Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects many dogs. The thyroid gland is located in the neck and creates a hormone called thyroxine. Thyroxine controls a dog’s metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the thyroxine hormone.
Hypothyroidism is a common disease found in dogs that affects all breeds of dogs and usually happens in middle age. While hypothyroidism is prevalent in dogs, it’s rarely found in cats. Instead, cats are more commonly diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism which occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroxine hormone.
Thankfully, Hypothyroidism is not life threatening and is easily treatable. However, it’s crucial to know the symptoms and have your dog examined by a veterinarian for a proper diagnoses. If the disease is not treated, it will affect your pet’s quality of life.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
-Decreased Heart Rate
-Reoccurring Ear infections
Your dog’s veterinarian will evaluate your dog as well as take blood samples to determine if Hypothyroidism is indeed the cause for your pal’s symptoms. A series of blood tests will be performed to rule out any other underlying factors that may be causing your pet’s symptoms.
If Hypothyroidism is confirmed, you will need to work closely with your pet’s veterinarian to treat and maintain the disease. The disease is easily treated and consists of putting your dog on a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone. The dosage and frequency of the medication will vary dog to dog depending on the severity of the disease in each animal. Routine check ups are important for your dog, as blood samples are needed to ensure he or she is adjusting to their dosage accordingly. Treatment for Hypothyroidism will be required for the rest of your dog’s life but the symptoms will dissipate after the first treatment.