What Are The Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism In Dogs?

Symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs
Symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs

Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland and causes it to produce less of the hormone thyroxine. This hormone regulates many critical bodily functions, such as metabolism and heart rate.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs? 

If your dog has been feeling a little more sluggish than usual, losing hair, or gaining weight for no reason, they may be suffering from hypothyroidism.

If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause serious health complications in dogs.

This article will discuss what hypothyroidism is, the symptoms to look for, and how it’s treated in dogs.

What is the thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. It produces hormones that regulate many essential body functions, such as metabolism, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature.

Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid, causing a slow down in metabolism.

Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid is overactive, elevating the body’s metabolism.

What dog breeds are prone to hypothyroidism?

While any dog can develop hypothyroidism, certain breeds are more prone to the condition. Mid- to large-sized dogs are most commonly affected, with toy and miniature breeds at the lowest risk.

The most common age for a dog diagnosed with hypothyroidism is 4-10 years old.

Dogs at the highest risk of developing hypothyroidism are:

  • Golden Retrievers
  • Dachshunds
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Boxers
  • Irish Setter
  • Miniature Schnauzer

If you have one of these breeds of dogs, it’s essential to be aware of hypothyroidism symptoms and take your dog to the vet for regular checkups.

What are the common symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs?

The most common symptom of hypothyroidism in dogs is weight gain. If you notice your dog gaining weight without an increase in appetite, you should have your dog examined by your veterinarian.

Other signs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin and coat
  • Cold intolerance
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Recurrent infections
  • Infertility
  • Slow heart rate

How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?

Your vet will complete a total thyroxin (TT4) level blood screening to diagnose hypothyroidism. This test will measure the primary thyroid hormone to determine if your dog has low thyroxin levels.

Any sign of low thyroxin levels, plus characteristics in behavior or appearance, will warrant further detailed testing.

The next step is a thyroid panel or a free (T4 by ED) — free thyroxin by equilibrium dialysis.

Since your dog can have low levels of TT4 with normal levels of free T4 by ED, this is a more definitive test to diagnose hypothyroidism.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs. Two different dog breeds embracing

What are the treatment options for hypothyroidism in dogs?

The most common treatment for hypothyroidism in dogs is daily supplementation with levothyroxine, a synthetic form of the hormone thyroxine. Since hypothyroidism is treatable but not curable, you will need to administer thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your dog’s life.

The brand names of levothyroxine are Thyro-Tabs® Canine and Synthroid®.

What happens if hypothyroidism is left untreated in dogs?

If hypothyroidism is left untreated, it can lead to a number of health complications in dogs.

These include:

  • High cholesterol levels
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney disease

To avoid these serious health problems, it’s essential to have your dog checked by a vet and start treatment if they are diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

In Conclusion.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs?

The first sign your dog may be suffering from hypothyroidism is if you’re noticing weight gain with no increase in appetite. Furthermore, If your dog is regularly active but acting lethargic with no interest in exercise, you should see your vet for a checkup.

Hypothyroidism is a serious condition that can cause several health problems, but it is treatable with medication.

If you think your dog may be showing signs of hypothyroidism, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Does your dog have Hypothyroidism symptoms? Did this article help you discover them? Please share it on social media to help others.

Share this article
is my Greyhound overweight?
Dog Obesity

Is my Greyhound overweight?

Over 50% of dogs suffer from obesity. Through a few easy steps, you can identify if your Greyhound is overweight and the diet and exercise to fix it.

Read More »