypothyroid dogs are given Levothyroxine (L-T4), which replaces the deficient hormone and restores the dog’s metabolism to normal.
A veterinarian will monitor the canines on medication to ensure that it is properly on thyroid replacement therapy for optimum results. There are also treatment options for severe cases when the thyroid gland is non-functioning.
The vet may suggest operating on your dog if the case is severe. After the surgery, your dog will live a healthier life.
How to prevent Dog Hypothyroidism
To ensure the best health for your pup is to know the essential to-do list after getting a puppy. Knowing so will help you prevent many health conditions that your dog may face.
The study shows that some dogs suffer from fatal conditions when the owner doesn’t take their puppy’s symptoms seriously.
When it comes to Hypothyroidism in a dog, there are many ways you can prevent it from happening. But again, if your pregnant dog has Hypothyroidism, there is a chance her puppies will also have it.
Here is how you can eliminate the chances of your dog suffering from Hypothyroidism.
Like every creature, dogs require hydration to live a healthy and active life. Studies show that hydration is the key to preventing most health problems.
If your dog does not drink enough water, there is a chance of your puppy suffering from UTI, Pancreatitis, Hypothyroidism, and many other diseases.
People think dogs and cats don’t drink much water, which is a myth. There are ways you can tell that your dog is not drinking enough water. Some pets prefer water fountains, not a still bowl of water. After all, every dog is unique with its personality.
Like hydration, diet also plays a massive role in preventing diseases. Too much protein, fat, and commercial food can cause your dog from suffering Hypothyroidism, heart diseases, and other health issues. It is best to consult with a vet to ensure the perfect diet for your pup.
Treats are the way to your dog’s heart, but a lousy treat can affect your pup’s life significantly. Vets suggest pet owners buy vet-approved treats only.
Many studies have shown that an active lifestyle can be just as beneficial for dogs as for people. Walker dogs have been proven to live longer lives than their sedentary counterparts, and they are also less likely to develop joint problems.
Active dogs are less likely to become overweight or obese, reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. Often times the only thing holding a dog back from being more active is its owner.
Most people have probably heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This saying couldn’t ring more true when it comes to pet care. A vet visit may cost you money, but every pet owner must make these investments.
Vet visits are an essential part of keeping your pet healthy and should be scheduled at least once a year or as often as needed. To keep your pets healthy, you need to pay attention to their general health and how they’re acting.
Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism
When Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism occur in dogs, the symptoms for both diseases are very different. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone, or thyroxine (T4), leading to an underactive metabolism.
On the other hand, Hyperthyroidism is a condition that produces too many reactive thyroid hormones, leading to diseases like high pressure and heart problems in dogs.
How long does a dog live with Hypothyroidism?
The average lifespan for dogs with Hypothyroidism has not been determined, but it is typically shorter than that of an unaffected dog. However, if you give your dog the proper treatment, a dog can live just like an unaffected canine.
How expensive is thyroid medicine for dogs?
The cost of thyroid medicine for dogs depends on the type of medication and the dosage. Most dog owners will pay upwards of $50 per month, but some might be able to get their pet’s thyroid medicine for free through their veterinarian.
How do you test a dog’s thyroid?
The most common test for a dog’s thyroid is the T4 test. The vet will take a blood sample and measure the free thyroxine level (T4) in it. If the levels are low, the vet may recommend further testing to see if there is an underlying cause such as Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism in dog is the most common endocrine disorder. It affects all breeds though some are more at risk due to their specific breed characteristics.
Hypothyroidism is also seen most often in middle-aged dogs, but it can occur at any age. The signs of Hypothyroidism are many and varied, but one of the most common is lethargy or lack of energy.
It is best to consult a vet if you detect any signs that make you concerned about your pup. Remember, prevention is better than cure.
Author: Isabella Taylor