Hypothyroidism in dogs is a common health concern. In this article, we explore the causes, symptoms, treatment and prognosis (outcome) for Hypothyroidism in dogs.
What is Hypothyroidism in Dogs?
Hypothyroidism in dogs is a health problem affecting a dogs metabolism. It is a disorder which a dog inherits from it’s parents, grandparents, or even great grandparents. Hypothyroidism is an immune system disorder. A gland called the “Thyroid” does not produce enough hormones to allow the dogs metabolic system to work properly.
What are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Dogs?
The most common symptom of Hypothyroidism in dogs is being tired and not interested in doing things. If your dog seems to have no energy, and does not want to play, go outdoors, go for walks, or hound you for attention, this can be a symptom of canine Hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism in dogs can also cause hair loss, skin problems, dark pigmentation of the skin, constipation, joint pain and swelling.
If you suspect your dog has Hypothyroidism, your veterinarian can perform a blood test to find out if this is the case.
Are Some Breeds of Dog More Prone to Developing Hypothyroidism?
Yes. This disorder is more common in the following breeds, (listed in order of frequency of occurence):
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Doberman Pinschers
How is Hypothyroidism in Dogs Treated?
If a blood test has confirmed that your dog has Hypothyroidism, there are medications that your dog can take to control and help the problem. These medications are very effective and, thankfully, reasonably inexpensive.
Can Hypothyroidism in Dogs be Prevented?
No. Hypothyroidism is something your dog inherits from his parents or grandparents. It is not something that his environment, care or diet has caused. For this reason, dogs diagnosed with Hypothyroidism should not be bred.
What is the Prognosis (Outcome) for Hypothyroidism in Dogs?
With proper medication, monitoring and care, most dogs do very well with Hypothyroidism. They can go on to lead long, health and happy lives, regardless of having Hypothyroidism in dogs.
More Online Resources about Hypothyroidism in Dogs:
- Ron Hines, a veterinarian, offers a very clear and detailed online resource about canine hypothyroidism.