Hypothyroidism, caused by a thyroid malfunction, results in the production and release of thyroid hormones decreasing. We know what causes it in humans and how to treat it, but the causes and treatment of hypothyroidism in dogs are not the same.
What exactly is it and what causes hypothyroidism in dogs
The thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces the hormone thyroxine and thus contributes to the proper functioning of the metabolism. In this way, our body and that of other animals are able to obtain the nutrients it needs from ingested food.
Hypothyroidism affects the proper functioning of this gland and reduces the release and production of thyroxine. This disease, common in dogs, can affect any breed, although some prevalence is observed in Golden Retrievers, Doberman pinschers, boxers, or cocker spaniels.
Many of the causes of hypothyroidism in dogs can be extended to people. The most common causes of hypothyroidism in dogs are the following:
- A diet low in iodine.
- Presence of tumors or sebaceous cysts.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- I am replacing the tissue of the thyroid gland with adipose tissue, which is known as atrophy.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs
When diagnosing the disease, there are certain signs that can help us determine if our dog suffers from hypothyroidism.
- The main symptom of this disease is an increase in weight, which often leads to obesity. With a correct treatment of the disease, a significant weight loss should occur, although a balanced diet and an active lifestyle are necessary to return our pet to the right path.
- Many of those affected by hypothyroidism suffer a fairly common lethargy in the disease caused by a lower yield in the metabolic process. The slower the metabolism of an animal works, the more tired and sleepy you will feel, one of the reasons why these animals sleep a lot.
- Sometimes, it can affect your pet’s skin and sebaceous glands.
Treatment and recommendations to combat hypothyroidism in dogs
The treatment of hypothyroidism is simple and cheap: we only need to give our pet orally thyroid hormone (T4) as many times as the veterinarian prescribes.
It is advisable to periodically monitor the animal in all treatments that require long-term medication to see how it is tolerating.
With a follow-up of the thyroid-stimulating hormone in dogs or canine HET, we can find out if the level of the thyroid hormone is too low. A high level of this stimulating hormone is an indicator that treatment is inadequate, so constant monitoring is highly recommended.